Victims of crimes in Costa Rica, in addition to being able to activate the corresponding criminal process, can have access to the assistance and protection programs offered by the Victims’ Protection Unit (OAPVD in Spanish). In this blog we tell you about this Office.
The OAPVD is an office of the Judiciary that has two programs: assistance and protection. The services they provide are: “(…) individual and group psychological care, social assistance, legal advice regarding criminal proceedings, victims’ rights and the status of their cases, accompaniment to different legal proceedings, contact with social support networks, referrals to other institutions for medical and social assistance and protection. As well as all the necessary extra-procedural measures to guarantee the physical integrity of the person and their families included in the Protection Program” (https://ministeriopublico.poder-judicial.go.cr/index.php/atencion-y-proteccion- to-the-victim).
In the event that the person qualifies for protection measures according to the interdisciplinary team, these measures can be reviewed every six months or when there is a change in circumstances that warrants a new review.
OAPDVD’s services are free. The only requirement to qualify for their services is to be the victim of a crime, which requires a formal filing of a complaint with the competent criminal authority (i.e., pressing charges).
The services of the OAPVD may be of particular interest to members of the LGBTQI+ community who are afraid to report a crime of which they have been victims.
At CELIG we provide specialized services to the LGBTQI+ community. If you want more information or make an appointment with us, call us at 4800-0248 / 2245-0855 or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are located in San José, Barrio Escalante.
M.Sc. Ana Isabel Sibaja Rojas
CELIG – Center for Equal Litigation