Victims of crime
Where can victims of crime access help and support?
During this uncertain period, it is important that victims of crime know how and where they can continue to access vital services.
In response to the Covid19 outbreak, the OPCC has commissioned an additional web chat facility, run by Victim Support. The live chat web based support service is available to victims in Devon and Cornwall 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The service is anonymous, confidential and free to use. To access it, please visit the Victim Support website (details are below).
In addition, other channels for help and support are still available for victims, although many of them have had to make some changes to the services they are offering. Please contact the Victim Care Unit who can help you. The unit provide support and referral on to organisations with the victim’s consent. It acts as a source of immediate support and information for all victims of crime and the team work with a range of third sector specialists through our victim care network.
Phone: 01392 475900 (8am until 8pm on Monday to Friday, and 9am until 5pm at the weekend)
Victim Support, Devon and Cornwall
Phone: 0300 303 0554 (12pm until 6pm on Monday to Friday)
Phone: 0808 1689 111 (national support line available 24/7)
The 24/7 livechat service and other online support materials can be accessed at: victimsupport.org.uk/help-and-support/get-help/support-near-you/south-west/devon-and-cornwall
You can also find more information about victim support services on the Ministry of Justice website: gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-victim-and-witness-services
I am a victim of domestic abuse and need to leave my home – are refuges still open?
Please visit your local authority website for up to date information on what you need to do. Each local authority still has a responsibility for housing duties at this time.
I have been a victim of a sexual assault – are Sexual Assault Referral Centres still open?
Sexual Assault Services are still open for both adults and children. Before attending a service, you will be asked a few questions to find out if you might have symptoms of Covid-19. This is not a formal test, but it is a way of protecting you, staff and other service users from the risk of transmission.
If you do not have any symptoms, you will be welcome to attend for a medical examination and treatment as usual. If you do have symptoms, the service will speak with you about alternative ways for you to be cared for.
At all times, there are doctors, nurses and crisis workers available to talk with you and make sure you get the best possible advice and care.
Devon and Cornwall SARCs can be contacted, 24 hours a day, on 0300 3034626.
Their website is sarchelp.co.uk
Is the young victims of crime service still running?
Services are still running, but all staff are working remotely. There is an excellent online community group provided by Kooth which is helping young people with Covid-19 and many other things. Visit https://www.kooth.com/ for free, safe and anonymous online support for young people.