On April 10, the Ontario Attorney General Chris Bentley announced the Vulnerable Victims and Family Fund.
The aim of this $900,000 fund is to help victims of crime and their families as they negotiate the intricacies of the justice system. According to the Attorney General, this new program will allow victims and their families “to participate more fully in the criminal court process”.
This fund will provide both financial and court-based supports to Ontario residents in three ways:
- Helping both victims of crime and families of homicide victims to travel to attend court during key points in a criminal trial
- Providing vulnerable victims with interpretation services when they are observing a criminal trial
- Ensuring that victims with disabilities have appropriate supports, such as real-time captioning or other equipment to help them testify
Under the new program, victims of crime and families of homicide victims should apply through Ontario’s Victim/Witness Assistance Program (V/WAP), which is available in all 54 court districts across the province. V/WAP staff will determine eligibility on a case-by-case basis and help those who may qualify for assistance to apply. To find the V/WAP office closest to you, visit the online Victims Services Directory.
As of May 1, 2011 victims of crime and there families will be able to apply for support through a website.
For additional information about the Vulnerable Victims and Family Fund contact:
Victim Support Line
Online: Victim Services Directory
Always remember that you may have been victimized by sexual violence, but by searching for help you have started your healing.