DUBLIN, Ireland - In advance of European Victims of Crime Day (22 February), the Minister for Justice & Equality, Charlie Flanagan TD, has published a new and expanded Victims Charter.
The previous version of the Charter dates from 2010.
The rights of victims of crime are primarily set out in the Criminal Justice (Victims of Crime) Act 2017. The Department of Justice and Equality has updated the Victims Charter to take account of this law and to enable victims of crime to easily find information about services available to them.
The Charter sets out information on the services offered by the State as well as voluntary groups who work with victims of crime. It sets out how to get in touch with those services and what supports they can offer to victims of crime.
The Charter describes the criminal justice system from the perspective of a victim of crime, so that they can understand what to expect from their interaction with it.
"Becoming a victim of a crime can be a deeply traumatic experience. I appreciate that it can be daunting for victims to begin the process of dealing with and recovering from their experience. Victims of crime are entitled to our support in that process. I am delighted to publish the Victims Charter which aims to assist victims of crime to quickly and easily find information on the services available to them," thw Minister for Justice and Equality Charlie Flanagan said Friday.
"During the updating process, I and my officials were very conscious of the views expressed by victims of crime, and we have endeavored to reflect that feedback in the new Charter. A valuable new component of the Charter is the inclusion, for the first time, of information on consular assistance available to support Irish victims of crime abroad."
The Charter is a living document and it will be updated and expanded on an ongoing basis, to ensure that victims of crime have access at all times to the most up to date and relevant information.
The Charter was updated by the Department of Justice and Equality through a consultative process involving all relevant State agencies, as well as non-governmental organisations working with and supporting victims.
"Voluntary and non-governmental organisations continue to play a vital role in supporting victims of crime, their families and friends. I am deeply grateful to them for their ongoing work and for their constructive input to the development of the Charter." - Charlie Flanagan.
The Victims Charter is available on their dedicated website.
This website will be developed further over the coming months to include enhanced features including the option to search by location, as well as providing further information and infographics detailing what victims can expect from the criminal justice system.
Additional steps are also planned for further dissemination of the Charter, including awareness raising on social media and the distribution of information leaflets and publicity materials to Garda stations, libraries, emergency rooms and other locations.