Posted: Wednesday 12th February 2020
#BeHeard with Swan Advocacy
As part of #BeHeard, Swan Advocacy shared a two recent case study of victims with enhanced needs who contacted the service for help.
Hannah was referred to Swan Advocacy through another PCC commissioned service, Victim Support, as she was receiving death threats from her neighbour. Hannah’s enhanced need was mental health.
Hannah was in need of support as her neighbour’s ASB was affecting her life in a number of ways. Hannah reported that she felt unsafe and unable to enjoy living in her own home. So, when she was referred to VOCAS, the aim was to support her through a civil court case (housing) where Hannah was due to be a witness.
Pedro, one of our Victim Advocates, was assigned to the case and he arranged to meet with Hannah in order to support her with the civil court process. Pedro provided information regarding what Hannah could expect from the court and the special measures that would be put in place. He continued to support Hannah and attended the court alongside a PCSO. To ensure that special measures were put in place, Pedro visited the court earlier than needed. As a result of the court procedures, the perpetrator was evicted.
Unfortunately, there was a slight delay from the court outcome and the perpetrator was not evicted immediately. However, Pedro continued to support Hannah and ensured she liaised with the housing association about any further incidents that occurred until the perpetrator was evicted.
Since we supported Hannah, she has provided extremely positive feedback and said the service provided has been brilliant from start to finish. She found it particularly useful to have someone alongside her in court. Hannah was very pleased with the outcome and reports that after two years of abuse, she is now able to get her life back. She has also reported that she has seen an improvement in her mental health, is now able to engage with others and she is feels she can now self-advocate.
Pete was referred to VOCAS from Lighthouse following a number of incidents where a group of local youths victimised and harassed him near his home.
Following threatening language and ASB, Pete was pushed to the ground by members of the group. Other incidents experienced by Pete included being shouted and pushed while walking on his road. Although Pete had reported these incidents to the police, he did not feel the police dealt with the incidents appropriately.
The ongoing ASB from the local group were making the client feel very stressed, resulting in him not being confident enough to go outside. Pete’s increasing stress levels also impacted his ability to clearly communicate with his housing association.
We allocated Pete’s case to Victim Advocate Sergio. Sergio met with Pete in order to understand the situation and it became clear that the ongoing ASB and issues with housing were increasing Pete’s anxiety and making it difficult for him to see a way forward. As part of his support, we offered to liaise with the police and help him communicate with his housing association.
Pete had mentioned that other individuals and businesses were being targeted by the same group so we encouraged him to discuss the matter at a local neighbourhood group. He initially found attending challenging but after the first meeting, he felt able to express his concerns. Pete also felt he could discuss matters with the police present and felt reassured they were tackling the issue. Positively, after attending a number of meetings, Pete reported that the number of ASB incidents decreased.
Sergio also supported Pete with his accommodation issue and helped him to re-build a positive relationship with his housing association. Most importantly, Pete feels like he can now self-advocate. With the support he has received, Pete is communicating with the police and feels they are listening to him. He reports he has learned a lot of skills by using our support and is now able to go out without being frightened.
How you can access VOCAS
If you have been a victim of crime or ASB and have enhanced needs, please contact Swan Advocacy. The service also takes referrals from friends, family members and professionals. Contact Swan Advocacy via phone on 03333 44 7928 or email firstname.lastname@example.org