Help for victims of crime
If you or somebody you know has been the victim of a crime, you may be surprised at how traumatic the aftermath can be. Victims might require help with the practicalities, such as changing a lock, or assistance with claiming compensation. However, many victims will also require emotional support.
It is not uncommon to feel anger or fear; however, some people may also experience anxiety and confusion. It can be difficult to talk to those closest to you as there is often the assumption that you can just ‘get over it’. If you feel that you are struggling to cope, help is at hand.
Victim Support has been established for over 35 years and is the oldest and largest victims’ organisation in the world. They look after both victims and witnesses of crime. These are just some of the services they offer to victims:-
- someone to talk to in confidence
- information on police and court procedures
- help in dealing with other organisations
- information about compensation and insurance
- practical help – from help with filling in forms through to helping improve your home security
- information on other sources of help.
For further information, call the Victim Support helpline on 0845 30 30 900, or see the Victim Support website.
Victims of crime may be entitled to either court-awarded compensation (where an offender is convicted of the crime) or criminal injuries compensation.
Compensation is not guaranteed, for example, in court-awarded cases the court will rarely order an offender to pay if they are being sent to prison. Equally, if the claim is successful, the court will take into consideration what the offender can afford to pay. For further information, including advice on how to make a claim, see the Victim Support website.
People who have been injured as a result of a violent crime in the past two years, may be entitled to compensation under the government’s Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority scheme. Applications can be time consuming and complex and most victims require help with the procedure.
People who choose the assistance of a legal firm should be aware that most charge a fee, whereas the services of an independent charitable group such as Victim Support are free of charge. For further information and application forms for criminal injuries compensation, contact the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority helpline on 0300 003 3601, or see the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority website.
You could also talk to one of Pharmacist Support’s Listening Friends in confidence. You can contact our Listening Friends Helpline on 0808 168 5133, or contact our enquiry line on 0808 168 2233.