News

New film urges victims to seek support after losing loved one to homicide

Merseyside / January 25

Following the release of new figures showing an increase in homicides across England and Wales, a powerful new film has been released to encourage those who have tragically lost a loved one in Merseyside to reach out for support.

Produced by Merseyside’s Police Commissioner, the short video aims to promote the help and care which is offered by independent charity Families Fighting for Justice to anyone in Merseyside who has suffered a loss through murder, manslaughter or culpable road death.

The charity has been commissioned by the Commissioner, Jane Kennedy, as part of her Victim Care Merseyside service to deliver The Hub, a one-stop shop offering guidance, care and peer support for anyone who has been bereaved by homicide. The drop-in centre, based at 6 Anson Street in Liverpool, is the first of its kind in the country and has been running since July 2016.

The release of the four-minute film follows the publication of official figures by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) which confirms the number of homicides increased by 14% in the year to September 2018, from 649 in 2017 to 739 last year.

It features one woman’s emotional account of losing her brother after he was stabbed to death at a party.

Mother-of-two Lynsey, of Netherton said: “I didn’t think I could get through it, I thought everyday was dark and I had no one to talk to. I felt alone because I couldn’t really speak to my mum and dad about it, so having someone who knew about the type of thing I was going through and being able to pick the phone up… it was a nightmare and they helped me to get back on my feet.”

She added: “It has helped me to move back on. It has helped me to deal with losing my brother…It has helped me to be able to cope with daily tasks, which is why my mum was struggling, and now she is in a better place and I’ve got myself back on my feet and so it’s better for all of us.”

Lynsey was supported through The Hub by Jean Taylor, who founded Families Fighting for Justice after losing a sister in 1998, a son in 2000 and a daughter in 2004, all at the hands of others. Jean said: “We’ve become like a family because we share the same pain. We understand one another, we help one another, we listen and talk to one another.

“Anybody out there, please, please do not suffer in silence. Please do not think that there is no one out there for you. Please do not think you are isolated on your own and do not think for one minute that there is no one that can understand your pain.

“Come along to the Hub, 6 Anson Street, off London Road, ring that doorbell and we will understand your pain.”

‘The Hub’ acts as a gateway for any individual or family who has suffered a loss through homicide to access information and support on a whole range of services including trauma counselling, guidance on the court process and judicial system, support with financial or domestic problems and drug and alcohol addiction. It will also provide increased support for children or young people who have lost someone and may be forgotten at a time when adults are struggling to cope.

Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Jane Kennedy said “The anguish and trauma caused to families who lose a loved one through murder and manslaughter stands alone. It cannot be compared to any other crime and for many bereaved families the immediate aftermath of a death is only the beginning of a long and dark road.

“Sadly, the crime statistics released yesterday show that even more families are suffering that most devastating of losses. While we can never truly make things right for those bereaved and vulnerable families, it is vital that they receive the highest standard of care and support to help them cope and move forward with their lives as best as they can.

“I am proud to be working with Families Fighting for Justice to deliver The Hub and ensure individuals and families who are suffering get access to all the information, guidance and support they need from people who truly understand their pain and the grieving process and know how to help them rebuild their lives. I hope this short film will encourage more people who are suffering to come forward and seek support. Families Fighting for Justice are a fantastic organisation and they are here to help.”

Find out more about The Hub here.

Anyone affected by crime should visit www.VictimCareMerseyside.org for help and advice and to find organisations that can offer support.