Guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): victim and witness services

Information on accessing victim and witness support services.

Coronavirus (COVID–19) is causing 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.

Emotional and practical support may be 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 Support

Victim Support operates a free and confidential 24/7 Supportline and live chat service, every day of the year - offering specialist support to anyone who has been a victim of crime or a witness. If you’d prefer to access i interactive self-support guides, visit My Support Space.

Telephone: 0808 16 89 111

Live chat: victimsupport.org.uk/live-chat

My Support Space: mysupportspace.org.uk/MoJ

More information can be found at www.victimsupport.org.uk

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

The National Male Survivor Helpline is a confidential helpline for male victims of sexual violence and abuse. They also provide emotional support via telephone, SMS (text), live chat and email.

Phone: 0808 800 5005

Email: support@safeline.org.uk

Text: 07860 065187

Please access our live chat service via our website at /www.safeline.org.uk/contact-us/

More information including opening hours can be found on www.safeline.org.uk

Information including opening hours for the National Male Rape and Sexual Abuse online helpline can be found at www.survivorsuk.org or by contacting:

Email: help@survivorsuk.org

SMS: 020 3322 1860

WhatsApp: 07491 816064

The Survivors Trust

The Survivors’ Trust offer a free and confidential helpline to any survivor anywhere in the UK and Ireland that feels like they need to talk.

Phone: 08088 010 818

More information including opening hours can be found at www.thesurvivorstrust.org/

Rape Crisis England and Wales

The National Helpline offers confidential emotional support, information and referral details.

Phone: 0808 802 9999

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

More information including opening hours and access to our Live chat service can be found online at https://rapecrisis.org.uk/get-help/want-to-talk.

Support for victims of Domestic Abuse

If you are experiencing Domestic Abuse, you are not alone. Please contact: the Freephone, 24-hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline, run by Refuge: 0808 2000 247

You can also find support and information including opening hours and our live web chat service and secure web contact form - at www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk

Women’s Aid

Information including opening hours can be found online at https://www.womensaid.org.uk/

Webchat service: chat.womensaid.org.uk/

Men’s Advice Line - the helpline for male victims of Domestic Abuse

Offers non-judgemental emotional support, practical advice and information.

  • Telephone and email support: Monday-Friday 9am-8pm
  • Email support only: Saturdays and Sundays 10am-12pm and 4-6pm
  • Webchat: Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays 10am-11am and 3-4pm

Call 0808 8010327 (free from landlines and mobile phones)

Email: info@mensadviceline.org.uk

Webchat support via the website https://mensadviceline.org.uk/

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. More information including opening hours can be found on NAPAC’s website which 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

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

Karma Nirvana

Supporting victims of honour-based abuse and forced marriage

Phone: 0800 5999 247

Email: support@karmanirvana.org.uk

More information including opening hours can be found online at https://karmanirvana.org.uk/

Support if you are worried about hurting someone

If you have concerns that you may commit sexual abuse or sexual violence yourself or are concerned about another person’s behaviour, or a child’s behaviour, you can contact the Stop It Now helpline.

Telephone: 0808 1000 900

More information including opening hours can be found online at Stop It Now.

If you are worried about domestic abuse and hurting the ones you love while staying at home, call the Respect Phoneline for support and help to manage your behaviour.

Telephone: 0808 8024040

More information including opening hours can be found online at Respect Phoneline.

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.

Accessing local services for adults and children affected by crime

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

Trials

Find the latest information about trials on GOV.UK.

Published 20 March 2020
Last updated 4 January 2021 + show all updates
  1. Contact details updated.

  2. Added links to Women's Aid and the National Male Survivor website

  3. First published.