What We Do
The Bow Valley Victim Services Association (BVVSA) provides assistance to both primary victims (persons who have experienced direct injury, loss or trauma) and secondary victims (persons beyond the immediate victim to whom the repercussion of a crime/trauma may spread including friends, family and co-workers).
The BVVSA provides the following services:
The BVVSA provides 24 hour, 7 day per week, on call assistance to victims requiring immediate trauma intervention, emotional support and practical assistance. Program staff and volunteers are asked to provide immediate help and support by RCMP members and by the staff of other community agencies including the Mineral Springs Hospital, the Canmore Hospital, Kananaskis Conservation Officers, Banff Park Wardens, a local women’s shelter and emergency services personnel.
Program staff and volunteer victim advocates provide non-judgmental support and practical assistance to victims. This includes formalized court preparation sessions for crown witnesses, the accompaniment of victims to court, the transportation of victims as required, information on bail hearings, and assistance with the completion of victim impact statements, restitution claims and applications for financial benefits.
Program staff and advocates are trained in appropriate community resources for victims who require additional or complimentary services, including the referral of victims of crime and trauma to mental health professionals.
Program staff and advocates inform victims of their rights when dealing with the criminal justice system, keeping these individuals abreast of developments with criminal investigations and all court proceedings.
Public Education and Crime Prevention
The BVVSA promotes crime prevention through the provision of preventive information to victims of crime, by conducting community presentations, educational seminars and school programs, and by acting as a resource for other community agencies who may come into contact with victims.
Critical Incident Stress Debriefings
The BVVSA coordinates and facilitates Critical Incident Stress Debriefings in the Bow Valley, to help decrease the impact that traumatic events can have on individuals and organizations.
Our experience has been that BVVSA has had a significant impact and continues to be an integral service to our communities." Spencer Schneider, Area Supervisor, Addiction Services, Alberta Health Services, September 2011