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Appoint a Victims Commissioner to Give Victims a Voice

Appoint a Victims Commissioner to Give Victims a Voice

“There is currently no official advocate for victims in New Zealand and nobody truly knows the complexity, gaps and overlaps of the criminal justice system from a victim’s point of view” says Debbie Marlow, spokesperson for the Red Raincoat Trust. “Appointing a Victims Commissioner will allow the families to focus on their journey and grieve for their loved one rather than scrambling for their rights or to be heard”.

A Victim’s Commissioner if appointed, would advocate at an official level for victim’s rights. They would engage directly with victims, hearing their concerns and understanding how the criminal justice process works for them. They would also work with service providers to ensure victims are treated respectfully and with best practice throughout their journey.

Red Raincoat Trust is a non-government funded organisation whom assists and supports families of homicide victims, offering a unique support network of families from similar circumstances.

The fact that organisations like ours are approached by homicide families for assistance shows there is a need for a Victims Commissioner. These are usually families who are fighting to be heard when the criminal justice process doesn’t work or gaps form. We believe it is time to give victims in New Zealand an official voice.



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