The process of criminal justice for your loved one is likely to be complex and slow. It may be that your loved one does not want to involve the police or that deciding to report a crime is not immediate. For others, there is almost no choice and they are swept into the world of investigations and interviews with great speed and seemingly no priority for the feelings or understanding of those most deeply affected.

For parents and carers of children, the process can be very traumatising, especially if they are initially under suspicion. Children rarely disclose everything in one go – often offering information slowly, saving the ‘worst’ until they feel safe enough to reveal the most difficult details – and that can include the name of the perpetrator.

For adult victims of sexual crimes, there is often insight into the impact their allegations will have on family, friends and their own life. Media reports of the traumatising impact of reporting sexual crimes, the revictimisation through the court process, and the real fear that their lifestyle may be used in evidence against them, make reporting sexual crimes incredibly difficult.

People who are subject to violent crimes may find that the process of criminal justice rolls into action with seemingly little thought for their feelings. They may feel dehumanised by the process and the lack of control or decision-making can lead to the victim feeling that they are a very unimportant part of the process of gaining a conviction.

There is no statutory requirement for the CPS or the police to provide any support to 3rd party victims of crime, except in the case of murder.

She didn’t say who it was – but she DID say who it wasn’t. That meant that me, my son and my husband were ruled out, almost immediately. I think people should know that if a child is left in a family home, you can guarantee that they have been checked out by just about everyone you can imagine – police, social services, doctors – the lot. It would have been nice if neighbours and friends hadn’t assumed it was something we’d done – or not done.

Ruth, A Mum

The booklets below contain detailed information from the Crown Prosecution Service for victims

Something keeping you up at night?

You aren’t alone. You may find more information in our section: “The Tough Stuff” – things no-one talks about