Toolbox 7 - Preventing Secondary Victimization - policies & practices
Secondary Victimization, which means the victimization of victims by government officials after a crime has occurred, is not an overly known phenomenon. However, it is important to focus on this phenomenon, because the nature of a criminal act leaves a victim vulnerable and in need of assistance. Victims are, often for the very first time, involved in the criminal justice system and may have to speak to police officers, lawyers and judges and ultimately go to court. This process can be confusing and overwhelming and when these parties, who are there to protect, inform and help them, victimize the victims further by their behaviour and reactions, it can further traumatize the victims and let them lose faith in the system. Because of this factor of unknown, the toolbox is primary written for local policy-makers and practitioners since they will be confronted with victims in their daily work. Therefore we hope that this toolbox with its guideline and good practices provides for an easy-to-use framework to start the prevention of Secondary Victimization.