In cases of war, large-scale accidents, and crime, victims may suffer serious non-material damage. This article focuses on the compensation of non-material damage in both civil and criminal cases. Compared to other countries, Dutch courts do not honour such claims on a wide scale. The article discusses court decisions concerning claims for non-material damage, both in the Netherlands and in other countries. The functions that compensation for non-material damage may have for the victim are explained. Theories about the goals of punishment and archetypal models of a criminal justice system form the background of this description. It is concluded that in the absence of more sophisticated methods of compensation or redress, a monetary compensation is to be made available for victims suffering from non-material damage.