More perpetrators of violent crimes attempted to contact their victims in order to apologise last year.
The Dutch victims support foundation Slachtoffer in Beeld (SiB) reports an 11 percent increase in the number of requests to apologise to victims of violent crimes. In 2011, nearly 1,200 of these requests were submitted. Eighty-five percent of the requests came from a minor.
Only 42 percent of the requests led to a mediation and reconciliation process between the victim and the culprit. Sometimes these meetings took place before the criminal proceedings began.
The foundation expects the number of requests to continue to increase. It believes that authorities should encourage more juveniles to take responsibility for their behaviour.
SiB works to ensure that the perpetrators are sincere and that the apologies are not just a ploy to get a lighter sentence from the criminal court.
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