Security Research

INASC – Improving needs assessment and victim’s support in domestic violence related criminal proceedings

Project Management: Dr. Birgitt Haller
Implementation: Mag. Dr. Helga Amesberger
Dr. Birgitt Haller
Funded by: European Commission/ DG Criminal Justice via
   CESIS – Centro De Estudos Para A Internvenção Social, Lissabon
Partners: DHPol – Deutsche Hochschule der Polizei (DE)
Safe Ireland (IE)
Verwey-Jonker Instituut (NL)
Zoom – Gesellschaft für prospektive Entwicklungen e.V. (DE)
Completed: March 2016

The INASC project aims to improve our existing understanding of victims’ experiences of trajectories of DV cases in the course of criminal proceedings against perpetrators, and studies how these experiences relate to individual assessment mechanisms and outcomes. The comparative study focused on the main characteristics of victim support measures as well as on elements that influence victim support and protection on three different levels: i) at the entrance door (police officers receiving complaints and following up with criminal procedures); ii) at the inquiry stage (public prosecution); iii) in court (court procedures and final decisions).

The project’s methodological approach consisted of file analysis (in Austria: 70 files of the public prosecution office in Vienna and a small number of court files) as well as interviews and focus group discussions with representatives of the police, the legal system and victim protection organisations. In addition, ten victims of intimate partner violence were interviewed.

An Austria-specific output of the project is the practice-oriented guide Opferschutz umsetzen! Bedarfsorientierte Unterstützung der Opfer von Partnergewalt durch Polizei und Justiz (Victim protection now! Needs-based support of victims of intimate partner violence by the police and the legal system) for police officers, public prosecutors and judges, which aims to enhance the national implementation of the EU Victims Directive 2012/29. An annex provides a checklist for public prosecutors and judges in order to support their risk assessment concerning victims of violence.