Get help from your local team
If you’ve been affected by crime, call your local victim care team in Warwickshire on 01926 682 693.
Lines are open 8am-8pm Monday to Friday, and 9am-5pm on Saturdays.
How we can help
We give emotional and practical help to people who have been affected by crime in Warwickshire. We’re an independent charity and you can contact us for support regardless of whether you’ve contacted the police, and no matter how long ago the crime took place. We’ll help you for as long as it takes to overcome the impact of crime.
If you call your local Victim Support team, we’ll make sure you get the information and support you need. This might be arranging a meeting for you to talk to us and receive emotional support in confidence, helping you to fill out a compensation form or get advice on how to make your home more secure, or referring you to other specialist organisations that can also help.
Specialist services in your area
As well as offering emotional and practical support to people affected by crime, we run a number of specialist services in Warwickshire, including:
- Victim Caseworker
In Warwickshire, alongside our team of highly trained and experienced volunteers, we also have a Victim Caseworker who provides emotional and practical support to victims of all types of crimes.
- Children and Young People Caseworkers
In Warwickshire, we have specialist Children and Young People Caseworkers who provide emotional and practical support to children and young people, aged between 4 and 18, who have either been the victim of, or witnessed, crime.
- Restorative Justice
In partnership with Warwickshire Police and other agencies, Victim Support is helping victims of crime access a bespoke restorative justice service. Restorative justice is a process that brings together people harmed by crime with those responsible for the harm. This communication, using experienced facilitators, enables everyone affected by the crime to repair the harm and find a positive way forward. To make a referral or for general enquiries about restorative justice, please email us.
Someone we’ve helped
Last year we offered immediate support to over 6,000 people affected by crime in Warwickshire, and gave in-depth support to nearly 800 people.
One of the people we’ve helped to cope after crime is Margaret, a victim of sexual abuse in the 1950s and 60s. The perpetrators were her step-father and, later, her foster parents.
I was sent to live with foster parents. After a while my foster father began raping me in front of his wife. I told my mum what was happening but she didn’t believe me. I was too scared to tell the social worker who visited and pretended that everything was fine.
When I became pregnant they tried everything to get rid of it but it didn’t happen. The police moved me to an unmarried mother’s home and I had the baby and it was adopted. I was then put in a children’s home.
Margaret was receiving counselling from a specialist organisation Safeline, who had heard about Victim Support’s track record in gaining compensation for victims of childhood sexual abuse and referred Margaret to our services. Margaret’s claim for criminal injuries compensation was turned down twice, but with our support and Margaret’s own strength and determination, a significant award was achieved.
In my day, you didn’t want to make a fuss – you didn’t think anyone would believe you. I think if organisations like Victim Support and Safeline had been around then, I’d have stood a much better chance. I don’t think I would have had to go through a pregnancy, an adoption and later an abortion.
The best thing about Victim Support was having someone who cared, someone who believed me. I first went to them because I wanted some acknowledgement of what I had experienced, some recognition that what I had said was true. I wanted some closure.
Anne from Victim Support was very good. She came to my home and gave me plenty of time to talk. She was very understanding and she wasn’t judgemental in any way. Sometimes people do judge you, though they shouldn’t. Anne wrote everything down and she was positive – that’s a word I use very gratefully.
When my claim was turned down, she came with me to the tribunal and she was a great support to me emotionally. They did ask me questions and I found it very, very hard to talk through everything I had gone through, to relieve my worst nightmares. When they said they were going to award me compensation, it just didn’t sink in. Anne turned to me and said, “You got it Margaret! You’ve got it!” I just couldn’t believe it.
So it was a lovely surprise to get the payment. It has been a great help. My husband is recovering from illness and we were able to visit his son and grandchildren in Portugal. But how can you put a figure on what you’ve gone through and lived with for over fifty years?
I went to a special Victim Support meeting to talk with the police about my experiences. I’d always found the police intimidating but this time they were open and much less scary. They really listened to me and I felt relieved. I had always kept my mouth shut but now I feel like I have a voice.
Over the years there have been many times when I’ve felt completely on my own, not knowing where to turn. That day at Victim Support I felt like I wasn’t alone.
I now want to help others. I have been asked to give talks locally and I’ve written a book about my experiences called ‘Always Chasing Butterflies’. It was a very emotional process as I’ve had to relive things that I’d locked away. What I want to tell people is there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I’ll never get over what happened to me, but I have learnt to live with the scars.