Helping Victims Of Crime



    Applications Open For $3.2-Million Victim Safety Project Grants

    TORONTO, Aug. 5 /CNW/ -

    NEWS

    Victims of crime in Ontario will be better served in their communities
thanks to $3.2 million in Victim Safety Project funding.
    The Victim Safety Project is a two-year, $4.5-million joint initiative
between the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services and the
Ministry of the Attorney General.
    Grants are available to municipal and First Nations police services and
Ontario Provincial Police municipal contract locations who partner with
not-for-profit, community-based victim service agencies. These organizations
include sexual assault centres and referral services focusing on violence
against women and victim crisis assistance.
    Proposals must be submitted no later than September 16, 2008. The
proposals need to show how the organization will improve victims' safety
through better monitoring of high-risk offenders and more effective
notification to victims.

    QUOTES

    "The Victim Safety Project is giving victims of crime a stronger, more
efficient support system to help protect them in their everyday lives," said
Community Safety and Correctional Services Minister Rick Bartolucci
(http://www.mcscs.jus.gov.on.ca/english/about_min/bio.html).
    "These grants will help us get the most innovative solutions from police
and victim services on ways to keep our communities safe from high-risk
offenders," said Attorney General Chris Bentley
(http://www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.ca/english/about/ag/agbio.asp).

    QUICK FACTS

    
    -   Ontario announced funding for eight projects earlier this year,
        totalling $875,000.
    -   Funding has also been earmarked for a training symposium to ensure
        police services, Crown attorneys and victim service agencies receive
        information on victim safety and victim notification.
    -   Females are at increased risk of sexual assault, stalking by intimate
        partners, serious spousal assaults and spousal homicide. Males are
        more vulnerable to sexual offences when they are under 12-years-old.
    -   Studies estimate the economic costs of violent crime to the health-
        care system, criminal justice, social services and in lost
        productivity to be in the billions of dollars.

    LEARN MORE

    The application form
(http://www.mcscs.jus.gov.on.ca/english/police_serv/application/VSF_intro.html
is available on the ministry's website.
    Read more about dealing with spousal abuse
(http://www.statcan.ca/english/research/85-570-XIE/2006001/foreword.htm).
    Information about Victim Support Line
(http://www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.ca/english/about/vw/vsl.asp) and
Assaulted Women's Helpline (http://www.awhl.org/).

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                                                      ontario.ca/safety-news
                                                      Disponible en français


    BACKGROUNDER
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                         VICTIM SAFETY PROJECT GRANTS
    

    The Victim Safety Project is a two-year, $4.5-million initiative between
the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services and the Ministry of
the Attorney General, funded through the Victims' Justice Fund. The Victims'
Justice Fund is a special purpose account established under the Victims' Bill
of Rights and funded from fine surcharges imposed under the Criminal Code of
Canada and the Provincial Offences Act.
    The Victims' Justice Fund is dedicated exclusively to assisting victims
of Criminal Code offences. Victims' Justice Fund grant applicants are required
to provide a description of how their proposal will assist victims of Criminal
Code offences as specified in the Victims' Bill of Rights.
    Members of a committee, including justice sector partner representatives
from the Ministry of the Attorney General, the Ontario Victim Services
Secretariat, the Office for Victims of Crime, the Ministry of Community Safety
and Correctional Services and the Ontario Provincial Police reviewed a total
of 22 applications last fall. Eight proposals totalling $875,000 received
first round funding in 2008.

    LIST OF PROJECTS AWARDED FUNDING

    
    -   Caledon/Dufferin Victim Services ($45,000): This project enhances
        services to victims of high-risk offenders. A CD-ROM containing
        safety planning information will be available to victims who live in
        remote communities where victim support and assistance are less
        accessible.
    -   Greater Sudbury Police Service ($150,000): This project offers
        training to front-line officers with an emphasis on victim
        notification and services available to victims. A coordinator is to
        be hired to maintain a registry of victim contacts and assist in the
        development and maintenance of a web page containing updated
        information about offenders for victims and members of the community.
    -   Hamilton Police Service ($140,000): This grant assists Hamilton
        Police Service in offering state-of-the-art technology to its
        vulnerable population. Through a Global Position System victim
        tracking and messaging device, victims receive up-to-date information
        about the offender based on police information and real-time
        information that probation and parole services may wish to share.
    -   Ottawa Police Service ($70,000): This grant assists the Ottawa Police
        Victim Crisis Unit in hiring a victim crisis worker who will review
        files, conduct clinical assessments, provide safety plans and offer
        post trauma counselling to victims and referral to community
        partners. The worker will also provide victims with information on
        reporting procedures to ensure a timely response to breach of
        conditions.
    -   Oxford Community Police Service ($143,000): This project leads to
        improved accountability between local High-Risk Offender Response
        Team members, effective information sharing and better coordination
        of case management efforts in monitoring offenders and assessing
        risk. Specialized safety planning and risk assessment training are
        offered to victim services, Crown attorneys and probation and parole
        officers.
    -   Victim Services of Middlesex County ($150,000): The project develops
        focus groups including victims, victim crisis and referral services
        staff, police, Crown attorneys, probation and parole officers, and,
        when appropriate, offenders. Using the information gathered from the
        focus groups, an educational video and information package is under
        production to address service gaps and support the needs of victims.
    -   Victim Services of Wellington ($89,000): A victim notification and
        safety coordinator was hired to help shorten the time between
        offender release and victim notification, and to notify victims of
        the outcome of hearings when the offender is not released.
    -   Victim Services of Windsor and Essex County ($91,000): A project
        coordinator was hired to increase victim/community safety by
        addressing gaps in services to victims. The coordinator's role is to
        develop a police in-service training tool; create and facilitate a
        service provider public education training session; create terms of
        reference for a high-risk case management review team; and create a
        community safety plan pamphlet on safety precautions for the release
        of a high-risk offender.

    A portion of the grant funding will be used to offer a provincewide
training symposium. The training will ensure that police services, Crown
attorneys and community-based victim service agencies are provided with
information and materials on victim safety and victim notification. Attendees
will also be provided with the ministry's guidelines of the Policing Standards
Manual on Police Response to High-Risk Individuals.

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                                                      ontario.ca/safety-news
                                                      Disponible en français
    





For further information:

For further information: Laura Blondeau, Minister's Office, (416)
325-4973; Anthony Brown, Communications Branch, (416) 314-7772

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Ontario Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services

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