Listening to victims of sexual abuse

Victims of sexual abuse face many obstacles to enforcing their rights, but they rarely have the opportunity to express themselves. However, it is essential to listen to the survivors’ voices in order to improve existing protection systems and better support victims.

On 16 November 2018, on the occasion of the European Day for the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse, ECPAT Belgium and the FPS Justice co-organised a round table, bringing together adult victims, police and judges.

During this event, a central place was given to the experiences of victims, who were able to share their experiences with representatives of the police and judiciary.

What obstacles did they have to overcome to denounce the facts? How was their testimony received and by whom? Have they been informed of the main steps of the investigation? Did they feel supported during the legal proceedings? How can the police and the judiciary best support victims, whether they lodged their complaints at the time of the incident or years later?

The usefulness of such a day was unanimously underlined by the participants. The recommendations made by the victims will serve as a basis for proposing concrete changes. The beginning of a promising process towards a more humane justice.