“The Age of Resilience” was the guiding theme of Victim Support Europe Conference 2022, this year held in Malta, on the 11th and 12nd of May. The event signalled the reunion of VSE’s members almost three years after the restrictions imposed by the pandemic.
The conference was dedicated to challenges and best practices sharing in victim support provision during the pandemic crisis, strategies adopted by victim support organisations across Europe to maintain their services available, particularly with resort to tools of support at a distance.
Carmen Rasquete, João Lázaro, Cristina Soeiro, Mafalda Valério and Cláudia Rocha formed APAV’s delegation to the event, where three presentations were made reflecting the Association’s rapid response to constraints caused by COVID-19, not only in making tools of victim support at a distance available, but also in assessing all difficulties faced by victim support workers and associated psychosocial risks. APAV’s Prevention of Psychosocial Risks Programme also had the floor, as well as how our integrated intervention model with children victims of crime and violence is anchored in building their resilience, both in primary prevention and in the aftermath of victimisation.
The Portuguese Association for Victim Support (APAV) will host the Seminar Infovictims III - Innovation to humanize the justice system for victims. The event will take place on 19 September, at the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon, under the scope of the Infovictims III Project, developed by APAV and funded by the European Union's Justice Programme (2014-2020).
The Infovictims Project was launched in 2011 with the aim of contributing to the quantity and quality of information available to victims of crime and to society in general about the justice system, about their rights and how to exercise them. As such, the teamwork developed with the national and international partners here gathered has resulted in the creation of accessible and inclusive information tools, such as the Infovictims Website.
In this seminar, we will celebrate the success of the third edition of the Infovictims project, by promoting a broad discussion on how the justice system can be humanised from the perspective of the victim and the professionals that integrate it.
The final conference of the Infovítimas III project will feature Portuguese and international speakers. Therefore, the sessions will be held both in English and Portuguese. During the seminar, a simultaneous translation service from Portuguese to English and from English to Portuguese will be available.
Programme, information and registration:
From left: António Bernardes, President of Alliance Française in Algarve, Helena Louro, President of Rotary Club of Faro, João Lazaro, President of APAV, and Christine Fay, Past President Rotary Club Estoi Palace International
Rotary Club Estoi Palace International (RCEPI), with the help of the Rotary Club of Faro, held a gala dinner last Friday at Hotel Eva in Faro in support of APAV - Associação Portuguesa de Apoio à Vitima.
The evening raised in excess of €5.000, which will help APAV provide multiple specialist support services to victims of domestic violence.
APAV was founded 31 years ago providing protection and support to those affected by this scourge. The association has two shelters offering both emergency and prolonged support to help those affected develop a new life plan, free of violence.
The gala dinner saw 110 guests gather at Hotel Eva to give their support to this fundraiser. The President of APAV, João Lázaro, gave a presentation about the work the association does to help victims and how much it is needed. He was accompanied by Júlia Cardoso, responsible for the Algarve branch located in Loulé.
RCEPI and APAV are also grateful for the support of the Algarve branch of Alliance Française, whose main mission is to disseminate the French language and culture. Thanks also went to PA International Foundation for sponsoring the event.
Under the With You Project - Victim and Witness Support in the Justice System, funded by the European Union Justice Program (2014-2020) and coordinated by APAV, a Technical Visit to Croatia took place on March 3 and 4.
The Technical Visit was organized by the partners of Victim and Witness Support Service Croatia (VWSSC) and its objective was to share best practices, experiences and challenges related to victim and witness support.
We had the presence of 3 representatives of APAV; 2 representatives of the General Prosecutor's Office; 1 representative of Lithuania (VILIAS) and from Croatia, 3 representatives of Victim and Witness Support Service.
During these two days we had the opportunity to visit the Croatian National Call Center (116006) in Zagreb, to visit the court in Varazdin, the facilities of the VWSSC partners and to have several meetings with different professionals: from the Croatian Ministry of Justice, the Security Forces, the Prosecutor's Office and different NGOs, who presented us with the panorama of the Croatian justice system and the framework of victims' rights within it, with emphasis on the right to accompaniment.
We consider these technical visits essential for the exchange of best practices and experiences that allow us to evolve and learn new approaches and tools essential to continue to fulfill our mission.
Last week, from March 15th to 18th, we had the opportunity to organize the 1st Transnational Training Event in the scope of the "Project PROTECT - sharing good practices on restorative justice and promoting the protection of victims' rights", hosted and organized by APAV, with the support of the Oriente Foundation.
During these days we welcomed 40 trainees, collaborators of the project's partner organizations: VSE, SPONDÉ, MEDIANTE, EFRJ, WAAGE and the University of Barcelona, as well as the project's coordinating organization: WELCOME APS.
The first three days of the event were marked by training sessions, led by APAV, VSE and EFRJ. Among the various topics addressed, we highlight the European approach facilitated by the VSE, which highlighted topics such as the "EU strategy for victims 2020-2025" and the assessment of individual needs of victims of crime. APAV then took the floor, outlining a national panorama on the implementation of the Victims' Directive in Portugal, the impact of crime and the consequences of victimization. EFRJ, on the other hand, focused on the legal framework of restorative justice and how it can offer a safe space for victims, protecting their rights and needs.
On the last day there was the opportunity to visit the APAV facilities, namely: the Victim Support Office and the APAV Headquarters in Lisbon, the Training Center and the facilities of the Integrated Distance Support System (SIAD).
The event was also marked by several moments of networking, sharing best practices and knowledge.