We are the national charity giving free and confidential help to victims of crime, witnesses, their family, friends and anyone else affected across England and Wales. We also speak out as a national voice for victims and witnesses and campaign for change.
In the community, we offer:
- someone to talk to in confidence
- information on police and court procedures
- help in dealing with other organisations
- information about compensation and insurance
- information on other sources of help
In the courts, we offer:
- someone to talk to confidentially, about how you’re feeling before a trial
- information about what to expect in court, including a chance to see the court beforehand and learn about court procedures
- a quiet place to wait before you are called to give evidence which the defendant cannot access
- someone to go with you into the courtroom if you want, to help you feel more at-ease
- practical help (for example with claiming your expenses)
- easier access to people, such as court staff, who can answer specific questions about the case
- a chance to talk over the case when it has ended and to get more help or information.
- Gender: Male, female and transgender
- Age: Direct support for adults and indirect support for under 16 years via parent/guardian
- Location: National
- Case type: Non-recent and recent cases
- Other: Friends, families and non-direct victims through the Witness Service
Our service is confidential but we do sometimes have to share information with partner agencies where there is a high risk of immediate of serious harm. If we suspect a child is at risk, we will breach the confidentiality and involve other organisations. If we think we need to involve others and share information about a service user for any reason we always seek consent where possible.
No. victims can access our service without reporting to the police. Exceptions to confidentiality are detailed above.
Both male and female staff and volunteers fulfil roles at Victim Support. We fully understand the role sex and gender can play in enabling people to get support and have taken the following measures:
- Incoming calls always answered by female staff
- If someone discloses sexual or domestic violence to a staff member of the opposite sex they will be asked if they would like a supporter of the same sex to call them back or if they are happy to continue
- People accessing our services can specify any preference for a female or male volunteer. If we cannot meet their preference at this time they will be given a range of options:
- to wait for a supporter of their preferred sex to become available (likely to be within two weeks)
- to be referred onto another agency that can offer a supporter of their preferred sex
- to be supported by a competent supporter of another sex.
- Managers and senior managers
- Independent Domestic Violence Advocates
- Restorative Justice workers
- Highly trained specialist volunteers to support around:
- Sexual violence
- Domestic violence