I have been affected by a murder
Losing someone through a violent act is a devastating experience
Being bereaved is a painful and difficult experience for anyone. But when someone you know or love dies because of a violent act from another person – a murder or manslaughter – it can be particularly devastating. As well as coping with your loss, you have to deal with knowing that this was caused by the conscious actions of another person.
Immediately afterwards you may have strong and overpowering feelings. Every person experiences bereavement differently and your feelings may change from day to day. Over time you may feel a wide range of emotions. Talking about what you've been through and how you feel can't change what's happened, but it can help in other ways. While those around you may want to help support you, they may be struggling to cope too at a time like this. So having someone else to listen and to help can be very important.
Our national homicide service can help
Because the impact of a violent death can be so great, we have a special homicide service running across England and Wales. It works extremely closely with police family liaison officers to make sure that every family bereaved by a homicide is offered a Victim Support homicide caseworker to co-ordinate help and support for them. Victim Support homicide caseworkers get in touch with everyone who agrees to our help and plans tailored support to meet people's needs. This can include support from specially trained homicide volunteers. Our starting point is you and your needs. Our staff and volunteers can visit you at home or somewhere else where you feel comforable. If needed, they can see you regularly over a period of time. In some cases we support people after crimes as traumatic as this for many years. All the help we give is confidential and free.
Our homicide service teams can also help you practically. We know that life can fall apart for those left behind after a murder. Everyday things such as answering the phone, picking children up from school or paying bills can become very difficult or get forgotten about. We can help to take care of things at this time if you want us to. We can also help with claiming compensation and can give you information to help you deal with the police, coroner, and all the other parts of the criminal justice system that get involved after a homicide. We can accompany you to the police station or to the Coroner's court and our Witness Service will support you at court if the murder or manslaughter results in a trial.
If there is specialist help or support that you need, and that we can't provide, we can arrange for others to help. This can mean putting you in touch with other specialist organisations or arranging things such as professional counselling.
How to contact us
Everyone affected by a homicide should be told about our homicide service by the police family liaison officers who will be in touch with them after a murder or manslaughter. If people are happy to get our help, the family liaison officers will contact our homicide service directly and we'll arrange to see you as soon as it's convenient. But anyone bereaved in this way can also contact us directly if they want to.
And of course, anyone affected by a homicide can call our Victim Supportline on 0845 30 30 900 for support and information. We hope that you will get in touch with us, but if you decide not to now, you can call us at any point in the future.