Young Victim Service

The Young Victims Service supports young people who are dealing with the effects of crime. We have a number of workers, who can meet with young people face to face or online to help and support them. SAFE! is an independent charity and this service is provided free of charge. Anyone can refer themselves or a friend who lives in the Thames Valley (Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes).

Who can the Young Victim Service support?
If you, or someone you know is struggling to cope with the impact of crime, our experienced workers can offer support. 

We are available to help young people between the ages of 5-18 (or up to 25 for those with additional needs) who live in the Thames Valley area and have been hurt by crime. We will work with young people to help them regain their confidence if they have experienced:
•    Serious and persistent bullying at school
•    Been sexually abused or assaulted
•    Witnessed or been a victim of domestic abuse
•    Been mugged, or physically assaulted
•    Been a victim of exploitation
•    Been abused by cyber crime
•    Or been a victim of any other crime

How does SAFE! support children and young people?
SAFE! offers between six and twelve one-to-one sessions with a professional worker. Young people can choose where they feel most comfortable meeting; it could be at home, school, college, youth or community centre. We can also provide online support via telephone, text messaging and online video chat. 

SAFE! also has workers trained as Independent Sexual and Domestic Abuse Advisors who can help children and families to navigate the criminal justice process following an experience of sexual harm or domestic abuse.

In order to support young people who have been hurt by crime, our workers use what is known as the ‘protective behaviour’ model. Every session with a young person has two overarching themes. 
1.    ‘Everyone has the right to feel safe all of the time’
2.    ‘We can talk with someone about anything, even if it feels awful or small’.

By using these themes SAFE! can…….
•    Listen to the young person, and help them to think about what they might want to do next 
•    Give them space to talk about what has happened and what they’re going through
•    Help them think about keeping safe
•    Give them information about reporting a crime and what might happen if they do report
•    Work directly with parents where appropriate to ensure that they get the best possible support
•    Give them information about who else might be able to help

A SAFE! worker will help the young person to develop ways of coping for times when they don’t feel safe. They will not have to talk about what happened to them, unless they want to. It is up to them how much or how little support they get from us. They are free to stop support whenever they like. 

SAFE! believes that young people have the right to feel safe wherever they are. We give young people the space to explore their thoughts and feelings without judgement. Details of what young people share with us in sessions remains confidential, unless there are things that young people want us to share with other people, or if we feel that the young person or someone else may be in danger.

Reporting a crime
If you have been a victim of crime, you may be wondering whether you should report what has happened to the police. It is perfectly normal to feel unsure about whether you would like to report or not, or worry about what might happen after you report. To ensure that young people who report a crime receive an appropriate level of service from the criminal justice system, a Victim’s Code of Practice has been established. This sets out 12 rights for victims of crime:

  • To be able to understand and to be understood
  • To have the details of the crime recorded without unjustified delay
  • To be provided with information when reporting the crime
  • To be referred to services that support victims and have services and support tailored to your needs
  • To be provided with information about compensation
  • To be provided with information about the investigation and prosecution
  • To make a Victim Personal Statement
  • To be given information about the trial, trial process and your role as a witness
  • To be given information about the outcome of the case and any appeals
  • To be paid expenses and have property returned
  • To be given information about the offender following a conviction
  • To make a complaint about your Rights not being met

SAFE! can support you whether you report a crime or not. Should you choose to do so, we can support you by providing information regarding the criminal justice process and speaking to the police on your behalf to receive updates whilst the crime is being investigated.

Making a claim to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority
CICA is a government organisation that was created to compensate the blameless victims of violent crime. People who have been physically or mentally injured can apply to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority for compensation ranging from £1,000 to £500,000. Care givers who have parental responsibility for a child, can complete an application on their behalf provided that you can provide proof of your relationship to the young victim. For more guidance on the CICA eligibility and application process, please click here.

Funded by Thames Valley Police & Crime Commissioner