The justice system can be complicated and unfamiliar but knowing what to expect can help. We can help you understand and engage with the justice system, answer any questions you have, and be there for you if you want someone to listen.
We can support you with:
You can call us or visit our How we can help page to find out more about who we are, how we can help you and how to access our support.
If you or others have been injured, see a doctor, go to a hospital emergency department or call an ambulance on 111 regardless of whether you decide to report the incident or not.
A professional medical assessment can help your recovery and ensure physical safety.
Depending on the incident, consider having the doctor prepare a medical report that can be shared with police, if you are comfortable doing that.
For many, a ceremonial blessing of the site where a person has died is an essential part of processing the loss. It acknowledges of the spiritual impact of the tragedy and protects and guides the spirit of the deceased. It respects and honours the dignity of the deceased person, their family, whānau, and community.
For Māori, it can include lifting of the tapu on the site and karakia. Other cultural and faith groups have their own unique blessing ceremonies. Some family or whānau members may choose to visit the scene and be part of a blessing ceremony and others may not. They may prefer to hold a private blessing or open it to whomever would like to come, including from the community.
If you are an immediate family or whānau member wishing to organise a blessing for the site, you could contact your kaumātua, local marae, church or faith centre, the police officer who has been working with you, a Police Iwi Liaison Officer, or speak to a Support Worker.
If you don't personally know the family or whānau but witnessed or discovered the incident, you can speak to a Support Worker if you'd like to attend a blessing, provided it is open to the public and the family or whānau are comfortable with that.
Manaaki Tāngata | Victim Support
Call us 24/7 on 0800 842 846 to be connected to a Support Worker for assistance.
Support through the criminal justice system
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Support is here for you when things get tough. You don't have to face it alone. Reach out to these confidential and non-judgmental services to discuss your situation and get the help you need.
Grief and trauma are complex and challenging experiences that can affect everyone differently after experiencing a crime or traumatic event. Coping is the process of adapting to these experiences and finding ways to manage the difficult emotions and challenges that come with them.
Grief can come and go at any time, and it can be very difficult to deal with. But over time, most people find that their grief becomes less intense and more manageable.
The time it takes to feel safe again after a traumatic experience varies based on the severity of the trauma, with individuals who have endured ongoing abuse possibly requiring more time to heal and regain a sense of safety, with other people starting to recover in a few weeks.
Remember, you are not alone. Many people have these experiences and there is support available to help you feel safe again and get back on your feet.
Grief is a normal reaction to loss, featuring a range of responses that stem from sadness. Loss can be experienced when someone dies but it can also be experienced in response to traumatic events and crime, such as losing possessions in a burglary or fire, losing the use of a limb in an accident, or losing a sense of trust after a crime.
Grief is not just an emotional reaction – it can affect you physically, mentally, socially and spiritually. Common reactions include sadness, shock, anger, guilt, tiredness, change in appetite and/or sleep, body aches, difficulty concentrating, and asking “why?”. Grief reactions come and go, often quite unexpectedly, but generally fade over time.
If you are concerned by how you’re feeling or feel that your grief has not faded, it’s important that you talk to a GP, counsellor or therapist.
Trauma is a normal reaction to an abnormal event, featuring a range of responses that stem from fear and anxiety. It’s normal to experience trauma symptoms after experiencing or witnessing serious crime and events such as accidents, disasters and sudden death.
You may experience shock, anxiety (e.g. feeling jumpy and on edge), fear, helplessness, feeling numb or detached from your body, flashbacks or nightmares, and wanting to avoid any reminders of what happened.
It’s normal for these symptoms to pass within four weeks but they can last longer.
If you are experiencing symptoms that last longer than four weeks or if you are concerned by how you’re feeling, it’s important that you talk to a GP, counsellor or therapist.
It can be hard to make sense of someone deliberately harming another person or a shocking, unexpected event occurring. It can feel like your whole world has been violated and turned upside down.
Everyone responds differently to a crime or traumatic event, but there are some common early reactions.
It’s normal to feel unsafe, fear, anxious and on edge, shock, disbelief, denial, confusion, self-blame or blaming others, guilt, shame, whakamā, anger, sadness, powerlessness and numbness.
You may feel shaky, have a tight chest, racing heart and breathlessness. This may be followed by changes in sleep and appetite, body aches, stomach upset and nausea. Existing health conditions may get worse because of the stress.
You may find yourself preoccupied and have difficulty concentrating. There may be disturbing nightmares or flashbacks, as if it were happening again. You may try to avoid reminders of what happened.
You might find you become more irritable than usual and want to be with other people more, or to be on your own more. You may also struggle to trust others. These situations can seem very unjust and unfair.
Grief is a normal process, but there can be difficult moments. Trauma can be more complex depending on if it has resulted from a single incident or repeated incidents. Grief doesn't happen in a straight line. It's okay to have some setbacks and you may have good days and bad days.
Knowing the sorts of reactions to expect can be helpful, as well as some strategies to help you manage.
Consider seeking professional help and support if:
Being resilient does not mean that you, and your family or whānau won’t experience stress, trauma, or grief. It means drawing on the inner strengths, skills, attitudes, and cultural connections that can help you cope and be able to move forward. Most people find they are more resilient than they expect.
There are many things you can do to build your resilience.
Connect with others
Believe in yourself
Use your natural strengths
Learn helpful life skills
Be as flexible as you can
Use your sense of humour
Look after yourself