Manchester mum praises Victim Support on charity’s birthday for helping her escape abuse and life of terror

By Tim Hyde

A Manchester mum who suffered racial abuse and was terrified that her abusive partner would snatch her children is joining thousands across the country in thanking Victim Support as the charity celebrates its 40th birthday.

Victim Support, which started in Bristol, has since expanded to have ten branches across Greater Manchester that have helped more than 31,000 victims and 11,000 witnesses over the last year alone.

For four decades the charity has assisted millions including a Manchester mother who was suffering from constant racial harassment.

The mum couldn’t go anywhere without receiving verbal attacks from a neighbouring family who also targeted her young children.

This is when Victim Support got involved and put a stop to the constant abuse by informing the landlord about the tenants’ behaviour.

With the help of a Victim Support volunteer a meeting was arranged where both parties accepted mediation and the problem was resolved.

However, while the volunteer was offering support she became aware that the lady had been the victim of domestic violence by her ex-partner.

The lady had relocated and the violent partner was unaware of her whereabouts however, the children were still in the same school and she was worried that he would turn up and snatch them.

The volunteer immediately helped the lady find a way to ensure the children would come to no harm and within the week they were moved to a new school.

The mother was so thankful for the volunteers help and guidance that she told Victim Support that her life had been totally transformed.

“I wouldn’t be in a good and safe place with my children without the help of the Victim Support volunteer.

“Thank you so much.”

After starting out as community project in 1974, the independent charity has gone on to be one of the nation’s biggest and most effective charities that deal with victims of crime.

To commemorate the charity’s birthday a series of celebratory events will be taking place over the coming months to acknowledge the contribution of both volunteers and staff.

Lesley Daniels, a spokesman for Victim Support, said: “To mark our 40th Birthday all of the Manchester branches will be celebrating locally.

“But we are planning an event to celebrate all the help we get from volunteers, as we wouldn’t be here today without them.”

More than 25million people affected by crime have been helped by Victim Support and they now work with other parts of the justice system.

“We have been a successful charity because when we were founded there was no effective service for victims,” added Miss Daniels.

“We recruit a lot of our volunteers from the victims we have helped, because after they have received support they don’t want anyone to go through what they did without help.

“A huge factor in our success is down to the volunteers.  Victims benefit the most from direct support from people and are often so grateful, they feel the need to give something back.”

As a result of this, they now speak to over 1.1million victims of crime every year as well as 268,000 witnesses at court.

Image courtesy of Ozan Ozan, with thanks

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