The University Forensic Center (UFC) was founded in the early 90s as an independent service of the department of Psychiatry of the University of Antwerp. The UFC has the ambition to take part in giving direction to the forensic sciences in Flanders, both in terms of training, clinical assistance, expert testimony as well as scientific research. The UFC is recognized by the Minister of Justice as a support centre in the framework of the cooperation agreement between the Federal State and the Flemish community on guidance and treatment of perpetrators of sexual abuse. Our partners in this agreement are the psychosocial teams in prison, the houses of justice (‘justitiehuizen’) and the specialized treatment services of the community of Flanders.
Sexual abuse is an attack on the mental and physical integrity of individuals and it undeniably leads to a significant burden on the society. It is a problem of well-being and mental health that should be addressed as such, in addition to the criminal-law approach. The UFC is committed to presenting an expert, ethical and scientifically-based evaluation and treatment of offenders. Relapse prevention herein is central, seen a recurrence of crimes and thus causing new human suffering, should be avoided to the extent possible. Such an approach to perpetrators of sexual abuse not only contributes to the safety of society, but is also in favor of the perpetrators and their loved ones.
The UFC promotes the view that guidance and treatment, along with prevention and a criminal-law approach, are indispensable elements in the quest for a more secure society. It is our mission to build bridges between the public health and the criminal-law system so that criminal behaviour in general and sexual abuse in particular can be combatted in a humane and efficient way.
In addition to perpetrators of sexual offences, the UFC also provides treatment for clients without a judicial statute. People seeking for help with hypersexuality (sex addiction) or people struggling with sexual attraction or interest in minors can also contact us.
- Consultancy and advice. The cooperation partners can consult the UFC with questions concerning the guidance and treatment of perpetrators of sexual abuse;
- Scientific information concerning treatment and guidance of (sexual) offenders is provided on demand;
- Training moments are organized annually in cooperation with the partners;
- Specialized outpatient treatment. Perpetrators of sexual abuse are eligible to apply for treatment in the UFC;
- Scientific research in the field of forensic psychiatry and psychology is carried out .