April 20, 2010
FREDERICTON (CNB) - New Brunswickers are reminded April 18 to 24 is National Victims of Crime Awareness Week.
"Being the victim of a crime can be a traumatic and challenging experience," said Public Safety Minister and Solicitor General John W. Foran. "We know feelings of anxiety, fear and loneliness can be difficult for victims of crime to manage alone, and there is the additional fear of having to navigate the criminal justice system. The good news is that victims need not suffer and confront these obstacles alone - our department's Victim Services can offer assistance in a variety of ways."
Trauma counselling and short-term counselling is be available to victims of crime based on individual needs, which may help in dealing with the emotional effects of being a victim.
Victim Services also provides court support and preparation to help victims required to testify in court. Additional protections including testimonial aids (for instance, closed-circuit televisions and screens) have been put in place for vulnerable victims such as children.
Several follow-up services for victims after the court process are also available, including information about sentencing, an offender's release, and when an accused person is found not criminally responsible.
Victim Services has a crime compensation program for direct victims of violent crimes who have suffered personal loss or injury. Financial benefits may be available to assist with expenses as a direct result of the crime not covered by other means.
The Department of Public Safety has also developed a new television advertisement that will run at various times throughout the year.
"As we work together to build a safer New Brunswick, victims of crime should know that they will be supported," said Foran.
The Department of Public Safety Victim Services staff members are located in all regions of New Brunswick. Their contact information is online.
MEDIA CONTACT: Meghan Cumby, communications, Department of Public Safety, 506-444-5267.