Thunder Bay Counselling Launches Virtual Victims Services Map to Breakdown Barriers and Increase Access to Supports
Thunder Bay, ON, November 15, 2021 - As a part of National Victims and Survivors of Crime Week, today Thunder Bay Counselling in partnership with Sexual Abuse Centre Thunder Bay and Faye Peterson House, launched a new virtual Victim Services Map that identifies victims of crime supports available throughout the city of Thunder Bay and Fort William First Nation.
The interactive online map, made possible with the support of the Department of Justice Canada, features 29 locations that can also be searched through categories of Addiction, Child Protection, Counselling, Immediate Support, Justice, Medical, and Women’s Shelters.
“The faces of crime victims are those of our family, friends, neighbours and community members. Anyone can become a victim of crime, and victims should not feel alone. The Victim Services Map is a tool that can be quickly and easily accessed on a mobile device or computer by those who are a victim of crime and need support nearby. It’s a new way to navigate the system with local resources listed all in one place,” says Nancy Chamberlain, Executive Director, Thunder Bay Counselling
A victim of crime is a person who has suffered physical or emotional harm, property damage, or economic loss as a result of a crime committed by another person. Types of crime can include assault, domestic violence, home invasion, sexual assault, human trafficking, homicide, elder abuse and neglect. According to the Thunder Bay Police Service, in 2020, Thunder Bay recorded 1,875 crimes of violence alone, which doesn’t include other types of crime and those not reported.
“Surviving a crime is not something that happens overnight. Being a victim can be a very traumatic experience that may result in physical, emotional, and psychological challenges,” explains Deb Dika, Executive Director, Sexual Assault Centre Thunder Bay. “The effects of crime can persist for years and have life-long impacts for some victims. Immediate support can lead to possible positive outcomes and mitigate some long-term impacts.”
The theme for National Victims and Survivors of Crime Week is “The Power of Collaboration”. Throughout the week, Thunder Bay Counselling and its partners will continue to raise awareness about victims’ issues and introduce the community to the important resources and services available.
“There is a need within the victims services field for increased collaboration, as well as enhanced coordination, partnerships and multi-disciplinary responses to better support victims,” says Debbie Zweep, Executive Director, Faye Peterson House. “The Victim Services Map helps break down barriers, with organizations working together to ensure that survivors of crime receive the services and supports they need when they need it. This not only helps the individual heal, but it also improves community safety and wellbeing. “
As an example of community collaboration and partnership, the Victim Services Map was developed as a tool that can be viewed on many service provider web-sites, including Thunder Bay Counselling’s at: tbaycounselling.com/victim-services-map.