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Bourke Street tragedy – Get support

If you were injured during the Bourke Street tragedy or you witnessed it, the Victorian Government’s Victims of Crime Helpline is the gateway to a range of services available to help you.

The Victims of Crime Helpline is a free service that gives information and advice to anyone affected by this tragedy. We can also connect you with free services in your local area if you need more support.

Family members of those that were injured can also call us for support.

Even if you’re not sure of what you need or what’s available, please contact us to find out how we can help.

The Victims of Crime Helpline

Open: 8am-11pm, 7 days a week

Call: 1800 819 817

Text: 0427 767 891

Email: vsa@justice.vic.gov.au

The Victims Assistance Program

The Helpline can also connect you  to the Victims Assistance Program (VAP) for help with:

  • managing your day to day needs
  • communicating with police and making a statement
  • organising counselling, transport and medical services
  • getting ready for court
  • preparing a Victim Impact Statement
  • applying for financial assistance and entitlements from TAC, WorkSafe, Victims of Crime Assistance Tribunal and the Victorian Government’s Bourke Street Fund.

Help navigating the criminal justice process

The VAP can help you get:

  • updates from police during the investigation
  • dates and times of court hearings
  • support for going to court.

Help to prepare a Victim Impact Statement

In a Victim Impact Statement, people can explain to the court how the crime has affected them physically, emotionally, socially and financially. This statement is considered by the judge or magistrate when determining the offender’s sentence.

Referral to other specialist services

The VAP can refer people to specialist services including:

  • legal
  • medical
  • children and youth
  • health
  • housing.
Supporting children and young people

Let your child’s child care worker, teacher or principal know if you or your child has been affected by this tragedy.

Incidents like this tragedy are seemingly random, unexpected and challenge our sense of safety and predictability. When these incidents occur, our core sense of safety can be shaken. Even children and young adults share this sense of unease after an incident as public as this.

Responses in infants, children and young people

Your child may not be saying they are worried, but you might notice some changes in their behaviour.

They may find it harder to:

  • separate from you to go to child care, kindergarten or school
  • sleep alone, fall asleep or stay asleep
  • concentrate and settle to an activity or task.

We know that there are many young people who were in the city that day and heard and saw the shocking events, or who have seen coverage in the media or even know of someone who was affected, leaving them feeling unsafe. If you yourself have been affected by the incident, your child is likely to feel less safe and be aware of your distress.

Partnering with your child’s school

Child care, kindergartens, and schools are an important part of the life of children. 

Like you, child care workers, teachers and principals might be noticing subtle changes in the way your child is coping at school and in the playground, but may not know what has caused these changes.

If your child has been affected by the Bourke Street tragedy, then it’s important to let their child care worker, teacher or principal know. This will allow them to support your child and to understand the changes in your child’s behaviour.

The Department of Education and Training has psychologists and social work staff who are able to support your child at school and work with your child to help them return to feeling safe and confident.