A socially excluded group? Hearing the voice of victims

Author(s)Bentley, Claire
Title A socially excluded group? Hearing the voice of victims
Source Journal of Mental Health Law, May 2006, p26-43.
Date 2006
Document type Journal article
Coverage United Kingdom
Summary This article reviews the needs of victims of mentally disordered offenders (MDOs) in relation to healthcare teams treating MDOs and by the Mental Health Review Tribunal (MHRT). The article focuses on providing victims with information and giving victims a voice, with reference to the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims (DVCV) Act 2004. Information sharing with the victim is discussed from the perspective of the treating clinicians and the MHRT. Two elements are also identified in regard to giving victims a voice: giving a victim a voice with the healthcare team prior to the tribunal hearing and giving the victim a voice at the MHRT. Some of the challenges identified with giving the victim a voice at the MHRT were discussed including: purpose of victim's oral evidence; cross-examination; confidentiality; advocates; safety; and influence. The author recommends the Government properly publicise the provisions of the DVCV Act 2004 and the guidance prepared by the MHRT. It is also recommended that sufficient resources be available to ensure victims can be appropriately and effectively included in the care and treatment of mentally disordered offenders
Keywords Victims rights; mentally disturbed offenders; submissions; DVCV Act; victims voice

Victims rights; victim impact statements