Victim Support

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Victim Support is an independent charity in England and Wales that provides specialist practical and emotional support to victims and witnesses of crime.


Set up more than 40 years ago, Victim Support is the leading independent victims’ charity in England and Wales.

The first Victim Support scheme was set up in Bristol in 1974, and by 1986 every county in England and Wales had at least one Victim Support scheme. The charity's founders included members of the National Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders (now NACRO) and others from the police and probation service.

Victim Support registered as a charitable company in 1987 and in 2008 all local Victim Support groups merged to create one national federation in England and Wales.

In 1998 Victim Support's free national telephone helpline, Supportline, was established. Following the 2017 Westminster attack and the other terrorist attacks that ensued that year, the Supportline went 24/7 and continues to be today.

The charity established the national Witness Service in 1989 and supported its development to cover all Crown and Magistrates courts in England and Wales. The Witness Service was run by Victim Support until April 2015. Since 1985 the charity has run the Homicide Service, supporting people bereaved by murder or manslaughter.[1]


Support for victims of crime
Trained volunteers and employees offer free and confidential practical and emotional support to victims and witnesses of crime. In 2017 the charity had contact with over 800,000 victims of crime across England and Wales to offer information and support. As well as emotional support the charity provides victims with practical help, such as making their home secure after a burglary, applying for compensation, help with re-housing or accessing mental health and other specialised services through the NHS.
National Supportline
A free 24/7 telephone helpline offering confidential support and advice to anyone affected by crime in England and Wales - 08 08 16 89 111.
Specialist services
  • The national Homicide Service, helping families in England and Wales who've been bereaved by murder or manslaughter
  • Local services helping victims of any crime, including domestic or sexual violence, anti-social behaviour and hate crime
  • Local services for young victims of crime,[2] including specialist support for children who have experienced domestic abuse, sexual assault and grooming
  • Restorative justice programmes
Victim Support's research team look into the issues facing victims of crime and make recommendations, based on evidence, on how to tackle those problems to government.[3] police, criminal justice and other organisations.
The charity is funded by public donations along with funding awards made by grant-making bodies and services commissioned by Police and Crime Commissioners.
Volunteers are trained to work directly with victims and witnesses of crime or to be a fundraiser.[4][5]

Research reports[edit]



  1. ^
  2. ^ "Who can child abuse victims turn to?". 28 August 2014. Retrieved 10 November 2017.
  3. ^ Association, Press (14 September 2014). "Chris Grayling unveils victims' rights reforms". Retrieved 10 November 2017.
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-05-04. Retrieved 2015-05-19.
  5. ^ Fyffe, Marie (11 April 2014). "A day in the life of ... a victim support volunteer". Retrieved 10 November 2017.
  6. ^ "Young victims fail to report six out of seven offences". Retrieved 10 November 2017.

External links[edit]