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NCJ Number: 64040 Find in a Library
Title: WHAT ARE WE DOING FOR 'VICTIMS'?
Journal: NEDERLANDS TIJDSCHRIFT VOOR CRIMINOLOGIE  Volume:18  Dated:(JUNE 1976)  Pages:97-112
Author(s): H MOERLAND
Date Published: 1976
Page Count: 16
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: Dutch
Country: Netherlands
Annotation: TYPES OF DAMAGES TO VICTIMS CAUSED BY CRIMINAL OFFENSES AND THE POSSIBILITIES FOR VICTIM ASSISTANCE IN HOLLAND ARE DISCUSSED.
Abstract: UNTIL NOW, EFFORTS OF THE GOVERNMENT TO ASSIST VICTIMS HAVE TAKEN THE FORM OF PREVENTIVE MEASURES. ALTHOUGH THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM REMAINS PRIMARILY CONCERNED WITH OFFENDERS, ATTENTION HAS BEEN DIRECTED TO THE NEED FOR REDUCTION OF MATERIAL AND IMMATERIAL DAMAGES OF VICTIMS. STUDIES MUST ESTABLISH WHAT THE ACTUAL IMMATERIAL EFFECTS OF OFFENSES ON VICTIMS ARE, WHAT THE COSTS AND BENEFITS OF PARTICULAR REACTIONS TO VICTIMIZATION WOULD BE, AND WHETHER THE RESULTS OF SUCH OFFICIAL REACTIONS ARE PREFERABLE TO ALTERNATIVE REACTIONS. A NUMBER OF CRISIS CENTERS HAVE ARISEN TO MEET THE DIRECT NEEDS OF VICTIMS. IN MANY CASES VICTIMS, E.G., ABUSED WIVES MUST DEAL SIMULTANEOUSLY WITH PSYCHOLOGICAL PROBLEMS AND FINANCIAL NEED AND CENTERS HAVE OPENED IN AMSTERDAM THAT MEET BOTH AREAS OF NEED SIMULTANEOUSLY. THE POLICE ARE IN THE POSITION TO OFFER FIRST-LINE ASSISTANCE TO VICTIMS. TO THIS END, POLICE DEPARTMENTS IN SOME CITIES HAVE INSTITUTED A SYSTEM USING LOCAL OFFICERS FAMILIAR WITH THEIR TERRITORY AND THUS ABLE TO RENDER PREVENTIVE AND PROTECTIVE SERVICES. OTHER DEPARTMENTS HAVE INSTITUTED SPECIAL SOCIAL WORKER DEPARTMENTS TO HANDLE CRISIS SITUATIONS: THIS SYSTEM PROVIDES IMMEDIATE EXPERT ASSISTANCE, FREES THE POLICE DEPARTMENT FOR LAW-ENFORCEMENT ACTIVITIES, AND PROMOTES COOPERATION BETWEEN POLICE AND SOCIAL WORK AGENCIES. HOWEVER, THE MOST EFFECTIVE VICTIM-ASSISTANCE SYSTEM IS DEEMED TO BE ONE THAT BRINGS VICTIMS TOGETHER WITH OFFENDERS TO RESOLVE THEIR DISPUTE IMMEDIATELY RATHER THAN IN A CRIMINAL TRIAL MONTHS LATER. SUCH MEETINGS EASE VICTIMS' PSYCHOLOGICAL DISTURBANCES AND MAKE IT POSSIBLE TO DIVERT MANY CASES OUT OF THE CRIMINAL SYSTEM, WHILE LOWERING THE RECIDIVISM RATES. GOING A STEP FURTHER, MEETINGS BETWEEN VICTIMS AND OFFENDERS AS WELL AS CONFLICT RESOLUTION IN GENERAL COULD BE PROMOTED THROUGH NEIGHBORHOOD RECEPTION CENTERS. MERGED WITH OTHER NEIGHBORHOOD SOCIAL SERVICE CENTERS, SUCH INSTITUTIONS WOULD PROVIDE ASSISTANCE TO VICTIMS, OFFENDERS, AND THIRD PARTIES. CENTERS WOULD WORK CLOSELY WITH THE POLICE TO PERMIT REFERRALS IN EITHER DIRECTION, WOULD REFER CERTAIN CASES TO OTHER ORGANIZATIONS SUCH AS ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, AND WOULD PROVIDE INFORMATION AND ADVICE TO GOVERNMENT MINISTRIES. NOTES ARE SUPPLIED.
Index Term(s): Netherlands; Offenders; Police community relations; Police responsibilities; Police social services; Psychological victimization effects; Rape crisis centers; Research; Shelters for Battered Women; Victim compensation; Victim services; Victims of Crime
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=64040

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