This online conference is free to attend but if you are able to do so, please consider making a donation to enable us to continue our vital work. Your donation will help us to keep promoting victims’ rights and help us to offset some of the costs of staging this event. Thank you.
Victim Support Europe is the leading European umbrella organisation advocating on behalf of victims of crime and working with 60 member organisations which provide support to victims of crime in 30 countries across the EU and beyond.
Crime can affect us all, no matter our age, gender, nationality, or faith. Each year, more than 100 million people fall victim to crime in Europe, with some people being more likely to suffer from crime or less likely to have access to the support services they need.
VSE is a non-profit organisation largely funded by the European Commission and by Membership fees. This means our funding is limited and our work is mostly focused on EU countries. Your generous donations allow us to expand our reach and ensure that all victims of crime as well as their loved ones can receive proper psychological, legal, and financial support they deserve.
While there are many ways in which people react to becoming a victim of crime and while crime can have serious adverse effects on anyone’s health and well-being, there are some victims who are more likely to experience greater traumatisation or repeat victimisation and therefore need additional and specialised services. These people are often referred to as vulnerable victims and include children, people with disabilities, migrants, and LGBTQ+ people.
You can help us support vulnerable victims through donating to our Facility Dogs project – FYDO. It is known that taking part in criminal proceedings significantly increases the chances of suffering from repeat victimisation. Research shows that being in the presence of animals can decrease heart rate and blood pressure and improve stress response and overall well-being. There are a few projects around the world, including pilot studies in Europe, which show that victims feel much better and are also able to verbalize much more when they can interact with a specially trained dog – a facility dog – during various stages of criminal proceedings or even when making a complaint to the police.
Facility dogs are selected and trained by specialist organisations and handled by trained handlers to support vulnerable victims in their recovery. The aim of the FYDO Project is to coordinate this service for vulnerable victims in three European countries – Belgium, Italy and France and ensure appropriate victim support and satisfaction. The project will provide training for FYDO trainers, train 5 dogs and 10 handlers, and support at least 200 victims. Services will be provided in different surroundings, such as police stations, courts, and victim support organisations.
Another area of VSE’s work where your donation can go a long way is our Referral System for cross-border victims of crime. Victims of a crime in a country other than their own often face a variety of challenges that leave them particularly vulnerable. There are a number of obstacles these victims face that might make it more difficult for them to identify or access support services. VSE’s goal is to support its members in ensuring that all victims can access and receive the right support and assistance. The Referral System allows 45 civil society organisations across the world to safely refer victims to a victim support service in another country in cross border cases. Each member has assigned a point of contact for the referral and only this person will be able to access the system and send and receive cases. Members can now interact with each other on a secure platform on particular cases without VSE’s office being involved.
Finally, this year’s VSE conference is taking place online and is completely free of charge and available for anyone to join. This year’s theme is Bridging high-tech and victim support services. You can discover how various technologies such as VR (Virtual Reality) can be used for the benefit of victims. The conference is aimed at professionals working with victims but has a lot of interesting insights to offer to the general public as well. Your donation will help us cover some of the costs associated with organising this event and keeping it free for everyone.
Thank you so much for considering a donation to VSE. Together we can ensure that victims of crime in Europe and all around the world receive the most appropriate, fair, and innovative support services.