Our mandate is to provide information, referral, education and support for victims of crime or tragedy until their own support systems are in place. We do not do counseling, or give advice. We may be in attendance for half an hour, or 20 hours. We may hold a hand, assist in making phone calls or just listen.
Our assistance is specific to those victims and that incident. Once our presence is no longer required either by request of the victim(s) or supports are in place, we follow up with the victim(s), to continue to provide information as the need arises.
Our relationship may extend to court orientation and accompaniment (should the case warrant a trial) and informing the victim of Victim Impact Statements, Financial Benefits for Victims of Violent Crime, Restorative Justice, Restitution, etc. The length of the follow up will vary depending on the nature of the incident, and the needs of the victim. Victim Services acts as a central information point for victims regarding the status of the investigation, court cases, trial disposition.
Progams Facillitated by Red Deer Rural Victim Assistance:
Bullying and Harassment
We provide this presentation together with the Canadian Red Cross or Blackfalds Neighborhood Place. We will put on these presentation for two different groups - the parents/teachers or to the children. Topics discussed would be; how can we as a community get involved, the resources available to each group, tips for parents, the warning signs, definition of harassment, definition of bullying and the legal consequences to harassment. The presentation usually take up to 1-2 hours.
Crime Prevention for our Seniors
Here, we target our seniors, we will come in and educate them on fraud and the con artist, apartment safety, realize that crime can happen to anyone,how to safeguard yourself from the exceptions, robberies,telephone harassment, personal safety and participant issues. This session usually take up to 1 hour.
This presentation consists of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design - Doors, Glass Panels, Windows, Locks, Firearms, Computers, Safe Room and Telephone Safety.
Home Security Checklist
Again we talk about the doors, windows, garage, exteriors, vacations, and additional checks.
We also talk about the Crime Prevention Programs, such as personal safety, how to report a crime and how to join a crime prevention organization.
As well as providing support and programs Victim Assistance can assist the victim with the following:
What is a Victim Impact Statement?
Under provisions of the Criminal Code of Canada and the Youth Criminal Justice Act, a Victim Impact Statement allows you to express in writing to a Judge how being a victim of crime has affected you and those close to you.
The purpose of the Victim Impact Statement is to describe how the crime has affected you emotionally and physically and the effect it has had on your life. If charges are laid, and if the accused person is found guilty, your Victim Impact Statement will be considered by the Judge during sentencing.
How do I prepare the Victim Impact Statement?
Victim Impact Statement forms are available from Police and Victim Service Units.
The Victim Impact Statement is to be written in your own words, and describe how you have been affected by the crime.
Can someone help me prepare my Victim Impact Statement?
Yes. Victim Services can provide you with:
- Information about what kind of information is appropriate to include in your Victim Impact Statement
- Where to get assistance in actually writing your Victim Impact Statement
- Where to submit the Victim Impact Statement when it is completed.
- A friend or family member may be able to help you to write your Victim Impact Statement.
How and when will my Victim Impact Statement be used?
After a finding of guilt, and before sentencing. After a finding of guilt and before the offender is sentenced, your Victim Impact Statement will be provided to the Court. The Victim Impact Statement will be considered by the Judge at the time the offender is sentenced.
The Judge, the Crown prosecutor, the defence lawyer and the offender will receive copies of your Victim Impact Statement. At the sentencing hearing, you may be cross-examined on the contents of your Victim Impact Statement.
Please note that sentencing can occur at any time. For example, if an accused person pleads guilty, sentencing could occur on short notice. In order for a Victim Impact Statement to be considered in these circumstances, it should be at the courthouse as soon as possible.
If the offender is sentenced to probation or jail, your Victim Impact Statement will be provided to provincial or federal correctional authorities and the National Parole Board.
You may also be able to read your Victim Impact Statement at National Parole Board hearings. If you require further information, contact the National Parole Board toll-free at 1-888-616-5277.
If the accused person is found “Not criminally responsible on account of mental disorder,” your Victim Impact Statement will be provided to the Alberta Review Board.
The Victims of Crime Act provides for financial benefits to be paid to individuals injured as a result of being victims of crime in Alberta. Those injured during a crime may be eligible for a one-time financial benefit based on the severity of injuries sustained. Eligibility for Financial Benefits
Individuals are considered eligible for financial benefits if they have suffered physical or emotional injury as a result of being victims of crime in Alberta. Property damage or loss due to crime is not covered by this program.
When the crime results in death, dependants of the victim may be eligible for financial benefits.
Crimes pertaining to the use of a motor vehicle (e.g. impaired driving causing bodily harm or criminal negligence in the operation of a motor vehicle) are not eligible for financial benefits under the Victims of Crime Act. There are other programs in Alberta, such as Motor Vehicle Accident Claims.
Requirements and conditions.
* The crime must occur in Alberta
*The details of the offence must be reported to the police within a reasonable time after the incident.
*Written application for benefits must be received by the Financial Benefits Program within one year of the injury, or within one year of the date when the applicant becomes aware of the nature of the injury and recognizes its effects.
* The applicant must provide such information about the matter, and the injury sustained as a result, as may be required to make a decision on the application.
Application forms are available from the Financial Benefits Program, most police services and local victim's service programs in Alberta. For more information about this program call your local Victim Services Unit.
Restitution for Victims of Crime
If you have suffered financial loss as a result of a crime, you may have the right to seek restitution from the offender. Restitution may also be sought from young offenders; however, limitations apply.How do I Apply for Restitution?
Restitution is a way for the offender to repay you for the loss you have suffered.
You are required to complete a Request for Restitution form, which will be provided to you by a police officer investigating your case. If a Request for Restitution form is not given to you, please ask for one.
Once you have filled out the form, return it to the police as quickly as possible.
The police will then send your form to the Crown prosecutor, who will determine whether an application will be make to the court.
If the Crown declines to make the application, you may request the court to do so on its own motion. You may wish to contact your own lawyer in such a case.
For more information on this program contact your local Victim Services Unit.