Victims’ Voices pioneers a victim-centric approach to P/CVE by empowering victims of terrorism to become effective messengers for peace.
The Victims’ Voices initiative was started in 2012 to allow victims of terrorism to share their unique experiences first-hand to help promote peace and delegitimize justifications for terrorist violence—pioneering a victim-centric approach to P/CVE.
The initiative—spearheaded by a victim of a suicide bomb attack in Jakarta, and implemented in Indonesia—aimed to guide victims of terrorism through the process of becoming effective messengers for peace and against violent extremism through civil society organization partnerships that work together with vulnerable groups in society.
Through this initiative, a neutral platform has been created from which victims of terrorism can connect with and directly engage different target audiences across the country within a structured framework. This neutral platform is used to further facilitate direct interactions aimed at reconciliation between victims and former perpetrators of terrorist violence. In any and all of its activities, and at each process level, the primary considerations are the well-being and personal agency of the victims who choose to utilize the platform.
In the Victims’ Voices experience—through careful planning, incremental trust-building measures, and sensitivity to local dynamics—stories of the survival, perseverance and forgiveness of victims, in concert with other credible voices, have combined to form unique and impactful narratives that emphasize common human values, acceptance of differences and harmonious co-existence. These are the foundational elements making up a victim-centric approach to developing alternative narratives and counternarratives against violent extremism.
About the project
Victims’ Voices Today
The comprehensive report on this project, From Victims Of Terrorism To Messengers For Peace: A Strategic Approach, was jointly published by the ICCT and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in 2020, authored by ICCT Fellows and Victims’ Voices creators Max Boon and Sulastri Osman.
Drawing on the results of victims’ direct engagements with over 8,000 youths across Indonesia, the publication will provide a strategic framework for policy- and decision makers to explore and potentially help to put in place similar victim-centric support systems and initiatives in different jurisdictions and contexts.
This report provided valuable lessons for involving victims of terrorism in P/CVE-related activities in a systematic and sustainable manner; it details the lessons learned and the challenges that may be encountered in both developing and putting into practice such an initiative.
On 2 December 2013, Max Boon appeared on the Dutch television programme “Een Vandaag”. The segment focused on Max’ story, his project and particularly the impact his work has had in some communities in Indonesia.