New victim support fund announced

Justice Ministry estimates that 27 million kroner a year could be raised to help victims of crime through new initiative

A new fund to provide financial assistance, counselling and insurance to victims of crime has been proposed by the Justice Ministry.

If the law passes, those convicted of crimes in which there is a victim, or could have been a victim, will be forced to pay 500 kroner into the fund.

According to the Justice Ministry, the measure could generate 27 million kroner a year to support victims of crime.

“We need to get better at helping victims rather than simply focusing on the rights of criminals,” the justice minister, Morten Bødskov (Socialdemokraterne), wrote in a press release. “The new victims’ fund ensures that we are better equipped to help victims get back on their feet.”

Those convicted of crimes that result in either imprisonment or suspended sentences in which a person was victimised, as well as those that lose their driving licence or have points added to it, regardless of whether another person was injured, will all be liable to pay.

“The victims’ fund will mean that perpetrators of crimes are forced to pay for the consequences of their actions,” Bødskov wrote.

The money paid into the fund will go to the cost of counselling, support victim-related research, fund educational programmes and research into new forms of treatment. An independent commission will be established to administer the fund.

A debate about the level of support given to victims of crime receive was sparked last year following the publication of an opinion piece was by 29-year-old Marlene Duus, who stated that she had yet to receive any compensation for the debilitating injuries she sustained after being thrown from a fifth floor window by her ex-boyfriend.

The lack of support given to Duus was widely regarded as shocking given that her boyfriend had been released early from prison and was taking part in a training in a programme, started by celebrity chef Claus Meyer, for the rehabilitation of convicts.