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Press Release | On the European Day for Victims of Crime Victim Support Europe launches a campaign ‘You won’t believe it, but it exists’ to inform of support services available in the EU

BRUSSELS, 22 February 2021 – As this day marks the European Day for Victims of Crime, Victim Support Europe is excited to announce the launch of its “You won’t believe, but it exists”information campaign. Conducted with 14 partners across 13 different countries, the campaign intends to inform general public of the existence of victim support services and to encourage victims to reach out these services.

The campaign will deliver tailored information about the support services to the estimated more than 9 million of victims of crimes in the 13 countries. Animation speed-paintings, videos and other information materials (billboards, posters, brochures, stickers, etc.) will be rolled out in social media and offline from 22 of February till the end of 2021 under the hashtag #itexists. 

“There is an important EU law for victims of crime, established 9 years ago, in 2012, called the EU Victims’ Rights Directive, the majority of the EU citizens aren’t aware of. According to this law, every victim of crime in the EU has a right to free victim support services, and every Member State has to establish its national victim support. By now, the services are established in most of the EU countries. The problem is that at least half of general EU population don’t know about the victims’ law and victim support services available. This campaign aims to fill that gap. The information materials focus on ensuring that people know what a victim support service is and where to find help in the aftermath of a crime,” said Marina Kazakova, Communications Officer, Victim Support Europe. 

The campaign features the faces and voices of victims that we discover through the campaign animations and videos. In these films – one produced for each partner country, in the national language, victims invite the public on a powerful and emotional journey through their stories. From its opening, spotlighting stunning vistas of the country landscape, where the victim’s narrative takes place to the setting in which the offense occurred, the videos showcase the impacts of crime and empower victims to act. The characters share what happened to them, their doubts and fears, how they discovered that support existed, when and how they had the courage to seek for help and how they were assisted. 

The campaign consists of two components:

  1. ‘You won’t Believe, but …exists’ is ‘animated speed paintings part’ produced by VSE for 7 countries (Bijeli Krug Croatia, Victim Support Denmark, Victim Support Finland, France Victimes, Associazione Libra Onlus, Rete Dafne Italia and Victim Support Sweden);
  2. and ‘Reclaim your safety’ is part of the EU-funded PREVICT project,
    in which Victim Support Europe, the leading organisation along with Transcendent Media Capital (TMC), and 6 victim support organisations participate: the Human Rights for Democracy Centre (AL), Udruga za Podrsku zrtvama I Svjedocima (HR), Fehér Gyűrű (HU), Victim Support Malta (MT), Vilias (LT) and APAV (PT).

This multi-country campaign builds on the recent EU Strategy on Victims’ Rights, adopted by the European Commission in June 2020. The campaign goes in line with the first priority of the strategy ‘Effective communicating with victims and providing for safe environment for victims to report crime’ to achieve the EU’s objective to empower victims to report crime. The campaign was produced with the financial support from the Justice Programme of the European Union. 

“One of the innovative aspects of the campaign is reflected in how information tools were developed. First, an in-depth research on the best practice in delivering information to victims was conducted, both in the partners’ countries and at the international level. Based on that research, the partners developed creative and tailored information materials that respond to the victims’ needs”, said Inês Nunes de Freitas, VSE’s Project Officer, who coordinates the PREVICT project. 

For more information and for discovering the campaign content materials, please, consult the campaign webpage.

For release 22.02.2021

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