Different kinds of crime
Burglary is a serious crime that can affect victims both financially and emotionally. In 1997, there were over 1.6 million domestic burglaries in England and Wales. Burglary is the crime most commonly referred to Victim Support, with nearly half a million victims of burglary being offered help each year.
People react to burglary in different ways. Although for some people burglary amounts to no more than an irritating inconvenience, many victims feel anger, shock, disorientation, disbelief or fear. All these reactions are normal and usually temporary. Talking to a sympathetic listener can help. Victim Support can offer:
Victim Support can also arrange for a volunteer to accompany you to the police station or court.
It is estimated that one woman in four suffers domestic violence at some time in their lives and that domestic violence accounts for one-quarter of all violent crime. Domestic violence can include verbal abuse, restrictions on contact with family or friends, threats, physical assaults, rape and murder. It is rarely a one-off event and can escalate in severity and frequency over time.
Victim Support Schemes work with other local agencies in providing services to victims of domestic violence. Many Victim Support Schemes undertake long-term work with victims of domestic violence and the services they offer include:
Victim Support will refer those who need more specialist help to appropriate agencies. Victim Support's Witness Service can also provide information about court procedures, pre-trial familiarisation visits, and volunteers to accompany witnesses to court.
Losing someone through a violent crime is a devastating experience. In the immediate aftermath of the crime, victims may have strong and overwhelming feelings such as shock, disbelief, numbness or panic. Every person experiences bereavement differently and often feelings change from day to day.
Victim Support has specially trained staff and volunteers who are able to support people bereaved by violent crime. If needed, these volunteers remain in contact with individuals on a regular basis over a period of time. Volunteers can:
Although life will never be the same again, we believe that talking about the experience can help. Victim Support staff and volunteers have the time to listen.
Victim Support works closely with SAMM (Support After Murder and Manslaughter), a self help organisation for the families and friends of murder and manslaughter victims. You can contact SAMM on 020 7735 3838 or by email.
Racist crime can take many forms ranging from intimidation, graffiti, offensive letters, telephone calls and criminal damage to physical assault, arson and murder. As well as providing emotional support, Victim Support's trained volunteers can offer:
Our volunteers and staff can also act as advocates if desired, assisting communication with the range of other agencies which may become involved. Local Victim Support Schemes have a good working knowledge of, and relationship with, other agencies and services available in the local community.
Both women and men can be raped or sexually assaulted and this is a very distressing experience. For this reason, it may be weeks, months or even years before victims can begin to acknowledge and talk about their experience. Many sexual assaults are committed by someone the victim knows, and in these cases the impact may be even greater.
Support and understanding are important and it helps to have someone to talk to in confidence. All Victim Support volunteers who work with victims of sexual violence have been specially selected and trained for this work. Victim Support Schemes offer:
If your case goes to court, then Victim Support's Witness Service can arrange a pre-trial visit for you and can provide information and explanation about the legal process. Volunteers can also accompany witnesses into court when they are called to give evidence. The Witness Service provides private waiting areas in court, to ensure that victims and witnesses do not have to sit near the defendant and their family.