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Guest blog: AVoice exists for people like Harriet

Posted: Thursday 13th October 2016
Blog: 2016

Harriet is a young woman of Bangladeshi descent who lives alone in a housing association property in the Phillips Causeway area of Bristol.  Over the last year she has been the victim of anti-social behaviour and racially motivated criminal damage and assault from her next door neighbour. Harriet didn’t feel strong enough to report the ASB and crimes; she did not have a support network after being estranged from her family and friends.

Recently, while waiting for a bus outside her property, Harriet was physically assaulted by her next door neighbour.  Since then she has been too scared to leave her property.

AVoice exists for people like Harriet.  We have found that victims of crime and anti-social behaviour can feel lost in the criminal justice system and need support and guidance.    AVoice offers support and advocacy for victims, especially vulnerable victims.  We can support you, speak on your behalf, provide reassurance and help keep you fully informed.   

Advocating on Harriet’s behalf, we managed to support her through the criminal justice process i.e. reporting through the police and attending the Magistrates’ Court.  This resulted in the conviction of the perpetrator.  We were also able to support her in an emergency  move away from her area. 

Please remember that if you are a victim of crime you have a voice; you are not alone.  There is support, advice, information and help available for you.  At AVoice we are well aware that the criminal justice system can be confusing. We will walk with you. We are on your side and can speak for you or help you speak up. AVoice is independent, not part of the government or courts.  We work only for you.

People we have worked with, like Harriet, say that the process has been more positive with our help.

If you need help, or know someone who does, please contact us on 0800 254 0777 or at avoice@thecareforum.org.uk. AVoice can accept referrals from all sources: self- referral, professionals, friends or family.  For more information go to www.thecareforum.org/pageavoice .

To find out  about volunteering with AVoice, please contact Steffie Denton at steffiedenton@thecareforum.org.uk or on 0117 9589308.

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