Victim Support launches website for young crime victims

Victim-SupportIn response to widespread concern that children and young people in England and Wales are confused and intimidated by the criminal justice system, the charity Victim Support has released the first website designed specifically to tackle these issues.

Research for the charity shows that some under 18s may not realise they have been the victim of a crime, do not want to go to the police [1] and are scared to testify in court [2]. Worryingly, many even see violent crime, such as sexual abuse, mugging and rape, as a normal part of growing up.

The new website – – looks at different types of crime, how children and young people can feel after becoming a crime victim and what they can do if they want to get some support – with or without going to the police.

Children say their fears about testifying in court are increased by not knowing what to expect [3]. Information about going to court is based on Victim Support’s expertise gained from running the country’s only specialist service supporting young witnesses [4] as well as from supporting crime victims of all ages.

The You&Co website includes several interactive courtrooms. ‘Hotspots’ in each room answer questions a potential witness may have, such as what you can take with you to court, where you would stand in the courtroom and who does what.

It is also possible to change how the court would look if a young person chose to testify from behind a screen, via live link away from the courtroom or if they needed an interpreter or intermediary to support them. These are known as ‘special measures’.

The website was developed ‘mobile first’ as children and young people said they were most likely to view a website from a smart phone. This has the advantage of being more discrete than viewing a webpage on a larger tablet or computer screen.

Amanda Naylor, senior manager of Children and Young People services at Victim Support, said, “More under 18s are the victim of crime than any other age group, yet our research shows they don’t always realise they are crime victims and don’t know where to go to get help if they don’t want to go to the police.

“This is why it’s so important that there is somewhere, like this website, setting it out in a way that makes sense to children and young people. We planned and developed this website in collaboration with a panel of under 18s as we wanted to make sure it would work for them.

“We rely on donations to continue the face-to-face support our experts offer to young crime victims, including victims of child sexual exploitation.”


[1] “Suffering in silence: Children and unreported crime” 2014. Available at:{b782e6485bad54f4d4eef610261c499b39e6ceae36370d8b5dbb547d38ca2d22}E2{b782e6485bad54f4d4eef610261c499b39e6ceae36370d8b5dbb547d38ca2d22}80{b782e6485bad54f4d4eef610261c499b39e6ceae36370d8b5dbb547d38ca2d22}98essential{b782e6485bad54f4d4eef610261c499b39e6ceae36370d8b5dbb547d38ca2d22}E2{b782e6485bad54f4d4eef610261c499b39e6ceae36370d8b5dbb547d38ca2d22}80{b782e6485bad54f4d4eef610261c499b39e6ceae36370d8b5dbb547d38ca2d22}99-protecting-children-violent-crimes-new-report

[2] “Measuring up? Evaluating implementation of Government commitments to young witnesses in criminal proceedings” 2009. Available at:

[3] “Measuring up? Evaluating implementation of Government commitments to young witnesses in criminal proceedings” 2009. Available at:

[4] Young Witness Services run by Victim Support are based in Essex & Hertfordshire, Greater Manchester, Kent, Nottinghamshire, Surrey, Sussex, South Yorkshire, and Thames Valley. All other young witnesses are supported by the charity’s Witness Service in all courts in England and Wales.