Referrals and Follow-up regarding Victims of Crime (4:X)

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If you refer the victim to a lawyer, social service agency, or health professional, remember to follow up to ensure that the victim is looked after. A simple phone call to the victim should suffice. Should you need to consult with a professional (for instance, a psychiatrist) about a victim’s ongoing case, you need to have the victim sign a written release form authorizing you to collect information about them, or on their behalf.

A. General Referrals

Crime Victim Assistance Program

P.O. Box 5550 Stn. Terminal       Telephone: (604) 660-3888 (Lower Mainland)
Vancouver, BC V6B 1H1   Toll-Free: 1-866-660-3888
E-mail: cvap@gov.bc.ca

Provides financial assistance and benefits to victims of violent crimes, their immediate family members, and some witnesses to offset the costs of the victimization, and to promote their recovery from the physical and psychological effects of the offence. In situations where the offender represents an ongoing significant risk to the victim’s safety, protective measures such as home alarm systems, security devices, and equipment and other safety measures may be available. In cases involving high-risk victims, the victim and their family may be eligible for relocation expenses where all other safety measures are considered insufficient to address the victim’s safety needs. For a complete list of benefits available, see the CVAP website.


Directory of Victim Service and Violence Against Women Programs in BC A directory for violence against women and victim service programs across BC.


Victim Notification - Victim Safety Unit

302-815 Hornby Street       Telephone: (604) 660-0316 (Lower Mainland)
Vancouver, BC V6Z 2E6   Toll-Free: 1-877-315-8822
E-mail: vsusg@gov.bc.ca

The Victim Safety Unit provides information to victims when the accused or offender is supervised by BC Corrections. Some information may also be provided to persons named in a civil protection order. Victims may be provided with ongoing information about the status of an accused or an offender, including whether or not they are currently in provincial jail, when they may get out of provincial jail, what community they may be in, and what conditions the accused or offender may have to follow. If the offender is under federal jurisdiction (under the supervision of the Correctional Service of Canada or the Parole Board of Canada), the VSU will, upon request, forward the registration form to CSC/PBC. The CSC/PBC will provide victim notification to registered victims directly.


Community Safety and Crime Prevention Branch

Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General       Telephone: (604) 660-5199
302-815 Hornby Street Toll-Free: 1-800-663-7867
Vancouver, BC V6Z 2E6 Fax: (604) 660-1635

As the provincial centre of responsibility for victims’ issues, human trafficking, and crime prevention, the Division develops legislation and policies, provides training, and delivers and funds programs that support victims, address human trafficking, and provide a restorative justice response to crime.


VictimLink BC

E-mail: VictimLinkBC@bc211.ca       Toll-Free: 1-800-563-0808
TTY: (6040 875-0885

VictimLink BC is available 24 hours, seven days a week, and has information about and referrals to a number of support systems that are available to victims of crime. The service is toll-free, confidential, and anonymous.


Public Guardian and Trustee of British Columbia

700-808 West Hastings Street       Telephone: (604) 660-4444
Vancouver, BC V6C 3L3 Fax: (604) 660-0374
Email: mail@trustee.bc.ca

Provides assistance to adults who need support for financial and personal decision-making and administers estates of deceased persons if there is no one else to do it. They may also administer trust funds on behalf of minors. Service is available in 130 languages.


Victim Justice Network

Email: mail@trustee.bc.ca

An online-based network with links to existing networks and information hubs to promote awareness of services and supports for victims of crime in Canada. They aim to raise awareness, understanding, and support for victims of crime in a society by providing online victim-centred information, resources, and referrals.


Victimsinfo.ca

An online resource for victims and witnesses of crime in BC. The website links several Key Contacts such as the Victims Information Line, Lawyer Referral Service, Youth Against Violence Line, among others.


B. Referrals for Specific Victims

1. Children and youth Victims

Ministry of Child and Family Development

The Helpline for Children: 310-1234 (no area code needed)

To report suspected cases of child abuse or neglect.


After Hours Services

  • Vancouver, North Shore, and Richmond: (604) 660-4927
  • Rest of the Lower Mainland, from Burnaby and Delta to Maple Ridge and Langley: (604) 660-8180
  • Elsewhere in BC: 1-800-663-9122

Refers those in crisis situations to food and emergency housing resources (after office hours and weekends).


Society for Children and Youth of BC (SCY)

303-1720 Grant Street       Telephone: (778) 657-5544
Vancouver, BC V5L 2Y7   Toll-Free: 1-877-462-0037
E-mail: info@scyofbc.org

The Society for Children and Youth of BC (SCY) is a unique provincial organization dedicated to improving the well-being of children and youth in British Columbia. SCY recognizes that adult duty-bearers need to advocate for the rights of children and youth of BC as listed in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) in order to improve their well-being.

The SCY operates the Child and Youth Legal Centre (legal advice and representation for children and youth). Contact information is the same as for SCY.

The Child and Youth Legal Centre is committed to improving the well-being of children and youth in British Columbia through the advancement of their legal rights. The role of the Centre is to advocate on behalf of vulnerable children and youth in BC. The Centre provides legal representation, free to those who qualify, for young people who are experiencing problems related to family law, child protection, human rights and many other legal issues. The Centre has two full-time child and youth lawyers. The Centre offers a free drop-in clinic on the first Tuesday of every month at 920 East Hastings Street from 3-6 pm for children and youth aged 9 to 19. Call or visit their website for more details.


General Ministry Inquiries

Telephone: 1-877-387-7027

Email: MCF.info@gov.bc.ca


Provincial Government Referral Service

Victoria: (250) 387-6121

Metro Vancouver: (604) 660-2421

Elsewhere in BC: 1-800-663-7867


2. Other Victims

UBC Life & Career Centre (Formerly the UBC Women's Resources Centre)

UBC Robson Square, 800 Robson Street, Plaza Level, Room 1.400       Telephone: (604) 822-8585
Vancouver, BC V6Z 3B7  

Information and referral, counselling support groups for women, stress management, depression. Abusers may also be referred here.


The Surrey Women's Centre

Telephone: (604) 583-1295

The Surrey Women’s Centre has a mobile assault response team that provides services over the phone and in-person to anyone who has experienced a physical or sexual assault. They are available 24-hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. You do not have to go to the hospital or make a police report to use their services.


WAVAW

Telephone: (604) 255-6344

Outside lower mainland: 1-877-392-7583

WAVAW provides support services to survivors of sexualized violence who have shared experiences of gender marginalization: cis and trans women, Two-Spirit, trans and/or non-binary people. They advocate for social and systemic change through education, outreach and activism.


British Columbia Society for Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse

Telephone (Vancouver): (604) 682-6482

Telephone (Surrey): (778) 222-6885

BC Society for Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse aims to provide therapeutic services for males who have been sexually abused at some time in their lives. They provide treatment and support services to survivors and support significant-others and relatives of the survivors as well as educate on material concerning sexual abuse of males.


C. Referrals for Criminal Injuries Outside British Columbia

National Office for Victims

Telephone: 1-866-525-0554

Provides general information for victims and the public, referrals to the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) and the Parole Board of Canada (PBC) for specific enquiries, and works to incorporate a victim’s perspective in national policy development.


Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime


Directory of International Crime Victim Compensation Programs


The following is a list of criminal injury compensation legislation and program contact information for all Canadian provinces. A person who was the victim of a crime of violence that occurred in another province can contact the relevant program to determine whether they qualify for any form of compensation.


A) Other Canadian Provinces and Territories

Alberta: Victims of Crime Act, RSA 2000, c V-3.

Victims of Crime Financial Benefits Program

Alberta Solicitor General and Ministry of Public Security       Telephone: (780) 427-3441
9th Floor, John E. Bronwnlee Building Toll-Free in Alberta: 310-0000
10365-97 Street Outside Alberta: (780) 427-2711
Edmonton, AB T5J 3W7


Manitoba: Victims' Bill of Rights, CCSM c V55.

Compensation for Victims of Crime Program

1410-405 Broadway       Telephone (Winnipeg): 945-0899
Winnipeg, MB R3C 3L6   Toll-Free: 1-800-262-9344

New Brunswick: Victims Services Act, SNB 2016, c 113.

Victims Services Program

Argyle Place       Telephone: (506) 453-3992
P.O. Box 6000 E-mail: DPS-MSP.Information@gnb.ca
Fredericton, NB E3B 5H1


Newfoundland: Victims of Crime Services Act, RSNL 1990, c V-5.

Victims Services Program, Provincial Headquarters

Department of Justice       Telephone: (709) 729-7970
Victim Services Program E-mail: victimservices@gov.nl.ca
4th Floor, East Block, Confederation Building
P.O. Box 8700, St. John's, NL A1B 4J6


Northwest Territories: Victims of Crime Act, RSNWT 1988, c 9.

Government of the Northwest Territories

Department of Justice       Telephone: (867) 873-7500
c/o Public Trustee Office
P.O. Box 1320
Yellowknife, NWT X1A 2L9


Nova Scotia: Victims' Rights and Services Act, SNS 1989, c 14.

Criminal Injuries Compensation Board

Victim Services Division       Telephone: (902) 424-4030
5151 Terminal Road, 3rd Floor E-mail: justweb@gov.ca
P.O. Box 7, Halifax, NS B3J 2L6


Ontario: Victims' Bill of Rights, SO 1995, c 6.

Criminal Injuries Compensation Board

14th Floor, 655 Bay Street       Telephone: (416) 326-2900
Toronto, ON M7A 2A3 Toll-Free: 1-800-372-7463
E-mail: info.cicb@ontario.ca Fax: (416) 326-2883


Victim Notification System (VNS), Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General

Telephone: (416) 314-2447

Toll-Free: 1-888-579-2888


Prince Edward Island: Victims of Crime Act, RSPEI 1988, c V-3.1.

Victim Services


Queens and Kings Counties

Honourable C. R. McQuaid Family Law Centre Telephone: (902) 368-4582
1 Harbourside Access Road Fax: (902) 368-4514
P.O. Box 2000
Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8


Prince County

263 Heather Moise Drive Telephone: (902) 888-8218
Suite 19, 2nd Floor Fax: (902) 888-8410
Summerside, PE C1N 5P1


Quebec: Crime Victims Compensation Act, LRQ c I-6.

Commission de la santé et de la sécurité du travail, Dir. l'indemnisation des Victimes d'actes criminels

1199, Rue Bleury       Telephone: (514) 906-3019
C.P. 6056, Succursale Centre-Ville Toll-Free: 1-800-561-4822
Montreal, QC H3C 4E1 Fax: (514) 906-3029
E-mail: info.ivac.qc.ca


Saskatchewan: Victims of Crime Act, SS 1995, c V-6.011.

Victim Services

610-1874 Scarth Street       Telephone: (306) 787-3500
Regina, SK, S4P 4B3 Toll-Free: 1-800-286-6664
E-mail: victimsservices@gov.sk.ca


Yukon: Crime Prevention and Victim Services Trust Act, RSY 2002, c 49.

Victim Services

E-mail: victim.services@gov.yk.ca


Whitehorse

Phone: (867) 667-8500

Toll-free (In Yukon): 1-800-661-0408, local 8500

Fax: (867) 393-6240

Street address: 301 Jarvis Street, 2nd floor, Whitehorse Yukon

Mailing address: Victim Services, Dept. of Justice, Government of Yukon, Box 2703, Whitehorse, Yukon Y1A 2C6


Dawson City

Phone: (867) 993-5831

Fax: (867) 993-6380

Street address: 705B Church Street, Dawson City, Yukon

Mailing address: Box 1312, Dawson City, Yukon Y0B 1G0


Watson Lake

Phone: (867) 536-2541

Fax: (867) 536-2684

Street address: 820 Adela Trail, Watson Lake, Yukon

Mailing address: Box 622, Watson Lake, Yukon Y0A 1C0


D. Finding Funding for Counselling

Crime Victim Assistance Program Funding for Counselling

The CVAA establishes counselling services or expenses as a benefit that may be available to victims, immediate family members of injured or deceased victims, and some witnesses. The Crime Victim Assistance (General) Regulation sets out the conditions or limitations for providing counselling benefits and also establishes the approved fee rate for reimbursement of counselling services. The Counselling Guidelines provide further information and clarification regarding expectations for the provision of counselling services, reporting requirements and limitations applicable to service providers requesting reimbursement for counselling services on accepted claims with the CVAP.


Children’s Counselling Services (formerly Children’s Sexual Abuse Intervention Program)

Telephone: (604) 885-5881 ext. 228

This service helps children deal with the effects of trauma at each developmental level. Parents and professionals can call the Ministry of Child and Family Development at 1-877-387-7027 to request referrals to the program, which is free and confidential.


Stopping the Violence Counselling - Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General

There are a number of community-based counselling programs that provide counselling services to women who have experienced sexual assault, relationship violence, or childhood abuse. The range of individual and group counselling services are based on the needs of the individual women and delivered in an accessible, safe, and supportive environment.


Children Who Witness Abuse Programs - Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General

This community-based program provides individual and group counselling services for children who witness the abuse of a parent, who is most often a mother. Designed to help break the intergenerational cycle of violence against women, this program helps children cope with, and heal from, the trauma of living in an abusive situation. Support is also provided to the non-offending caregiver who has been abused by their partner.


Residential Historical Abuse Program

Toll-Free: 1-800-563-0808 (VictimLINK information line)

Acquire forms from the Ministry of Health, Victim Assistance, or Mental Health Centres.

The Residential Historical Abuse Program provides professional counselling services for BC residents who were abused while under the age of 19 and while living in a home or residential program operated or funded by the province. A counsellor who meets provincial standards will develop a personal treatment plan with the victim, which may include individual, group, or family counselling. The victim does not have to prove that they were sexually, physically, or mentally abused to receive counselling services, nor does they have to name the person(s) who abused them. The Ministry will simply verify that they were in that particular residential program at the time of the offence(s). No police complaint is necessary, but there is a legal obligation to report abuses to appropriate authorities if children are still at risk of being sexually abused. The government or the police may contact the victim for information. The contents of the application are otherwise confidential. The application process is simple and generally does not impede any legal action or application to the CVAP – although if the applicant is eligible for funding from another source for a same or similar purpose, the CVAP must deduct that funding (or those counselling sessions) when considering the application.


E. Resources and Remedies for Seniors

BC has a Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health for Seniors (Ronna-Rae Leonard), a Seniors’ Services Branch and an Office of the Seniors Advocate.


The following list represents some non-legal solutions that may assist the abused person.

1. General Support

If the adult is in need of health or home care related services, or there are concerns about the adult’s ability to seek support due to a disability or condition impacting their ability to make decisions, the victim’s nearest health unit (see the telephone book’s blue pages for contact information) is probably the best place to start. A trained nurse or social worker can investigate the situation, present options to the victim, and place them in contact with necessary assistance.


Seniors First BC (Formerly BC Centre for Elder Advocacy and Support)

Martha Jane Lewis, Executive Director

Telephone: (604) 688-1927


Disability Alliance of BC (Formerly BC Coalition of People with Disabilities)

204-456 West Broadway       Telephone: (604) 875-0188
Vancouver, BC V5Y 1R3 Toll-Free: 1-800-663-1278
E-mail: feedback@disabilityalliancebc.org TTY Line (hearing-impaired only): (604) 875-8835


BC Association of Community Response Networks

Sherry Baker, Executive Director

Telephone: (604) 513-9758


2. Shelter

If the alleged abuser cannot be removed from the home, the victim may need temporary shelter. Older and senior women at risk of violence may be admitted to women’s transition houses if space is available. Ama House in South Surrey/White Rock is a specialized transition house for older and senior women at risk of violence. See Chapter 22: Referrals for transition house phone numbers. Some houses do not have a one-week maximum stay, although all stays at transition houses are typically no longer than 30 days. If all of the local transition houses are full, Battered Women’s Support Services (telephone: (604) 687-1867) can sometimes locate alternative shelter. After Hours Services (see Chapter 22: Referrals) can also provide assistance and can refer elderly men to temporary shelter or housing.


3. Home Support

The victim may depend on the alleged abuser for help in the home and may be reluctant to act because they fear being placed in a nursing home. In fact, the victim may only need a little extra help to live alone. Phone the BC Ministry of Health Services Long-Term Care Program to determine whether the victim is eligible to receive home support services (cleaning, handyman services, etc.). A person may also be able to contact intake in the health authority in which they live to request an assessment. Moreover, home support services may also have the benefit of relieving the stress a caregiver/abuser may experience – stress that sometimes causes the abuse.


Also, phone Meals-On-Wheels, if necessary:

Vancouver, Richmond       (604) 732-7638 or (604) 733-6615 (Cantonese)
Burnaby (604) 299-5754 ext. 23
Chilliwack (604) 793-7242
Langley (604) 533-1679
New West Minster (604) 520-6621
North Shore, West Vancouver   (604) 922-3414
Surrey (604) 588-6325
White Rock/South Surrey (604) 541-6325
Port Coquitlam (604) 942-7506


4. Seniors' Benefits

The client may not be receiving all of the financial benefits they are entitled to. These benefits (Old Age Security Pension, Guaranteed Income Supplement, Canada Pension Plan, and others) may give the client more freedom to change their situation. Phone a local seniors’ centre for more information.

More information is available online here.

Information regarding Shelter Aid for Elderly Renters may be found here.


5. Links to the Community

The client may feel isolated and lonely. Ask the client if they would like a referral to a community organization. Community organisations such as a social or volunteer organisation can give them a sense of belonging and self-esteem.


6. Resources

For information on the signs that a person may have been trafficked; services available to victims of human trafficking, including legal services, health care, shelter, interpretation and counselling; and links to resources, see BC’s OCTIP, Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General website here.


BC's Office to Combat Trafficking in Persons, Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General

Victim Services and Crime Prevention Division   Telephone: (604) 660-5199
302-815 Hornby Street Toll-Free: 1-888-712-7974
Vancouver, BC V6Z 2E6 E-mail: octip@gov.bc.ca

The above phone line is answered by VictimLink BC, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Interpretation is provided.

The Office to Combat Trafficking in Persons offers a free online training course on human trafficking aimed at service providers in both English and French. The online training is called “Human Trafficking: Canada is Not Immune”.

Communities Taking Action: A Toolkit to Address Human Trafficking” supports communities to take action at the local level to raise awareness and prevent human trafficking. It provides practical information and specific examples of how BC communities are addressing this issue.

The online training course and toolkit are available here.


BC Crime Stoppers

Individuals with information about a crime are able to provide an anonymous tip by calling the tip line at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

Individuals may also provide an anonymous tip online here.


RCMP Human Trafficking Coordinator for BC/Yukon The RCMP Human Trafficking Coordinator for the BC/Yukon region plays a significant role in the investigation of human trafficking situations and in raising awareness about this crime.

Telephone: (604) 598-4603


Seniors Abuse and Information Line (SAIL)

SAIL, operated by the BCCEAS, is a toll-free telephone line which is staffed 7 days a week (excluding holidays), 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. SAIL is a safe place for older adults, and those who care about them, to talk to someone about situations where they feel they are being abused or mistreated, or to receive information about elder abuse prevention. Call (604) 437-1940 or toll-free 1-866-437-1940.


© Copyright 2020, The Greater Vancouver Law Students' Legal Advice Society.


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