By Jaxon McGinn
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Sunny South News
The Lethbridge Corridor Victim Services Unit is celebrating 25 years as an official organization, serving individuals and families impacted by crime and tragedy.
Lethbridge Corridor Victim Services (LCVS) is a non-profit organization administered by a board of directors and coordinator. LCVS serves the communities of Lethbridge Rural, Coaldale, Milk River, Picture Butte and Raymond, receiving referrals from the local RCMP detachment.
LCVS’ role is to alleviate the impact of crime/tragedy on its victims. At the time of the incident, they provide a listening ear, comfort, and reassurance by phone or in person, in the victim’s home or at the hospital.
In cases where court appearance is necessary, we contact the witness/victim to offer information on court procedures and upcoming court dates. LCVS are available to accompany the victim to court.
“We started in southern Alberta in 1991 as a grassroots organization by some community members and it grew in 1995 to become an incorporated non-profit organization in collaboration with the RCMP, so we dispatch calls through the RCMP but that’s not the only referral sources that we receive. We also receive referrals from the Crown, community organizations and community members and citizens can self-refer themselves in contact, in person,”, said program manager Adonus Arlett.
Arlett added along with the RCMP recognition, the Coaldale Kinsmen are helping with a $5,000 donation to build a new video and audio space for victims at the new RCMP detachment facility out in Coaldale
“We can offer court supports from our office if the Crown and judge allow so a victim doesn’t have to attend the courthouse and attend from the safety of our office.”
LCVS hopes to have the new room up and running within the next month.
LCVS also added that they’re looking for volunteers who can share their genuine desire to help others in a time of crisis and who have strong communication skills including the need to maintain confidentiality.
Front line volunteers, referred to as advocates, are trained in many areas including victim rights, crisis intervention, communication, police procedure, court orientation and Solicitor General Programs. Full trained advocates receive Solicitor General Certification through e-learning and face to face training opportunities. This service, providing 24-hour assistance, is delivered by responding to crisis calls received by the RCMP.
LCVS provides resources, material and information on Solicitor General Programs available to victims of crime, such as Financial Benefits, Victim Impact Statement and Requesting Restitution Programs.
For more information about volunteering, contact the Victim Services Coordinator at 403-329-5042 or email@example.com
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