Victim Support Scotland (VSS) will launch ‘No Going Back,’ its 2011-2015 Manifesto for Action in the Upper Library of the Signet Library, Parliament Square, Edinburgh, EH1 1RF, at 10.30am on Thursday, November 18, 2010.
All media are invited to attend and newspaper, radio or TV slots can be agreed in advance.
David McKenna, Chief Executive of VSS, will outline why the national charity, now in its 25th year, believes that services to victims and witnesses of crime must be further improved.
Among key demands will be additional measures to ensure that the needs of victims and witnesses of crime are paramount; that victims are given a voice in community sentences and direct measures; that the Witness service should be made available in all Justice of the Peace courts; that there should be a fundamental review of criminal compensation in Scotland, and that victims’ compensation should be paid upfront by the State
Anita, a mother-of three who is able to portray the human cost of becoming a victim of crime, will be available for interview.
Anita’s case: Anita is a 32-year old woman who for years was the victim of mental and physical abuse by her then husband whom she met 10 years ago and married a year later. In 2003 he was jailed for three months for assaulting her causing actual bodily harm. A year later he was jailed for a further nine months for further assaulting her. In March 2007 he was sentenced to six years imprisonment for assaulting her again.
They were divorced in 2005 and he was released from prison on November 2 this year.
Anita lives in fear of him discovering where she and the children are living and knows that either he or his friends are currently trying to trace them. She is concerned that while he was in prison social workers tried to help him maintain contact with the family, that he was able to discover where she and the children were living, and now that he is free she is being pressured by his legal representatives to establish contact again.
Victim Support Scotland, now celebrating its 25th year, is a registered charity which provides help to all victims and witnesses of crime. Last year VSS dealt with almost 100,000 Victim referrals, 70,000 Witness referrals and about 1,000 referrals to VOYCE, its youth justice service in Dundee. The charity has a presence in all of Scotland’s local authority regions and has staff and/or volunteers in every Sheriff and High Court in Scotland.