My name is Paula and I work as a Victim Care Co-Ordinator in the Victims’ Hub in Cambridgeshire. I have been in the hub from the beginning and we have just celebrated our first birthday.
I have been passionate about supporting victims of crime for a long time. I previously worked in the 101 non-emergency service centre where I first realised the impact of crime, when talking to victims as their first point of contact. I realised I wanted to work more closely with victims helping them to cope and recover from the crime which is why I applied for the position in the hub.
The hub provides support to victims of domestic abuse who have been classed as standard or medium risk and we make contact with them within 24 hours of the incident being reported.
When we first make contact with victims they are very often at their lowest point and appreciate receiving a call from someone who cares and wants to help them to move on with their lives. Alternatively the victim may still be in a relationship with offender and need encouragement and support to empower them to take control of their lives. People can be hesitant in calling for help but I would strongly encourage them to make that call. They will be assigned a Victim Care Co-Ordinator who will support them emotionally and signpost them to relevant agencies. Victims who live in Cambridgeshire can call the hub and the crime does not have to have been reported to police in order for them to receive our support. They can talk to us in complete confidence and this gives them a source of support when they feel they cannot talk to family or friends.
The hub recently supported a female who had been the victim of domestic abuse for many years. It had taken her a long time to be able to talk openly and honestly about the abuse she had suffered. She felt relief at being able to release her true feelings. Through the support from the hub and other external agencies she realised she could have a life away from her husband. Slowly she regained her confidence and took back control of her life.
I feel very lucky to be able to play a pivotal role in helping victims in Cambridgeshire cope and recover from their experiences. All the Victim Care Co-Ordinators in the hub are as passionate and dedicated to their role as I am, which is why we are very proud of the service the hub provides.