When the unthinkable happens, typically a victim of crime or trauma will feel a total loss of control. The world as they knew it might have changed forever.
At the same time there are demands placed on victims that might have previously seemed unimaginable. It is in these circumstances that Victim Support advocates on behalf of people to help ensure their views and needs are heard, secure their rights, represent their interests, and access the services they need.
Victim Support Chief Executive, Kevin Tso, is keen to underline the importance of Victim Support’s advocacy work. “People are coming to us hurting and at their most vulnerable. It’s our job to make sure their interests are protected.”
Typically, this will occur on a one-to-one basis with Victim Support Workers helping access financial support, counselling, accommodation, or legal aid. Victims of crime from marginalised groups can lack confidence in dealing with government departments or support services. It can be particularly daunting for migrants or those who speak English as a second language.
Sometimes a Victim Support representative will advocate on behalf of a collective of victims. Previously we’ve lobbied on behalf of families who had lost loved ones on a dangerous stretch of road, to have appropriate warning signage put in.
We also advocate for victims behind the scenes. Victim Support undertakes research and routinely makes submissions to government on proposed legislation that affects victims.
As always, if you have a need for our services, call us anytime on 0800 842 846.
This article first appeared in our Voice newsletter.