Workshop on Victim Services management
A training day on victim services management by public administration was held on 16th June in the Fèlix Serratosa Hall at the Parc Científic de Barcelona (PCB, Barcelona Science Park). Organized by the Violence Studies Group (GEAV) at the Universitat de Barcelona (UB, University of Barcelona), the workshop analyzed and debated the management of these services and presented the Victim Services 2000 Network, a coordinated project between victim-related services in Denver (Colorado, USA).
The workshop’s opening session included contributions from the director of the PCB, Màrius Rubiralta, the director of the GEAV, Andrés Pueyo, the secretary for Prison Services, Rehabilitation and Justice for Minors, Albert Batlle, and the sub-director of Open Prisons and Alternative Penal Policies (Generalitat de Catalunya, Autonomous Government of Catalonia), Sílvia Serra. The programme also included presentations by Rose Mary Barberet from the Universidad Carlos III and member of the GEAV, and Ana Soler, director of the Victim Services Network.
The first victim support offices were established in Catalonia in 1990 and at present there are more than 60, which have arisen mainly in response to law 35/95 on assistance to victims of violent crimes and crimes against sexual freedom. These offices are managed by the central, regional and local administrations. There are also other public offices that specialize in the victims of domestic violence or terrorism. Moreover, a large number of specialized NGOs, the police force, the State Prosecutor’s Office, prisons and other entities perform activities related to this field. In this setting, the development of a network of victim services, in accordance with the decision of the European Union Council of 15 March 2001, and using the Denver project as a model, would provide better assistance to victims.
Victim Services 2000 is a coordinated and integrated model network of services that was set up to cover the local needs of victims. The project, a pilot programme of the Federal Government Office for victims of crimes in the USA, was set up in Denver with the collaboration of more than 50 NGOs and state organizations that play a crucial role in this field.
The Violence Study Group’s main aim is to scientifically analyse violent behaviours in their diverse forms and social manifestations. The group carries out its activities in the Dept. of Personality, Evaluation and Psychological Treatment at the UB and collaborates with other national and international research groups, institutions and related public administration. The group is currently participating in the design of tools to systematically evaluate and predict the risk of violence in the context of domestic abuse, juvenile violence or sexual aggression.