Victim Service Review (incorporating Child Witness Service Review)
The Victorian Department of Justice & Community Safety has asked the CIJ to review the state's service and support system for victims of crime.
Throughout 2019 the CIJ was commissioned by the Victorian Department of Justice & Community Safety to conduct a comprehensive review and redesign of Victoria’s service and support system for victims of crime.
This system includes services such as the Victims of Crime Helpline and Victims Assistance Programs around the state, as well as more specific interventions designed to support individuals through the prosecution process or in the aftermath of violent crime.
As part of this review, the CIJ mapped and explored the operation and relationship of these services, as well as the awareness and referral pathways to and between services. The project involved consultation with professional stakeholders, and qualitative research with 37 victims of crime about their experiences of this support system: the kinds of support they received; the effectiveness of this support; and the extent to which existing services met their often wide and varied needs.
In the second phase of the project the CIJ worked with KPMG to conduct a detailed redesign of this service system to provide a foundation for substantial reform to the way in which victims experience services and support over many years to come.
As part of this work, the CIJ also conducted a targeted review specifically of one of these services, being the Child Witness Service – a much valued component of the criminal justice system which provides support to children giving evidence in criminal proceedings.
Highlighting the needs, as well as the diversity and complexity, of people who experience crime is a crucial step towards unpacking the often simplistic debate around criminal justice systems, as well as default assumptions about what victims really want. Findings from the CIJ’s research directly with victims of crime will be released later in 2020.