Information and communication technologies represent nowadays fundamental tools for promoting the access to support and information in cases of violence or crime. Tools such as the e-mail, informative websites and helplines represent valuable distance-based support services for victims of crime, particularly for those victims who would not have access to support.
Given the emergence of this reality and the changes in the current ways of communication, the Portuguese Association for Victim Support (APAV) developed a survey about distance-based support for victims of crime, which had the participation of 60 European victim support organisations and support services.
The results of the survey revealed that the majority of the participant entities has distance-based support services for victims of crime, being those helplines, online support tools or both.
In the specific case of online support for victims of crime, the conventional forms of support and information, such as the e-mail or the websites, were pointed as the most used online support tools.
Victim support organisations and support services identified several advantages in delivering online support for victims of crime, such as the increased access to support and the flexibility/convenience in the access to support services. The results also revealed that a significant proportion of entities without online support tools is reluctant or undecided about their willingness to develop/implement online support services.
This survey was developed under Project T@LK – online support for victims of crime, promoted by the Portuguese Association for Victim Support (APAV) and co-financed by the Justice Programme of the European Union. The project has the partnership of Victim Support Malta, Human Rights Monitoring Institute, Victim Support Finland, Catalan Society of Victimology and Victim Support Europe.
The full report with the results of the survey is available here.