The Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General supports three victim services programs in the Province of BC. These programs include:
- Police-based Victim Services programs
- Community-based Victim Services programs
- Victim Court Support programs
Police-based Victim Services
Police-based VS programs are embedded in RCMP detachments and municipal police departments across BC. Police-based programs respond to all types of crime, as well as non-criminal, traumatic events.
Police-based victim services programs provide services along the continuum of crisis to conclusion. Services include:
- Police-based victim services workers provide psychological first aid and practical assistance immediately following a crisis.
- This can involve 24/7 critical incident response to attend the scene of an incident, a hospital, a client’s home or any other location where you feel comfortable meeting.
- Police-based victim services professionals provide emotional support to victims and survivors of crime and non-criminal traumatic events
- Police-based victim services professionals are not counsellors and do not conduct any counselling activities
- Information on support services available in the community to victims of crime and trauma
- Information about the psychological response in the aftermath of crime or traumatic events
- Information about the criminal justice process, including the continuum of services found within the criminal justice system from police through to conditional release
- Information can include the rights that victims of crime have in BC and across Canada, including:
To locate a Police-based Victim Services program in your community: PVSBC Program Directory – June 2021
Community-Based VS Programs (CBVS)
CBVS programs operate in over 60 communities across B.C., predominantly in larger communities.
These programs have a mandate to assist victims of family and sexual violence.
Some communities have specific programs for women, children, youth, male survivors of sexual abuse, Indigenous people and people from specific ethnic communities.
In communities where a police-based VS program and a CBVS program both exist, police-based programs will have a written understanding for referring victims of family and sexual violence to the local community-based program for ongoing assistance.
With the exception of a few service providers, CBVS programs do not provide 24/7 crisis response, most provide services during business hours only.
A directory of CBVS programs can be found at Ending Violence Association of BC
Victim Court Support Programs
The Province of BC operates 8 victim court support programs across the lower mainland of B.C. These programs are situated in the following locations:
- Downtown Community Court
- Vancouver Provincial & Supreme Courts
- New Westminster Supreme Court
- Surrey Provincial Court
- Port Coquitlam Provincial Court
- First Nations Court
- Abbotsford Provincial Court
- Sophie’s Place Child Advocacy Centre.
Victim court support programs are not intended to assume conduct of services to all victims of crime once a matter gets to court. These programs are intended to provide services when a victim or witness does not already have services elsewhere. When a police-based or community-based program is already engaged with a victim or witness, they are likely to continue providing services through the court process.
Court support programs can provide services to victims of all crime types that proceed through the criminal courts of B.C., but they do not provide services to victims of non-criminal events.
Victim Court Support Programs do not provide 24/7 crisis response, they provide services during business hours only.
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/
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 https://www.canada.ca/en/parole-board.html