Victim Support – Domestic Abuse Volunteer
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Victim Support (VS) is the leading independent charity for people affected by crime in England and Wales. Our specialist teams provide individual, independent, emotional and practical help to enable children, young people and adults recover and move beyond the impact of crime.
Last year we offered support to just under one million victims of crime. We understand the impact that crime has on people’s lives and know what it takes to help them get their lives back on track. Our expertise and experience are the reason why 96% of victims we supported last year were satisfied with the support we gave them.
Our support services are free, confidential, tailored to individual needs and continue for as long as it takes. Because we understand the impact that crime has on people and their communities, we’re able to work with them to rebuild their lives after crime.
Details of the Volunteering Opportunity:
As Domestic Abuse Volunteer, you would be contacting people who have been victims of crime, either over the phone, at the victim’s home or another mutually agreed location.
We expect you to clearly explain the role of Victim Support and empower victims to overcome the emotional, psychological and practical effects of crime. Communicate in a way that is appropriate to the person being supported. Help people explore how their experience of crime has affected their lives and identify ways to enable them to recover from the experience.
You would be working with people to identify their individual needs and helping them to choose options they feel are right for them. You would also be identifying situations where we cannot directly meet the needs of the victim and working with the client and the manager to make appropriate referrals.
We encourage volunteers working with domestic abuse victims to be available for at least four hours a week whenever possible for ideally a minimum of one year. Working times are flexible as appointments with clients can be made during the day, in the evening (up to 19:00) or at weekends.
The role will involve travelling to a local office for regular one-to-ones with your manager and to visit clients. You may be asked to travel to support neighbouring teams’ domestic abuse work. Whilst every effort will be made to minimise travel, you will likely need to use public transport or, ideally, your own vehicle, especially in places where public transport services are limited. All reasonable out of pocket expenses will be reimbursed, including travel expenses, in line with Victim Support’s Expense Policy.
Other duties include:
- Liaising with staff to arrange practical help for victims (such as lock fitting)
- Promoting the rights of people you support and respecting diversity
- Giving information about other agencies and their procedures
- Giving information and help with applications for criminal injuries compensation
- Attending training, support sessions and volunteer meetings
- Keeping your manager informed of actions and progress on each case
- Ability to explore your own values and beliefs relating to victims of domestic abuse, your motivation for doing this work and the qualities you bring to the role
- Strong emotional support skills and ability to listen empathetically
- A non-judgemental, impartial and confidential approach to supporting others; able to work effectively within the boundaries of the role
- Ability to reflect on any difficulties this work may bring up for you personally and the impact of listening to clients’ stories, including exploring difficult and uncomfortable topics
- Ability to carry out effective and timely communication about casework with your manager, including case recording and the transfer of case records
- A commitment to ensuring victims have equal access to our services, and respect for the diversity of Victim Support’s staff, volunteers and clients
- Willing to work within all Victim Support’s values, procedures and policies
- Ability to identify and respond appropriately to factors which would initiate a response in line with Child or Adult Safeguarding policy
- Basic IT skills and willingness to access Victim Support web pages, internet and emails
- Reliable, open-minded, approachable and able to work as part of a team
- Full induction, one-to-one support for the role, and opportunities for excellent training and to develop new skills
- Rewarding sense of having made a positive difference to people’s lives
- Learn about the work of criminal justice agencies
- All volunteers have free access to a wide range of e-learning opportunities including Virtual Ashridge
- Progress by specialising in supporting victims of specific crimes (such as domestic abuse or hate crime or sexual violence, major incident response, bereavement by homicide, anti-social behavior, working with young people and those affected by gang violence)
- Payment of agreed expenses
- Hours volunteered will be recorded on your HEAR – which goes on your permanent university record
- All hours contribute towards your Brunel Volunteers Award, which leads to an invitation to the End of Year Volunteers Dinner