For Immediate Release
April 23, 2012
Ministry of Justice
Over $40M supports victims-of-crime programs in B.C.
VICTORIA – British Columbia is joining the federal government in marking Victims of Crime Awareness Week, April 22-28, by providing over $40 million again this year to support the delivery of critical services to those individuals whose lives have been impacted by crime.
The B.C. government funds more than 160 victim service programs throughout the province to provide information, referrals, emotional support and practical assistance to victims of crime. In 2012-13, victim service providers will receive more than $12 million to deliver critical incident response, criminal justice system information and support, safety planning, practical and emotional support, and information and referral services to an expected 100,000 people or more.
The B.C. government also funds more than 250 violence-against-women counselling and outreach programs across B.C. In 2012-13, violence-against-women counselling and outreach programs — which include Stopping the Violence counselling programs for women, Children Who Witness Abuse counselling programs, Outreach and Multicultural Outreach services — will receive over $16.5 million in funding.
In addition, the B.C. government funds VictimLink BC, a toll-free, 24/7, multilingual crisis line throughout B.C. and Yukon for victims of violence and other crimes. They can be accessed toll-free at 1 800 563-0808 or: www.victimlinkbc.ca
Victims of Crime Awareness Week is an opportunity to raise awareness about issues facing victims of crime and about the programs, services and laws in place to help victims of crime and their families. The theme for this year is ‘Moving Forward’, which recognizes both victims of crime and those who work to assist and support them.
For information about events taking place across British Columbia during Victims of Crime Awareness Week, please visit: www.pssg.gov.bc.ca/crimeprevention
Shirley Bond Minister of Justice and Attorney General –
“Even though B.C.’s crime rate is at its lowest level in decades, it is essential that we maintain a strong network of support and referral services for victims of crime and their families. I want British Columbians to know that they are not alone. By raising awareness of this issue and the support services available to victims, we can help reduce crime and improve the safety of our communities.”
· The Province provides over $70 million annually in funding for services to support victims of crime and women and children fleeing violence, including:
o More than $12.4 million for victim service programs.
o More than $16.5 million for violence against women programs.
o More than $12.3 million for the Crime Victim Assistance Program.
o $32 million for transition house services.
· In 2011-12, Victim Service Programs across B.C assisted more than 100,000 people and provided more than 460,000 hours of service.
· The Crime Victim Assistance Program (CVAP) provides financial assistance and benefits to victims, their immediate family members and certain witnesses of violent crime. Benefits include medical/dental expenses, funeral expenses, income support and counselling.
· In 2010-11, CVAP adjudicated more than 4,800 applications and provided $13.8 million in financial assistance and benefits.
· Since 2007, we have established four Victim Court Support Programs that operate in Port Coquitlam, Surrey, Vancouver Provincial Court and Vancouver’s Downtown Community Court. These programs ensure co-ordinated information and support for victims, witnesses and their families.
For a listing of victim service programs and violence against women counselling and outreach programs, visit: http://www.pssg.gov.bc.ca/victimservices/directory/index.htm.
Publications and resources for victims of violence: http://www.pssg.gov.bc.ca/victimservices/publications/index.htm
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Justice
Connect with the Province of B.C. at: www.gov.bc.ca/connect