Supporting victims of the Manchester terror attack
26 May 2017
Help and support is available for anyone affected by the Manchester terror attack
Greater Manchester Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime Beverley Hughes and independent charity Victim Support are calling on all victims and witnesses affected by the Manchester Arena terrorist attack to seek the free help available to them on 0808 168 9111.
Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime Beverley Hughes said:
‘This attack has affected so many — not just people here in Greater Manchester, but across the UK and beyond.
‘Those who have lost loved ones or whose relatives are seriously ill in hospital will be receiving specialist victim care, but if you were also there on the night or you witnessed the horror that unfolded, practical help and emotional support is also available to you — whether you need it now or months down the line. Please call Victim Support — they can help people of all ages and their helpline is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.’
Ellen Miller, Victim Support’s Service Director for Northern England, said:
‘From our experience of supporting victims of terrorism we know witnesses and the wider public are affected by these traumatic incidents.
‘It can be in the days, weeks or even months afterwards that people feel the emotional impact of witnessing a terrorist incident.
‘Families bereaved by terrorism have automatic access to high quality care through the government funded Homicide Service — which is delivered by Victim Support — but witnesses and the wider public who survive an attack and suffer psychological or less serious physical injuries fall through gaps in the system.
‘We want to make it clear our support teams are ready to support all victims now, but will also be available in the months following this tragedy, to offer the practical and emotional support that victims and witnesses deserve.
‘So far we have received calls from people as young as 16 seeking help following the attacks, as well as distressed parents asking for advice on how to support their children, who have been traumatised by what they witnessed on Monday night.’
Through funding provided by the Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham and police and crime commissioners across the country, Victim Support has a network of support systems available to people both now and in the long term.
According to research carried out by Victim Support in 2016 into the effects of terrorism on victims and witnesses, 93.5% of survivors they spoke to suffered effects including difficulties sleeping, intense distress when reminded of the incident, anger, flashbacks and anxiety. 78.8% required emotional and psychological support.
Ellen Miller concluded:
‘Victim Support is here no matter when or where an incident took place to offer free practical and emotional help. Anyone who feels they need help can call us. We are a free service there for all and people should call our support line on 0808 168 9111.
‘We have dedicated case workers throughout the country able to help people, and we have a range of practical and emotional support we can offer people, including counselling and support sessions.
‘And our service is completely confidential. My message to anyone who has been a victim of this awful act in Manchester, and who feels they need help to please call us.’