One day in 1992
The National Victims' Association, formerly the North of England Victims’ Association (NEVA), was founded in 1992 by David Hines, from Jarrow, whose 23 year old daughter Marie had been murdered by her former partner, Anthony Davison. Davison had been arrested a number of times before the murder, each time for breaking the terms of his bail and each time, inexplicably, being released by Gateshead magistrates. When he was released for the FOURTH time, he murdered Marie and carried out a serious sexual assault on her body.
David found that the entire legal process - before, during and after the trial - was geared to the needs of the murderer and that the feelings of his family were largely ignored. He decided that “from evil would come good" and left his job to start campaigning on behalf of those similarly bereaved through homicide.
David quickly discovered not only that his own experiences of 're-victimisation' were shared by almost every other family who had experienced the homicide of a loved one but that there was virtually no help available from any statutory body. Twenty years later, David has assisted thousands of victims' relatives and friends, although politically much work remains to be done.
Sadly, with violent crime and homicide dominating the UK news agenda, the need for the National Victims' Association has never been greater.
David's experience encompassed him working on the Home Office Victims' Advisory Panel on matters concerning victims of serious crime; membership of the Victims' Advocate Expert Reference Group and the Family Liaison and Co-ordinated Support Services at New Scotland Yard.
The NVA has been working in collaboration with Louise Casey, the former Victims Commissioner, and several other victims’ groups, to develop improved services for families bereaved through homicide.