Recognizing the role of victim supports in building and maintaining healthy and safe communities

Sarah Johnston-Way, Sue O’Sullivan

Abstract


The effects of crime can persist for years and can have life-long implications for some victims. The physical and emotional impact, alongside practical problems, point to the need for the rehabilitation of victims and their families in order to avoid or mitigate some of the long-term negative impacts of crime and, in so doing, contribute significantly to community well-being. The meaningful integration of assistance and supports for victims of crime into community safety strategies can contribute not only to increased public safety, but also to a host of other positive outcomes such as considerable cost savings, improvements in public health, and increased confidence in the criminal justice system. Currently, available research and metrics highlighting these linkages remain scarce, pointing to an important opportunity to strengthen the availability of data and research related to the experience of victimization and the impacts and outcomes of interventions with victims of crime. This paper explores the contribution of providing victim supports for building and maintaining healthy and safe communities, and will identify possible research directions to strengthen understanding in this area.

Keywords


Impact of victimization; victim services; crime prevention; cost of crime; repeat victimization; community safety

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