If you are looking to buy a new washing machine, a different brand of bread, a new coat for the Spring (eventually) the first thing you need to be aware of is where to start looking. It’s unlikely you will get a new coat in an electrical superstore or a nice granary loaf from the dress shop.
Most of us are very aware of where we can shop and find what we are looking for. Indeed, we often don’t need to leave the comfort of our sofas to shop these days - the internet has revolutionised the buying habits of many people.
If you are a victim of crime, however, or a friend or family member of a victim, it isn’t quite so easy or transparent a process. Yes, the police may pass on your details to a support organisation (assuming you have reported the crime, and we know that many victims choose not to report). And you may be given information that is useful and effective in helping you find an appropriate support organisation. And yes, you may end up being offered really good support that is based on a great needs assessment and delivers what you need.
But, and it is an important but, you won’t necessarily get all of this and you won’t necessarily have felt in control of what is happening (in a word, empowered) by having had the ability to choose what is right and appropriate.
The Victims Choice website aims to help change all this. The website will offer victims, their families and friends, the ability to choose where to go for help and support. Need support as a victim of anti-social behaviour? Look on the Victims Choice website. Need support as victim of assault? Look on the Victims Choice website. Need to help a friend to look for appropriate support because no one else seems to be doing so? Look on the Victims Choice website.
The Victims Choice website offers just what it says: choice for victims. Based on the experiences of victims who have had support and left a review of the service provider, and based on coverage across the country, the website will open up the possibilities for all victims to have access to high quality support and to find the best providers available in their own area and in relation to their own particular experience as a victim of crime.
Hobson’s choice means no choice. We all need to feel that we have a degree of control and influence over what we receive - the Victims Choice website offers the chance to do just that for victims of crime.