Making Victims Pay Twice
We are now seeing the impacts of the first round of Fordnation cuts and it’s not pretty. Some are paying the price for a crime they certainly did not commit.
Back in the spring the Ford Cons announced that they were changing some of the administrative procedures to how victims of some crimes were compensated. Their claim at the time was they wanted to “eliminate administrative costs and get money into victims hands faster.”
Now we learn that many victims of violent crime and sexual abuse can no longer get counselling services they desperately need or were previously awarded because of these cutbacks. They used to be eligible to receive up to $30,000, including a maximum $5,000 for pain and suffering, through the the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board and its related programs. Now, they can only get expenses for their immediate needs.
Advocates for victims say that victims are being left on their own after they use up their allotment of $1,000, which doesn’t go far when you have to pay for therapy or counselling sessions. Plus, the criteria changes mean that only a handful of victims who need these services are going to get them. In order to qualify you must have visited a “victim service agency” within six months of the crime against them, or within six months of disclosing that crime to the police.
For victims of historical sexual abuse and violence that is simply not possible and because of the delays in court proceedings most people don’t even start looking for help until the trial is over. They also seem to have forgotten about the impacts of PTSD which may not show up until years after a dramatic or violent crime.
It may not seem like a big deal. Unless and until you or your family members need these types of supports. If you live in Fordnation it may be too late.
Stand Up. Fight Back. Don’t Give Up.
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