Government in breach of the EU Directive on minimum standards for Victims?

Sex Abuse charity funding crisis hits our headlines and exposes that thousands of victims of sexual abuse are waiting for more than a year for counselling with many never receiving treatment. Sadly, that is an underestimation, as it doesn’t stop at sexual abuse victims. We hear from all victims of crime who struggle to access any form of treatment support and are left stranded by this government trying to recover from the aftermath of a crime unsupported and isolated. Many are not even automatically referred to victim support, a basic entitlement on the victims code.

When I met Theresa May in 2013, shortly after the implementation of the stalking legislation, she assured me that although there was no money to fund treatment services for stalking victims, victims of sexual abuse and domestic abuse would be receiving the majority share. She didn’t feel that stalking victims needed government funded treatment support as other victims were more of a priority. Try telling that to the 700,000 stalking victims.

However, she assured me that the Ministry of Justice provides over £50 million to diverse victims groups and that 78 rape centres were receiving grant funding of £4 million. She also assured me that there would be an increase in revenue for Victim support services through the victims surcharge, as offenders would be ordered to pay and would be contributing £50 million to spend on victim services. Do we know if the victims surcharge is actually contributing to victim services?

However, what with the increase in the number of child sex abuse victims, demands are clearly not being met and victims are struggling to become survivors.

In November, this government will need to ensure that the EU Directive of minimum standards on the rights, support and protection of victims of crime is implemented. So far, the government is covering much of these entitlements within a weak, toothless victims code. This code is continually breached by Criminal justice agencies as it’s not legally enforceable and allows victims entitlements and rights to be pushed aside to save pennies and cut corners.

As part of the EU Directive, victims must be able to access support and that includes longer term physical and psychological assistance.

What this government needs to realise, is that if victims needs were met, then we could reduce the cost of crime. If victims received support they could remain in or return to work sooner thus reducing the cost in state benefits. Adequate and timely support would reduce the strain that victims of crime can place on our health service if they don’t receive the right treatment to help them recover. Effective support would be needed for shorter periods as we witnessed the time taken for victims to cope and recover reduce.

We have worked for the past three years on drafting the first ever victims rights legislation and believe strongly that this Victims Rights Law is desperately needed to address the terrible re-victimisation many victims face when trying to access justice.
Our law will ensure that victims have the right to access justice, support, treatment and compensation and will ensure that a victim is treated fairly and with respect. To find out more about our bill, please visit the press section on our website

Please support our campaign. Together we can help create a more inclusive, fairer and effective justice system for everyone.


  1. We wish to add our names in total support of voice 4 victims. There is little if any victim support for those affected and who are currently treated as labelled evidence and not people whose lives have been in turmoil through criminal acts meted on them as children

    We have campaigned for change for 12 years and it continues to fall on deaf ears and no doubt will continue to do so. If there was any real appetite to right the wrongs in our broken society it would have happened by now. Rest assured abuse in the UK and its impact is a ticking time bomb and to ignore the peril of so many lives will create a universal victim – society.

    Use of language – What is a survivor? Is it someone who exists ? who has the right to say ” survivor” ? I suggest ONLY those who have been abused , do victims exist or do they thrive? It is in fact cosy for those not abused to give people the label ” survivor” – many don’t, many can’t, many take their own life. Neither do I like using the name ” victim ” in itself the word has negative impact.

    The system itself causes further abuse and harm to those affected, as currently it is seemingly pro perpetrator and their human rights.

    £3.2 billion was spent in 2012 on child abuse issues – are we saying there is not a better way? It is high time OTHER charities other than NSPCC are brought to the table for discussion. Many have valuable insight and knowledge and above all PASSION for better outcomes.

    If people UNDERSTAND how grooming works , on line, off line and CSE and realise it is all around us in plain sight LESS abuse would occur. But that is another conversation nobody wishes to hear or engage, and abuse is still the elephant in the room !

    Please see our website and our evidenced results of education on easy identification of grooming

    • Voice4Victims says:

      Thanks Marilyn for your support over the years for the victims rights campaign. We agree, those with expertise and insight should be included in discussions when understanding and agreeing correct form of treatment and support for victims. Much work still to be done.

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