Young victims

Extra help from the start

If you're under 18, there are lots of ways you'll get help after a crime. And that goes for your parent or guardian too, as long as it helps you.

You don't have to report the crime to the police to get the support you need. Enter your postcode in the box at the top of this website to find help nearby.

What happens if you report a crime

When you talk to the police you can have someone with you. They'll just need to be over 18.

If you've seen the crime, you might be asked to describe what happened in a witness statement. This can be recorded on video, so you don't have to repeat it in court.

The investigating police officer will let you know in one working day what's happening with the suspect - for example, if they're being allowed home before going to court.

This officer will also pass your details on to a local support service that can help you recover from the crime and sort out any practical things for you.

If your case goes to court

Sussex Police Criminal Justice Unit will pass your details to a Witness Service, who are based in the court and will be in touch with you before the trial date.

They can answer your questions about what will happen throughout the court process and will support you until your case is concluded.   For adults, your details will be passed to Citizens Advice Witness Service. For children and young people, if the trial is going to a Magistrates court your details will be passed to Citizens Advice Witness Service, if it is going to a Crown Court your details will be passed to Sussex Young Witness Service. After the trial, if you need further onward support you are able to access this from Victim Support.

After the trial

You might be able to join the Victim Contact Scheme. If you do, you'll be kept up to date with what's happening with the offender after they go to prison. 

You can also give your thoughts on any rules they must follow when they come out of prison - for example, staying away from where you live.

Your parent or guardian might be given this information. They can then decide what details to share with you.