Specialist Victim Care Coordinator (Migrant Victims of Exploitation)
Specialist Victim Care Coordinator – Migrant Victims of Exploitation
A Specialist Victim Care Coordinator (Migrant Victims of Exploitation) provides end-to-end support to victims and witnesses of crime from the initial report to police or self-referral through to the conclusion of any criminal justice proceedings, or beyond if required. Victim Care Coordinators will become the single point of contact for a victim, advocating on their behalf and identifying and providing appropriate support to meet their emotional and practical needs to help them cope and recover from their experiences.
We talk to Leila* who works in the Victim and Witness Hub as a specialist Victim Care Coordinator.
How long have you been in the role?
What was your (professional/voluntary) background before taking on this job?
Banking sector (HSBC) helping customers/people with a different type of journey
What sort of support do you offer?
I provide specialist care and support to migrant victims of exploitation which can include arranging safe accommodation, ensuring they have food and other basic needs, helping them to understand the justice process, listening and supporting them throughout their journey, liaising between different agencies and services on their behalf, helping them to access to legal advice and medical treatment, attending meetings with the police and supporting the victim’s journey in court. I also carry out outreach work in the community to identify potential victims and attend proactive policing operations to provide immediate care and support to migrant victims of exploitation.
Can you think of a victim/witness that you recently supported and describe what you think helped them recover/report/seek support?
A victim we continue to support had been subjected to violence and intimidation by relatives who stole thousands from her in wages over a period of four years – even forcing her to give up a new-born child. With the help and support of local partner agencies and commissioned services, we provided immediate help and support for basic things we take for granted such as a safe place to live, access to medical care, food and toiletries. I kept in contact with the officer in charge of her case and created a trusted bridge between the police and the victim, making sure she continued to feel confident in supporting the investigation. I also supported her throughout the trial. The perpetrators were convicted of multiple charges including slavery and child abduction and are serving lengthy sentences. The victim now has her own family and is much more confident than when I first met her. Some victims need more support than others but when you see the result, that’s where it’s very rewarding to look back and think wow, we helped to get her there.
*Names have been changed to maintain anonymity.