Call for papers

Theme of the conference is ‘Victims of Crime: Rights, Needs & Responses’.

It is often repeated that victims must no longer be forgotten, that victims must be at the centre of our criminal justice systems. At the European and international level, a number of conventions, guidelines and legislation have been adopted to ensure countries take this approach. Yet to truly achieve a victim oriented approach requires more than laws. Organisations – whether State, private sector or NGOs must view their activities through a victim’s lens – they must re-orient their approach to fully consider whether their activities can affect victims of crime, and whether those activities are designed to meet the multiple needs of victims in the best way.

This requires a detailed understanding of the situation of victims in general and with respect to specific groups and individuals. It requires an understanding of the impact of actions and a strong evidence base for improvements.

Priorities for Workshops

With this in mind, this year’s Conference will explore how we can and are improving the way that policies, rights, services and criminal justice systems are developed and delivered to best meet the needs of victims. The Conference will focus on all victims of crime and will place a specific spotlight on victims of terrorism, hate crime, cybercrime and historical abuse.

We invite practitioners, researchers, experts, lawyers, academics, victim support organisations, police, criminal Justice officials and any other persons working in the field of rights and services for victims of crime to submit proposals for a workshop.

We are interested to hear about projects, activities and research which aim to increase the quality of services available, improve victims’ access to services and their experience of services. Key priorities for papers under these themes are listed below:

  • Developing quality services for victims of crime

Assessing needs of victims (individual assessment of support and protection needs) and monitoring the quality of the service (support, justice, police etc.) being provided to victims of crime. Training service providers, stakeholders and victim support organisations.

  • Data protection

The potential impact on victim oriented services of Regulation (EU) 2016/679 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data. How information on victims is retained, exchanged and processed in a safe manner, include through case management systems. Data protection & referral of victims of crime to other services. Ensuring confidential victims information is not part of the case file. The development of a comprehensive research infrastructure to gather victim’s data.

  • Developing sustainable victim support services and organisations

How to win contracts, increase donations and sponsorship. Successful approaches to fundraising including through crowdfunding. How to generate interest in and support for your organisation, including innovative and strategic uses of social media. How to fund State budgets for victim services and compensation.

  • Improving access to services

Reaching victims who don’t report crime. Remote services for victims of crime – reaching rural areas, remote communities, and victims who don’t want to meet face to face. Improving access for cross-border victims of crime. Raising awareness of victim support services.

  • Impact of trauma

Impact of trauma including with respect to the victim’s role in criminal proceedings, cultural dimensions and changing nature of impact depending on gender, age, and other personal or social characteristics.

How to prevent and manage vicarious trauma in professionals dealing with victims of crime (police, victim support providers, justice practitioners).

Psychological treatment of traumatisation in victims of crime – state of the art, evidence based practices, innovative practices and incorporation

Workshops will also be welcomed with respect to the following victim groups:

  • Victims of Hate Crime

How to legislate for hate crime? How to improve reporting of hate crime? How to address the specific needs of hate crime victims and the needs of communities affected by hate crime?

  • Victims of Terrorism

How to ensure victim oriented emergency response planning, immediate aftermath response and long term care. How to ensure all victims in large scale attacks are identified and offered support. Meeting the needs of foreign victims of terrorism. Restorative Justice for communities impacted by terrorism. Data protection & sharing information on victims of terrorism. Specific compensation schemes for victims of terrorism.

  • Victims of Cybercrime

How does the impact of cybercrime and the needs of victims of online crime differ compared to other victims? How should law enforcement, criminal justice and victim support responses to cybercrime be adjusted to meet these impacts and needs? Helping people avoid online criminality – awareness raising, education etc. Criminalising online crime.

  • Victims of Historical Abuse

Increasing the reporting of historical abuse. Supporting those who come forward and those with long term trauma. Preventing future cases of abuse.

A workshop session is 1.5 hours in duration and needs to be given in English (translation will not be provided).

We most welcome interactive and creative working methods. For example

  • Panel session (debate with expert panel and participants)
  • Debating session (plenary debate with participant using voting cards or interactive voting methods)
  • Working session (mind mapping, Delphi method)
  • Short training or instruction sessions (introducing skills or tools)
  • Educative games or simulations (roleplaying, quiz, association cards, ‘dating’ show)
  • Short movie/documentary
  • Casuistic session (discussion of relevant issues using real life cases or victims’ stories)

 

Procedure

Workshop proposals can be submitted by filling in the Submission form workshop proposal and sending it to VSE2017@victimsupportni.org.uk. Submission closes on Tuesday 21st March 2017.

The Programme Committee will review the proposals using the following criteria:

  • Conformity with the overall theme and focus of the VSE conference
  • Interactivity and creativity of the proposed workshop format or working method
  • Equal representation of the all the topics in the programme

All submitters/contributors will be informed after the review and selection procedure is completed. We aim to inform all submitters/contributors on a rolling basis and final contributors will be informed by Monday 3rd April 2017. The workshop programme will be published on the conference website after all submitters/contributors are informed.

If you have any questions, please contact VSE2017@victimsupportni.org.uk