Lyttle says focus must be on the needs of victims

Alliance OFDMFM spokesperson Chris Lyttle MLA has raised concerns about the delivery of services for victims and survivors during an OFMDFM Committee meeting in which the Victims Commissioner and the Victims and Survivors Service gave evidence.

Chris Lyttle MLA said: “OFDMFM, the Victims and Survivors Service, and the Victims Commission are three important bodies for the delivery of services for victims and survivors. It is of serious concern that the Victims Commissioner regards the Victims and Survivors Service as not fit for purpose and whilst the Victims and Survivors Service has only been in operation since April 2013, it is clear that there is need for urgent action to ensure it commands confidence in meeting the needs of some of the most vulnerable people in our community in an appropriate way.

“I know many victims and survivors as some of the most courageous people in our community and the least they can expect is for government bodies to work together to deliver services effectively on their behalf.

“The aim of this Committee meeting was to scrutinise the adequacy and effectiveness of victims’ services, so I am disappointed that several Committee members instead choose to debate the definition of a victim. The Victims Commissioner’s statutory responsibility is not to set legislation around the definition of a victim, but to ensure that services meet the standards that victims and survivors in this community deserve.”


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