What we do
Our specially trained volunteers give help to victims and witnesses
Victim Support is here to help all victims and witnesses of crime right across England and Wales. Our services are free of charge and confidential.
We're an independent charity but we work closely with the police and other criminal justice agencies. We have a special arrangement with the police so that they give us your contact details after you report a crime (we call this referral and you can tell the police not to refer us if you want). We'll then get in touch – normally within 48 hours of getting your information – to see if we can help. But you can just pick up the phone and call us for support whether or not the police are involved after a crime. And because we know that a single crime can affect lots of people, we’re there to support friends and family too.
Our only job is to look after victims and witnesses – we've helped well over 25 million people since our charity began in 1974 and you can read about a few of those we've helped to get a better insight into what we do.
We have offices right across England and Wales running and co-ordinating our local services.
Most of the help we give is provided by specially-trained volunteers – over 6,000 people give up their time for free to help. Many of our volunteers have first-hand experience as a victim or witness.
Every day the police send us information about people who've been victims of crime. When we get your details we'll try and contact you by phone. If we can't get hold of you on the phone we'll follow up with a letter.
When we first speak to you we’ll ask you some questions about what has happened and how you think you’ve been affected by the crime. This will help us to suggest how we think we can help. If you want our support, we’ll put together a ‘helping plan’ just for you.
The help we give falls into three main kinds, whether you’re a victim or a witness of crime:
emotional support – to help you deal with the personal effects of crime
information – many people find the criminal justice system complicated and confusing. We can give you information to help make sense of what you've been through and to make the right choices
practical help – from help with filling in forms through to helping improve your home security.
If you need more specialist support we can contact other agencies to help organise it.
We always want to improve our services. If you’ve been helped by Victim Support or the Witness Service we'd like your feedback.
Help in court and over the phone
We also run the Witness Service in every criminal court to help people called as witnesses. Although it has a different name, it’s still part of Victim Support.
And you can get immediate help over the phone from our Victim Supportline (0845 30 30 900). The Supportline can also put you in touch with our local teams.