“You don’t need to have suffered a crime or a traumatic event directly to be fearful of it – but you can still get help.”
That is the message from the head of a free service which offers practical and emotional support, not just to victims of crime but also anyone who has been negatively impacted by crime indirectly.
Notts Victim CARE is commissioned by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Nottinghamshire - and both are teaming up today to raise awareness of the service, at a time when thousands of people have been left devastated by recent killings in Nottingham city centre.
Katherine Fuentes Dominguez, Head of Service at Notts Victim CARE, said: “We are aware that traumatic experiences can affect people in different ways. When we are impacted by adverse events we can feel out of control and this feeling can show as anxiety. Some people will feel very anxious and possibly threatened and fearful, even if they haven’t suffered the crime directly.
“It is important to know that it is not unusual to feel anxious after a traumatic event, even if you have not directly witnessed it. We are here to listen to your concerns and provide a quiet place to listen to your experience without judgment and explore your feelings and experiences. We often reassure people that their reactions are ok.
“We can talk you through your reactions to stressful events, and give you practical tips, helping you to find control within your environment – be it by helping with anxiety-reducing breathing techniques, mindfulness exercises, or encouraging you to physically active in a way that is accessible to you.
“At Notts Victim CARE, we recognise from experience that most people will already have coping strategies that they used in the past, sometimes they just need to be reminded of these or just explained what these are.
“We explore these coping strategies and encourage strategies that are known to reduce stress levels and increase positivity, such as going for a walk, doing some light exercise or going to sleep and getting up at the same time each day.”
Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry also urged people to get in touch.
“The families and those directly affected by the incident are receiving specialist support from Nottinghamshire Police, but this incident has sent shockwaves through Nottingham, and there is a wider ripple effect to this that will be felt for a long time,” she said.
“At this really difficult time for Nottingham, people may need this service more than ever, so I would urge people to share it far and wide that we are here to help.
“Notts Victim CARE is a fantastic service which helps thousands of people throughout the year.
“Trauma affects us all differently, but the important thing to know is that whenever you need help, it is right here, from a free, professional, compassionate service that can help you on the road to recovery.”
There are people standing by to take calls now on 0800 304 7575 or nottsvictimcare.org.uk. The helpline is open Monday to Friday, from 8am to 8pm and Saturday from 9am until 5pm.
Posted on Monday 19th June 2023