PCVI News - Fall 2012


Welcome to largest edition of the PCVI News to date! We have a lot of information to share this fall. In this edition, you will read about victim advocates recently recognized for their hard work, developments in risk assessment for domestic violence cases, and information on how to receive funding to present a Victim Impact Statement at a Parole Board of Canada hearing. We also have a new section called From the Desks of PCVI in which we will share interesting information from a variety of sources.

Please join PCVI as we congratulate MADD Canada on the 25th anniversary of the Project Red Ribbon campaign. Learn more about MADD Canada’s programs and services available to victims of impaired driving in our interview with National President Denise Dubyk. Congratulations MADD Canada!

We also ask that you mark your calendars for the 8th annual National Victims of Crime Awareness Week which will be commemorated across Canada from April 21 - 27, 2013. The theme for NVCAW 2013 is: We All Have a Role. Visit http://www.victimsweek.gc.ca regularly for updates.

PCVI is interested in your feedback and ideas for this Newsletter. If you have a story to share, information to pass on to colleagues in the field of victim issues, or suggestions for improvement, please contact us at PCVI-CPCV@justice.gc.ca.

Awards and Recognition

PCVI is proud to acknowledge the following recipients of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in honour of their work for victims of crime:

Tracy Porteous, EVA BC's Executive Director, was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Representative for Children and Youth's Awards of Excellence on Thursday, October 13, 2011 for her dedication to improving the lives of children, youth and families across B.C. for over 30 years.

If you know of another award recipient working to improve the lives of victims of crime, please let us know!

Interview with MADD Canada

Twenty-five years ago, MADD Canada started an awareness campaign, Project Red Ribbon, to get the public thinking about the need for safe and sober driving. MADD Canada National President Denise Dubyk reflects on the history of Project Red Ribbon, outlines the services and programs available to victims of impaired driving, and discusses how the organization is meeting the challenge of raising awareness among young people.

Q: Project Red Ribbon is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2012. How did the campaign start?

Dubyk: It all started with the desire to reduce impaired driving during the holiday season. That is a time of year when social calendars are full; everyone has holiday parties and family get-togethers and other occasions where they might be raising a glass or two to toast the holidays or ring in the New Year.

The red ribbon concept came about as we were looking for a way to remind Canadians about the dangers of impaired driving and encourage them to plan ahead for a sober ride home if they were going to be drinking. The idea of a red ribbon was 'born' because it was something small that people could easily attach to their vehicles, while at the same time, highly visible and serving as a reminder to people to put the keys away and get a sober ride home if they’re drinking.

The concept has evolved somewhat over the years. Most vehicles don’t have antennas anymore, but our red ribbon is quite versatile. Today, we encourage people to tie them not only to their vehicles if they can, but also to their key chains, or on their purses, briefcases, backpacks, zippers - anywhere that the red ribbon can be seen by others.

Q: What are the goals of the Project Red Ribbon campaign?

Dubyk: The overall goal of Project Red Ribbon is to reduce impaired driving and the crashes, deaths and injuries that result from it.

Wearing a red ribbon is a symbol of the wearer’s commitment to sober driving. It is also a way of paying tribute to all victims who have been senselessly killed or injured in impaired driving crashes. It encourages people to take a moment and think about those individuals who have been so tragically affected by a crime that is entirely, 100 per cent preventable.

So when people see a red ribbon, we hope they think about the dangers of impaired driving. We hope they think about how it has devastated so many lives and so many families, and how it can affect anyone. We hope it prompts them to plan their transportation accordingly if they’re going to be drinking. And we hope it makes people realize that impaired driving affects everyone and everyone has the power to prevent it.

Q: What kind of services and resources does MADD Canada provide for victims of impaired driving?

Dubyk: Supporting victims is MADD Canada’s top priority. Through our National Office and our volunteer groups in more than 100 communities, we provide services, support and resources to some 20,000 victims each year. Through our national support line and our network of victim services volunteers across the country, we offer grief and bereavement support; support through the criminal justice system; assistance with victim impact statements; and help with understanding victims’ rights. We also have extensive printed and online resources available, including a lending library; brochures, community referrals; and trained victim services volunteers.

I know how difficult and overwhelming it can be when you have suffered a loss. You need information and guidance and don’t know where to turn. In 2000, after my son-in-law Darryl was killed, I picked up the phone and called MADD Canada. Our family had no idea that the support offered would be something that kept us afloat. Knowing there was help, and there were people who understood what we were going through, made such a difference to us.

Q: MADD Canada has recently launched its 2012-2013 School Assembly Program. What strategies does MADD Canada use to meet the challenge of raising awareness among young people of the risks of impaired driving?

Dubyk: MADD Canada has a Youth Services program specifically aimed at teens and young adults because we know those age groups are at significantly higher risk for impaired driving.

Our largest youth initiative is our School Assembly Program. Each year, we produce a film to bring high-energy drug and alcohol impaired driving awareness directly into schools. We have School Outreach Field Representatives who travel across the country to deliver the program and talk directly to students. They reach more than 1 million students each year. The film and accompanying classroom curriculum guide challenge students to examine their values and perceptions around drugs, alcohol and driving, and encourages them to make smart, responsible choices that will protect them and their peers from impaired driving.

The films are a combination of fictional storyline and testimonials from real-life victims of impaired driving. For the fictional storyline, we need to be sure it’s a scenario that is realistic to students. It has to be a situation in which they can picture themselves and their friends, and it has to get them thinking about what decisions they would make in that situation. For example, in the newest show, called Long Weekend, students see a group of friends partying at a cottage over a summer weekend. It’s a realistic scenario for many Canadian teens. But then we show them what happens when someone makes the decision to drive after drinking and smoking marijuana. The film then ends with testimonials from real-life victims who share their share their heartbreaking stories. Those stories have an incredible impact on the students. Knowing that these are real people who have lost their mom or dad, sister, grandmother or another loved one, or who have suffered devastating injuries - that really hits home with young people.

2012 Project Red Ribbon Launch on Parliament Hill

Left to right: Gaetan Gendron, MADD Ottawa; Lucas Hauer; Gregg Thomson, MADD Ottawa; Marie Claude Morin, MADD Quebec Region; Michael Hanson, original drummer and founding member of Glass Tiger; Minister Marjory LeBreton, Leader of the Government in the Senate; MADD Canada National President Denise Dubyk; John O'Donnell, President and CEO of Allstate Insurance Company of Canada; RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson; OPP Chief Superintendent Gary Couture.

Left to right: Gaetan Gendron, MADD Ottawa; Lucas Hauer; Gregg Thomson, MADD Ottawa; Marie Claude Morin, MADD Quebec Region; Michael Hanson, original drummer and founding member of Glass Tiger; Minister Marjory LeBreton, Leader of the Government in the Senate; MADD Canada National President Denise Dubyk; John O'Donnell, President and CEO of Allstate Insurance Company of Canada; RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson; OPP Chief Superintendent Gary Couture.

**MADD Canada also recently announced the availability of its mobile optimized website, providing improved access to the most trafficked MADD Canada Internet resources from mobile devices. Visit http://www.madd.ca on your iPhone, BlackBerry or Android smartphone to check it out.**

Risk Assessment

Knowledge Exchange on Safety Planning, Risk Assessment and Risk Management

On October 17th through 19th, 2012, the Centre for Research on Violence Against Women and Children hosted a knowledge exchange on Safety Planning, Risk Assessment and Risk Management in London, Ontario with funding from the Victims Fund. The knowledge exchange involved approximately 80 academics, researchers, police officers, Crown, victim services workers, and policy makers representing non-governmental organizations, universities and all levels of government. Participants met to discuss challenges and promising practises with regard to safety planning, risk assessment and risk management in the context of domestic violence, with a focus on the needs of victims and their children. Agenda topics included: an overview of domestic violence risk assessment, collaborative risk assessment within a system context, recognizing children at risk for domestic homicides, risk assessment with vulnerable populations, risk management, safety planning, and developing a blue print for a national strategy for risk assessment, safety planning and risk management in domestic violence cases. It is hoped that through this event, communities and provinces and territories will continue to learn from each other in this field to advance policy, practices, standards and principles to better ensure the safety of victims of domestic violence and their children.

Intimate Partner Violence Risk Assessment Tools: A Review

The report, Intimate Partner Violence Risk Assessment Tools: A Review, was prepared at the Department of Justice to enhance the understanding of risk assessment tools for those who work on the front-lines of victim services. The report provides an overview of risk management and risk assessment tools and their application in the criminal justice system generally and in cases of intimate partner violence specifically. The report also describes the main approaches to risk management and risk assessment and the benefits and challenges of each. In addition, the report describes the factors that assessors should consider when choosing an appropriate risk assessment tool.

From the Desks of PCVI

At PCVI we receive many emails about important developments in the area of victim issues and related fields. While we cannot forward every email to you, our readers, we have selected some of the most interesting and timely pieces to share.

We would like to make this an ongoing feature of the PCVI Newsletter. If you have something of importance to share with the victim serving community, please send your links to: PCVI-CPCV@justice.gc.ca.

From: The National Centre for Victims of Crime

The National Center for Victims of Crime is pleased to announce the availability of the online Responding to Crime Victims with Disabilities: Resource Directory for Service Providers. This directory is designed to help community advocates working in the fields of crime victim assistance, disability services, law enforcement, and allied professions improve their response to victims with disabilities. Resources are organized by topic, such as accessibility, assistive technology, collaboration, communication, curricula and training, service animals, video collections, and more. This resource directory was assembled largely from materials freely available on the Internet. Additional materials were identified by experts in the victim and disability services community.

From: The Canadian Centre for Child Protection

The Canadian Centre for Child Protection has produced a short but powerful video about child victimization in Canada. You can view this video by visiting the CCCP website or on Youtube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cYPMI3k2F1Y.

From: Carleton University

The Canadian not-for-profit sector is faced with many challenges, including having to adapt to a fiscal climate that is having an impact on government, corporate and private financial donations. To meet these challenges, Carleton University is launching a new graduate program to train the next generation of leaders in the non-profit and philanthropic sector. The Master of Philanthropy and Non-profit Leadership prepares graduates to be leaders in charities, non-profits, advocacy organizations, social enterprises, philanthropic foundations, development offices, and in the governments, financial institutions and businesses that interact with them. To learn more about this exciting new program visit the website.

Did You Know?

Victims of crime may attend Parole Board of Canada (PBC) hearings as an observer or to present a Victim Impact Statement. Victims who are registered with the Correctional Service of Canada or the Parole Board of Canada and who have been approved by the PBC to attend a hearing may apply to the Department of Justice for travel funding assistance. This funding can help with costs such as travel, hotel accommodation and meals while away from home. A support person for the victim may also apply for travel funding assistance if they too have been approved to attend a hearing.

To learn more about the Parole Board of Canada and to apply to attend a Parole Board hearing, click here: http://pbc-clcc.gc.ca/victims/victims-eng.shtml.

To learn more about how to apply for travel funding assistance to attend a Parole Board hearing, click here: https://canada.justice.gc.ca/eng/rp-pr/cj-jp/victim/attend-audience.html.

The Parole Board of Canada has also developed four new Fact Sheets for victims of crime:

To view these Fact Sheets, click here: http://pbc-clcc.gc.ca/infocntr/factsh/factsh-eng.shtml.

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. Please send your comments and feedback to our editor at PCVI-CPCV@justice.gc.ca.