Supporting victims of crime during difficult times
For one Essex teenager, the work of Victim Support has made a difference to her life by helping her to overcome bullying and anxiety due to an assault and on-going intimidation.
“The one to one support has been a breakthrough. It has turned my daughter’s life around and helped her to open up to us; she is saying more to us than she ever would have before. We are now in a much better position.”
The words of a thankful mother of a 14-year-old girl whose life was in turmoil as a result of bullying.
She said: “My daughter was being bullied quite nastily, both within and outside of school. After a while, we went to the police as it was relentless and was making her feel very negative about herself.”
The incidents were crimes – assault without injury and on-going intimidation at school and online.
While liaising with the police on the matter, the family was offered the opportunity to receive help from Victim Support.
The independent charity provides specialist practical and emotional support to thousands of Essex residents each month who have witnessed or become a victim of a crime.
The Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex is responsible for providing victim support and restorative justice services in the county. We contract Victim Support to deliver support services to victims of crime to help them cope and recover from the impact of crime, ensuring they feel equipped and empowered to move on.
For this family, the weekly one to one support from the organisation has meant the teenager has been able to turn her life around.
The grateful mother said: “I was aware of Victim Support and knew they did good things. I felt it was time my daughter really did need some support.
“My daughter is not one for opening up, but she has got to know her case worker from Victim Support who has been fantastic with her. I can’t thank her enough for what she has done – and is still doing – with her, from helping her with her confidence and self-esteem to helping her to deal with the bullying and how it made her feel.
“The sessions have been therapeutic for my daughter. They have made her think about things and helped her to look at things from a different perspective.
“We had not met anyone else who had been able to give us the help we needed. The one to one support has been a breakthrough. Basically, we’ve had a very nice lady come into our home who has clicked instantly with our daughter.
“We are now in a much better position. It has been a really positive experience.”
The majority of the referrals to Victim Support come via the police, but victims can also self-refer by contacting Victim Support directly.
The mum said: “Victim Support give the young person, or whoever needs help, the chance to talk in confidence about their deepest thoughts and feelings.”
Senior caseworker Sara McParland said: “Victim Support offer a confidential support service to explore feelings, worries and concerns someone might have because of a crime. The crime can be in the past or recent and reported to the police or not.
“We can help anyone to establish their rights and help them to access specialist support, if suitable, depending on the person’s individual needs.”
Roger Hirst, Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex, said: “Victims are at the heart of what we do, and we are committed to ensuring all victims are able to receive the support they are entitled to. Victim Support provide a great service that is really focussed on meeting the needs of victims.”
If you’ve been affected by crime and would like support, you can contact Essex Victim Support by calling 0808 1781694 or chat with someone online 24/7 by visiting
Despite the current Coronavirus social distancing measures being in place, Victim Support is still supporting victims of crime – providing support over the telephone and online.