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Victim services

Using restorative approaches to provide emotional wellbeing outcomes

Portrait of a middle-aged man looking away from the camera on a beach.

This Mental Health Awareness Week, Catch22 has been highlighting our approach to embedding emotional wellbeing across all our services, from childhood to adulthood. In our work with victims, we use restorative approaches to support victims and witnesses of crime to cope and recover, offering advice and access to specialist support as well as restorative justice.

Restorative justice brings both victims and offenders into communication, enabling everyone affected by a particular incident to play a part in repairing the harm and finding a positive way forward. A positive and restorative experience can positively impact the health and wellbeing of victims as well as reducing the fear of crime and re-victimisation.

Our victims’ services: Restore:London, Victim First and Nottinghamshire Victim CARE share their approach to supporting victims of crime and promoting positive emotional wellbeing in the communities they serve.

Chuck Daly, Restorative Justice Coordinator at Restore:London, said:

“The most important function of restorative practice is restoring and building relationships. Through our restorative justice work at Restore:London, we create a safe space for conversations to take place, which help those we support identify and express their emotions. This enables them to build better relationships and address the emotional and other consequences of harm caused by crime.

“These conversations can take place via a restorative phone call, one-to-one conversation with a trained restorative justice practitioner or in a formal, facilitated conference with both victim and offender present, all with the aim of enhancing emotional wellbeing and repairing harm.”

Paul Kiggell, Service Delivery Manager at Victim First said:

“In our service supporting victims and witnesses of crime across Leicestershire and Rutland, we take the innovative approach of having a mental health nurse on site for five mornings a week. This not only means service users can be referred to receive immediate mental health support where necessary but also allows for a seamless and joined up approach to victims’ support.

“We have also forged a working partnership with a local wellbeing service for people living with poor mental health, the Loughborough Wellbeing Cafe. We run a monthly surgery, giving immediate support and allowing for referrals into Victim First.”

Katherine Cant, Service Delivery Manager at Nottinghamshire Victim CARE, said:

“Nottinghamshire Victim CARE takes a proactive approach to supporting emotional wellbeing. We actively listen to the needs of victims and work with each service user as an individual to tailor a plan to their goals towards coping and recovering after a crime. Experiencing a crime undermines the emotional wellbeing of even the most resilient in our communities, and can often have an unexpected impact upon someone’s mental health. Knowing that you have someone that will be with you through the whole process, advocating for your voice to be heard, can provide some calm in the chaos.”