Who can we help?
What we do is similar to counselling, but it’s not the same. Counselling is a very specific type of therapy practised by qualified professionals who analyse a person’s entire life and history to help them understand themselves better. That’s not something most victims of crime need – usually, they just need some help dealing with the emotional turmoil caused by being a victim.
If we think a victim does need full counselling, for example with problems such as post-traumatic stress disorder, we can help to arrange it.
Our Help Centre staff, along with our outreach staff trained to listen, give information and offer feedback. They help people make sense of what they’ve been through, tell them about the choices they can make and help them feel like they are getting their lives under control again. Talking to one of our staff or volunteers gives victims and witnesses the chance to get things off their chest and let go of distressing experiences.
While many people can do this with friends and family, it doesn’t work that way for everyone, especially if those around them are affected by the crime too. Our services provide a safe, neutral place for people to voice their fears, worries and emotions without over-burdening loved ones. This helps a lot of victims and witnesses to cope and to move forward.
Most of our face to face support is provided by long serving, fully trained volunteers, and the simple fact that they are prepared to turn up and listen shows victims that, while one person might have hurt them, there are others out there who want to help. This gesture of kindness and support does a lot to repair the harm that crime does to people’s confidence and peace of mind.
If you need more specialist help that we don’t think we can provide ourselves, we can contact other agencies for you to help get the support you need. We work closely with a whole range of other service providers with expertise that can assist you with a wide range of situations caused by crime.
We can provide emotional support by visiting you in your home, or in a place where you feel safe. We also offer emotional support over the telephone, via email, SMS or via text relay
Being a victim of crime can lead to all kinds of practical problems. This can range from minor, annoying issues (such as damage to your property or having to fill in insurance forms), through to serious medical problems or even the loss of your home.
While emotional support helps you deal with your feelings after a crime, practical problems often act as reminders of what you’ve been through and make it harder to get your life back under control, and start the recovery process.
That’s why we also offer help with sorting out the practical effects of being a victim.
This can be as simple as providing help with filling out forms (for example for compensation claims claims), or getting broken doors and windows fixed.
Victim Help Centre staff have access to a large quantity of resources that could just make the difference to victims and help them to cope and recover from their experience. Access to the Prisoners Earning Fund for example is used by staff to help provide the practical support to victims.
We can also help with bigger problems such as getting medical treatment, getting rehoused or dealing with the criminal justice system over the weeks and months of a long, complicated trial.
If you need more specialist help that we don’t think we can provide ourselves, we can contact other agencies for you to help get the support you need. We work closely with a wide range of other service providers with expertise that can assist you with a wide range of situations caused by crime.
Help with information on your rights and dealing with the criminal justice process
Our Victim Help Centre staff are fully trained and understand what you are entitled to expect once you become a Victim of Crime. The Victims’ Code of Practice sets out what different agencies in the criminal justice must do for you, throughout your journey following a crime. Victim Help Centre staff can advise you on all aspects of the Code and will undertake on your behalf any follow-up with any agency that does not meet the requirements of the code. This is your entitlement once you become a victim of crime and Help Centre staff will help you get the information you deserve.