The Victims Choice website offers victims of crime the opportunity to choose a service appropriate to their needs based on location, crime type, support needs and, importantly, an appraisal of the service provider via first hand reviews from other service users.
The website, as well as offering service users the chance to offer a short review based on their own experiences, also gives them the chance to rate a service on a scale of one to five based on the five key standards we have identified as being critical to effective support for victims of crime.
Supporting Justice, who have developed the website, have identified through experience and research five key standards for the delivery of good services to victims:
Access - how easy was it for a victim to access the service they needed?
Needs - to what extent was the provider able to identify and understand the victims’ needs?
Valued - to what extent did the victim feel respected and listened to?
Support - to what extent was the support needed actually provided?
Safety - to what extent did the victim feel that their personal safety was important and priorities by the service provider?
These five standards are also the basis of our Victims Choice Quality Mark which offers the first ever frontline service assessment. It has been the case for too long that services are often assessed on an organisations’ ability to meet criteria focused on governance, financial management, numbers of contacts etc; the quality of the frontline service, the most important factor, is not always prioritised. We think that the Victims Choice Website, together with our Quality Mark, goes a long way to address this issue and help improve standards across all service providers, something that is the interest of all victims and others who, through no fault of their own, become victims in the future.
This website is a significant step forward in helping victims learn about what support is out there, how to access it and go on after receiving support, and to play a part in helping others to find help and encourage service providers to continuously improve.