VCARS staff, supported by trained volunteers, provide immediate emotional and practical support and referral services to victims of crime or other tragic circumstances 24/7. Working closely with our police, hospital, city and community-based partners, we provide early intervention, to help to reestablish a person's physical and emotional safety and provide referrals to community and government services to match their needs.
Clients may be eligible if they are affected by criminal harassment, intimate partner violence, elder abuse, hate crimes, homicide, human trafficking, motor vehicle accidents, robbery and property crimes, sexual assault, sudden death, suicide, and more. To be a client, you must be over 16. However, VCARS will assist children with the consent of a parent or guardian.
Staff and volunteers also refer clients to other programs and services to help address their need for safe housing, income supports, counselling, medical care, peer support, mental health and addiction services, legal services, etc.
Specific objectives of the program are:
- To lessen the trauma of being victimized.
- To help the individual who has been victimized cope with the impact.
- To encourage the individual who has been victimized connect with appropriate community resources.
- To assist police, emergency and community services in meeting the needs of individuals who have been victimized.
- To provide opportunity for the community to become more involved in dealing with the effects of victimization.
- To reduce the negative impact of victimization by providing safety planning, emotional support and immediate referrals to community services, if necessary.
- To help the individual who has been victimized regain a sense of personal control.
- To enable the individual who has been victimized cope with their immediate situation.
- To engage in advocacy for individuals who have been victimized.
- To share resources and knowledge with other community agencies about safety planning.