Dear Madam - I am writing in response to a letter written by Kenny Donaldson in the Impartial Reporter on Thursday July 23.

I couldn’t agree more with Mr Donaldson that the current definition of a victim in Northern Ireland is unfair and unjust. I sincerely ask, how can we equate the perpetrator of the serious crime of murder with the family of the person they have murdered?

The current definition of a victim in Northern Ireland equates the perpetrator of a crime with the victim. My definition of a victim is totally different; a victim is someone who has been purposely harmed, injured or killed by intolerant criminal action.

I call today along with the Victims campaigner Kenny Donaldson and other people that we need a new definition of a victim because the current definition we have is inappropriate.

I would like to see a new fair definition of a victim in Northern Ireland which matches that of other European countries.

I hope that the new Victims Commissioner Judith Thompson demonstrates real change by being a real advocate on this highly important issue.

The vast majority of people in Northern Ireland oppose the current definition of a victim as it is morally unacceptable and degrading. I, like many others, would like to see a public referendum on this very important issue and would therefore call upon the Government to provide the people of Northern Ireland with the fundamental right to voice their views on the current definition of a victim. I would also like to raise the issue of justice for the real victims of terrorist activity in our country.

Although Northern Ireland has made progress, this beloved country is still recovering from its dreaded past.

Lest we forget the avoidable Enniskillen bomb which claimed the lives of eleven innocent people.

Those victims and their families have still not received the justice which they so deserve. I would also call upon the Victims Commissioner to act both diligently and vigorously in ensuring that the ‘real victims’ of unnecessary criminal activity receive justice.

Over 400 people in Northern Ireland live with permanent disabilities after surviving gun and bomb attacks.

The victims of terrorist activity often receive horrible injuries such as amputations, paralysis and blindness.

I sincerely believe that both victims and their families should receive a special pension to ever so slightly compensate for the damage caused by criminals.

However we must remember that the perpetrators of crime should not be able to receive this compensation.

Not only is it time for a new definition of a victim but it’s also time that the victims of criminal activity to receive justice.

Jonathan Hall Cooneen Road, Fivemiletown