Local Agencies Step Up to Support Victims & Survivors of Crime in 2020.
Monday November 23, 2020 - Victims and survivors of crime are being encouraged to reach out and seek local supports during a week-long campaign to raise awareness and celebrate courage.
Victims and Survivors of Crime Week takes place across Canada from November 22 to 28, 2020.
Thunder Bay Counselling has partnered with Beendigen and Sexual Abuse Centre Thunder Bay to share a series of virtual tours and information for local victims and survivors of crime, and their families. The goal is to raise awareness about the issues facing victims and survivors and to promote the services, assistance and laws in place to help locally.
Says Nancy Chamberlain, Executive Director of Thunder Bay Counselling, “We are teaming up with community partners to offer additional virtual outreach and support to victims and survivors of crime, and their families. We know that anyone can become a victim of crime – age, gender, sexual orientation, social status, race or religion are no barrier. Too often victims and survivors feel that they are not able to share their experiences and suffer in silence. By highlighting local services and promoting courage, we hope to de-stigmatize support and break the silence.”
Recognizing Courage, Renewing Commitment is the theme of the week’s events, which offer connections to in-person and virtual supports and services in Thunder Bay and area.
Continues Chamberlain, “With COVID-19 changing service delivery models and worsening isolation levels, our partners understand the significance of public education and outreach. Victims and survivors of crime go through traumatic experiences but they are courageous in spite of it. It’s important for people to know that local programs and services are available to help them move beyond their victimization and create positive life changes.”
The three local partners report that making the first step to enter service can be the most difficult for victims of crime. In addition, those living in rural or remote areas may feel particularly vulnerable because of their isolation. It is also known that rural or remote victims are less likely to report abuse. Ensuring access to services despite isolation is a priority for community partners in Thunder Bay.
2020 marks the 15th year of Victims and Survivors of Crime Week. It is a time to celebrate the resiliency and strength of victims and survivors in Thunder Bay and area. “If we can engage with the community and empower more victims and survivors to feel safe to enter service, then we will have achieved our goal,” says Chamberlain.