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Bulletin Increasing Support for Victims

first_imgHelping Children Studies show that exposure to family violence puts children at higher risk for victimization, delinquency, criminal activity, and violent behaviour. These children need a safe environment in which to express their feelings and get the help they need to break the cycle of violence and victimization that repeats itself in generation after generation. The province will expand its Criminal Injuries Counselling Program, now primarily focused on direct victims of crime, to cover young children who witness family violence. Along with funding support, counsellors will be required to have training in therapeutic approaches specific to counselling children, such as play therapy. Ways to involve the parent or family member who was the victim of the abuse will also be incorporated. As well, the province is developing information to share with justice partners to encourage and support the testimony of vulnerable witnesses, particularly children. The goal is to ensure that the court process does not cause undue stress or harm to a child and to support the child’s ability to give accurate, reliable testimony. Increasing Support for Victims of Domestic Violence The province is building on its efforts to increase support services for victims of family violence, intimate partner violence and sexual assault. The plan is for a comprehensive approach, based on partnerships within government and with community agencies. This comprehensive approach will include continuing to implement the “high-risk domestic violence case co-ordination protocol” to increase safety. This will include implementation of the new validated Ontario Domestic Assault Risk Assessment tool. As well, annual training to justice stakeholders will continue to be provided and information and approaches developed to change attitudes and misconceptions about family violence, sexual assault and violence against women Holding Offenders Accountable to Victims The province expects offenders to pay for their crimes in more ways than one. Beyond sentencing, offenders will be expected to compensate their victims for losses when the court orders them to do so. A Restitution Collection Program will be developed that includes measures to improve collection rates and gathers and reports statistics on the frequency and amounts of restitution ordered by the courts. Investment:– Counselling for Children, $175,000– Support for Vulnerable Witnesses, $22,000– Support for Victims of Domestic Violence and Violence Against Women, $60,000– Restitution Collection Program, $50,000Sites:Provincial focus for all new supportsStrategy Link: Prevention, see page 55, Intervention, see page 46, Enforcement, see page 36, Time to Fight Crime Together. The complete crime prevention strategy is available online at www.gov.ns.ca . -30-last_img read more