The Victim Services Unit
Two civilian Co-ordinators share the responsibilities in this unit. They perform their duties separately, but collaboratively with police, solely for the support of the victims of crime and tragic circumstances.
The duties of the Victim Services Unit include:
- Providing emotional and practical support to victims.
- Providing information and support through the criminal justice system.
- Providing Information and referrals to community agencies.
- Advocating for victims of crime, individually and collectively.
- Offering professional community presentations.
Please visit the Survivor Toolkit website for information and resources for survivors of sexual violence and the people who are supporting them.
For more information or to speak to a member in our Victim Services Unit please call 705-876-1122 ext. 268.
The Victim Services Unit is a unique service in the Province of Ontario as it continues to delivery trauma-informed services to those affected by crime or tragic and unforeseen circumstances.
The Unit, comprised of two Coordinators, is committed to continually grow and develop professionally and collaboratively in order to stay current and effective. In 2019 the Unit continued to strengthen their partnerships in the community to deliver the best service to victims and their families.
On a daily basis the two Unit Coordinators review, assess and follow up when required to do so with mandated cases. In 2019, the Unit received and reviewed 2,704 incidents. Of those incidents, 1,366 incidents required follow up. Follow up consists of a phone interview, in person interview and/or referrals to provide adequate and appropriate emotional and practical support to victims of crime and tragic circumstance.
Victim Services takes initiative and tracks court cases throughout the Criminal Justice System. Upon a plea or finding of guilt, and in conjunction with the Crown Attorney’s Office, Victim Services contacts the victim(s), canvasses and explains their legislative right to completing a Victim Impact Statement. An appointment can be scheduled to assist in preparation of the statement as well. In 2019, Victim Services assisted in the completion of 195 victim impact statements. Since the introduction of the Victims Bill of Rights, the Unit has found that the rise in requests from the Crown Attorney’s Office has resulted in the completion of many more Victim Impact Statements.
Victims of violent offences have the right to apply to, and be considered for, compensation through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board of Ontario. This process is often, if not always, overwhelming for some and can take several office meetings. Victim Services assisted in the completion of 40 criminal injuries compensation packages in 2019. As of October 2019, the Ontario Government has put an end to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board, and has now redirected funding to the VQRP+ program.
Attending court, either as a witness or a victim while giving evidence or for information gathering purposes is often an overwhelming and traumatic event. This process is often referred to as a re-victimization experience. With this in mind, Victim Services provided court support on 126 different occasions in 2019.
The Unit meets with anyone seeking general advice and referrals on any matter which may give rise to and govern the attention of the Service. In 2019, Victim Services conducted 315 office interviews.
Throughout 2019, Victim Services provided various professional community presentations in areas of trauma informed care, responding to sudden deaths, compassion fatigue, vicarious trauma and resiliency skills.
Victim Services continues to be involved and engaged as Peer Support Volunteers within the Service. In 2019, the Wellness Committee led by the Peer Support Coordinator organized and delivered 11 workshops for both civilian and uniform members.
The Unit was successful in its proposal and application for a Facility Dog through National Service Dogs of Canada. In 2019 the Service received news that the Facility Dog, Pixie, will be placed with the Victim Services Coordinator Alice Czitrom beginning January 2020.