Victim Support | How we can help
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How we can help

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Our 24 / 7 service is provided free of charge in communities large and small throughout New Zealand to help victims of serious crime and trauma who are dealing with, in some cases, the worst time of their lives. We are an independent organisation that recruits, trains and supervises front-line volunteers who deliver direct support to victims in the victims’ home, at police stations, at the scene, in court and in the community.

Trauma is the emotional response to an extremely negative event. While trauma is a normal reaction to a horrible event, the effects can be so severe that they interfere with an individual’s ability to get on with their life.

Have you been the victim of a crime or trauma (this includes being a witness or family member of a victim)? Traumatic events like this can affect people in different ways. Here you can read a summary of some common reactions to trauma, and some helpful ways to cope: The Crisis and Trauma Factsheet and see our web page Helping with stress after a disaster.

Everyone has a different response, but it is widely accepted that if victims of crime and trauma are not provided with adequate support in the immediate aftermath they are at greater risk of experiencing things such as post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and repeat victimisation.

People who receive adequate support and information are more likely to remain connected in a positive way with their whānau, family and local community and are better placed to rebuild their lives.

Victim Support helps people to be in control of getting their lives back on track and ensures they get the services they need and their rights upheld.

We help victims and their families to find strength, hope and safety in the face of grief and trauma by providing:

  • emotional first aid and practical support at the time of crisis
  • financial grants to reimburse costs after some serious crimes, especially homicide, death by a criminal act, and sexual violence
  • referral to counselling and other services, and payment of counselling costs in some cases for serious crime (see financial grants above)
  • help dealing with the criminal justice system e.g. attending court, restorative justice, parole board; preparing victim impact statements and help organising travel and accommodation if required
  • help dealing with grief, loss, trauma and shock
  • follow up on well being / safety after crisis and further emotional and practical support if required
  • specialist support following a homicide
  • advocacy with other organisations.

Our services are available nationwide through a national / regional structure. Direct service delivery to victims is primarily delivered by volunteer Support Workers who are managed and supervised by paid staff coordinators.  Staff also provide debriefing, supervision, case management, coaching and regular training to the volunteer Support Workers.

What Victim Support does not do:

(If we don’t provide a particular service, we can usually provide details of who  can).

  • provide financial assistance or budget advice
  • we do not provide counselling / therapy, but we can put you in contact with people who can help
  • provide / facilitate grief support groups
  • support after an attempted suicide
  • work directly with children aged 16 yrs or under
  • notify family / friends of a death on behalf of police or others, but often attend with police following a notification
  • act as lead agency in postvention initiatives or prevention initiatives established by District Health Boards or other organisations (but we can participate as a stakeholder)
  • pass on information relating to living victims we are supporting, to any agency or individual, without the consent of the victim (or our funder the Ministry of Health) [the exception to this being when high risk of a cluster or contagion is evidenced, and where we have an Memorandum of Understanding in place with an agency].


Dealing with a crime or trauma can sometimes be a lengthy and complicated process. Here’s a useful list of frequently asked questions.

These websites for other organisations may also be helpful to you.

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