This work package is devoted to examining the current situation in the participating states with respect to referrals, provision of support, needs assessments and information provision. The research focuses on whether and how these activities are carried out, problems experienced, limitations in approaches and drivers for the limitations, gaps in actions and good practices. The results will be used to support the development of common tools for referral, needs assessment and information provision. The process will also support the development of networks and collaboration to assist in the provision of national victim support services.
The research focuses on the following issues:
a) Referral mechanisms for victims by relevant support organisations and the police, especially taking into account the needs and opportunities. The research explores for example how referral mechanisms operate, what protocols or legal instruments are in place or effect those referrals, what secure channels exist for transferring victim information between organisations, how the dangers of (financial) competition among stakeholders are avoided and fairness/neutrality of distribution of victim cases are guaranteed, what challenges and limitations exist in establishing referral systems;
b) Identifying key organisations and institutions which provide victim support services (both generic and specialised services, and state and non-state actors). For each relevant entity, a range of data will be collected which the project team will determine as being most useful to victims and victim support officers when deciding whether to access a particular service or to refer the victim to that service. Such criteria will include address, type of services provided, type of crime covered, opening times and contact details;
c) Individual assessments of victims’ needs for support carried out by NGOs and state authorities. Research will identify if any relevant assessments are already carried in the country, how they were set up and function, and what problems have been encountered in their operation;
d) Provision of information to victims about the type of support they can obtain, their rights and the impacts of crime. Research will identify what information is already provided to victims by key organisations and in what formats. As a first step the core team has developed the research templates used by each partner at the national level. This process has ensured all national research to be carried out in a consistent and equivalent manner whilst leaving flexibility to take into account national circumstances.
Research data has been gathered through a literature review, semi-structured interviews (10 in each state), and will be discussed at national workshops later on.