Victim Assistance Unit
The Victim Assistance Unit is maintained by two full-time civilian employees. There is also a part time relief worker and a part time volunteer coordinator.
All other personnel are volunteers who provide 24 hour practical and emotional support to victims of crime, accident, or other incidents who contact the Medicine Hat Police Service by providing immediate emotional and practical support; providing the victim with information about their file and the criminal justice system; referring the victim to other helping agencies; and providing court orientation and accompaniment.The coordinator is responsible to liaise and meet with other agencies and is responsible for public education regarding victimization and the victims assistance program. In addition, the unit manages the Victim Impact Statement Program and the Teddy Program.
On July 23, 2015 federal legislation, Bill C-32, The Victims Bill of Rights, which gives victims of crime a more effective voice in the criminal justice system, came into force. This legislation create the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights to provide clear statutory rights at the federal level for victims of crime for the first time in Canadian history.
The Canadian Victims Bill of Rights establishes the statutory rights to information, protection, participation and to seek restitution, as well as ensures that a complaint process is in place for breaches of these rights by a federal department or agency.
To learn more about the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights visit: http://www.canada.ca/en/campaign/victimsbillrights/
Forms for Victims of Crime
Teddy Bear Program:
When our volunteers are sent to a call out that has children involved we bring teddy bears or other stuffed animals along and give them to the children to help them through the traumatic experience and give them something to focus on other than the traumatic event. Both police and Victim Assistance members give out the bears, or sometimes "rocks of encouragement". When we leave the child gets to keep the teddy bear or stuffed animal that they were given.
Victim Impact Statement:
Under provisions of the Criminal Code of Canada and the Youth Criminal Justice Act, a Victim Impact Statement allows a victim of crime to express in writing to a judge how being a victim of crime has affected you and those close to you. It is the victims voice in the Criminal Justice System.
Victim Assistance Program Manager
Ms. Nathalie Castets
phone: (403) 581-1054