This profile was prepared when Petra Vitousova was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 1995.
The New Idea
Petra Vitousová has founded an organization that offers comprehensive counseling and aftercare for the victims of violent crime. It is the first of its kind in the Czech Republic, both in its focus on the needs of victims and in its volunteer base. Though many Czech volunteers have mobilized to voice environmental concern, there has not been a similar pattern established yet in the Czech social service sector. Petra organizes care that is customized to fit the circumstance of the individual victim. Some of the services provided by the center include psychological counseling, information and referrals, legal services and assistance with interacting with the police. The goal is to provide the victim with the necessary services and information so that he or she will be able to make rational decisions and choices regarding legal and personal options.