The Victim Services Unit (VSU) is committed to treating all people with dignity, compassion and respect. Our unit is staffed by a civilian coordinator and several trained volunteers.
The mission of the VSU is to provide victims, witnesses and their families with professional support to lessen the impact of trauma experienced as a result of crime or other tragic events. The service is available to anyone who has been a victim of a crime or has been otherwise impacted by traumatic circumstances.
We assure our service to be entirely confidential and victims are not obligated to follow through with the criminal justice process (i.e., pressing charges, going to court). Referrals to VSU are typically made by a police officer responding to a call for service, however, individuals can contact VSU on their own, even if they are not ready to talk to police or make a formal report.
We are committed to providing information, referral services and advocating on behalf of our clients. Our services include:
- emotional and practical support at the time of crisis as well as long-term follow-up,
- referrals to appropriate counseling services, support groups, financial assistance and housing resources,
- case specific information (e.g., status of police investigation, charges laid against the offender, outcome of court appearances),
- accompaniment and support throughout the court process,
- assistance with safety planning, and
- assistance with the preparation of Victim Impact Statements.
We also work collaboratively with other community agencies around issues such as domestic violence, relationship problems, grief, substance abuse, suicide, and more.
At the request of the police, a VSU member will attend a crime scene to provide crisis intervention, emotional support and practical assistance following incidents such as:
• Break and enter
• Sexual assault
• Domestic violence
• Sudden death
• Major accident
• Other traumatic events