THUNDER BAY – Thunder Bay and Area Victim Services (TBAVS) launched the 7th Annual National Victims of Crime Awareness Week with an important message for the public of Thunder Bay. During a special flag raising ceremony at City Hall, the organization’s volunteers gathered to recognize the national initiative with a reminder that anyone can become a victim of crime, and at anytime.
TBAVS is a dedicated group of volunteers who work with victims of crime and their families every day. Sharon Bak, TBAVS Board of Directors Chairperson, says; “Crime is an everyday occurrence in our community and we want to remind people that anyone can become a victim. Crime does not discriminate by race, culture, income, or education. Becoming a victim of crime is a life altering experience no matter who you are and Thunder Bay and Area Victim Services is here to help reduce the trauma and suffering of victims and their families.”
TBAVS is a community-focused and volunteer-driven organization that provides confidential community support services to victims of crime and tragedy to help lessen the trauma and its impacts. Over the last year, volunteers have provided services to more than 400 victims in Thunder Bay and District; a number that continues to increase on an annual basis. Victims served include those impacted by car accidents, spousal violence, elder abuse, robberies, theft and sexual assault.
TBAVS Program Manager, Deborah Dika, says; “Crime and tragedy can really have a negative effect on the victim directly but there are also many other people harmed through crime such as family members, friends, community members, witnesses and coworkers. Our volunteers come in and sit with the victim, the family, whoever it may be, and provide the crisis intervention immediately.”
During today’s event, it was also highlighted that victims do not need to be referred by the police or emergency services to receive support from TBAVS. Bak underlined; “For every 100 incidents of sexual assault, only six are reported to the police. Every victim should know that they have 24/7 access to our services which include community information, peer support, advocacy and referrals.
Thunder Bay and Area Victim Services can help you and your family to recover and move forward with life.” “Moving Forward” is the overarching theme of this year’s National Victims of Crime Awareness Week, taking place in Canada from April 22-28, 2012. Activities across the country will focus on raising awareness of services available to victims of crime.
TBAVS volunteers along with other service organizations will be hosting an information booth at Intercity Shopping Centre on Tuesday, April 24.
Those looking to learn more about victim crisis assistance and referral services are encouraged to call 1-807-684-1051 or visit www.tbayvictimservices.com.