Programs and Services
Victim services, provided in a timely manner, play an essential role in reducing the harmful effects of victimization and re-victimization.
The objectives of the RCMP Victim Services Program are to:
- Lessen the impact of crime and trauma on victims and their families and to assist them in their recovery;
- Enhance victim safety and help reduce the risk of further victimization;
- Increase victims' level of participation in the criminal justice system;
- Prepare victims acting as witnesses for court proceedings.
From a call for help, to the investigation of a crime, to an offer of a referral, police work in close partnership with victim services organizations to ensure victims of crime receive the support they need without delay.
VictimLink BC is the province-wide telephone help line for victims of crime. At VictimLink BC, victim support workers provide information and referrals to all victims of crime, and crisis support to victims of family and sexual violence, including sexual assault, violence in relationships, elder abuse, and adult survivors of physical or sexual abuse.
VictimLink BC connects people to a network of community, social, health, justice and government resources, including victim services, transition houses, and counselling resources. They also provide information on the justice system, relevant federal and provincial legislation and programs, crime prevention, safety planning, protection order registry, and other resources as needed.
VictimLink BC can be reached at 1-800-563-0808. For more information on VictimLink, please visit their website at: http://www.victimlinkbc.ca/ (English)
Violence in the home can be in the form of physical, emotional or sexual abuse. It can happen in any relationship and affects people regardless of gender, age, or ethnic origin. Domestic violence is not a private or family matter, it is against the law. If you or someone you know is the victim of domestic violence there is help available. You can contact your local police service or VictimLink BC at 1- 800-563-0808 as they can provide assistance in many different languages.
In Canada, a hate crime is defined as any criminal offense against a person, group or property that is motivated by hatred or prejudice towards an identifiable group. In BC there is a dedicated Hate Crimes team. The following are the identifiable groups outlined in the Criminal Code of Canada: Race, Colour, ethnicity and language, religion, age, mental or physical disability, sex or sexual orientation, or any other similar factor.
Hate crimes that are reported to police are taken seriously. People that are convicted of a hate crime may face more severe sentencing than other criminal offences that are not motivated by hate.
The government, police and community organizations are united against hate crimes. These organizations exist in order to protect and support individuals and communities impacted by attacks based on identity.
- Call 9-1-1 to report a hate crime.
- When reporting an incident, state that you are reporting a Hate Crime.
- Report emergencies such as attacks, assaults and threats
- Report non-emergency crimes such as graffiti, vandalism and hate propaganda. The operator will connect you to the appropriate detachment to handle the situation.
Mental Health and Trauma
Coming to a new country is not easy, particularly for someone coming from a conflict zone. After a traumatic event, or series of events, some people continue to relive the experience through flashbacks and other challenges. It can impact their lives in a big way. This is called post-traumatic distress disorder, and it’s a form of mental illness.
Trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder are common symptoms and conditions for people that have been displaced from their homes and countries due to armed conflicts.
If you think you or someone you care about has post-traumatic stress disorder the best thing to do is talk to your doctor. Also, check out the resources section in the back of this book for resources specific to your geographic location.
If a spouse, child, friend or relative goes missing you should contact police. You do not have to wait a certain time period to report someone missing. The police will gather information from you about the missing person and their usual habits. Police will ask for a photo and any other information that could help to locate the missing person.
If you are attending a large event with children make a safety plan beforehand on what to do if you get separated.
This could involve arranging a common meeting place or letting children know they can ask an authority figure such as a police officer for assistance.
This information is directed towards the community and, more specifically, seniors and their care givers in recognizing elder abuse, safety concerns, frauds and scams.
The RCMP is committed to reducing these incidents against seniors and by working in partnership with citizens, we can develop safer communities.
Education and awareness of preventive techniques can help you recognize a potential crime situation and show you how to reduce or remove the risk.
Becoming involved in your community and getting to know your local police can increase your sense of security. Your participation can also enhance programs and services available to your community.
Elder Abuse refers to the violence, mistreatment or neglect that older adults living in either private residences or institutions may experience at the hands of their spouses, children, other family members, caregivers, service providers or other individuals in situations of power or trust.
Elder Abuse can manifest itself in a number of behaviors that are noticeable to those who most frequently interact with the elderly.
Forms of Elder Abuse:
- Neglect (by others)
- Physical Abuse
- Sexual Abuse and Sexual Exploitation
- Psychological and Emotional Abuse
- Economic Abuse (stealing or misusing an elderly person’s money or possessions)
- Institutional Abuse (overcrowded, substandard and/or unsanitary living environments)
- Violation of Rights (restricting liberty and privacy)
- Spiritual Abuse (restricted or denied religious and spiritual practices, customs or traditions)
If you or someone you know is being abused, REPORT IT TO THE POLICE!
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