We give priority to victims here at the hospital. We carefully consider the interests of victims (and surviving relatives) when assessing requests and invest in meetings between offenders and victims. We regularly work with Victim Support Netherlands and maintain contacts with various support groups for victims and surviving relatives.
When a patient is admitted to our hospital, we always seek to establish whether victims have been registered with the IDV (Informatie Detentie Verloop) and wish to receive information. We also use our own file research to establish who the primary victims of a patient are. We produce an analysis of the position of the victim (or victims) and surviving relatives and take this into consideration when assessing leave requests. We also give serious consideration to the interests of the victim when deciding whether or not to grant leave. Any monies due to a victim from a patient must have been paid too or arrangement must have been made in this respect before a patient will be eligible for leave. In this way, we require a patient to take responsibility for his actions. In 2012, the Ministry of Security and Justice published a brochure to which we contributed via our role in the working group on detainment under a hospital order and victims (werkgroep ‘TBS en slachtoffers’). The guidelines provided in this brochure describe how forensic hospitals consider the position of the victim in relation to leave.
Contact with victims
Half of all victims form part of the networks that our patients have. If a victim is from a patient’s network, he will sometimes immediately have contact with the offender again. If this is not the case, we will ascertain whether the victim has any questions or has a need for contact, both of which we might establish via Victim Support Netherlands for example. If the victim wishes to do so, we can work towards a confrontation with the offender.
The hospital has been arranging meetings between offenders and victims or surviving relatives for years now. This only happens if victims express a need for a meeting of this nature and if the offender is willing to cooperate. Meetings like this can result in the restoration of relationships. It is important that the confrontation takes place with all due care and that safety is guaranteed. The preparation process is often intensive and aftercare is an important element too. A confrontation may enable a victim to put the traumatisation process behind him. This is because if a victim’s perception of a patient changes, this may cause the fear experienced to decrease. Added to this, confrontation gives an offender the opportunity to take responsibility for his actions and he will gain an insight into the consequences of his actions. This contributes to the treatment and the safety of society.
Contact with victim support organisations
The clinic maintains active contacts with chain partners active in the field of victim policy, such as Victim Support Netherlands and Victim in Focus (Slachtoffer in Beeld). We also maintain contacts with support organisations such as the association of parents of a murdered child (Vereniging Ouders van een Vermoord Kind). Amongst other things, we provide information about the approach that the Van der Hoeven Kliniek adopts to victims, about our victim policy and about what treatment under a hospital order entails and how we respond to leave requests with victims in mind.
Van der Hoeven Kliniek is onderdeel van De Forensische Zorgspecialisten