Northern Shuswap Tribal Council

Aboriginal Victim Services

Welcome to –  Aboriginal; Community Based Victim Services

The traditional practices of this Victim Services are based on the learned ways of knowledge which have been passed down from our grandparents, extended families, and ancestors: to have respect for all people and all living things, to value confidentiality, to appreciate the strength and wisdom of our peoples’/clients’ ways of being, to listen with an open heart and be non-judgmental, to work and practice in an anti-oppressive manner, and to be inclusive at all times.

The Community-Based Victim Services Program will provide justice related services to assist Aboriginal victims (male, female, adults and children) of all types of crime. This includes victims of crime who may choose not to be involved with the Criminal Justice System.

The Society (NSTC) will be responsible for the establishment and administration of the Community-Based Victim Services Program.

Program Objectives

  • To lessen the impact of crime and trauma on victims and their families and to assist in their recovery;
  • To increase victim safety and to help reduce the risk of further victimization;
  • To increase the level of participation and sense of empowerment for victims throughout their participation in the criminal justice system; and
  • To increase the effectiveness of a victim while acting as a witness in court proceedings.

Service Area

This victim service program will provide services to clients in the policing jurisdiction served by the Williams Lake RCMP Detachment, regardless of whether or not they have chosen to report to the police.  In some cases, clients may request service from outside the service area and the victim service program may provide services.

Client Services

The victim service program will provide the following services:

CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM – INFORMATION AND SUPPORT

  • Provide information to victims about their rights under the Victim of Crime Act (VOCA)
  • Obtain, provide and/or arrange for victim s to receive case specific information which they may request under section 6 and 7 VOCA
  • Provide information about the criminal justice system process, roles of key parties
  • Assist victims to work collaboratively with justice system personnel (e.g. police and Crown counsel
  • Arrange, facilitate and/or accompany victims to meetings with criminal justice system personnel (e.g. police, Crown counsel, corrections staff)
  • Support and prepare victims for criminal court process, including:Provide victims with information regarding options for travel expenses to court and assist with facilitating these processes and arrangements
    • Review with victims whether they may require testimonial accommodations
    • Initiate conversation with Crown counsel regarding victims’ participation in the court process, including, if appropriate, exploration of testimonial accommodation
    • Prepare victims for possible emotional responses to court proceeding and /or testifying
    • Provide victim with court orientation by providing a courthouse tour, reviewing court room protocol, or providing public education materials (public education materials alone are generally not sufficient for court orientation unless they are the only option because of geography or workload)
  • Accompany victim to court and provide related emotional and practical assistance
  • Provide information about the assistance with Victim Impact Statements
  • Provide support to the victim upon conclusion of the case, ensuring victim is aware of and understands the outcome, and has access to necessary follow-up resources including registration for victim notification where appropriate

SAFETY PLANNING

  • Upon initial contact with victim, assess, identity and address victim’s immediate and emergency safety needs
  • Develop and continue to update safety plan with victim including coordination with community and criminal justice system partners where appropriate
  • Provide general safety and crime prevention information and referrals to community resources

PRACTICAL AND EMOTIONAL SUPPORT

  • Provide emotional support to assist victims to cope with the impacts of crime and trauma
  • Assist victim with the completion of forms (i.e. Crime Victim Assistance Program applications, Victim Impact Statement, victim notification registration
  • Assist victim with accessing transportation services including, but not limited to hospital, court, police, transition house &/or shelters
  • Assist victim with accessing shelter, financial assistance, and/or social services as required
  • Provide or facilitate other types of practical support and assistance as appropriate

INFORMATION AND REFERRAL

  • Provide referral information about Ministry of Justice supports including:
    • Victim Services
    • Victim Safety Unit
    • Crime Victim Assistance Program
    • Stopping the Violence Counselling, Children Who Witness Abuse Counselling, Outreach and Multicultural Outreach Services where appropriate
  • Provide referral information regarding:
    • Social services
    • Health services
    • Counselling services
    • Housing services
    • Mental health services
    • Community resources
    • Crime prevention
    • Financial benefits
    • Attorney General services, including family justice counsellors
    • Other resources as appropriate

REFERRALS BETWEEN VICTIM SERVICE PROGRAMS: In communities with both community-based and police-based victim services programs.

  • Police-based victim service program will refer victims identified as: victims of violence in relationships (adult, youth or child), victims of sexual assault, victims of criminal harassment, victims of child abuse/assault (both physical and sexual), adult survivors of childhood abuse (both physical and sexual), and child witnesses of family or sexual violence to the appropriate community-based victim service program.
  • Community-based victim service worker will refer victims that are identified other than victims of violence in relationships (adult, youth or child), victims of sexual assault, victims of criminal harassment, victims of child abuse/assault (both physical and sexual), and adult survivors of childhood abuse (both physical and sexual), and child witnesses of family or sexual violence to the police-based victim service program.
  • In exceptional cases, where the victim service worker determines that the procedure outlined in (i) or (ii) above is not appropriate, the rational must be documented in the file.
  • In situations, where the involvement of both police-based and community-based victim services programs is identified, the programs will coordinate an approach to services delivery and jointly develop victim-centred support plans.

COORDINATION AND PROTOCOL: In communities with both community-based and police-based victim services programs, Programs have develop and adheres to the local victim services program protocol which contain the following provisions:

  • Regular meetings with other local victim services programs;
  • Consistent referral procedures; and
  • Detailed procedures for handling disputes/grievances.

NETWORKING, PUBLIC AWARENESS AND EDUCATION: The following activities are provided upon the needs of the community and the program client service requirements. These outreach activities enhance service delivery to victims, reach out to potential victims and raise the profile of victim services within the community.

  • Host and/or participate in victim-related events
  • Provide public education and promote awareness regarding victims’ issues
  • Inform other community services about services available to victims of crime
  • Develop and maintain a network with social services and other community agencies, including transition houses, hospitals, and family justice resources
  • Participate in local committees and events attended by representatives of social services, community agencies and the criminal justice system
  • Develop and maintain a network with criminal justice system personnel including police, Crown counsel, court services, corrections, and sheriffs

SERVICES NOT PROVIDED: the following services are not provided by victim service workers:

  • Counseling – Victim Services Workers do not provide counceling or refer to themselves as councelors unless they are registered counselors.
  • Crime scene clean-up
  • Family Court Matters – Victim Service Workers do not provide assistance in completing forms relating to family court, including affidavits, or assist in civil/family trial preperation; and do not serve legal documents or provide accompaniment to civil/family court for the purposes of legal advocacy
  • Legal advice
  • Mental health services
  • Victim transportation without appropriate vehicle insurance

DEFINITIONS

Adult – All persons 19 years and over.

Child – All persons under the age of 13 years.

Child and Youth Physical Abuse – Any form of assault, as defined in the Criminal Code of Canada, committed against a child or youth by an Adult in a position of trust or authority.

Child and Youth Sexual Abuse – Any sexual offence, as defined in the Criminal Code of Canada, and other offences of sexual nature committed against a child or youth.

Emotional Support – Validation of the victim’s emotional/psychological reactions to the incident, acknowledging the victim’s strengths, active listening, reflection, validation, predicting, and preparing support plans.

Safety Planning – Developing a plan with the victim to manage safety and reduce the risk of further victimization.

Sexual Assault – Any sexual offence, as defined in the Criminal Code of Canada and other offences of sexual nature committed against an adult.

Trafficked Person – Controlling a person by means of coercion and fear for the purpose of exploitation can take many forms such as sexual exploitation, labour exploitation, and domestic exploitation.

Victims of Crime – Direct victims of and witnesses to criminal offences and immediate/surviving family members of direct victims of criminal offences.

Victims of family/sexual violence:

    • Victims of violence in relationships (adult, youth, or child)
    • Victims of sexual assault
    • Victims of criminal harassment
    • Victims of child abuse/assault (both physical and sexual)
    • Adult survivors of childhood abuse (both physical and sexual)
    • Child witnesses of family violence

Victims of trauma – Direct victims of and witnesses to non-criminal traumatic events which involve the police or other first responders, including, but not limited to motor vehicle accidents and sudden death next of kin notifications; immediate/surviving family members of direct victims of traumatic events.

Victim Service Worker – Program manager/coordinator, volunteer, student, trainee, and work placement that are employed or retained to provide victim services work.

Violence in Relationships – Violence in intimate relationships, including married, common law and dating relationships; same-sex or heterosexual relationships, whether the person are living together at the time of the violence or not. It may include assault, sexual assault, criminal harassment and other crimes which occur within the context of that relationship (e.g. a victim of break and enter, mischief, and theft that was committed by a former intimate partner).

Youth – All persons aged thirteen to eighteen.


LINKS TO OTHER WEB SITES:

BC – Victim Services

Victim Link BC

Victim Link:   BC Toll Free 1-800-563-0808

24 hours, 7 days a week


Victim Services

Contact: AVS Program Manager

Email: avs@nstq.org

Office Location: 17 South First Avenue Williams Lake, BC   V2G 1H4

Phone: 250-305-2350

Fax: 250-392-1533

Office Hours: 8:30 am – 12:00 pm and 1:00 pm – 4:30 pm   Monday to Friday