Victim Support launches rural support initiative in North Yorkshire

Dawn Bargate & Rachel Reeves from Victim Support
Dawn Bargate & Rachel Reeves from Victim Support

The charity Victim Support has launched a campaign to raise awareness of their new rural initiative.

The charity provide support to victims of many types of crime, both reported and unreported, from burglary to assault, however, they do not assist with domestic violence or sexual abuse, which are instead dealt with by IDAS, the Independent Domestic Abuse Service.

“We recognised less uptake from rural crime victims and felt we wanted to do some proactive work. “ explained Dawn Bargate, Relationships and Services Manager.

“We want to let people know that there is support out there,“ said Helen Perry, Independent Victims Advocate: “We help people to deal with the impact crime has and with the distress it causes for themselves, their partners and their children.

“We offer emotional support and coping strategies, we help people to move forwards and create an action plan.

“We can assist with practicalities and act as advocates, liaising with police and other organisations if required.”

Victim Support is a unique service that is tailored to the individual needs of the person they are assisting. “Being a victim of crime can create a whole array of different emotions,” explained Helen: “Everyone’s reaction is different.”

The service covers all areas across North Yorkshire and their staff provide a mixture of home visits, community visits and telephone support. They are keen to stress that they support the rural community as well as those in towns and villages.

The main part of the service is funded through the OFPCC with a grant of around £200k pa, which is used to provide the outreach support service for the whole county.

It’s not a lot of money really,” said Dawn: “We rely on donations to help fund specific projects. Some monies we’ve fundraised recently, are now being used for an Engagement Officer to ensure that victims can access our services even if living in isolated communities.”

If you have been affected by crime and would like to talk to someone about how you are feeling or if you have practical questions or concerns, please contact the Supporting Victims Team:

- Phone: 01609 643 10 0

- Email: help@supportingvictims.org

- Visit: www.SupportingVictims.org

- Twitter: https://twitter.com/VS_NorYorkshire

Open Mon-Fri 8am – 7pm (calls are charged at standard rate for mobiles and landlines)

Outside of these hours you can contact the Supportline free on 0808 168 9111 or visit the website: www.victimsupport.org.uk/help-and-support/get-help