The JUSTISIGNS 2 project is led by a consortium of European experts from Ireland, Belgium, Spain and the UK who are collaborating to undertake research within the deaf, migrant, refugee and asylum-seeking community to investigate the experiences of gender-based violence and their interactions with victim support agencies. It is funded by the European Commission under the Erasmus+ programme.

Responding to the VICTIMS’ Directive (2012/29EU), JUSTISIGNS 2 builds on the award winning JUSTISIGNS project to create training resources and tool kits for the policing authorities who serve as the first point-of-contact legal professionals when dealing with deaf and deaf-blind victims of crime and sexual violence (VOCSV). Research in many spheres (not just policing), shows that deaf and deaf-blind people are 2-3 times more likely to be victims of sexual abuse, and estimated to be twice as likely to experience domestic violence than their hearing counterparts. 

JUSTISIGNS 2 project aims to:

  • bring about greater equity for vulnerable victims – in this case, deaf and deaf-blind people, deaf people with additional disabilities and deaf immigrants/refugees/asylum seekers – by examining how the Member States respond to such victims under the auspices of European instruments. Specifically, this project contributes to Directive 2012/29EU by ensuring that victims are afforded protection, support, rights (access to information, interpreting), in criminal proceedings. One of the things we will highlight is the need for consideration of intersectionality (i.e. the interplay between complex social, economic, (inter-)cultural, gendered, and physical experiences of the world) when responding to deaf and deaf-blind populations;
  • promote access to justice by benchmarking current levels of linguistic, and inter-cultural awareness on the part of policing professionals with respect to deaf/ deaf-blind people and sign languages. Further, the project will engage with legal professionals and judicial decision makers to consider pathways to best practice. These will be piloted and accessible training materials will be disseminated through professional and Deaf/deaf-blind community;
  • increase awareness within the deaf and migrant communities in how to report crimes and sexual violence (CSV), what to expect at the various stages of the legal processes as well as the health, well-being and support structures that are available for the Deaf community; and train the community about working with sign language interpreters in sensitive police and legal settings;
  • equip interpreters with specialist skills when interpreting for GBV victims in legal settings including how to deal with vicarious traumatisation.

We will achieve this aim by:

  • Creating training tool kits for suport professionals, and delivering cultural awareness training and providing masterclasses in how to interact in interpreter-mediated settings;
  • Creating an online course for interpreters and support professionals
  • Develop a handbook for interprters on how to manage interpreting in situations of sexual violence, rape and gender-based violence.
  • Delivering a series of specialist seminars and workshops around the EU.

Our target audience is:

  • Police forces with competence in gender violence (National Police, Civil Guards, Regional & Local police)
  • Court staff (judges, prosecutors, lawyers, court administrative staff, forensic doctors, forensic psychologists, etc.)
  • Health staff (doctors, nurses, etc.)
  • Psychologists
  • Social workers
  • Staff of NGOs and Associations that help victims/survivors
  • Other front line support interlocutors and agents.
  • Sign language and spoken language interpreters
  • Victims and survivors of GBV who participate in the project as volunteers to share experiences 



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