New law prepared to help victims of crimes
Oya ARMUTÇU/ANKARAThe Turkish Justice Ministry has completed a draft law prepared to support survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, terrorism, murder, bodily harm and human trafficking as well as children, women, the elderly and disabled victims.
The draft law, which is slated to protect the victims of crime and enhance the services they and their dependents would receive, stipulates monetary assistance and employment opportunities to victims as well as the establishment of centers for the survivors of sexual assault, along with special assistance councils.
According to the draft law, dependents of victims killed by voluntary manslaughter, sexual attack or torture, and victims severely injured as a result of an offense, as well as survivors of sexual assaults will receive assistance.
Survivors of human trafficking will also receive aid from the ministry even if they are not Turkish citizens. The aid, however, will be limited to those with refugee status or to children who have applied for that status.
There will be special councils, under the command of local public prosecutor’s offices, to serve the requests of those applying for help, according to the law.
The applications will be made with the councils through petitions at the places where the perpetrators of the crime are put on trial.
Centers for survivors of sexual assault
The Health Ministry will establish special centers for those who have suffered sexual assault in a bid to reduce the frequency of abuses and ensure the legal and medical procedures are completed in a single center and with a single procedure.
In the centers, survivors will give statements and undergo medical procedures with the help of a forensic science expert or a specialist physician.
In addition to the councils and centers, there will be directorates for “victim rights” under the auspices of public prosecutor’s offices to provide services where judicial committees are not present.
In addition, a “Victim Rights Consultation Committee” will be established under the Justice Ministry, which will determine the basic principles of victim support and assistance services. It will issue advisory decisions and convey them to relevant institutions.
Victims who have suffered an injury as a result of a crime will be eligible to receive restitution up to four times the gross minimum salary, depending on the severity of their injuries. Victims who are left disabled will be paid up to 15 times the gross minimum salary, while the relatives of victims killed in a crime will receive restitution up to 10 times the gross minimum wage once for the funeral expenses.