Right to assistance
Every crime victim has the right to be represented by a lawyer in the proceedings or supported by any other person in the emotional distress caused by criminal proceedings.

  • Every victim has the right to be represented in the proceedings by a lawyer or any other suitable person.
  • Every victim has the right to bring a trusted person to questionings during the investigative proceedings. This also appliestoextrajudicialsettlements.
  • If the public is excluded during examination in court, the victim may ask to be accompanied by three trusted persons.
  • If a victim has joined the criminal proceedings as a private party, he/she may apply for legal aid to be provided a lawyer free of charge in order not to compromise their livelihood, if this is necessary for the proceedings (NOTE: It is the court which decides whether legal aid is granted or not!)
See: "Applying for legal aid" (.pdf)
Special groups of victims

Victims of violence, duress, or whose sexual integrity was violated, and surviving relatives, are entitled to:

Victims of domestic violence or of persistent harassment (stalking) are entitled to:

  • Receiving information about appropriate victim support organisations by the police (e.g. intervention/violence protection centres).
Victims benefitting from victim advocacy services in the criminal proceedings are entitled to psychosocial counselling in the ensuing civil proceedings against the offender in which they e.g. sue for damages, or in divorce or custody proceedings for joint children. Ideally this will be the same person who assisted the victim in the criminal proceedings.


In civil proceedings, victims are not entitled to legal advocacy. However, they may apply for legal aid or appoint a lawyer at their own cost. Depending on the outcome of the civil proceedings, the costs may be reimbursed by the opposing party. If the case is lost, the victim may have to bear all legal costs him/herself. You are strongly advised to seek legal advice before!