“In the depths of my depression, I found my counseling appointments a reason to get up and out of my house and the unburdening of my soul cathartic. Just knowing that someone knows my story was healing in itself.”
Who Do We Provide Services to?
Victim Services support staff provide assistance to victims (women, children, youth and men), non-offending family members and witnesses (women, children, youth and men) who have been impacted by:
- Domestic Violence
- Criminal Harassment
- All types of abuse
- Sexual Assault
- Hate Crimes
What Services Do We Offer?
Many victims or witnesses of crime may feel confused, frightened or neglected by the criminal justice system. In response to their needs, victim support workers can offer:
- Workers provide a listening ear to clients and validate their feelings.
- Share information on common reactions following a traumatic event.
- Assist clients in identifying their support system.
- Provide on-going support, as required by the victim.
- Assist clients in identifying their needs (medical, housing, legal advice, counselling, etc.) and providing referral information regarding appropriate resources in the community.
- Provide written material on various support agencies in the community and how to access them.
- Provide police case updates – including information on the status of the investigation, charges, court dates, bail status and release conditions.
- Explain police and court procedures to help better understand the criminal justice system and their role within it.
- Court orientation – Provide a tour of the courthouse and a DVD simulation of a trial to assist victims/witnesses in preparing to give testimony in court. Also provide written material on the court process.
- Legal information – Information on protection orders – peace bonds, restraining orders, personal injunctions – and the process involved in obtaining an order.
- Court accompaniment – provide support and assistance to victims and witnesses required to testify in court.
- Transportation – to court, the hospital, or transition homes is offered in unique circumstances.
- Crime Victim Assistance Program(CVAP) – CVAP is a financial benefits program to assist victims, immediate family members, and witnesses in dealing with the effects of violent crime. We provide applications to clients as well as assistance in completing the forms.
- Victim Impact Statements – Under the Victims of Crime Act, victims and witnesses of crime have the right to provide court with a description of how the crime has impacted their life. The statements are used to assist the court during the sentencing process. Information, applications and assistance in completing the forms is available.
- Resource library – a lending library on topics related to victimization is available.
- Accompaniment – to Crown, police and some MCFD appointments.
- Liaison – provide liaison services between clients and above agencies.
- Advocacy for clients
- Assist people who do not wish to be involved with the Criminal Justice System.
- Safety Planning – for individuals impacted by abuse