Regaining confidence with VSS support
Charlotte was a victim of a domestic violence attack, suffering life-changing injuries which have resulted in her requiring a wheel chair from now on. The police officer investigating the incident referred her to Victim Support Scotland (VSS) for support to deal with the impact of the crime.
Charlotte was terrified of her ex-partner. She worried about her daughter’s safety and was frightened about leaving the house. She had to come to terms with the consequences of the attack on her health, mobility, confidence and independence.
VSS provided practical help to Charlotte, such as improving her home security, making her feel safer. We also acted as an advocate, to help her engage with other agencies and to complete forms because she no longer had the confidence to do it by herself.
Charlotte had a lot to come to terms with and recover from, and VSS provided emotional support to help her do this. She felt isolated and had no one but her daughter to talk to. At regular home visits we gave Charlotte the opportunity to speak in confidence, listening with impartiality and without judgement. The regular contact gave her something to look forward to and the support helped her to gain confidence and self-esteem.
VSS’ Witness Service provided emotional support at court so that Charlotte had the confidence to give the best evidence she could during the trial. This included sitting with her while she gave evidence. During the protracted court process the Witness Service maintained regular contact with Charlotte to keep her informed of the progress of the proceedings. After the trial we continued to support her as she was re-traumatised by having to recount the attack and domestic abuse.
A few years on, VSS continues to support Charlotte who still has concerns about leaving the house and for her daughter’s safety. However, her self-esteem and confidence have greatly improved.
Without the referral from Police Scotland to VSS, Charlotte may not have found the support she needed to recover and move on from the domestic violence attack, which has been crucial to her recovery. She says:
“Victim Support Scotland has made such a difference to my life. You are always there for me and I don’t know what I would do without you – you are only a phone call away. You have also made me feel safe in my house, which I cannot thank you enough for. Thank you for all your support. I couldn’t get through this without you.”