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12
MAY
2020

New 24/7 live chat means more ways for victims to access support

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Now, more than ever, those affected by crime need to be able to access support services remotely. And for those made vulnerable to abuse by self-isolating with their partner or family members, discrete access to practical and emotional help, at whatever time of the day or night they are able to reach out for it, is vitally important.

Victim Support provides the Norfolk and Suffolk Victim Care service, set up by the Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) for both counties to provide free, confidential help and support to victims of crime.

Thanks to Ministry of Justice funding, that service now includes a 24-hour live chat facility and My Support Space online resources, improving access to information, practical advice and emotional support whenever victims need it.

Kara Shingleton, Area Manager, said: “Norfolk and Suffolk Victim Care provides free, confidential support to victims and witnesses of crime. The COVID-19 pandemic has made our role more vital than ever as victims may be self-isolating with their abusers. Our 24/7 online live chat facility provides a new and invaluable way for victims to access practical and emotional support discreetly.”

Norfolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Lorne Green, said: “This new 24/7 live chat service and the online resources offer another way for victims of crime in Norfolk to access help and support. They complement and enhance the services already being provided by the Norfolk and Suffolk Victim Care team and other local organisations, giving victims another route to help.

“While the live chat service is there for anybody who feels they need help, it will undoubtedly be of particular benefit to those needing a discrete, immediate option at any time of the day or night – such as those experiencing or at risk of abuse during this period of isolation.”

Chief Executive of Victim Support, Diana Fawcett, said: “We welcome this funding from the Ministry of Justice to expand our online support services to every region of England and Wales, during a period which will be very difficult for victims of crime.

“Our message to victims is very clear. Our trained supporters are here to offer you free and confidential support. It doesn’t matter where you live, what type of crime you have experienced, when it happened, whether you want support in the day or at night, or if you have reported the crime to the police. Victim Support is here to support you.”

Accessing help and support

If you are in immediate danger, call the police on 999. The non-emergency police number is 101.

You do not need to have reported the crime to the police be able to access help and support. To contact the Norfolk and Suffolk Victim Care team, call 0300 303 3706 between 8am and 5pm, Monday to Friday. Outside of these hours, telephone support is available from Victim Support on 0808 16 89 111.

The 24-hour live chat service can be accessed via https://www.victimsupport.org.uk/help-and-support/get-help/support-near-you/live-chat

For more on My Support Space, visit https://www.mysupportspace.org.uk/moj