Backgrounder: Victims Funding for the New Brunswick Department of Public Safety

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Through its Victims Fund, the Department of Justice Canada will provide the New Brunswick Department of Public Safety with more than $1.6 million in funding to support victims of crime. The funding agreement will specifically assist in developing programs that help victims of crime and ensure the province has the tools and resources it needs for victims of crime.

Culturally appropriate victims’ services for Aboriginals

The funding agreement includes $344,000 to establish dedicated culturally appropriate services for Aboriginal victims in four different regions. A new provincial Aboriginal victim services coordinator will provide a consistent, holistic approach to these services. The coordinator will also represent New Brunswick Victim Services on several provincial working groups which respond to Aboriginal victimization issues.

Programs for adult male survivors of sexual abuse

New Brunswick has identified a need to develop and implement support groups for adult male survivors of childhood sexual abuse who have come to the attention of the criminal justice system as adults. This agreement includes $180,000 to assist the province in developing this program over the next three years.

Support groups for parents of children who have been sexually abused

In cases where children are sexually abused, it is important that parents know how to respond to their children’s victimization and how to cope with their own emotions as a direct result of the crime. Over the past four years, a successful pilot project initiative has been developed and implemented under the direction of the Fredericton Sexual Assault Centre for parents. The pilot operated in two locations: Fredericton and the Acadian Peninsula. This funding agreement provides $205,000 to expand these services into other areas of New Brunswick. A needs assessment conducted by the New Brunswick Department of Public Safety will guide this expansion.

Improving Victims Services in New Brunswick

In addition, this agreement also includes funding to strengthen the New Brunswick Department of Public Safety’s ability to provide services to victims of crime and to implement amendments to the Criminal Code. This includes:

  • $396,000 to implement a comprehensive e-training program for all victims service workers in New Brunswick;

  • $382,250 in upgrades to the province’s online case management system to ensure a high level of performance when delivering services to victims of crime;

  • $110,000 to update and improve public information and educational materials that are provided to victims of crime; and,

  • $55,000 in equipment to support technological improvements.

This funding will be provided between the 2011/2012 and 2014/2015 fiscal years and will be subject to performance evaluations.

Federal Victims Strategy / Victims Fund

As part of the Economic Action Plan, Budget 2011 extended the Federal Victims Strategy by announcing funding of $26 million over two years. The Strategy is administered by the Department of Justice Canada. Working in collaboration with other federal departments to ensure a consistent approach to victim issues, the Department consults with victims, victim advocates, and service providers and others involved in the criminal justice system to identify issues of concern and to inform our policy development and criminal law reform.

The Victims Fund is a grants and contributions program administered by the Department of Justice. The Fund currently has $10.2 million a year available to give victims of crime a more effective voice in the criminal justice system.

The objectives of the Victims Fund are to:

  • promote access to justice and participation by victims in the justice system;

  • promote the development of law, policies and programs for victims;

  • promote the implementation of principles, guidelines and laws designed to address the needs of victims of crime and articulate the victim’s role in the criminal justice system;

  • increase knowledge and awareness of the impact of victimization, the needs of victims of crime, available services, assistance and programs, and relevant legislation;

  • encourage governmental and non-governmental organizations to identify victim needs and gaps in services, and develop and deliver programs, services and assistance to victims;

  • promote capacity-building within non-governmental organizations; and,

  • provide direct, limited, emergency financial assistance to individual victims in certain specified circumstances.

More information is available on the Department of Justice Canada’s website.

Department of Justice Canada
January 2012