Victims’ Voices is a ground-breaking initiative launched in May 2021 to train selected caseworkers to undertake interviews with survivors of modern slavery that meet ‘achieving best evidence’ (ABE) standards. This means the evidence gathered can be used in criminal proceedings on behalf of police and law enforcement.
The project aims to empower more victims to seek justice through providing opportunities to tell their story in a comfortable environment, at their own time and pace. Experiences show that some survivors find it difficult to give evidence, either because of distrust of authority, stigma regarding forms of exploitation - in particular, sex work - and fear of repercussions for family and friends back home.
By using experienced case workers, who are not police officers or authority figures, in familiar surroundings, survivors who would not otherwise have given evidence or supported criminal prosecutions, will be able to seek justice. This new approach will help to address the current imbalance in the criminal justice system.
In 2022 we had a meeting with Chief Crown Prosecutor Martin Goldman at the CPS office in Manchester to discuss closer collaboration.