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Victim Support Information Sheet

I asked Tony Paine, the Chief Executive of Victim Support, to provide a brief that I could place on our website as a reminder of what they can and regularly do as an organisation. He has provided a very informative piece that I have found to be extremely valuable and although we already carry a link to their own national website http://www.victimsupport.org.nz/ on our links page , I felt that it was a good time of year to place in the front of our own minds again.

Roger Eynon


Introduction

Victim Support is recognised as New Zealand's leading agency helping victims of crime and trauma. It is the only national agency that provides nationwide services, 24/7.

Victim Support has approximately 100 full-time equivalent staff and 1200 active volunteer support workers. It works under a Memorandum of Understanding with NZ Police and operates out of most Police stations in the country.

Victim Support has two main aims. These are to:

  • provide information, support and assistance to victims, witnesses, their families and friends
  • promote victims' rights through raising public awareness and recognition of the effects of crime.

Victim Support's services include:

  • 24-hour emotional support
  • support through the judicial process
  • advocacy
  • victim assistance funding schemes specialist homicide and suicide services
  • crime prevention services such as the 'Target Hardening' burglary prevention scheme

Victim Support uses a case management system to deliver services to victims. This involves the planned and professionally supervised co-ordination and documentation of services to clients to ensure that timely and effective advocacy, support, information and referrals are provided.

Crisis and on-going support

Victim Support offers 24 hour personalized support for all victims of crime and trauma. Trained support workers will listen to victims, offer options, provide information in preparation for forthcoming judicial processes. They will also assist the victim to identify and access their own support networks and other community support. Victim Support operates a 0800 VICTIM 24/7 phone line.

Support through the judicial process

Attending a court trial, Family Group Conference or other judicial process can be a very stressful experience for a victim. Through training and practical experience, Victim Support Workers understand how the justice system works. They will provide information on processes as well as attend with a victim for support. Having a Victim Support Worker there to assist can make all the difference.

Advocacy

Victim Support advocates to authorities, decision-makers, professionals and the general public to ensure victims' rights and needs are recognised. Volunteer support workers will advise victims of their rights under the Victim Rights Act 2002.

Victim Assistance Funding Schemes Victim Support manages the following Government funded schemes:

  • the Victim Emergency Grant to a maximum of $3000 for victims of serious crime, which may cover counselling costs. It is used only when there are no other means to fund this assistance and the victims will experience financial hardship using their own financial resources.
  • the Counselling Scheme for Families of Homicide Victims, which initially offers six sessions of paid counselling (and can be extended based on the recommendation of the counsellor) for surviving family members and witnesses to a homicide.
  • the Travel to Court and Parole Hearing Assistance Schemes, which provide a contribution to travel, accommodation and childcare assistance for victims of serious crimes and their families.
  • the Discretionary Grant for Families of Homicide Victims to a maximum to $1,500 per homicide for assistance with costs associated with the sudden death. The payment is a one off grant to the family and not individuals. Evidence must be presented of severe financial hardship, so the grant is made only as a last resort.

Specialised Homicide and Suicide Support

Victim Support provides specialist support to people bereaved by suicide in Counties Manakau, Auckland Central, the Eastern District and Canterbury/Tasman districts. It is anticipated that all districts will have the new service in place by 2010.

Victim Support provides a nationwide specialist support service for family and friends of homicide victims. A specifically trained team of workers will help friends and family through this immensely difficult time.

Reducing the Risk of Burglary Victim Support's Government-funded Target Hardening initiative is designed to help prevent low-income earners from becoming repeat burglary victims. For example, if someone on a community service card is burgled for a second time, they can apply to get secure locks installed. If they are burgled again they can then apply for an alarm system. Target Hardening is being successfully trialled in Auckland with a view to expanding nationwide.

Phone 0800 VOLUNTEER if you are interested in becoming a Victim Support volunteer support worker

Phone O8OO VICTIM to access our services

New Zealand Council of Victim Support Groups (04) 474 8862

Source: Victim Support Info Sheet [PDF]

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Page last modified on 11 December 2008 at 09:25 PM.
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