Coronavirus (COVID-19): victim and witness services

Information on accessing victim and witness support services.

Coronavirus (COVID–19) is likely to cause some disruption to victim and witness services. Victims and witnesses who are already receiving support from their local services providers should contact their support service in the first instance. There may be a shift towards emotional and practical support being provided remotely due to Government advice on social distancing. This may cause some disruption to face to face victim and witness support services.

To ensure that all victims and witnesses of crime receive the support they need, the following specialist helplines are available to assist you:

Victim Supportline

Victim Support operates a 24/7 Supportline offering emotional and practical support for anyone who has been a victim of crime or a witness who needs support or information.

The number is 0808 1689 111 and is free to call

Information can also be found online at

Support for victims of sexual violence and abuse

If you are already receiving support from a rape and sexual abuse support service, those services will continue to do all they can to provide you with the support you need.

Where services may be disrupted then support is available from the following services who will provide free of charge information, advice or emotional support, in confidence.

The Male Survivors Partnership website has a directory of services for male survivors’ local services.

Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCs)

SARCs continue to provide non-judgemental advice and support services to victims and survivors of sexual assault and/or abuse during the COVID-19 crisis. SARCs are still available to all regardless of gender, age or the type of incident or when it happened.

Victims and survivors will be triaged at the point of contact and services will be provided in person or remotely (over the phone or via video conference) depending on client needs during this period.

Interviews, forensic examinations, sexual health and counselling services will be offered in an appropriate environment to comply with COVID-19 guidance.

Please call your local Sexual Assault Referral Centre to arrange care and support, which may be provided in person or remotely depending on your needs.

The National Male Survivor Helpline and Online Service

Phone: 0808 800 5005


Text: 07860 027573

  • Open Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 9:00am to 5:00pm
  • Tuesday and Thursday: 8:00am to 8:00pm
  • Saturday: 10:00am to 2:00pm

The National Male Rape and Sexual Abuse webchat support service at

The Survivors Trust

Phone:08088 010 818

  • Open Monday to Thursday 10:00am to 6:00pm
  • Friday 10:00am - 2:00pm

Rape Crisis England and Wales

Phone: 0808 802 9999

Open 12:00pm to 2:30pm and 7pm to 9:30pm every day of the year.

Outside of these opening times, please contact Victim Supportline on 0808 169 2591.

Live chat service

Support for victims of Domestic Abuse

If you are experiencing Domestic Abuse, you are not alone. Please contact:

REFUGE - The freephone, 24-hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline 0808 2000 247

Information can also be found online at

Women’s Aid run a webchat service:

The webchat service is available Monday to Friday 10:00am - 12:00pm.

RespectUK helpline for male victims of Domestic Abuse

Website: //

Phone: 0808 8010327

  • Open Monday and Wednesday 9am to 8pm
  • Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 9am to 5pm


Further advice and guidance for those who are experiencing or feel at risk of domestic abuse during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is available on GOV.UK.

Use this guide to apply to the family court for a domestic abuse or violence injunction if you’re an unrepresented applicant during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Find out more about how to identify if you or someone you know is a victim of domestic abuse, and how to get help.

NAPAC (National Association for People Abused in Childhood)

NAPAC offers support to adult survivors of all types of childhood abuse, including physical, sexual, emotional abuse or neglect. NAPAC’s website offers a large range of resources for survivors, as well as those who care for and work with them.

Private and confidential helpline: 0808 801 0331

  • Open 10am to 4pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays
  • 2pm–9pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays

We also offer a support email service for those who feel more comfortable seeking support in writing. Please contact us at

Karma Nirvana

Supporting victims of honour-based abuse and forced marriage

Phone: 0800 5999 247

Open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm


Witness Service

Citizens Advice provide free, independent emotional and practical support to victims and witnesses of crime required to attend court to give evidence.

Self-referrals can be made online on the Citizens Advice website.

The Witness Service will temporarily cease to provide in-court support for victims, witnesses and bereaved family members from Monday 23 March 2020. Citizens Advice will continue to support you before and after court proceedings and referrals should continue to be made to access this support.

Accessing local services

You can see what local support services are available in England and Wales by going to searching using your postcode.


Find the latest information about trials on GOV.UK.

Published 20 March 2020
Last updated 21 March 2020 + show all updates
  1. Added links to Women's Aid and the National Male Survivor website

  2. First published.