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Hopefully anyone reading this review will never have to meet anyone from Victim Support but unfortunately our family had to..
About four years ago we were burgled when we were actually in the house and the whole experience was awful.
It was my fault really as I had the tumble dryer on and as we didn't have the hose attachment in those days I used to keep the utility room door open and put the hose outside.
We are lucky enough to live in a 'good' area and thought nothing much about security as the back gate is always locked and we have neighbours both sides and at the rear of th the house.
However, cut a long story short, we did not notice we had been burgled until the evening when I found my purse outside the back door - it transpired that someone had literally just walked in the kitchen and taken my husband's jacket with all the keys to his various properties, the car keys plus lots of cash as it was payday for his staff members.
Luckily no one was hurt and whoever it was didn't take any jewellery or my cherished watch which was in full view.
The police came quickly and took statements etc and we got the car back within an hour as it had a tracker fitted but it was the shock really as we all felt 'invaded'.
The police left us with a leaflet about Victim Support but to be honest my daughters (then 14 & 17) nor my husband & I thought about contacting them as we had each other.
The following morning a very pleasant lady from VS phoned to see if we were OK and said if any member of the family needed to talk or needed any practical help (locksmithe, insurance claims etc) then they were always on hand.
A couple of days later we were contacted again & this time I had a really good chat about how we were coping as it had affected us all in different ways. It was very helpful to be able to talk to someone outside the family I must admit!
We changed the locks, sent a letter to all our neighbours, bought a dog and a hose for the tumble dryer are now very security-conscious.
I didn't realise that the staff at Victim Support are volunteers and that the organisation is government-funded - what a great job they do and a heart-felt THANKYOU for being there when we needed you!
I was burgled recently and was visited by someone from Victim Support afterwards. Although I didn't really need their services, the work that they do certainly got me thinking. I am not easily unnerved by things and being burgled is something I have grown to expect in this day and age, as sad as that may be, after all, how many people do you know that have never been burgled? Other people aren't as lucky in their attitude as I am though,and being burgled can totally change their lives. I have a partner and children and quite a good network of friends and people to talk to. For people on their own though the victim support charity must provide a very welcome service. The lady who visited me was by no means young and I thought how brave she was to turn up at my house, when she didn't know me from Adam, and be quite prepared to come in, have a brew, and talk with me for as long as I wanted. Why brave? Victim support don't only visit victims of burglary but victims of all crime. Obviously the Police tell them what the crime is all about,but at the end of the day they really have next to no idea of what sort of situation, or household, they are walking into. If two drug addicts got into a fight and one ended up in hospital that addict would later be visited by victim support. Ok they are still a victim and they still need support. The person from Victim Support has to put aside any pre-conceived ideas of the addict,visit them in their home and give them the best support they can. I think that is pretty brave. They must also take a fair amount of abuse from people who don't want "do gooders" prying into their lives. The people at Victim Support provide a confidential service. Whatever you tell them will not go any further, unless you want it to. They know a lot of the ins and outs of the law and can help you if you need to go to court. They can also poi
nt you in the right direction for help with security issues etc. I think they provide a fantastic, useful service and I think it's a shame they don't get more credit for the invaluable work that they do.
Every one at some time or another is a victim of some sort, and unfortunately the chance of becoming a victim of a crime seems to be on the increase. In day gone by, it was usual for communities to pull together, and when someone was a victim they would have obtained support from friends and neighbours. To day the chance of this happening, has unfortunately become remote, neighbours can be rarely seen and people, especially in City’s do not appear to be such close friend’s. The situation is such that a Charity called Victim Support, was set up through out the British Isles, this charity, which is staffed by a few full time staff and many volunteers, provides a varied service to victims of crime both young and old. The volunteers, who have received training in listening but not counselling, call with the victim if requested, and will spend time with them, giving them the opportunity to talk to someone who is detached from their situation, and who might be able to point them in a direction, which they had overlooked, to obtain professional help. Many victims find that they can open up to a volunteer visitor rather than to a member of their own family, and afterwards feel better having just talked, its good to talk. I would encourage anyone who is a victim of crime or who knows some one who is a victim of crime, to contact the organisation, if they feel that they need to talk rather than bottling it up and making themselves ill. The service which is provided is totally confidential, the only contact the volunteer has is the district coordinator, who will if requested by the victim, and only on request pass the details to another agency who may be able to provide some assistance. Assistance is also provided for victims who have to attend Court as a witness, they are taken to the Court when it is not sitting and allowed to see what it like, prior to the case, and on the day of the case they are met at the door and escorted to a pr
ivate room where they can await the case, away from the defendant. When the case is called they are escorted to the Court, and after the case they are taken back to the private room where they can await the result of the case. A service also exists where victim’s who attend hospital as a result of the crime against them, can also avail of the service, volunteer’s especially trained for hospital work will visit them and provide a similar service to those on the outside, unfortunately this is not provided at all hospitals. I have been a volunteer for nearly a year now and I have spoken to many people from all walks of life, with all sorts of problems and I have enjoyed every minute of it, but then I am a nosy sod and like to know what is going on around me. On a more serious note, if there is any one reading this who, has an interest in people, likes to listen and would like to join they should contact their local branch and apply.