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VEP Forum Print
Tuesday, 01 June 2010
 

Victim Empowerment is a government programme to respond to the growing needs of victims of crime and violence in our country. Our country has one of the highest rates of violent crimes and in 1998 the government inaugurated a new national crime prevention strategy. The new strategy introduced a new approach in the criminal justice system of restorative justice. Previously the system largely focussed on punishing perpetrators without seeking to restore victims for the pain and hurt that they have undergone.

 

Victim empowerment is a criminal justice program that is run through a number of departments including social development, correctional services, justice and constitutional development, South African police Service, the national prosecution authority and the department of health. The department of social development is the lead department on the programme and coordinates the programme within the criminal justice system. Different departments play different roles in the provision of services to victims of crime and violence. The services vary from registering and investigate a case by a victim, to offering medico-legal services by health professionals and ultimately prosecuting the case through the courts.

 

The inter-sectoral collaboration and partnership in the roll-out of the programme is mean to leverage and enable an easier access to a continuum of services by victims from the different government departments. Besides government departments, there are also different NGOs that are playing an essential role in offering complementary services to victims, and also advocating for their causes. The government has set up forums at a national and provincial levels where different departments sits together regularly to plan, monitor and evaluate the delivery of services to victims by different spheres of government.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 20 May 2010 )