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Victim Support welcomes funding from Ministry of Justice to expand online advice

27 April 2020

VICTIM SUPPORT has welcomed new financial input from the Ministry of Justice designed to expand online support for the victims of crime to every region of England and Wales. Now, more than ever, those affected by crime need to be able to access support services remotely.

The online services available to victims of crime will now include live chat support: a 24/7 online facility where people can access practical and emotional help.

Support needs for the victims of crime such as those suffering from hate crime and fraud is growing. Victim Support is pleased that this vital service will now be available to everyone, regardless of where an individual lives. Live chat is an important way for victims to access practical and emotional support discreetly.

Victim Support’s new online resource for coping with the impact of crime, namely My Support Space, will be made available from Friday 1 May. At this time, many victims of crime will be worried or may understandably find certain aspects of day-to-day life more challenging. That’s why Victim Support will also be making My Support Space - essentially an online platform containing interactive guides, tips and videos - available to everyone in England and Wales.

My Support Space includes topics such as difficult emotions, coping strategies, trauma and difficulty in sleeping. These are all common issues that people may experience after crime, but which might also be intensified during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Diana Fawcett, CEO of Victim Support, said: “We welcome funding from the Ministry of Justice to expand our online support services to every region of England and Wales during a period which will be particularly difficult for the victims of crime. Our message to victims is very clear. Our trained supporters are here to offer them free and confidential support. It doesn’t matter where they live, what type of crime they have experienced or when the criminality occurred. Victim Support is here to support those who are in need of assistance and guidance.”

Dame Vera Baird, the Victims’ Commissioner for England and Wales, added: “Many local victims’ services have live chat already, while others are quickly looking at this medium as a way of meeting the very need with which Victim Support will now be able to assist. We know it's likely to be much harder for victims to telephone for help during lockdown. Now, Victim Support can respond to victims online wherever they live. There will be nationwide cover for every victim immediately and that's very welcome. It may also give other victims’ service providers who don’t already have this live chat facility time to initiate it if they think they should do so locally.”