OTTAWA (Ontario), October 7, 2010 — Sue O'Sullivan, Canada's Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime, today congratulated the federal government on its decision to provide more than $5 million in funding for child advocacy centres in Canada. These centres provide a uniquely integrated approach to helping children who have been victims of abuse by bringing together key victim services, such as statement collection and counselling, in one child- and family-friendly location.
"Child advocacy centres are an example of the good things that can happen when people come together to do the right thing, for the right reasons — to help victims," explained O'Sullivan.
"These centres have been shown to reduce trauma for children and their families and result in more guilty pleas and higher conviction rates. But more than anything, these centres put children first by creating a safe space. That kind of support is something we need to see more of for all victims in Canada."
In 2009-10, the Office of the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime made formal recommendations to the Government to set aside five million dollars to establish a contribution program for future and existing child advocacy centres. The recommendation was also included in the Office's first-ever special report Every Image, Every Child (June 2009) which addressed the issue of Internet-facilitated child sexual abuse.
"This office worked hard to help highlight the importance and effectiveness of these centres," explained Ms. O'Sullivan.
"I am heartened to see that the Government has shown Canadians that it is listening and that it is committed to creating positive change for victims."
The Office of the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime helps victims to address their needs, promotes their interests and makes recommendations to the federal government on issues that impact victims.