Victims Of Crime Assistance League [ACT] Inc.

Community Support for Victims in ACT & Region - ABN: 41473082653

Why Seek Support?

 'No Relief' ©Loulousam

A victim of crime may have difficulties with some or all of the following:

  • thinking processes
  • decision making
  • memory
  • orientation
  • sleep
  • recurrent disturbing dreams


Who is a Victim?  A  victim of crime is a person who has suffered harm because of a criminal act. That harm can be physical injury, emotional trauma, financial loss or disrupted lives. There are two categories of victims in the ACT legislation, however, VOCAL also recognises a third category:

1. Primary Victims - Being the person who is hurt by a crime
2. Secondary Victim - A close relative or a witness of a crime
3. Tertiary Victims - The family and friends of the offender who are suffering losses, grief and trauma because of the crime.
This includes Policemen injured on the job, nurses and workers in the field through vicarious traumatisation.        

 You might have a person in your home, a friend, or a work colleague who has at one time in their life, experienced being traumatised by the socially unacceptable behaviour of another person. The crime may never have been reported to the police. Being a victim of crime has serious effects on a person. The damage can sometimes take years before it is apparent to the victim. Powerful emotions will continue to seek an outlet, just like flood-waters, emotions in the form of - shame, guilt, anger, fear, and frustration will find an outlet through the following:

  • your physical health
  • your behaviour, communication skills & relationships
  • your emotional health
  • your work and/or studies

Your physical health - This can change for each person, ranging from headaches, blood pressure, palpitations, impotence, eating disorders, rashes, asthma attacks, and many other symptoms. Please see your doctor, and ask a counsellor, if you are experiencing new and puzzling recurrent symptoms or relapse in other health problems which should have cleared up.
Your behaviour - A person who has been a victim or a witness of a crime may experience (or display) a change in behaviour which is not helpful, and causes concerns to the victim or the significant others in their life.

Emotional - The victim often experiences a mixture of feelings which can cause anguish and confusion to others around, as well as to the victim. Feeling inexplicably agitated or scared in some situations which do not appear to be dangerous to others is one example.
Coping - Most people find good ways of coping, especially if they have supportive friends and family. However, not all coping strategies are good for the long term, i.e. drinking alcohol, taking sleeping tablets and other prescribed drugs, yelling at others, withdrawing from friends, staying at home, checking if doors and windows are locked every half hour, chain smoking, dressing in inappropriate clothes for the weather, or settling for less because of damaged self esteem, or fear of upsetting others.
Phone: 02)6295 9600 -- A 24/hr phone service
 Contact Us page also has an avenue to reach us.

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