The CVRD has renewed its contract with RCMP victim services in Lake Cowichan for another five years.
Victim services workers are stationed with RCMP detachments but are not police officers themselves. The program works closely with police and victims and witnesses of crime to “lessen the impact of crime and traumatic events by providing crisis intervention, [liaise] with police and file updates.”
Workers also provide victims with referrals to appropriate community agencies such as Cowichan Lake Community Services depending on the nature of the crime.
“Clients can also come to our program from the 24 hour a day crisis intervention service we offer at the call of police,” program manager Carla Sampson said in a written statement. “Call-outs for service can involve emotional support on-scene for anything ranging from a sudden death, suicide, sexual assault, motor vehicle accidents, etc.”
Sampson pointed out that while film and television constantly remind viewers that accused criminals have a series of rights that must be respected, many British Columbians are unaware that under the Victims of Crime Act, there are specific rights they as victims are also entitled to.
According to VictimsInfo.ca, that includes the right to receive certain case-specific information on the investigation, prosecution, sentencing and release of the offender; the right to be given reasonable opportunity to provide victim impact information; and the right to receive information on the justice system, victim services and related legislation.
The contact number for the victim services program for the Cowichan Lake area is: 250-245-2160.