Opportunities with AFFECT

About

AFFECT (Action For Families Enduring Criminal Trauma) are a group of people who currently have, or have had, a family member in prison. Founded in 2001 we aim to help others like us by offering confidential and non-judgemental support, regardless of length of sentence or type of offence. We do not discriminate, and are supportive of those who choose to support their loved one and those who choose not to support their loved one.

When a crime is committed the family and friends of offenders are often forgotten. As victims of crime themselves, they are left to manage a situation which is out of their control, but which has a great impact on their lives. Bereavement is usually experienced when dealing with the loss of a loved one to prison and is often compounded as family may be ostracized by neighbours and friends. Some of the feelings, emotions, ill health and behaviors experienced by family members can include; depression, panic attacks, agoraphobia, grief, sadness, fear, guilt, shame, anger, self blame (for not being the perfect parent, sibling, partner or friend) and self loathing which hooks into their low self esteem and poor self worth. Many can go on to develop unhealthy and unhelpful “coping mechanisms”, but with appropriate support they are able to find their own, healthy coping strategies. Additionally, for many, financial pressures can be overwhelming. Trying to find extra money for travelling to often difficult to reach prisons can be hard but more so when, for some, it comes at a time when their main family earner is the one being visited in that prison.

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