After Homicide: Practical and Political Responses to Bereavement

By Paul E. Rock | Go to book overview

6
Victim Support and Parents of Murdered Children

Introduction

I have already introduced Victim Support briefly in Chapter 3 and at length in an earlier book which traced its origins and early history, Helping Victims of Crime. Victim Support had been conceived by NACRO in the early 1970s, acquired flesh in a pioneering support scheme in Bristol in 1974, expanded to become consolidated into a national association in 1979, and achieved permanence and scale through significant funding acquired from the Home Office in 1986.1 By the late 1980s, Victim Support had become the prime voluntary organization serving victims in England and Wales. After much patient and difficult diplomacy in the corridors of the criminal justice system, it had secured the trust of the system's powers, the probation and police services, the judiciary and magistracy, and the Crown Prosecution Service. Above all, and most importantly, it had earned the trust of policy officials and politicians working in the Home Office which funded it.

Victim Support had become the authoritative mouthpiece of the victim and an appreciable 'Service Delivery' organization, itself a new, albeit minor power in the criminal justice system, and it was taken by the mass media, politicians, and officials to be established, sound, informed, and reasonably non-partisan. Its reports are published with a very wide circulation and are supported by professional press campaigns. Duncan Campbell of The Guardian reflected: 'I think for a long time Victim Support was the only [organization] that any one had ever heard of and was the one

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1
Significant Government funding had started in 1986, when it was determined by the Home Office that Victim Support would receive £9,000,000 over the three years 1987-90. Thereafter, annual funding increased. In 1991/2 it amounted to £5,700,000 and in 1992/3 to £7,300,000.

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After Homicide: Practical and Political Responses to Bereavement
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • General Editors' Introduction vii
  • Preface ix
  • Acknowledgements xxvii
  • Contents xxix
  • Figures xxxi
  • Tables xxxii
  • Abbreviations xxxiii
  • Dramatis Personae xxxv
  • 1 - Homicide in England and Wales 1
  • 2 - Bereavement after Homicide 28
  • 3 - Bereavement as a Career 57
  • 4 - The Moral Economy of the Homicide Survivor 91
  • 5 - Beginnings: From The Compassionate Friends to Parents of Murdered Children 136
  • 6 - Victim Support and Parents of Murdered Children 168
  • 7 - The Campaigning Survivors: Justice for Victims, Activism, and the Mass Media 206
  • 8 - The Politics of Justice for Victims 241
  • 9 - The Evolution of SAMM 278
  • 10 - Conclusion 321
  • Index 334
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