Support after Shipman: the role of Victim Support and the Witness Service - Research aims and method
The aims of the project were to:
- identify the volume and type of Victim Support and Witness Service work necessary to support those bereaved by the Harold Shipman homicides
- place this work in the context of a local Victim Support Scheme, a coroner's court setting, and a Crown Court setting
- suggest protocols that could be followed so that maximum help can be given to those bereaved through any future multiple homicides.
Interviews were the main method used as it was thought that questionnaires would not allow the telling of experiences to flow. Some of the participants in this research had also filled in questionnaires as part of other research and it was thought important that their experiences were related in a different way. All interviews were conducted by Lyn Brown.
The main interviews were with the co-ordinators of both the Witness Service and Victim Support. The Chair of Victim Support Preston and the Chair of Preston Witness Service were also interviewed. Visits were made to both Preston Crown Court and Ashton Coroner's Court and short comments from a variety of workers were recorded.
Although families had been interviewed for the purposes of another paper, several said they were interested in contributing to discussion about Witness Service and Victim Support contacts. Their very helpful comments are noted in this paper.
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