Victim Support | About us – Frequently asked questions
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About us – frequently asked questions

Do you just help people who have been victims of crime?

No.  We support people impacted by all manner of crises including supporting victims of suicide, accidental or sudden death, fire, traffic accident, and civil defence emergency.

How long has Victim Support been in existence?

The plight of victims began to be officially recognised in the early ’80s, but the New Zealand Council of Victim Support Groups wasn’t established until 1990.  By 1992 there were 64 groups.  Then in 1993 the National Office of the New Zealand Council of victim Support Groups was established and staff appointed (you can also see Victim Support history).

Where does your funding come from?

Our work is recognised as an essential service by the government and much of our funding comes under contract from the Crown.  Eighty seven per cent is from this source, including victim Assistance Scheme, funding, with the remaining 13 per cent raised from our community to keep our services free.

Demand for our service is growing and so support from our community (individuals, businesses, trusts and foundations) is becoming more crucial.

How many staff do you have?

Victim Support has a workforce of 131 paid staff based at National Office in Wellington, and 62 offices across New Zealand who manage and supervise some 645 volunteer Support Workers.

Our volunteer Support Workers deliver our front line services.

What do your staff do if you use volunteers to help victims?

Volunteer Support Workers are managed and supervised by paid staff coordinators, who provide debriefing, supervision, case management, coaching and regular training to the volunteer Support Workers.  They also work directly with victims.

Are you part of the police?

No, we are completely independent organisation.  While our offices are within police buildings they are completely separate.  It is essential that we are neutral and have no connection with the incident other than to assist the victims.

Why are you located with police?

We are grateful to be provided with office space and other amenities by the police, as part of the Crown’s support of our work.  It is also practical for us to be in close proximity as some eighty-seven per cent of Victim Support’s work is on referral from the police.  however, we are completely separate and independent.

How long do you support people for?

There is no time limit on helping people – some serious incidents may take a year or more to come to court and conclusion, and even then the victim may need on-going support.  People differ widely in their response to bad experiences (such as the Canterbury earthquakes).  It is the severity of the impact on the victim is what we respond to, not the severity of the incident.

Are people supported by the same person all the time?

We prefer to have one person looking after the needs of each individual we help.  However, it is not always possible.  No matter who is looking after people affected by serious crime or trauma we aim to help in the best possible way we can so victims are in control of restoring their lives.