RE-TREAT Project


Financed by the European Union Justice Program (2014-2020)
Grant Agreement: 878566 — RE-TREAT — JUST-AG-2019/JUST-JACC-AG-2019


The Directive 2012/29/EU establishes the rule of an individual assessment for all victims of crime in all EU Member States (MS), considering personal characteristics of a victim and the nature and special characteristics of the crime, expressly mentioning sexual violence. 

Numerous NGOs representing victims report negative experiences of the criminal justice system (CJS) such as stressful and aggressive cross-examination at court, unwanted contact with defendant or their supporters or the use of previous sexual history by the prosecution in sexual offence cases. 

The conclusions of the Council of Europe hearing on “Access to Justice for Women Victims of Violence” on 9 December 2013 emphasised that in criminal proceedings procedures are lengthy, there are high levels of attrition, corruption, low conviction rates and discriminatory practices that as a result constitute serious barriers to women victims of violence seeking justice.

However, victims of sexual crime are often re-victimised by justice systems that are not adapted to their rights and needs. Practitioners still lack capacity building and specialised training in dealing with victims of sexual crime. The overall aim of the RE-TREAT project is to boost procedural and organisational changes in the criminal proceedings within the justice systems in Spain, Italy and Greece in order to improve their responsiveness to particular needs of victims of sexual crimes. 

Thus, RE-TREAT will contribute to the call priority related to the victims’ rights by enhancing the practical implementation of the Directive 2012/29/EU. 

Work planned & main achievements 

  • Analysing barriers, remedies and harmful practices on treatment of victims of sexual crimes during the criminal proceedings (National Reports: Greece, Italy, Spain and Transnational Report), 
  • Identifying the practice standards (Code of Conduct) in this field, 
  • Developing Policy Reccomendation on establishing judicial codes regarding specific treatment of victims of sexual crimes during the criminal proceedings, 
  • Development of RE-TREAT Training Manual (English, Greek, Italian, Spanish) and training activities for personnel within justice systems, 
  • Raising awareness among actors dealing with the phenomenon.

 Results & impacts 

  • Identified barriers and pain-points faced by victims of sexual crimes within criminal justice system in 3 EU MS (National Reports: Greece, Italy, Spain) ; 
  • Increased capacity of at least 270 criminal justice practitioners in 3 EU MS to secure appropriate treatment to victims of sexual crimes 
  • Improved public awareness and knowledge about the right of victims of sexual crimes to specific protection in 3 EU MS and at the EU level