VJN News

Meaghan Richens
VJN News

The Ontario government has announced it is investing around $250,000 in three research projects aimed at better practices in law enforcement when dealing with sexual violence against indigenous women.

Yasir Naqvi, Ontario minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services, said these research projects are just one part of the province’s action plan to eradicate sexual violence and harassment, in addition to a long-term plan to end violence against Indigenous women announced by Premier Kathleen Wynne in February.

Evan Przesiecki

VJN News

Many women who are seeking refuge from domestic abuse are being turned away from shelters that can't accommodate them, according to a new report from the Canadian Network of Women's Shelters and Transition Houses.

The Shelter Voices 2016 report claims that almost 75 per cent of women requesting shelter had to be turned away on a single day last year due to a lack of capacity. The report surveyed 234 shelters on the same day from every province and territory across Canada.

Astara van der Jagt
VJN News 

The mother of an Ottawa man bludgeoned to death in his apartment 12 years ago says she feels like her life has been frozen in time.

Linda Beland has been stuck in the past ever since her son, Douglas Stewart, was killed on Feb. 18, 2004 when he was 19.

“We’re in 2016, but I’m still in 2004,” Beland told VJN. “I live in a bubble.”

By Leighann Burns
Harmony House executive director

One of the biggest challenges we face is the widespread acceptance that violence against women is inevitable. It certainly is not.

VJN News
Hours before Marlene Lunn’s husband was killed in a shooting at the Western Forest Products mill in Nanaimo, B.C., he told her his final wishes in case he ever died suddenly.

The conversation Lunn had with her husband, 61-year-old Michael Lunn, on April 30, 2014 in their hot tub — it was the couple’s routine to start the day around 5:30 a.m. with a dip — was eerie.

VJN News
The mother of a 23-year-old Ottawa woman who was murdered in 2011 has reached out to journalism students to teach them the impact the media has on victims and their families.
Karen Riopelle said her daughter, Jessica, was unfairly portrayed in the media because she worked as a dancer next to the Bank Street hotel where she was killed by Patrick Dunac. He pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in 2012. 
Chelsea Emode
VJN News
 
A disagreement over the term “rape culture” has highlighted a division between Carleton students and the university’s administration as the school tries to re-write its sexual violence policy.
 
A group of sexual assault survivors and supporters want the university to acknowledge so-called rape culture. The group was upset when university officials didn’t show up to an April 2016 meeting to discuss the new sexual harassment policy.

Emily Fearon
VJN News

The RCMP teamed up with an NHL hockey player in an effort to prevent violence against women and girls.

An approximately minute-long video launched on April 27 shows Jordin Tootoo, an NHL player with the New Jersey Devils.

Recorded on May 30, 2016 - In support of National Victims and Survivors of Crime Week from May 29 to June 4 2016, this webinar examines how to support victims and survivors of Human Trafficking in Canada. The presenters for this webinar are Rosalind Currie, the Director of British Columbia's Office to Combat Trafficking in Persons with the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General; and Michèle Anderson, Covenant House, Toronto Human Trafficking Advocate.

 

Elise von Scheel
VJN News
 
Brandon University has come under fire for asking sex assault victims to sign behavioural contracts, allowing them to only confide in a school counsellor.
 
In September of 2015, a group of students heard a rumour that their school was asking sexual assault survivors to sign what some students called contracts of silence.
 

Makayla Peacock
VJN News

An Ottawa woman who escaped an abusive relationship is fighting back against being called a victim of domestic violence.

Anne, who doesn’t want her last name used because she fears for her safety, is instead pushing for the term survivor.

“A survivor is someone who has come out of the blaze,” Anne said. “It’s not like a hero thing, but it is definitely something that is better than a victim.”

Sandrine Murray
VJN News

When Martin Magnan tried in vain to save Cpl. Nathan Cirillo after he had been shot at the National War Memorial in Ottawa on Oct. 22, 2014, he was terrified.

"I don't know why I ran over there, but I know it was the right thing to do,” Magnan told VJN.

Magnan and five others — Margaret Lerhe, Cpl. Kyle Button, Col. Conrad Mialkowsky, Cpl. Anthony Wiseman and Barbara Winters — faced uncertainty and unknown risk to run to Cirillo’s aid while other bystanders ran away. 

The six who were awarded the St. John Ambulance Service gold medal for their bravery were all strangers before the attack. Today, Magnan says, they share a special bond because they had the same experience.

Trent University in Peterborough Ontario is host to the 2016 Sexual Consent Conference on June 2 and 3, 2016. Please note that VJN Board Chair, Kate Lines will be one of the presenters at this conference. For more information on the plenary sessions and speakers visit: https://sexualconsentconference.com/plenaries-sessions/.

Courtney Edgar
VJN News

Christina Voelzing, the 24-year-old Algonquin College victimology student who was killed on Easter Sunday when she leaped in the line of fire to save her roommate, was a passionate advocate for victims of violent crimes.

Her passion for victimology and long-term goal to open a shelter for battered women was fuelled by her own experience as a survivor of abuse.

Sexual assault experts have joined the Mount Royal University campus in Calgary to support victims in a first-of-its-kind partnership.

A sexual support counsellor from Calgary Communities Against Sexual Abuse (CCASA) is offering one-on-one services once a week — including throughout the summer — to students who are victims of sexual violence.

A 21-year-old woman who was raped just two weeks shy of her 15th birthday says she doesn’t agree with the Jian Ghomeshi verdict.

In the aftermath of former CBC broadcaster Jian Ghomeshi's acquittal on sexual assault and choking charges, the woman — whose name VJN won't publish to protect her identity — felt compelled to tell her own story of sexual assault from six years ago. 

The Ontario government is investing $1.7 million over the next two years to help fund community-led safety and corrections projects in the province.

 

The Liberal government’s first federal budget released by Finance Minister Bill Morneau has promised millions of dollars to help victims across the country.

With its first full issue scheduled for publication in August 2016, the Journal of CSWB will be a quarterly, peer reviewed, open-access online publication that will feature a mix of scholarly literature, complimented by carefully selected reports, discussion papers and mixed media productions covering a variety of multi-disciplinary topics related to the broadest interpretations of Community Safety and Well-being practices.

Editorial content for the journal will be sourced from across Canada and globally, as well.

An initial call for papers is underway, and the Journal will publish its inaugural Preview Issue early in May.

In light of the verdict being announced in the trial of Jian Ghomeshi, the Victim Justice Network (VJN) encourages survivors and those who support them to visit the Services and Supports section of the VJN website to find a wide range of places where victims of crime can turn for help across Canada.  

During coroners’ inquests into the death of children, Children’s Aid Society case workers often testify about the difficulties in getting information from others who work with children. To help create awareness to encourage professionals to report child abuse and clear up misunderstandings about privacy, the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth and the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario teamed up to create a resource booklet.

As announced in Toronto on January 21, 2016 by Federal Minister of Science Kirsty Duncan, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), a federal research funding agency has awarded $207,210 in funding to the Algonquin College Victimology graduate certificate program over three years to fund the efforts of a team of seven – including Victimology students, in partnership with the Victim Justice Network (VJN) – to study how victims of crime can be best served by the support systems designed to help them.

December 10, 2015 - Over the past two days, the Victim Justice Network (VJN) has successfully made new connections with crime victims, survivors, agencies and front-line services at the  B.C. Collaborates to Stop Sexual and Domestic Violence forum in Vancouver, British Columbia.  With over 1000 delegates in attendance at the two-day conference, Priscilla de Villiers, the Executive Director and Kate Lines, the Board Chair have met dozens of individuals and learned about the diverse range of services and supports available to crime victims, especially those impacted by sexual assault and domestic violence.  In addition, the VJN had the opportunity to deliver a presentation outlining its organizational goals and objectives, and also to highlight its accomplishments to date.  

December 9, 2015 - Today in Vancouver, B.C. at the BC Collaborates Forum to Stop Sexual  and Domestic Violence the Victim Justice Network announced details of a new research partnership with Prof. Ben Roebuck of the Victimology Department of Algonquin College in Ottawa, Ontario. The project is titled, Resilience and Victims of Violence: Understanding Strengths to Enhance Victim Assistance Training.

December 8, 2015 - One of the key objectives of the Victim Justice Network (VJN) is to provide victims of crime with greater access to information on services, supports and other resources. Victims of crime are often left to navigate a complex and confusing criminal justice system in the aftermath of their criminal victimization. In order to guide victims through this process, the Victim Justice Network has created an easy understand Criminal Court Process chart which illustrates what typically happens after a crime has occurred. This flowchart can be used to provide victims of crime with a pathway to what may take place during a criminal court process in a typical Canadian provincial court.