Counselling Support for Victims of Crime


If you are a victim of crime, you may want to access counselling services and other psychological and emotional support as you deal with the trauma associated with being involved in a criminal offence. Find out more about the different types of support available for victims of crime.

What is a Victim of Crime?

The legal definition of a victim of crime is anyone who has suffered physical injury, emotional injury or financial loss because of a crime. Some of the common ways that a person is a victim of crime include:

  • Being involved in a violent attack
  • Being physically assaulted
  • Being robbed
  • Experiencing family or domestic violence
  • Experiencing sexual assault
  • Witnessing a crime

Having a family member killed or injured as a result of a violent attack or culpable driving can also make you a victim of crime.

Why do Victims of Crime Need Support?

Being a victim of crime is a confusing, scary and traumatic time in anyone’s life. Most people never expect to be a victim of crime, especially a serious or violent crime. When it does happen, it can leave a person feeling unsafe, vulnerable and concerned about their future.

Every victim of crime is different. Your individual situation will determine the kind of support that you might want or need following a crime. Sometimes you may not feel that you need anything in the direct aftermath, and then discover that you require more support later on.

Some of the responses and reactions often experienced by victims of crime include feelings of disbelief, anger, and fear. There is no right or wrong way to respond to trauma, and no set time frame for feeling “better” after the incident. Some people will be able to return to normal life quite quickly and without ongoing psychological therapy; other people will require assistance in the long term.

Feelings of shock and a sensation of numbness, or a feeling that this couldn’t really have happened to you, are common after a being involved in a crime. Victims often report disbelief and confusion following the incident, or sensations of helplessness.

Fear is another common response, especially when the incident was a violent attack or an assault. Even when the direct threat has passed, it can take some time to feel comfortable and confident in the world again. You may find certain places or situations make you experience that same feeling of fear.

Often, victims experience anger towards the person who committed the crime, or the circumstances that resulted in them becoming a victim of crime.

In addition to these emotional responses, victims of crime often report physical responses such as nausea, trouble sleeping, headaches, fatigue and jumpiness. These can all take a while to dissipate and can have a negative impact on your day-to-day life.

Whatever the case, it is helpful to know what kind of support and assistance is available to you.

How to Find Counselling Support, Information and Advice for Victims of Crime

If you are a victim of crime, it is important to source information from a place that you trust. The Victorian Government’s Victims of Crime Helpline is a good source of advice and support, and they can connect you with services that can provide counselling and other forms of assistance. This free service is available seven days a week by calling 1800 819 817, or texting 0427 767 891.

We have exclusive access to a counsellor and so if you are a victim of crime you don’t have to wait months to be seen by a counsellor and no referral is required. Counselling can take place via telehealth, so it doesn’t matter where you live either.

There are several telephone and online counselling services that may be helpful if you are a victim of crime.

24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention services. Call: 13 11 14. Website:

National sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service. Call: 1800 737 732. Website:

Women’s Information and Referral Exchange (WIRE)
Free support, referral and information for all Victorian women, nonbinary and gender-diverse people. Call: 1300 134 130. Website:

Mensline Australia
Telephone and online counselling service for men with family and relationship concerns. Call: 1300 789 978. Website:

Kids Helpline
24 hour phone and online counselling service for young people aged 5 to 25. Call: 1800 55 1800. Website:

Volunteer organisation which provides a free, confidential and anonymous telephone counselling, referral and information service for LGBTIQA+ people and their supporters. Call: 1800 184 527. Website:

Legal Advice and Support

The Victims of Crime Compensation team from RV Legal are experts at offering free legal support for people affected by a range of crimes. We assist victims of crime to access the support and financial compensation that they are entitled to, so that they can begin the process of healing and getting back to normal life.

Paying for Counselling Support

If you are concerned that you are unable to pay for psychological assistance following your experience, there is no need to worry. As a victim of crime, you are eligible to receive financial compensation which can help to cover the costs of counselling. It can also be used to cover other types of medical expenses.