May 27 to June 2 has been declared Victims and Survivors of Crime week in Saskatchewan, coinciding with the national week of the same name.
The theme for this year is “Transforming the Culture Together.”
“This year’s theme reinforces that we must continue to work together to make our province safer for everyone,” Justice Minister and Attorney General Don Morgan said.
The Ministry of Justice supports programs and services throughout Saskatchewan to help victims of crime. This includes $3.9 million in funding to police-based victim services across the province. These programs help victims of crime immediately following a crime and throughout the criminal justice process.
In the Gazette coverage area victim services agencies include Sask Central Victims Services, based in Martensville (www.saskcentralvictimservices.com) and Gateway Regional Victim Services based in Rosthern (www.grvs.ca).
This week is also a time to thank victim services staff and volunteer victim support workers who reach out with compassion when others are in crisis.
“These volunteers instill hope in people in the wake of crime and tragedy,” Morgan said. “Their dedication is surpassed only by their compassion.”
Monica Pieczonka has been volunteering with Regina Victim Services for 10 years. She finds satisfaction in being able to comfort victims.
“A lot of times they can tell in your voice if you’re a caring person,” Pieczonka said. “They feel that somebody cares because if they have gone through a traumatic event, they feel like they’re all alone, so it’s nice to hear a positive, caring voice on the other end.”
Minister Morgan will host a luncheon honouring long-term volunteers who have completed 10, 15, and 25 years of service.
For information about National Victims and Survivors of Crime Week, services available for victims or volunteer opportunities, please contact your local Victim Services program. You can also call the Victims Services Branch at 306-787-3500 or visit the website at www.saskatchewan.ca/victimsservices.