Victims of violence will get financial assistance from the Belgian State more quickly in the coming times, as Federal Justice Minister Vincent Van Quickenborne is taking definite measures to do away with the exceedingly long waiting times.

Meanwhile, the victims of intentional acts of violence who require financial help afterwards sometimes have to wait around two and a half years (over 28 months) for their case to be processed by the Victims’ Fund, especially in Flanders.

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As per the statement released by Van Quickenborne on Friday, “The fact that victims of violent crimes have to wait more than 28 months for financial compensation is unworthy of our country and our justice system.”

“From the beginning of this legislature, I have prioritised tackling this problem structurally. Justice must become faster, more humane and more strict,” he said. “The new accelerated procedure will ensure faster processing times and less hassle for victims.”

To do this, Van Quickenborne has already released more resources to set up an extra Dutch-speaking chamber and to recruit three extra staff members, on top of the current three Dutch-speaking ones, three French-speaking ones and a terrorism chamber.

He underlined that while the procedure for granting financial aid was initially not intended to give victims the opportunity to express their feelings about what happened to them, the Committee fulfils this task daily by listening to victims who need it.

In practice, one in four applicants asks to be heard by the Committee; for the other 75% of applicants, this is not necessary.

Therefore, the draft law contains an accelerated written procedure for the three in four victims who do not ask to be heard. Financial aid will then be granted based on the documents submitted, which significantly speeds up the process.

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