Sunday, 23 November 2008

MTM - Muskoka Victim Services

For ten years now, those who have been victims of crime, violence, personal or sexual assault, or other trauma, have been able to access Muskoka Victims Services. The purpose of the program is to ameliorate the impact of crime or tragedy for anyone involved. This can include victims, as well as their families. The program is available for anyone age 16 years or older (otherwise Children's Aid Society is contacted). Our teams are on-call 24/7, and will arrive on the scene within 45 minutes of police notification. A great video explains more about the work we do.

To apply or for more information, please call:
Muskoka Victim Services
705-645-5444 or 1-877-224-2217

We work with Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), hospitals, and EMS crews to respond to emergency and determine immediate action. If you have experienced trauma, you can phone our offices to seek our help. We will, with permission of the victim, assist victims in timely, short-term support to access services that will help them work through a traumatic incident. We empower the victim to take action and seek the help of community resources.

Some of our calls include: sudden deaths, medical crises, sexual assault, break and enter, property crimes, disasters, missing persons, drownings, suicide, criminal harassment, motor vehicle accidents, domestic abuse, elder abuse or neglect, death notification, fire, personal or family crises, homicide, robbery and vandalism. Volunteers are provided with training, and supportive team leaders dispatch volunteers who guide victims to determine their needs, and access community services that will change them from being a victim, to becoming a survivor.

Our SupportLink program assists those at risk of domestic or sexual assault and stalking, in developing a personal safety plan, that could include the use of a wireless phone, and referrals to other services, such as Women's Shelters. Safety plans include information while travelling, at work, at home, the creation and enforcement of court orders, and safe communication.

These services are paid for through court awarded Victims' Justice Fund money, collected through a provincial victim surcharge, and monitored by the Ministry of the Attorney General. Funds are supervised by a Board of Directors, and that operates as a Transfer Payment Agency through Ontario Victim Services Secretariat (OVSS). The OVSS is a division of the Ministry of the Attorney General (MAG) that works to ensure that victims of crime are treated with respect and receive the information and services they need. Community grant money is available to address gaps in services, to ensure quality services, accessibility, to support community development and to increase an awareness of victimization, victim's issues in hospitals, sexual assault clinics, when testifying in court, and after becoming victims of crime.

With 48 regional offices in Ontario, and 10,000 volunteers across the province, victims are able to access the support of a team in man regions. You can call the Ontario Victim Support Line toll-free at 1-888-579-2888. If you, or someone you know has been a victim of crime, this web page gives regional numbers. If you think you can use our services, please call. If someone you know fits the profile of our clients, give them our number.


debra said...

This is such an important service. So many people have been affected by situations such as those you mention.

Terrie Farley Moran said...

Hi Jenny,

Thanks for great information on such an important topic. Nice to see so much is being done.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing about this program, Jenny.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Great to see how seriously this is taken.

Jenn Jilks said...

I am amazed at the phenomenal people involved in this work. Both victims turned survivors, and professionals who want to give something back: nurse, retired police officer, teachers, and the like. It is like having an educated friend there to help you out. We work in pairs, and provide strength to those who need a hand. We meet monthly, and get more training. The OPP, and others such as mental and health care workers, provide us with updated training. Great folks.

Travis Erwin said...

It's a shame that programs like this are needed but thank God for the many volunteers who provide services such as these.

Junosmom said...

Sounds like a great service.