We started by discussing the psychological and physiological impact of becoming a victim of a crime, and the ongoing effect of finding oneself in this unfortunate position tended to have on the individual/s concerned. The possibility of becoming victimised twice by relatives and friends who may criticise the persons perceived ‘risky’ behaviour or naivety. The complex feelings experienced if the attack was of a sexual nature, the damage to ones sense of dignity, the invasion of privacy, feelings of insecurity or lack of support from areas where one might have expected it.
This has been seen to effect the emotions, beliefs and thought processes of those effected in a negative aspect which can require a prolonged period of readjustment.
If the crime was of a physical nature, a robbery or street mugging, then the victim could be expected to experience a reluctance to venture out alone, or to avoid the area where the attack took place, and to also suffer from flashbacks, in extreme cases they may have a prolonged struggle with PTSD. In these instances a referral for counselling is seen as appropriate.
Angela briefly explained the day to day working of Victim Support, how they liaise with the police with contact details and information about the crime suffered (with the victim’s permission). Nationally Victim Support deal with 2000 calls per day on average.
We were given a selection of leaflets which high-lighted the areas that are covered by Victim Support. This was an interesting presentation, outlining the vital support which is provided by this organisation, mostly on a voluntary basis. As an ex-volunteer with VS I can thoroughly recommend a closer look at the work they do in our community.