We recognise that the coronavirus is causing anxiety for many us; particularly victims of crime. Those affected by crime may be worried about accessing support services and could also feel anxiety around delays to trials or police investigations.
Although the outbreak has had a clear impact on the justice system, we recognise that people will continue to live with the impact of crime, particularly when in isolation.
We are closely following government advice and have suspended face-to-face support to safeguard the health of staff and victims. In response, we have built our capacity to support victims remotely.
Our free and confidential Supportline (08 08 16 89 111) remains open 24/7, as do the regional live chat options available on our website (www.victimsupport.org.uk). Victims of crime in contact with our teams across the country are still being supported remotely. Meanwhile, a wide range of resources and information on dealing with the impact of crime are available on our website.
We are preparing to handle more cases relating to specific crimes as patterns of behaviour change due to the virus. This includes an anticipated spike in inquiries from victims of hate crime, domestic abuse victims forced to self-isolate with their abuser, anti-social behaviour victims targeted by potentially abusive neighbours, and victims of fraud or other cyber-enabled crimes which we expect to increase.
We encourage victims to continue accessing our support, particularly at a time when many feel concerned by court cases being postponed, or worried about the police’s ability to respond to incidents. Crime, whenever it happens, can make victims feel isolated. During this challenging time, Victim Support’s message is clear: our specialist support services are still open and we are here for you whenever you need us.
Our free and confidential, 24/7 Supportline is available on 08 08 16 89 111