Am I a Victim?

Am I a Victim?

It does not matter if you have filed a criminal complaint or if the perpetrator has been identified or prosecuted, a victim is a natural person who was injured physically, suffered damage, or was differently harmed as a result of a crime.

Anyone who feels like the victim of a crime is treated as such until the contrary is proven or it is clear that a victim’s position is being abused. These will mainly be cases where a crime did not happen or when someone is trying to get „benefits“ from the position of a victim, e.g. seeking compensation for damage that was not the result of a crime.

What about my relatives? Are they victims too?

Relatives of a victim are not considered as a primary victims, however they have some rights, such as right to help and support from a victim support organisation in the necessary extent.

Relatives of a person who died as a result of a crime are considered victims. A relative is defined as a parent, child, sibling, spouse, adopted child, adopter, and person who lived with the deceased in the same household or was dependent on them.

Who is a particularly vulnerable victim?

The Act no. 274/2017 Coll. on Victims (Victims´ Act) recognises the category of particularly vulnerable victims. These victims often become victims because of their characteristics or the crime that occurred has a severe impact on the victim in several aspects (e.g. combination of bodily harm and other trauma) or due to the relation to the perpetrator are at higher risk of becoming a victim repeatedly.

The Victims´ Act specifies categories of these victims in order to ensure their protection, specific treatment by the law enforcement authorities in the course of criminal proceedings and access so specialised help and support provided by victim support organisations.

Particularly vulnerable victims include:

  • children,
  • people over the age of 75,
  • people with disabilities,
  • victims of crime of abuse of a close and entrusted person, victims of human trafficking, victims of enforced disappearance or any other crime against human dignity (e.g. rape, sexual abuse),
  • victims of hate crimes,
  • victims of other crimes who are at a higher risk of victimisation (i.e. further harm as a result of the crime in the form of repeated threats, intimidation or continuation of the crime committed by the perpetrator, or insensitive conduct on the part of state authorities or their inaction to provide protection). This higher risk is identified on the basis of an individual assessment and is linked to the victim’s relationship or dependence on the perpetrator.

Particularly vulnerable victims have additional rights, especially right to specialised help and support provided by victim support organisation. Law enforcement authorities (police, prosecutor) and courts are obliged to treat particularly vulnerable victims in a sensitive manner and e.g. consult their questioning with psychologist or record it for further use in criminal proceedings.