1 Have you been a victim of violence? The Violent Offences Compensation Fund can help What does the Violent Offences Compensation Fund do? The Violent Offences Compensation Fund (Schadefonds Geweldsmisdrijven) provides financial support to victims of violent crimes resulting in serious psychological or physical injury. Surviving relatives of victims of violent crimes are also victims themselves. By providing compensation towards the damage sustained, the Compensation Fund acknowledges the injustice done to the victims. By doing so the Compensation Fund contributes to the rebuilding of trust. The offender still bears the primary responsibility for compensating the damage caused. If this is not possible and the damage is not compensated in any other way, a victim or surviving relative can turn to the Compensation Fund. Founded in 1976, the Compensation Fund is an autonomous division of the Ministry of Security and Justice. It assesses the applications autonomously and is financed by general funds.
2 Who is eligible for compensation? First of all, victims of violent crimes resulting in serious psychological or physical injury are eligible for financial support. In addition to the victims themselves, surviving relatives of victims may be entitled to financial support for the costs of matters such as psychological assistance or non-economic damages. Parents, partners, children and siblings of the deceased may be eligible for compensation. When are you eligible? In order to be eligible for one-off compensation, you must satisfy a number of conditions: The violent crime was committed with intent This is a crime in which the offender intentionally used or threatened the use of violence. Examples of such crimes are robbery, mugging, threat with a weapon, assault, sex crime, but also domestic violence, stalking and incest. In order to determine whether a violent crime has occurred, it is not always necessary for the offender to have been arrested or convicted. However, it is important that you can prove what happened to you. Although a report filed with the police or a conviction of the offender can help in this respect, objective witness statements or medical records may sometimes be sufficient to prove what happened. You sustained a serious injury As a result of the violent crime, you sustained a physical or psychological injury with serious and long-term or permanent medical consequences. Examples of such injuries are: a fractured vertebra, the loss of an eye and agoraphobia. When assessing the psychological injury, we will consider whether you are being treated for it. In the case of sex crimes and armed robberies we will assume that you have sustained serious psychological injury, even if you are not being treated for it. If a close relative has died, the Compensation Fund can provide compensation associated with this loss. As a surviving relative you may have physical or psychological symptoms yourself, with serious and long-term or permanent consequences. Witnesses of a crime resulting in the serious injury or death of a close relative may also be eligible for one-off compensation
3 under certain conditions. In some cases, experiencing the consequences of the crime is regarded as serious injury. The violent crime was committed in the Netherlands on or after 1 January 1973 The violent crime must have taken place in the Netherlands. Your nationality is not significant. You do not have to reside in the Netherlands in order to be able to submit an application. You can only submit an application for a violent crime that took place on or after 1 January You played no part in the crime The Compensation Fund will investigate whether you played any part in the crime yourself. If, for example, you were the first to resort to violence, provoked the other person or are involved in criminal activity, you bear some or all of the blame for the damage. If you played a part in the violent crime, you may receive a lower compensation payment or none at all. If your deceased relative played a part in the crime, you might not receive any compensation. The damage sustained is not compensated otherwise The Compensation Fund pays a one-off contribution if you are unable to obtain compensation elsewhere, for instance from the offender or an insurance company. You do not have to wait to submit your application until you know whether the damage will be compensated elsewhere. However, you must repay the Compensation Fund any damages received from others. You apply within the statutory period Your application must be submitted within three years after the date of the violent crime. There may be reasons preventing you from submitting an application within this period. In that case, let us know why you are submitting your application later. We will consider whether we can process your application anyway. We will be generous in assessing this.
4 The compensation payment The Compensation Fund does not provide you full compensation, but a financial contribution to cover the damage. The amount of this one-off benefit may therefore deviate from the actual damage you suffered. The benefit is intended to mitigate your pain and suffering as well as any financial damage you may have incurred as a result of the crime, such as costs of medical care or a reduction in income. By providing financial support, the Compensation Fund wants to help you move forward, so that you can look to the future again. Are you a victim? Then the benefit takes the form of a lump sum. This amount is linked to one of the six injury categories used by the Compensation Fund. Your injury falls into one of the categories, depending on how serious your injury is, the consequences of the injury and the circumstances under which the violent crime took place. The more serious the injury, the circumstances and the consequences, the higher the injury category and the corresponding sum. The benefit can vary from 1,000 euros up to 35,000 euros. Are you a surviving relative? Each surviving relative who is entitled to compensation will receive a fixed sum of 5,000 euros. Furthermore, you may qualify for additional compensation to cover funeral expenses and the loss of family income. You will need to provide evidence of this by submitting, for example, invoices, insurance specifications, pay slips or annual statements.
5 Submit your application in 4 steps In order to apply for compensation, you can use the application form for victims or surviving relatives. This form can be found on our website or requested in writing or by telephone. 1. Complete and sign the application form. 2. Complete and sign the authorisation. 3. Enclose a valid copy of your identity document and the requested documentary evidence. 4. Send everything to the Compensation Fund How will the Compensation Fund handle your application? After receiving your application form, we will generally contact you to go over your application. We will also explain what you can expect from us while we process your application. If necessary, we will request additional information from the police or from your doctor or therapist. Once your file is complete, we will assess whether you meet the criteria for one-off compensation and we will determine the amount of the payment. You will receive our decision by post within 26 weeks. You can follow the progress of your application on our website.
6 Would you like to know more? For more information, please visit our website: If you have any questions, you can contact the Violent Offences Compensation Fund on telephone number +31 (0) or by at: Although this brochure has been compiled with the greatest possible care, you may not exercise any rights under it. Schadefonds Geweldsmisdrijven Postbus DX Rijswijk The Netherlands Tel: +31 (0) Website: October 2014
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