If you have a specific question that is not answered below, please contact your local Victim Service office which you can find on our Online Directory of Services.
1. What exactly does Victim Support offer victims of crime?
Victim Support offers practical and emotional support; help with Criminal Injuries Compensation claims, information about the Criminal Justice System and other agencies that may be able to help. This service can be provided by telephone, home visits, and office based appointments or appointments in community based settings i.e. libraries, community centres, cafes or other suitable venues.
2. Does Victim Support work for the police?
No. Victim Support Scotland is a completely independent organisation. If you report the crime to the police they may pass your details to Victim Support, unless you specifically tell them that you do not wish them to do so.
3. Are you a counselling service?
No. Victim Support's trained volunteers provide a listening ear and an opportunity to talk openly about your feelings.
4. I work all day. Can I see someone in the evening?
Yes. Victim Support volunteers can arrange a time that is convenient for you.
5. Is the service you provide confidential?
Yes. Victim Support provides a confidential service. We will not disclose any information about you without your consent, unless there are exceptional circumstances as outlined in our policy on confidentiality.
6. Why do the police not give me information about the Criminal Justice System?
The police will help you with any queries that you may have about what happens when you have given your statement. They will then, with your consent, pass your details to Victim Support Scotland, whose trained volunteers will provide you with information about the Criminal Justice System.
7. How much does your service cost?
Our services are free.
8. Can I drop the charges?
No. Once the details of the crime have been passed to the Procurator Fiscal, it is then up to the Fiscal to decide whether it is in the public interest to proceed with the case or not.
9. Do I have to go to court?
You will have to attend court if you receive a citation. Victim Support's Witness Service will be able to provide you with information and support on attending court.
10. I haven't reported the incident to the police. Can you still help me?
Yes. Only about half of all crimes are reported. If you have not reported the crime, you can still receive the same service from Victim Support Scotland.
11. Do you need to know all the details of the incident?
No. Our volunteers are trained to listen to how you have been affected by the crime, both emotionally and practically. It is not necessary for them to know all the details of the incident.
12. What happens when I go to court?
Victim Support Scotland can provide you with information about attending court through our Witness Service, which is based in the courts. They will support you throughout the case.
13. What can you do about my noisy neighbours?
We can offer you emotional support and refer you to the appropriate agency to deal with your complaint. Please contact your local office for further information, using our Online Directory of Services for contact details.
14. Are your volunteers paid?
No. Our trained volunteers provide their time free. They do, however, have their travel expenses reimbursed.
15. I have been asked to speak to a defence agent. Is this OK?
The defence agents are entitled to all the court papers which make up the case against their client. This includes your very first statement you gave to the Police. To ensure their client receives a fair trial, they are entitled to speak to any of the witnesses involved. If you refuse to give such a statement, the defence agent is entitled to request you give a statement under oath i.e. in court prior to trial.
16. Am I entitled to criminal injuries compensation?
If you have been a victim of a violent crime, you may be eligible for criminal injuries compensation. The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority assesses every application for criminal injuries compensation and they will decide if you are entitled to an award. Victim Support Scotland can offer assistance with the application process.
17. Can Victim Support help me with my housing problem?
No. Victim Support Scotland has trained volunteers who will help you to access the relevant agencies that can help. Please contact your local office for further information, using our Online Directory of Services for contact details.
18. What is a precognition and do I have to do one?
Yes. The Procurator Fiscal will invite you to a precognition hearing, which provides an opportunity to discuss the statement you first gave to the police. This allows the prosecution to build a case against the accused.
19. Will the police support me through the whole of the case?
No. The police will take statements from all witnesses involved and pass them to the Procurator Fiscal. If you have agreed that the police can pass your details to Victim Support Scotland, we can provide you with practical advice, emotional support and information about the Criminal Justice System.