There is Relief for victims in the Criminal Justice System as International Jurists Mission and stakeholders launched psychosocial support for victims and witnesses.
Benson shamala the executive director of IJM observes:
“It is also worth noting that victims and survivors of crime are better placed to pursue justice if their mental well being is taken care of.
From our casework experience of over 20 years, we can attest that survivors and witnesses who get counselled and are handled sensitively in the system are in a better position to be great witnesses in court and provide the correct testimony, thus aiding the court to come to just conclusions and judgments.
Victims of crime see justice as an integral part of their healing process, yet their expectations of justice are often not met.
Victims and witnesses are often confronted with many hurdles along the way as they seek justice for example:
• The complexities of the legal process,
• Trauma that they suffered as a result of the crime.
• Delay in concluding the case.
• Threat to their life and those of their loved ones
• Economic challenge which makes it difficult to attend court regularly.
• Psychological stress of having unfinished business
All these factors makes it hard for them to want to pursue justice and especially so if their experience while they follow their case isn’t friendly and one that retraumatize them.
The call we are making today is for sensitive handling of survivors and witnesses in our criminal justice system. By the criminal justice system we mean from the moment the violation happens, to investigations and the court process.
Victims and witnesses need a a criminal justice system that is cognizant of the trauma that they have suffered.”