During its walk-in office hours, APCARS provides free information concerning legal rights and support to victims of offenses.
Correspondents for the Public Prosecutor office, a unique service in France
From neighborhood disturbance or assistance for the local police depot and follow-up of a complaint, to a dispute with an employer or a subsidized housing landlord, the 11 correspondents for the Public Prosecutor office are solicited for a range of conflicts or felonies in the 19 towns of Val-de-Marne.
By their presence in the local neighborhoods, their action in providing information, mediation, and prevention of delinquency, especially for minors, is appreciated by 4,000 people each year.
In daily contact with the public, they are also a recognized interface with the municipal, police, judicial, social services, health, and national educational authorities.
In this capacity, they participate in different official sessions such as the Local Councils for Security and the Prevention of Delinquency or the Departmental Committees of the Fight against School Absenteeism.
The victim support office, a resource center in the Regional High Courts
Installed by virtue of a law in 2009, the victim support offices are located in the regional high courts and APCARS staffs those of Créteil and Paris.
Our jurists and psychologists hold free office hours for any direct or indirect victim of minor or major acts of violence, having been subject to:
- property damage (theft, damage, fraud, breach of confidence, etc.);
- physical violence (intra-family or extra-family voluntary violence, sexual aggression, terrorist acts, etc.);
- road accident;
- collective accident (or a natural catastrophe for psychological support).
If necessary, we accompany and provide psychological support to the victim during the trial. In this way, we intervened in the mediatized “gang rape” trial at the end of 2013 at the Créteil High Regional Court.
We are also present in the emergency service of the Créteil intercity hospital.
More than 3,500 victims, of whom several hundred concern domestic violence, have been assisted each year by our services.
Penal mediation is asked by the Public Prosecutor in order to get a mutual agreement between an offender and a victim, further an offense. The mediator acts as a third party to find a solution between the parties, in order to prevent reiteration and get compensation for the damage. Few months later, the mediator will contact the victim to check the respect by the offender of the commitments and inform the Public Prosecutor.
For domestic violence, our long experience at Créteil High Regional Court show that penal mediation is an appropriate solution for the victim, as soon as some requirements have been met as minor offense et the absence of influence on the victim.
Two personal statements from users of our free legal rights and victim support office
Madame B., medical assistant (February 2014)
Interview held in the correspondent for the Public Prosecutor office, Bonneuil-sur-Marne
“The first time I needed to see Monsieur Bastien, it was ten years ago for problems with my neighbors. He gave me very good advice at the time and took charge of the matter. The problems with my neighbors were resolved over time and now we get on better.
My current problem is about being laid off from my job. And I have another case that is open because my husband and I were targets of a fraud. I have absolute trust in Monsieur Bastien, I tell him everything; I know he will help us to find a solution. He is a warm person, he’s always smiling and listening to others and he’s very competent. I always feel reassured when I go to see him.”
Monsieur E., plaintiff in an incest case (February 2014)
Interview held in the victim support office, Créteil High Regional Court
“We were given all the necessary information right away. One of your colleagues from the association was present at the child psychologist’s office the day that we went there. She looked into our case and called us back very soon afterwards to give us information. We greatly appreciated her efficient and quick manner of working.
It’s important for us to have this support and follow-up; in the case of incest, you really need someone to listen to you. By the way, your colleague gave me the name of an association that I am going to contact.
My wife and I have found a lawyer but it’s important to have another perspective on the procedure, and the viewpoint of someone who is used to dealing with victims.
The answers that they provide are clear and helpful, and we really have the impression that the professionals are there to help us. They listen carefully and you know that they sincerely feel empathy. This is very reassuring. They are legally competent, and this makes for a high-quality service.”