After barring a customer, Phil* thought the man’s unacceptable behaviour in his pub would end. But as he mopped the floor one afternoon, the man stormed into Phil’s pub and attacked him. Phil was stabbed in the neck with a key, puncturing an artery, and was rushed to hospital for emergency, life-saving surgery.

Phil felt traumatised. Struggling to come to terms with what had happened to him, he felt anxious meeting new people and unable to work in the bar after 25 years as a publican. He turned to Victim Support for help and information.

We offered Phil free and confidential support and were there for him whenever he needed to talk about what he had been through and how he was feeling. We also helped him in a number of practical ways. For example, we helped Phil complete criminal and industrial injuries compensation claims and kept him informed on the progress of the police investigation and court dates when his case reached trial.

As he was unable to return to work, we arranged an appointment for Phil at his local law centre to help him claim benefits and learn about his employment rights when his employer stopped paying him. We also contacted the council to get advice on Phil’s housing entitlements.

When Phil felt he couldn’t cope, we made sure his GP fast-tracked his appointment. He was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and referred on to a psychiatrist.

It is so confusing going through the criminal justice system alone. I was sceptical of using Victim Support at first but they have helped me piece these pieces of the jigsaw back together.

Phil was a keen golfer, but had to sell his kit following the assault to help make ends meet. When his Victim Support caseworker contacted the local golf club to enquire about deals, they were so moved by his experience that they gave him a free month’s membership and lesson. This has helped Phil rebuild his confidence while meeting new people and doing something he loves.

I would not have been able to cope without Victim Support. They have continued to help me long after the case had been to court.

* Name changed to maintain anonymity