Victims Awareness Week 2021

Victims Awareness Week takes place between 22 – 28 February, coinciding with European Day for Victims of Crime on Monday 22 February.

It is Victim Support Scotland’s annual national awareness week which provides the opportunity to promote messages in support of those affected by crime by championing their voices, experiences and rights.

This year, we are launching our Your Space campaign, focusing on everyone’s right to support following a crime, under the Victims’ Code for Scotland.

The Your Space campaign highlights seven themes of the support VSS provides to people affected by crime and attending court as a witness. These themes explain the emotional and practical help, criminal justice system guidance, rights information and witness support that people can expect from VSS.

The impact of crime is wide-ranging and can affect people emotionally, mentally, physically, financially and practically.  At VSS, we focus on the effects of crime on individuals and their families, and provide specialist support to everyone impacted by crime.

We hope that by giving some insight about our support and what people affected by crime can expect when they visit us, that more people will feel encouraged to seek support – whether from us or our partners.

Space to be welcomed 

Whoever you are, whatever the crime, we are here to help. Our support is free, confidential and open to everyone affected by crime. You don’t need to report the crime, to receive our help.

“The police referred me to VSS because I have a learning disability and it is quite hard to keep track of everything regarding my case and the justice system. It has really helped to have someone to talk to.” – Eilidh, assault survivor

Find out more about how we can help.

Space to talk 

Sometimes it helps to have somebody neutral to talk to after a crime. You can discuss how you’re feeling in a safe and confidential space that’s free of judgement.

We can help you express and explore your emotions. We are experts at listening, and you can choose what you’d like to share with us.

“I feel I can talk to people at VSS without being scared about my words. They understand my intentions. It helped to have someone caring to talk to, who believed me and listened to me pour my heart out. My anxiety and panic attacks have reduced a lot.” – Craig, child abuse survivor

Find out more about the emotional support we provide.


Space to feel understood 

Everyone reacts to crime differently. With our knowledge and experience of the diverse impacts that crime can have on your mental health, we will ensure you feel safe and understood.

We will acknowledge your feelings and concerns, and support you to manage any reactions you may be experiencing.

“Rita is very good at understanding what I am going through and finding me specialist support. We even laugh about things. It’s hard to find someone to tell about what’s going on inside your head when it comes to domestic abuse. She reminds me it’s not my fault. I really need to hear that.” – Amy, domestic abuse survivor

Find out more about common reactions to crime.

Space to be informed

The criminal justice system is complicated. We can help you navigate it, providing information and explaining terms, processes and paperwork.

You have rights as a victim or witness, which we can help you access. We can make you feel more confident, and equipped with knowledge and information.

“Kerry is helping me to get hold of my police statement before I give evidence and making it accessible because I am partially sighted. She works with Visibility Scotland to make sure I can read all the letters I receive about my case. I feel a little bit safer now that I have Kerry.” – Eilidh, assault survivor

Find out more about the criminal justice system and your rights.

Space to consider options

Crime can disrupt your life in a range of ways. We will discuss practical options to help you feel stronger, safer and more confident.

We can speak to other organisations on your behalf and help you to access safety, financial and specialist assistance. If you’re going to court, we can support you throughout the process.

“We concentrated on what I was achieving, financially and emotionally. Kirsty helped restore my self-belief and my ability to look to the future – how I could make things better, what was in my control.” – Fraser, domestic abuse survivor

Find out more about going to court and the practical support we provide. We also have a Victims Fund for people in Scotland who are in urgent need of financial help as a result of a crime.

Space to move forward

We can support you to identify achievable goals to help you reimagine and plan your future. You can start to feel stronger and more empowered so you can move forward after a crime.

“Speaking to David at VSS makes me more confident and stronger. I feel better about the trial and know I will be supported when it happens. I feel more positive about the future, like I can get the things I want from my life.” – Craig, child abuse survivor

Find out more about how we helped Harry move forward.

Space to keep in mind

Crime can have a long-lasting impact. You may feel you need more support sometime in the future. Our services are always here, if you need us.

“I wanted support because I was at an all-time low after domestic abuse. I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for Kirsty, my supporter. She’s a rock of support and a saviour.” – Fraser, domestic abuse survivor

These are some of the many people we’ve helped across the years. We’re still here, should they need further support in the future.

Whoever you are and whatever the crime, we’re here to help