Support services for victims
If you have been a victim of crime or abuse in Northern Ireland, there are organisations and groups that can give you free advice and support to help you deal with the impact of a crime.
Victims of crime
Once you have reported a crime to the police, they'll ask if you wish your contact details to be passed to Victim Support NI. If so, they will make contact with you to see if they can help you.
If you do not want your name passed on, you should tell the police officer dealing with your case.
Getting support and advice
If you want to contact Victim Support NI before you speak to the police, you can contact them directly:
- telephone: 028 9024 3133 (during office hours)
- telephoning the National Supportline 0845 30 30 900 (at any time)
- contacting your local Victim Support NI office
If you don't want to report the crime, Victim Support NI can help you cope with how the crime affects you.
When you contact them, a volunteer will give you information on what to expect, help you decide the type of support you need, and make sure you receive that help for as long as you need it. They can meet you at your local Victim Support NI office or somewhere suitable for you.
You may want to contact Victim Support NI if you:
- want to talk, in confidence, to someone who can help you
- need information or practical help
- want to make a claim for criminal injuries compensation
- are going to court, either as an observer or as a witness
The phone line is open:
- Monday to Friday from 9.00 am to 9.00 pm
- Saturday and Sunday from 9.00 am to 7.00 pm
- public holidays from 9.00 am to 5.00 pm
Victim Support NI provides these services free.
Victim Support NI also has information about other organisations offering help, such as counselling, and can give you contact details if you would find that helpful.
Criminal justice organisations
As a victim of crime you may find it helpful to speak to someone about your experience. There are different criminal justice organisations and general victim support services available.
- Compensation Services
- Criminal Injuries Compensation Appeals Panel for Northern Ireland
- Northern Ireland Courts and Tribunals Service (NICTS)
- Northern Ireland Prison Service
- NSPCC Young Witness Service
- Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland
- Police Service of Northern Ireland
- Probation Board for Northern Ireland
- Public Prosecution Service
- Victim information schemes
- Victim Information Unit
- Victim Support NI
- Victim and Witness Care Unit
- Youth Justice Agency
Domestic abuse and violence
If you are living in an abusive relationship, and are worried about your safety and the safety of your child, you can get help.
- Men's Advisory Project (MAP)
- Women’s Aid Federation NI
- 24 Hour Domestic and Sexual Violence Helpline
To read more about help and support for people experiencing domestic violence and abuse, go to:
Hate crime advocates are available to help improve services for victims of hate crime.
- Bi-lingual advocate for Belfast and Mid Ulster
- Bi-linqual advocate - County Antrim
- Bi-linqual advocate - Northwest
- Hate Crime Advocacy Co-ordinator
- Disability Advocate
- LGB&T (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) Advocate
To read more about hate crime, go to:
Sexual violence and abuse
If you, or someone you know, has been the victim of sexual violence or abuse you should seek help as soon as possible.
- Nexus NI
- Rowan Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC)
- 24-Hour Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse Helpline
- Domestic and sexual violence
- Help and support for victims of human trafficking
- Migrant Help
- Modern Slavery Helpline
- 24-Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse Helpline
- NSPCC Child trafficking advice centre
Victims and survivors
If you're a victim or survivor of the conflict in Northern Ireland, find out about services and support that could help you.
Other support organisations
- Barnardo’s Safe Choices
- Belfast Migrant Centre
- Disability Action
- Historical institutional abuse
- Rainbow Project
- Sure Start Service
Making a complaint about a service
If you are not satisfied with the service that you have received, speak to the person you have been dealing with at the organisation, if you feel comfortable doing so. Ask them for details of their complaints procedure.
If you're not satisfied with the response, you can contact an independent body and ask them to consider your complaint.
- Making a complaint against government or public bodies
- Complaints against the police
- Make a complaint to the prison service
- Making a complaint about a judge, magistrate or coroner