GoA treating victims with courtesy, compassion and respect
In towns and cities across Alberta, there are teams of truly dedicated people who have made it their life’s work to support victims of crime. These individuals make a huge a difference in their communities. That’s why the Government of Alberta has allocated $9.1 million to 41 victims services organizations over the next three years.
The 41 police and community-based victims programs funded today by JSG operate in communities big and small from Calgary to Wabasca, Redcliff to Bashaw and Fairview to Lethbridge. The $9.1 million will directly benefit victims of violence, sexual exploitation, elder, domestic and child abuse, and is in addition to nearly $10.4 million already allocated, through previous grant commitments.
“Victims services organizations make a real difference in the lives of Albertans,” said Kathy Collins, executive director, policy and program development branch at Justice and Solicitor General. “The simple act of providing hope for someone in crisis is invaluable. Thanks to the work of individuals working in these committed organizations, victims have people to turn to and programs to help them heal.”
Among the 41 organizations receiving funding are HomeFront’s Specialized Domestic Court Program, which supports victims of domestic violence involved in the criminal justice process. Others include the Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre, the St. Paul and District Crisis Association, Two Hills and Area Victim Services, CEASE: Centre to End All Sexual Exploitation, Calgary Drop In and Rehab Centre Society, and ACT Alberta.
“ACT Alberta is grateful for the support of Justice and Solicitor General, which allows us to provide a coordinated response to human trafficking in Alberta,” said ACT Alberta executive director, Andrea Burkhart. “With this support we can continue to position Alberta as a leader in Canada’s response to human trafficking.”
Across the province, there are more than 3,500 volunteer advocates and board members working on programs that provide victims with services and support. Between 2012 and 2013, more than 67,885 children and adults were supported through such programs.
“The need to provide both emotional and practical support for victims of crime is greater than ever,” said deputy chief Colin Catonio of Lethbridge Regional Police Service. “Funding is critical to ensure our 60 volunteer advocates are well-trained, well-prepared and well-equipped to deal with the demands of this often challenging, but very rewarding calling.”
The news comes as national Victims of Crime Awareness Week approaches. The goal of the week, from April 6 to 12, is to raise awareness about the issues facing victims of crime and the services, assistance and laws in place to help victims and their families.
“Our program serves to remind victims that they do matter and there is help for them,” said Two Hills and Area Victim Services board chair, Pat Ewanishan. “Without the Alberta Justice and Solicitor General grant, we would not be able to operate this program. We depend almost totally on this funding to cover the cost of hiring a program coordinator and covering other related program costs, such as training, public education and travel expenses for volunteer advocates.”
Victims services organizations help ensure victims of crime are treated with courtesy, compassion and respect. The Government of Alberta is proud to support them.
What other recipients are saying:
“The grant has been instrumental in addressing marginalized and homeless people’s issues around being a victim of crime. Not only do we provide support to address the fact that individuals are victims of crime, we are also able to provide additional assistance in the form of housing, counselling, and medical services.”
-Debbie Newman, executive director, Calgary Drop In & Rehab Centre Society
“CEASE: Centre to End All Sexual Exploitation is thankful for the funding provided through the Alberta Justice and Solicitor General Victims of Crime Grant for our Project STAR Victim Advocate program (Support, Transition, Action and Recovery). This grant truly makes a difference to those who are on the margins of society and often feel there is no help for them.”
-Kathleen Quinn, executive director, Centre to End All Sexual Exploitation
“HomeFront is grateful for the long standing partnership it has had with the Government of Alberta. The province’s support has helped us reduce domestic violence reoffence by 50 per cent over the last 14 years, and provided more than 30,000 victims and their families with wrap around supports, helping them lead safer and healthier lives.”
-Kevin McNichol, executive director, HomeFront the Society for the Prevention of Domestic Violence
“This grant means victims are able to obtain information and are given the opportunity to seek counselling and other professional help. But most importantly, it means that victims are not alone, and they have the Siksika Crisis Response Team & Victim Services to ensure they get support, information and referrals as their cases proceed through the justice system.”
-Tyler White, chief executive officer, Siksika Health Services, Crisis Response & Victim Services
Today’s news means 41 community and police-based victims of crime programs will receive $9,110,577 over the next three years, on top of nearly $10.4 million in previous grant commitments to the provincial network of organizations that support victims of crime.