Final activities under the project “Compensations for victims of GBV related crimes — VICO”

The European project VICO is implemented by the Czech organisation proFEM, Hungarian organisation PATENT and Bulgarian Gender Research Foundation in 2021 and 2022.

Despite the process of transposition of Directive 2012/29/EU and Directive 2004/80/EU into national law, the courts in the three project countries face difficulties in qualifying them and ensuring adequate compensation for victims of gender-based violence crimes.


The project partners joined forces to contribute to identifying examples of good practices and researching legislation and practice for the protection of victims of gender-based crimes. Trainings of magistrates and specialists in this field were carried out in Bulgaria and recommendations were prepared. A national report, a manual for training of specialists and final publication with the results of the project have been prepared.

The results of the project were presented at an international conference in Prague on 10 November 2022.

The Czech research shows that only a quarter of victims claim compensation, of which 80 % fail to receive compensation. The reasons for this are both systemic (a lack of knowledge of victims’ rights) and personal (links to the perpetrator, lack of support from those around them). The court’s understatement of damage to victims is also present in the award of compensation.

The study in Hungary showed that few victims sought compensation and few turned to services providing assistance in connection with these crimes. Courts are not fully aware of the issue of partner violence, accusing the victim and supporting evidence of physical injury to psychological consequences.

Bulgaria highlights the problem of the lack of specialised social support services for victims, most of which are non-profit organisations with insufficient funding and limited access. As a result, victims do not have access to free legal aid as they have to prove that they are unable to pay for a lawyer themselves.In only 2 % of the 612 legal cases surveyed under the project, both general and private, related to gender-based violence, the perpetrators of the crime were absolutely unknown to the victims. Victims hardlydecide to seek compensation, their priority in most cases is the survival and protection of children.

The implementation of the project and activities contribute to increasing knowledge of the implementation of the EU directives on compensation for victims of gender-based violence, better cooperation between national authorities and NGOs, increased capacity of practitioners to address issues related to the rights of victims of crime and improved quality of services provided by civil society victim support organisations, and improved public awareness of victims’ rights.