Developing directive-compatible practices for the identification, assessment and referral of victims

The Victim’s Directive (2012/29/EC), adopted in 2012, is an important pillar of the European criminal law agenda. In order to ensure the compliance with the Victim’s Directive the relevant legislative acts related to it were amended in Estonia in 2017. The latest changes entered into force on 1 January 2017.

This country report presents the results of the research conducted to assess the practices that frontline institutions (i.e. the police, health authorities, victim support services / NGOs) involved in victim support use in order to identify victims, assess their protection needs and refer them to competent institutions. The report is based on the analysis of legislation, available quantitative data, and previous research on the victims’ situation and assistance in Estonia. In addition, qualitative interviews with the representatives of frontline institutions are analysed. The interviews are of a substantial relevance to the report as the frontline institutions have not been studied before regarding their practices of identification of victims, assessment of their protection needs and referral mechanisms to other relevant institutions in the field of victim support. For Estonia, two target groups, victims of domestic violence and child victims of sexual abuse were selected for the final analysis.