In BC, there are more than 160 victim service programs across that are based in police detachments and departments or in community agencies. Both police victim service and community-based victim services provide the following services:
Staff/volunteers provide emotional support in person and over the phone to victims, witnesses and their family members. Although police victim service programs do not provide counselling, they can make appropriate referrals to counselling services in the community.
Information and Practical Assistance
Staff/volunteers can provide information on the status of a police investigation, the justice system, and crime prevention. They can also assist with filling out Crime Victim Assistance Forms and Victim Impact Statements.
Programs can provide information on the role of the various players in the justice system, the practicalities of testifying as a witness, and updates on court appearances.
Victim Service Programs in BC
1. Police Victim Services Programs
There are 92 police Victim Services programs operating out of BC’s RCMP and municipal police departments. In these programs dedicated staff, sometimes supported by highly trained, security cleared volunteers from their community, work directly with police to provide emotional support, information and referrals to victims of all kinds of crime and trauma. For a complete list of police victim services programs in British Columbia, please click Directory 2015/2016
2. Community-Based Victim Assistance Programs
The Ending Violence Association of BC (EVA BC) is a registered not-for-profit provincial umbrella organization that represents and supports 240 Stopping the Violence Counselling, STV Outreach, Community Based Victim Assistance Programs, and other related programs throughout BC. EVA BC works to coordinate and support the work of victim-serving and other anti-violence programs in BC through the provision of direct support to the front line programs, issue based consultation and analysis, resource development, training, research and education. For more information on community victim assistance programs, please visit their website at www.endingviolence.org
3. VictimLink BC
VictimLink BC is the province-wide telephone help line for victims of crime. At VictimLink BC, victim support workers provide information and referrals to all victims of crime, and crisis support to victims of family and sexual violence, including sexual assault, violence in relationships, elder abuse, and adult survivors of physical or sexual abuse. VictimLink BC connects people to a network of community, social, health, justice and government resources, including victim services, transition houses, and counselling resources. They also provide information on the justice system, relevant federal and provincial legislation and programs, crime prevention, safety planning, protection order registry, and other resources as needed. VictimLink BC can be reached at 1-800-563-0808. Please note: Deaf and hard of hearing people can contact VictimLink via ISV’s TTY service at 604-875-0885. For more information of VictimLink, please visit their website at: http://www.victimlinkbc.ca/
4. Federal Victim Service Programs
Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) and Parole Board of Canada (PBC) Victim Services
The mandate of the CSC is to contribute to the maintenance of a safe, just and peaceful society by carrying out court imposed sentences of two years or more.
The PBC is an independent administrative tribunal that has exclusive authority under the Corrections and Conditional Release Act to grant, deny, cancel, terminate or revoke day parole and full parole.
CSC and PBC provides services to victims of federal offenders. These are offenders serving a sentence of two years or more. In accordance with the Corrections and Conditional Release Act (CCRA) CSC Victim Service Officers provide the following services:
- register victims
- victim notification
- receive victim statements
- referrals and answer questions about CSC or PBC
For more information on CSC’s Victim Services please visit their website at: www.csc-scc.gc.ca/victims
For more information on PBC’s Victim Services please visit their website at: http://pbc-clcc.gc.ca/victims/victims-eng.shtml