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Choose only the suggestions listed here that make sense for your set of circumstances.
Whether or not you feel able to leave an abuser, there are things you can do to make yourself and your family safer.
Call the Family Violence Information Line at (780)310-1818 to speak with trained personnel who provide referrals and information for victims of domestic violence.Safety when preparing to leave:
LEAVING CAN BE THE MOST DANGEROUS TIME!
- Have a safe place to stay. Make sure it is a place that can protect you and your children.- Find out which services and shelters are available as options if you need them. www.acws.ca provides a list of all shelters in Alberta.- Find someone you trust. Leave money, extra keys, copies of important documents and clothing with them in advance, so you can leave quickly, if necessary.- Open a savings account. Put it in your name only, to increase your independence. - - Consider direct deposit from your paycheck or benefit check.- Make plans for any pets that you have that you are unable to take and you cannot leave behind. If you have no place to leave your pets and this will prevent you from leaving, mention this to the shelter when you call and they may be able to assist with some accommodations.- If any household bills are in your name (ie. Phone, gas, cable), cancel them after you leave.- Change your email address, phone numbers, all PINS and passwords.- Shred all discarded mail personal papers.- Keep your shrubs/trees, trimmed outside your house. Information and SafetyStrategies for Victims of Domestic Violence
- Make plans for any pets that you have that you are unable to take and you cannot leave behind. If you have no place to leave your pets and this will prevent you from leaving, mention this to the shelter when you call and they may be able to assist with some accommodations.- If any household bills are in your name (ie. Phone, gas, cable), cancel them after you leave.- Change your email address, phone numbers, all PINS and passwords.- Shred all discarded mail personal papers.
- To provide reparations for harm done to victims or to the community- To hold the offender accountable and responsible, by acknowledging the harm done to victims and the community- If a judge orders an offender to pay restitution, the offender pays the victim. - Arrangements are usually made for the money from the offender to be paid at Court Services, who then forward the money to the victim. The victim is responsible for providing their contact information to Court Services, if restitution is ordered. In rare instances the offender has paid the victim directly but this is notrecommended.
The victim is responsible to collect the amount in the restitution order. A restitution order is made at the time of sentencing. A victim who wishes restitution must request it.
Injury Benefit and Death Benefit1. The Injury Application is to be completed if:- The victim was injured as a direct result of a violent crime.- The victim witnesses someone with whom they have a strong emotional attachment die as a result of a violent crime or are present in the immediate aftermath of the crime.- The Death Benefit Application is to be completed if the applicant has paid the funeral costs of a victim who has died as a result of violent crime.
Injury BenefitPrograms in other parts of Canada and in other countries are often based on the idea of ‘compensation’ – repayment to compensate for actual expenses or damages caused by the crime. Alberta’s Financial Benefits Program is based on a different concept. It provides a financial benefit based on the injury rather than compensation for loss or damages. The injury benefit not intended to compensate for financial loss (for example, ambulance expenses, loss of earnings, etc.). Rather, it pays a one-time fixed sum ofmoney to acknowledge the injury that was done to the victim of a violent crime.
A victim who sustained an injury resulting in quadriplegia or traumatic brain damage and who is fully dependent on others to engage in activities of daily living (bathing, feeding, toileting, etc.) may be eligible for a monthly payment in addition to the Financial Benefits one-time fixed sum of money. An individual capable of performing some of these functions would not be eligible for the supplement.
Death BenefitIf the crime resulted in death, funeral costs may be claimed by the person who paid the costs of the victim’s funeral. The applicant must provide original receipts that indicate, by name, that the applicant paid for funeral costs.
Reimbursement for funeral services may be paid up to $12,500.
Crisis or trauma is an experience so severe or unusual that the mind cannot assimilate or master it in the usual way. The stressors in trauma are intense, unexpected and unusual. They are beyond the range of normal human experience. The individual’s psychological equilibrium is disturbed and the individual may develop traumatic stress reactions.
Crisis InterventionDefinition: Crisis intervention is the active, temporary entry into the life situation of an individual, family or group during a period of unusual stress.
Intent of crisis intervention: To facilitate the rapid removal of the stressors affecting the crisis victim. The intervention process is intended to help the person involved in the crisis identify and apply new coping resources.
What is a victim impact statement (VIS)?
Section 722 of the Criminal Code of Canada provides victims of crime with an opportunity to describe in writing to the court how the crime has affected their lives. A victim impact statement is a written statement in the victim’s own words that describes:
- How the victim’s life has been affected by being a victim of the offence- What physical or emotional losses or impacts have been experienced as a result of the offence - If charges are laid and the accused person is found guilty, the victim impact statement will be considered by the Court before sentencing.
Purpose of a Victim Impact StatementFor the victim:Provides a victim with an opportunity to state how his or her life has been affected by the crime, and any physical and emotional loss experienced as a result of the crime.
For the Court:Assists the Court and the offender to understand how the crime has affected the victim’s life.
Who can prepare a victim impact statement?A victim of any crime where an offender has been charged may prepare a victim impact statement. For the purposes of a victim impact statement, a ‘victim’ is a person to whom harm was done or who suffered physical or emotional loss as a result of the offence.