Raising the awareness for victims of crime
The theme for last week’s National Victims of Crime Awareness week was “moving forward” to recognize the resilient ways victims gain back the power they lost after being hurt by crime.
“When bad things happen to people their lives change forever. But victims of crime are so resilient,” said Langley RCMP Victim Support worker Pat Jeannotte-Bunse.
“Their coping skills are amazing. Our program is very focused on the strengths of each individual and how they get their power back after such a trauma.”
She said most clients she works with move past being a victim and live life in a positive way.
Langley RCMP’s Victim Services wanted people to be aware of the effect of crime on victims. That’s the reason for the national awareness week. This year marked the seventh such week.
Langley’s victim services program has been operating since 1988.
Currently there are eight paid crisis workers, four full-time staff and 24 volunteers whose purpose is to help victims of crime.
Crisis workers are at every major crime scene, serious crisis situation and accompany police when a family is told they have lost a loved one.
“We provide information and support,” said Jeannotte-Bunse.
The support doesn’t stop there.
“If it’s a crime, we keep them updated on the investigation and if Crown is going to lay charges,” she said.
“We explain court, if it gets to that, and can go with them to court.”
If there is a conviction, victims services can explain the parole process and make sure victims register with Corrections to find out if an offender has been released.
For further information or to access victim support services, call 604-532-3214.
If you require additional information, contact VictimLINK, a provincial toll free victim support line at 1-800-563-0808.