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We understand that it’s difficult for you when someone you care about is struggling to cope after a crime. You may find that you are feeling the effects of the crime, even though you weren’t involved. It’s normal to feel:

  • angry
  • confused
  • upset
  • anxious
  • stressed.

It’s also normal to feel unsure about the best way to help your friend or family member. Everyone reacts differently to crime and finding a way to cope is very personal.

We can give your friend or family member support to meet their individual needs. If they are struggling to cope, you can encourage them to contact us.

How you can help

It’s also important to know that you can’t fix anyone else’s problems. It could take a long time for your friend or family member to move forward.

You can help by:

  • making sure the person you’re supporting knows that you’re there for them
  • listening and reassuring
  • encouraging the person that you’re supporting to accept help
  • offering to go to appointments with them
  • helping with everyday tasks such as housework or childcare.

Try to understand how the person you’re supporting could be feeling. It’s common for victims or witnesses of crime to:

  • feel overwhelmed
  • find it difficult to concentrate or complete everyday tasks
  • have strong and changing emotions
  • blame themselves for what has happened
  • become withdrawn.

When you are supporting a friend or family member, try to avoid:

  • making judgements
  • telling them what to do
  • saying anything to make them feel to blame for what’s happened
  • taking their anger or other emotion personally
  • rushing them to make decisions
  • saying anything to make them feel like a burden.

Online support

My Support Space is a free online tool, which is full of resources to help you cope and move forward after a crime. The system guides you towards the information you need, in your own time. It will also remember where you left off, so that you can go back to it whenever you like.

It’s easy to register and set up an account. All of the guides are easy to use and interactive, to help you access the information you need for your individual situation.

Find support near you