Victim and witness support service was founded in 2006 in Vukovar, Croatia. Upon founding, its prime goal was changing the situation in which victims and witnesses lacked information regarding their rights and their role in the trial.
Victims and witnesses who lack support may experience their participation in trial as dangerous and isolating. Not knowing what to expect or having wrong assumptions may cause fear and anxiety, making it harder for victims and witnesses to participate in trial.
The purpose of Victim and witness support service is to inform victims and witnesses of the rights they have and the ways they can use them in order to make participating in the trial an easier and safer experience.
Activities of the Victim and witness support service are also targeted towards advocating for the improvement of legislative and institutional practices regarding victims and witnesses in Croatia.
The Victim and witness support service works through five offices at four different locations – National Call Center for Victims of Crime which is located in Zagreb, offices in Varaždin, Osijek and Vukovar and the Advisory Center for Victims of Domestic Abuse in Varaždin.
Since its founding, the Victim and witness support service has made great efforts in improving the system of support for victims and witnesses in Croatia. As a member of the committee, the The Victim and witness support service participated in creating the National Strategy for the Development of the Victim and Witness Support System in Croatia for the period up to 2020.
A comprehensive support system which would be available to every victim or witness in Croatia.
To help decrease feelings of discomfort a victim or witness may feel when participating in trial and to improve legal, economic and social positions of victims and witnesses in Croatia.
Equality in receiving support, regardless of somebody’s age, race, ethnicity, religion, sex, gender, political views, financial status, education level, social position and different physical and psychological difficulties one might experience.
Human rights, constitutional rights and trail rights
Respecting all human and constitutional rights of Croatian citizens and providing information on the rights victims and witnesses have as participants in trial.
Respecting the integrity and dignity of each and every individual, we dismiss all violence and commit to promote the culture of nonviolence in our activities.
Solidarity and understanding
We stand in solidarity with victims and witnesses while trying to understand the toll the trial process may take on their psychological well-being. We aspire to provide support that tends to specific needs of each person that seeks support.
Promoting volunteer work on local, regional and national level
Promoting the culture of volunteerism on all levels while recognizing volunteer work as an integral part of the comprehensive and effective support we provide victims and witnesses.