Halton police’s Victim Services Unit for Burlington, Oakville, Milton, wins provincial honour

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May 31, 2023 at 11:24 am

Photo (L to R): Inspector Chris Newcombe, Erin Stewart, Kimberley Clark, Donna Northeast, Kathleen Cox.

A support program for victims of sexual assault in Oakville, Burlington, Milton and Halton Hills has been honoured with a provincial award.

The Halton Regional Police Service’s Victim Services Unit (VSU) recently received an Attorney General’s 2022-23 Victim Services Award of Distinction.

The award acknowledges the outstanding contributions made by individuals and organizations to support victims of crime as well as raises awareness of issues surrounding victims in Ontario.

The VSU, which is comprised of civilian members and more than 60 trained volunteers, was recognized for developing a sexual assault program that places Victim Services as the first point of contact for those wishing to report a sexual assault.

“Our Service is immensely proud of, and grateful for, the work of our Victim Services Unit personnel and volunteers in supporting victims of crime and tragedy in our region,” said Deputy Chief Jeff Hill.

“Their efforts have given those affected by this immensely personal crime the resources they need to seek justice and place them on a path to healing.”

Other elements of HRPS’s program include development and use of a Sexual Assault Information Guide, which provides accurate and up-to-date information on options, the investigative and criminal justice processes, and community-based resources.

Closing letters that provide sexual assault survivors with transparent updates on their cases and next steps, if any, are also shared as part of VSU’s work with survivors.

Since its inception in 2018, this made-in-Halton program has been adopted by other police services in Ontario, including Ottawa, London, Hamilton, and Guelph.

Victims of violence and/or sexual assault can contact the Halton Regional Police Service Victim Services Unit at 905-825-4777 for support.

 

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