PCVI News - Fall 2010

Welcome

The Department of Justice Canada’s Policy Centre for Victims Issues is set to launch the 6th annual National Victims of Crime Awareness Week from April 10 to 16, 2011. This event continues to grow every year. One of the contributing factors to this growth is the funding available to communities and service organizations. Last year, we were delighted that, for the first time, community events were funded in every province and territory. The Policy Centre supported more than 90 events to raise awareness of victim issues and services for victims and their families. We invite you to consider applying for funding to commemorate the week in your community.

Pamela Arnott
Director and Senior Counsel, Policy Centre for Victim Issues

Many Voices, Many Paths

National Victims of Crime Awareness Week 2011, April 10 to 16

The 6th annual National Victims of Crime Awareness Week (NVCAW) will be held from April 10 to 16. NVCAW is an initiative of the Department of Justice’s Policy Centre for Victims Issues. This year’s theme is “Many Voices, Many Paths,” which recognizes that victims of crime come from all walks of life and define their experiences differently. There are many different reactions to becoming a victim of crime and the needs of each victim will be unique. All victims deserve to be treated with care, compassion and dignity. As such, professionals and dedicated volunteers work in many different ways to ensure that the voices of victims are heard.

The main goal of NVCAW is to raise awareness about the issues facing victims of crime and the services and support available to help them and their families. It also acknowledges the work of victim services providers and their dedication to assisting victims of crime.

Across Canada, communities large and small will be organizing events to recognize NVCAW. In support of these initiatives, the Department of Justice Canada offers funding of up to $10,000 per project. The deadline to apply for funding for NVCAW 2011 is November 1, 2010.

Since the inception of NVCAW, the number of groups applying and receiving funding has grown every year. We have simplified the application to make it easier to apply. For more information, please e-mail: victimsweek-semainedesvictimes@justice.gc.ca.

Activities and Events

Across Canada, in every province and territory, community groups will be organizing events to recognize NVCAW. Examples of events that qualify for funding include the following:

  • a workshop or information session that highlight victim issues;

  • a public awareness event such as a barbecue or community walk;

  • public information on victim issues and services available to victims and their families;

  • training events for justice system professionals on victim-related issues and their specific needs; and

  • advertisements on radio, TV or in newspapers that promote NVCAW and provide information on victim services.

Below is a snapshot of successful events organized in past years with funding received through NVCAW:

  • In both 2008 and 2009, MADD Canada has used funding received through NVCAW to host Candlelight Vigils of Hope and Remembrance to honour victims of impaired driving.

  • The Police Victim Services of British Columbia developed a resource toolkit for victim services workers and, in 2010, they hosted an open training session for those involved in the criminal justice system and the social services community. The toolkit and training focused on the “Continuity of Care” in B.C. and how to improve the experiences of victims of crime in the criminal justice system.

  • Manitoba’s Age & Opportunity Inc. hosted an information session for seniors outlining how they can protect themselves from frauds and scams, and prevent themselves from becoming victims of crime in their own communities, homes and relationships. More than ten community agencies provided information to attendees at the full-day event.

  • The Pabineau First Nation in New Brunswick hosted several activities throughout NVCAW, including community workshops on family violence, elder abuse, Internet abuse and cyber-bullying. The organizers also provided cultural awareness training to local victim services providers.

Interview with Sharon Baiden, Greater Sudbury Police Service

Sharon is the Director of Corporate Services for the Greater Sudbury Police Service. She was responsible for organizing a local event during NVCAW 2010 called Walk a Mile in HER Shoes to bring awareness to the issue of domestic violence.

What is the event that you organized with the funding received through NVCAW?

The Greater Sudbury Police Service kicked off National Victims of Crime Awareness Week here in Sudbury by hosting our first-ever Walk a Mile in HER Shoes. The purpose of the event was to bring awareness to the issue of domestic violence and to provide education regarding one of the most misunderstood crimes in our community. There is an old saying, “You can’t really understand another person’s experiences until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.” This event saw approximately 80 men literally do just that. Wearing women’s spiked red patent leather shoes, these men walked the streets of downtown Sudbury. Many could be heard saying “this isn’t as easy as it looks.” It wasn’t easy, but it was a fun way to get the community talking about a really difficult topic. This was also a great way for men to show their support for the many women and children who have been affected by domestic violence.

How did this event highlight the issue of violence against women?

Both Walk a Mile in HER Shoes and Healthy Relationships Forum events were held to raise awareness and to provide education to the public and students about what services are available within our own community. Individuals were encouraged to get involved through a local media campaign of “What role do you play in ending violence?” Participants were asked to think about the women and children they were walking for and, for every difficult step they took, to remember they were taking a step forward in the hope of eliminating intimate partner assault.

This event clearly demonstrated a community taking collective action to work toward the elimination of violence against women and children. Participants were acknowledged for the part they had chosen in being part of the solution and others were encouraged to continue being part of a solution to the problem of intimate partner assault.

What was the impact on the community?

Watching the street lined with men, including police, fire, Emergency Medical Service staff, politicians, community businesses leaders and residents of Sudbury, walking in red high heels was profound from the viewers’ perspective. For those who lined the streets, seeing the sea of red turn the corner was spectacular, to say the least. Watching rows of men struggle as they walked in red high heels, showing their support for the many women and children who have been victims of abuse, was very moving. It was clear that these men were taking a stand and encouraging others to do the same. Feedback from participants was extremely positive and many indicated they would be back again next year! Not only were a few eyebrows raised, but we also raised awareness of the issue.

Do you have plans for future projects through this funding?

Absolutely! Our community has demonstrated a readiness to address this very serious issue. We will continue to invest in educating our community that intimate partner assault affects many families. Without the assistance of this form of funding, our recent events would not have been possible. Grants provided from the Department of Justice’s Policy Centre for Victims Issues will allow us to continue to assist the citizens of Sudbury in moving forward toward the elimination of violence against women.

Content of the PCVI E-Newsletter is provided as an information-sharing service. Inclusion does not represent endorsement by the Policy Centre for Victim Issues or the Department of Justice. We want to hear from you! Please send your comments and feedback to our editor at victimsweek-semainedesvictimes@justice.gc.ca.

©Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada,
represented by the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, 2010

ISBN 978-1-100-50177-2
Cat. No. J2-356/2010

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