Victims Support helps over 200,000 victims thanks to their community with 4,000 volunteers
Social / Community
Case descriptionVictims Support The Netherlands helps victims of crimes, traffic accidents, and calamities. The organization recognized that a listening ear is not enough. Therefore they support victims in processing the event and, where possible, offer emotional, practical and legal assistance. They offer a network of 4,000 volunteers which is facilitated by proactive community management. There is a firm ambition to help many more of the 4 million people that become victims in the Netherlands. And Open Social helps with this ambition! Because now they are able to reach a larger number of victims online, facilitate people with new online tools to help themselves, and facilitate people to help each other. They already help over 200.000 victims.
Case goals and resultsGoal(s): Victims Support The Netherlands wants to help 50% more people online than they did in 2014. In order to achieve this goal, they were looking for a new online community platform to replace the outdated public forum functionality.
Their new Victims Support 2.0 program has the following goals:
- Reach a larger number of victims online.
- Facilitate people with new online tools to help themselves.
- Facilitate people to help each other.
(There is a firm ambition to help many more of the 4 million people that become victims in the Netherlands.)
Outcome: Victims Support has created a safe space for victims online using Open Social. The following measures were used for safety and support:
- Single sign-on: One set of login credentials can be used to access multiple applications. For this, a special implementation was done to connect via a special proxy to Active Directory, iDIN and later DigiD.
- Groups: Site managers can create hidden groups that are invite-only. Closed groups are only accessible after doing an intake with the community manager. Only public groups are visible from the outside. With this, victims can choose how much safety and anonymity they want.
- Structure: The community platform is built so that users can't change the structure by adding extra groups and events, directing the focus on helping each other and being able to share your story and read or comment on others.
- Disasters: When a disaster occurs, Victims Support can create a secure and private emergency sub-community within Open Social. It's a ‘critical system’ that connects victims, families, government, police, and volunteers to exchange information and get support.
ChallengesWe had two big challenges: safety and hosting. Victims Support needed a community platform that has extra safety standards to guarantee the safety of victims. Open Social adheres to strict security standards and implemented extra measures such as reducing the personal data stored and data encryption. All data is hosted on a European Sovereign cloud of Microsoft Azure in Germany. The data is hosted with the strictest data protection measures, certificates, and requirements of the EU, as well as key international standards.
Community contributionsYou can download Open Social as a free distribution on Drupal.org. We contributed the following back to our free distribution and so for the Drupal Community:
- Group default route management
- Pathauto feature (URL Alias)
- Predefined styles in WYSIWYG
- Quickjoin groups
- Nickname feature
- Hiding of profile fields (GDPR)
- Smaller hero section for the landing page