Victim Empowerment

South Africans have faced many challenges over the last few years, especially in our response to violence and crime. The greatest challenge we face is how victims of crime are assisted at our police stations and by law enforcement. Many stations are excellent in providing a victim-friendly service, whilst other stations re-victimize the victim of crime.

Please take a moment to complete our Victim Support Survey to assist us in identifying where the greatest challenges lie.

The Victim Empowerment Programme was implemented in South Africa in 1996 and was developed with the objective of ensuring the criminal justice process is more victim-friendly and minimize the negative effects of crime on victims.

 The key actions of this programme are:

  • Training of police and justice officials to create greater victim sensitivity
  • Referral to other service providers to address the effects of crime
  • Implementing a victim support programme
  • Providing basic information to complainants and victims regarding the progress of their cases and to assist victims to lay complaints more easily.

This programme aims to consolidate the present legal framework in South Africa as it relates to the rights of and services provided to victims of crime and to:

  • Eliminate secondary victimization in the criminal justice process;
  • Ensure that victims remain central to the criminal justice process;
  • Clarify the service standards that can be expected by and are to be provided to victims whenever they encounter the criminal justice system; and make provision for victims’ recourse when standards are not met.

If you have been a victim of crime and have reported it to the police, please take 5 minutes to complete our Victim Support Services survey.

If you have been a victim of crime, the following rights, as contained in the Constitution and relevant legislation in the Victims Charter, will (should) be upheld in your contract with the criminal justice system:

1.The right to be treated with fairness and with respect for dignity and privacy:

2.The right to offer information

3.The right to receive information

4.The right to protection

5.The right to assistance

6.The right to compensation (receiving finances)

7.The right to restitution (to replace or restore)

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