Victim support services
If you are a victim of crime, you can ask for a referral to victim support services from:
- Police Scotland
- Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service
- Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service
- Scottish Prison Service
- Parole Board for Scotland
You are able to request help at any stage in your journey through the criminal justice system. If you prefer, you may contact victim support services directly, without a referral.
Victim Support Scotland
Victim Support Scotland (VSS) is one of Police Scotland’s key partners. We refer victims and witnesses of crime to VSS, so they can access vital support services. VSS is a national independent charity and is not part of Police Scotland or the Scottish Courts.
VSS supports over 37,000 people every year and can help anyone following a crime, no matter what it is or when it happened. The service is free and confidential and designed to assist people who have been directly or indirectly affected by crime, helping them to see life beyond what they have experienced.
They will support you to give evidence in court and can refer you to other support services.
You can contact VSS directly without a referral, via their free helpline on 0800 160 1985 or the Victim Support Scotland website.
Scottish Women’s Aid
Scottish Women’s Aid network provides support to women, children and young people with experience of domestic abuse.
The network consists of 36 independent local Women’s Aid charities who provide high quality specialist services and access to refuges, and are committed to a shared set of principles.
Rape Crisis Scotland
Rape Crisis Scotland provides a national rape crisis helpline and email support for anyone affected by sexual violence, no matter when or how it happened.
The National Helpline is normally open from 6pm to midnight, 7 days a week, and offers free and confidential support and information.
The helpline can also put you in touch with local rape crisis centres or other services for ongoing support. The helpline can arrange for language interpreters if your first language is not English.
Contact their helpline on 08088 01 03 02 or email.
Virtual Tour of Scottish Courts
You can access a virtual tour of Scottish courts on the Victim Support website. These virtual tours of Scottish courts are designed to allow victims (and witnesses) to undertake virtual courtroom tours. Seeing the court room before a trial can help to reduce victims’ feelings of anxiety and stress about giving evidence and on this page site visitors can find interactive tours of all the courthouses across Scotland. The virtual tours are intended to inform visitors about what the courts look like and what victims/witnesses can expect when they attend.
- Victim and Witnesses
- Victim Support Scotland
- Standards of Services for Victims and Witnesses
- Access to Information
- How can we provide the best support to people affected by crime?
- MyGov.scot, Victims Code for Scotland
- MyGov.scot, Further advice for Victims and Witnesses