It forms the latest stage of the government’s commitment to supporting victims: in 2015/16 almost £90 million of funding has been made available, national services are in place for victims of homicide and rape and for witnesses attending court, and support services commissioned by Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) are meeting the needs of victims and witnesses across England & Wales.
 
The new Victims’ Information Service (VIS) includes free online and telephone advice - 0808 168 9293 - which will signpost victims to local services so that they can get the support they need. This could include emotional support, advocacy services and specialist advice for victims of sexual violence or domestic abuse.
The new website provides factual information about what happens after a crime and what help victims can expect, as well as information on Restorative Justice and how victims of crime can go about claiming compensation. There is also a function which allows people to search for the services available in their local area.
 
The telephone information line is run by the charity Victim Support and directs people towards the most appropriate support available in their area. The helpline can also provide information to people about their entitlements as victims and, where appropriate, provide immediate emotional support to vulnerable people.
 
Victims in need of more in-depth emotional support can also call Victim Support’s free Supportline from 8pm to 8am on 0808 168 9111 and speak confidentially to specially trained staff and volunteers, or refer themselves securely online at victimsupport.org.uk
source civil society 07.09.15