Crime Victims’ Experiences with Seeking Compensation: A Qualitative Exploration
10 Pages Posted: 15 Jul 2014
Date Written: June 30, 2014
This article discusses the results of a qualitative study regarding the experiences of victims of crime with damage recovery. What steps do they take to obtain compensation, what are their considerations in whether or not to follow different legal ‘pathways’ and what are their actual experiences in their attempts to obtain compensation for their losses? Thirty-six in-depth interviews offer a unique insight into Dutch ‘law in action’ with regard to the joinder in criminal proceedings, the submitting of applications to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund, attempts to reach a settlement with help from the police, and civil proceedings with a claim for damages. Predictable, but also notable experiences and considerations have been described by the victims with respect to these redress routes. Although the representativeness of the sample may raise some doubts, this data has raised some important questions and some recommendations can also be made: the question should be assessed whether insurance companies are able and willing to create a first-party insurance product for damage caused by crime, and communication towards victims should continue to (at least) be improved.
Keywords: victims’ compensation, damages, criminal proceedings, civil proceedings, qualitative research, private insurance
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