All kinds of intimate partner violence, including sexualized violence and domestic violence, are crimes in Canada.
If you are the survivor of a crime like this (or any other crime for that matter), you are eligible to receive support from Victim Services.
Saskatchewan’s Victim Services programs support survivors of reported and unreported crime from a wide range of incidents, including physical assaults, sexual assaults, armed robberies, criminal harassment, residential break and enters, and more. Staff and volunteers also provide assistance in tragic events such as suicides and fatal accidents. Of all the files they handle, a significant number involve domestic violence and/or sexual assault, indicating how prevalent these crimes are.
There are four main pillars of support that Victim Services offers:
|Initial trauma crisis support;|
Court support; and
Helping survivors complete Victim Impact Statements and Victims Compensation forms.
|Providing information on the justice system for those involved in a court matter;|
Court updates, prep and court orientation;
Information on restitution and compensation; and
The sharing of available resources, information, and materials.
|Assisting individuals to self-refer to any 3rd party agency or community resource that may help them, including:|
Saskatoon Sexual Assault & Information Centre
Mental Health and Addictions Services
Saskatoon Crisis Intervention Service
Family Services Saskatoon
Any sheltering needs or other crisis resources
|Helping survivors have a voice when they feel theirs is not being heard; and|
Acting as a voice alongside survivors to advocate for appropriate services or timely processing of their case.
Victim Impact Statements
One of the victim services staff and volunteers’ most important roles is assisting survivors in the writing of their Victim Impact Statements, which is their opportunity to explain to the court how a crime has affected them emotionally, physically, or otherwise.
Victims of crime (that have reported) are able to apply for reasonable expenses resulting from sexualized violence. Compensation for reasonable expenses include:
- Certain medical costs (such as ambulance and prescriptions not covered by another plan and dental, chiropractic and eyeglass costs);
- Counselling, including traditional healing methods, while you are involved in the criminal justice system;
- Funeral expenses to a maximum of $5,000 where not covered by other programs;
- Loss of income where it is not covered by Employment Insurance, Workers’ Compensation or an insurance plan; and
- Damage to or loss of clothing as a result of the crime.
Learn more about Victims Compensation here.
Victim Services – Saskatoon Police Service
The Victim Services program in Saskatoon opened its doors in May of 1993. Since that time the program has grown and currently employs two staff members, two Indigenous Resource Officers, a Missing Persons Liaison, a Victim Services Responder and approximately 40 volunteer Support Workers. Victim Services provides education, information, support and referrals to victims of crime so they can make the best choices for themselves in the immediate aftermath of a traumatic event and throughout the criminal justice process.
Visit Victim Services at the Saskatoon Police Service Headquarters building (76 – 25th Street East) or phone them (306-975-8400) anytime Monday to Friday, 9:00am – 9:00pm.
Sask Central Victim Services
SCVS helps victims of crime and traumatic events throughout the Sask Central Region. This includes 11 RCMP Detachments and 4 Rural Municipal Police Services. With one Coordinator, one Administrative Assistant, two Assistant Coordinators and a team of Volunteer Support Workers, we serve a vast area of Saskatchewan.
Visit Sask Central Victim Services main office in Martensville or phone them (306-385-2683) anytime Monday to Friday, 8:00am – 5:00pm.
Victim / Witness Services
If charges have been laid and you are preparing to go to court, you may experience a lot of confusion or fear. You may have a lot of questions about the criminal court system, and what will be expected of you. The Victim/Witness Assistance Program is here to talk you through this process and provide assistance based on your specific case and needs. These services begin once police have laid charges and will continue until the court case is over.
Topics that Victim/Witness Services are able to help with include:
- Liaison and advocacy with the court and Crown Prosecutor to help ensure your needs in the courtroom are known. This includes exploring the use of testimonial aids that may be available in some cases, especially for child witnesses;
- Information about the status of your case, legal terms, what it is like to be a witness and how the process works. This will give you a better understanding of the criminal justice system. Children are taught about the process in a friendly atmosphere and in a manner appropriate to their age;
- Court tour and orientation to familiarize you with the courtroom and the roles of court personnel;
- Court accompaniment to provide support and assistance when you are planning for and attending court;
- Referrals to community and government service agencies to meet related needs, such as outreach or counseling.
Volunteering Your Time
Both the Saskatoon Police Service and RCMP rely heavily on volunteers to deliver the majority of the services to survivors in their service areas. Volunteers complete thorough training of approximately 25-40 hours of in-classroom training, delivered by expert community partners and a minimum of 12 hours of shadowing with experienced Victim Support Workers. If you are interested in volunteering for Victim Services, learn more here. If you live in the SCVS areas of service, learn more about their volunteering opportunities here.
Resource for Survivors – “What to Expect when Reporting a Sexual Assault”
This booklet is designed to fully inform survivors who are considering reporting sexualized violence on everything involved in the process of reporting, investigating, and prosecuting sexual assaults.
Reporting is a huge and personal decision. SSAIC supports all survivors, no matter what choice they make. We aim to empower survivors with all choices available to them, as well as connect them to relevant information needed to make those decisions. The criminal justice system can be daunting, and we hope this booklet makes it a little less so.
Thank-you so much to the Department of Justice, Government of Canada for sponsoring our work for Victims and Survivors of Crime Week 2021! Join our free, virtual panel discussion on Thursday, November 18th at 1:oopm CST with our local Victim Services organizations to hear all about their services, experiences, and what they can offer to survivors of crime.