Government of Canada strengthens support for child and youth victims of abuse and violence in British Columbia

News release

August 13, 2019 - Vernon, British Columbia - Department of Justice Canada

Canadians expect to live in a society where the criminal justice system is fair and impartial, and supports the needs of victims. This is especially important when those victims or witnesses of abuse and violence are children and youth.

Today, the Honourable David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, announced funding of $340,000 for Archway Society for Domestic Peace in Vernon, British Columbia. This funding will support the Archway Society for Domestic Peace’s Oak Centre, a place where children and youth victims and witnesses receive support and can be interviewed in a safe, welcoming environment. The Oak Centre aims to minimize the impact and trauma a child may experience when speaking about abuse or crime.

Children and youth victims deserve a safe space where they are comfortable to share their stories and experiences with trained professionals. Customized services help lessen the short and long term impacts of abuse and violence children and youth experience. Through the Child Advocacy Centre (CAC) Initiative, the Government of Canada supports victims and their families by providing funding to create and maintain multi-disciplinary, coordinated and child-and-youth centred services in one location.

Quotes

“Child and Youth Advocacy Centres, such as the Oak Centre at the Archway Society for Domestic Peace, provide vital services that make a difference for young victims of abuse and violence. I am proud that the Government of Canada supports community-driven services that prioritize the unique needs of children and youth victims in a way that lessens the impact of these tragic experiences.”

The Honourable David Lametti, P.C., Q.C., M.P.
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Oak Child and Youth Advocacy Centre serves vulnerable children and youth in the North Okanagan who have experienced abuse or sexual assault. The Centre was created with funding from Department of Justice Canada which provided assistance through the Victims Fund for a feasibility study, development and piloting of the service. Children and youth are interviewed by police and social workers and are provided with enhanced victim services support on site. The Partnership works together to ensure that every child and youth receives the wrap-around service they require for their unique needs. Now in our fourth year of operation we continue to receive operational funding from the Victims Fund and have served over 640 children and youth. Without the support of Department of Justice Canada this valuable service for vulnerable children would not be possible.”

Brooke McLardy
Manager, Oak Centre Child and Youth Advocacy Centre

Quick facts

  • According to self-reported data from the 2014 General Social Survey on victimization, nearly a third (32%) of Canadians aged 15 years and older – nearly 9 million people – reported childhood physical or sexual abuse.

  • Children who have visited a Child Advocacy Centre (CAC) are generally satisfied with the experience and are more likely to indicate that they were not frightened during the medical/legal interview, compared to children living in communities that do not have a CAC.

    Source: JustFacts, Children's Advocacy Centres, Melissa Lindsay, Research and Statistics Division, Department of Justice, 2013-12-05

  • Parents whose children have received services from a CAC are more satisfied with the investigative process and interview procedures than parents whose children received services from an organization other than a CAC.

    Source: JustFacts, Children's Advocacy Centres, Melissa Lindsay, Research and Statistics Division, Department of Justice, 2013-12-05

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Contacts

For more information, media may contact:

Rachel Rappaport
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Justice
613-992-6568
Rachel.rappaport@justice.gc.ca

Media Relations
Department of Justice Canada
613-957-4207
media@justice.gc.ca

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