- OFOVC Newsletter – Winter 2020
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The Ombudsman and team have had a packed schedule these past few months, responding to victims’ questions and concerns, speaking at meetings and conferences, and getting the ball rolling on some of our new projects!
In this Issue:
- Events and Engagements with Stakeholders
- Academic Advisory Circle Meeting
- Co-hosting our first webinar
- Looking Ahead
Introducing Francyne Joe, Our Indigenous Outreach Team Member
Wey-tk! Hello! Bonjour!
I’m Francyne Joe, a Shackan First Nation member from British Columbia. I am the daughter of two residential school survivors. I am also a custom adoptee, the niece of a great traveller and storyteller, and the grand-niece of a well-respected Interior Chief.
I recently joined the OFOVC to bring an Indigenous perspective to its services and programs. My former work with the Native Women’s Association of Canada provided me with a broad overview of the diverse concerns of Indigenous individuals and communities, from northern areas to urban centres. Before that, I worked in Indigenous economic development, human resource management and with Canada Border Services Agency.
I continue to learn about the Métis and Inuit cultures, and it’s my pleasure to share my First Nations experiences and history. I believe education and the ability to ask questions without reproach are among the many paths to reconciliation.
I look forward to upcoming collaborations, community visits and exchanges with Indigenous people where I can learn about their concerns and the issues that affect victims of crime at the federal level.
Kukstemc! Thank-you! Merci!
Events and Engagements With Stakeholders
The Ombudsman’s fall calendar kicked off with a presentation about the OFOVC’s work and a discussion of compassion, healing and victims’ rights at the 13th Annual Victim Advisory Council Community Forum in Surrey, BC. The Ombudsman then attended the Société de Criminologie du Québec & Canadian Criminal Justice Association’s commemoration of 100 years of pursuing criminal justice, and spoke at a roundtable on Indigenous issues, mental health and victimology.
On November 21 and 22, the OFOVC attended the Canadian Violence Link Conference hosted by Humane Canada, where we learned about the link between violence against animals and violence against people, and spoke with experts about barriers for people fleeing violence.
In December, the Ombudsman was invited to speak at a meeting of the Ottawa Police Service’s Joint Senior Officers, Staff Sergeants & Managers, and shared best practices in victim-centred, trauma-informed approaches to serving victims of crime.
Finally, at the end of January, we held our first stakeholder engagement session as part of a social media campaign we are developing on preventing victimization. Scroll down for more on this!
In November, our Executive Director was invited to deliver a presentation about the OFOVC to the Federal-Provincial-Territorial Working Group on Restorative Justice. This was a first for the Office!
Academic Advisory Circle Meeting
We held our first Academic Advisory Circle (AAC) meeting on November 28! The AAC’s goal is to ensure that the OFOVC’s recommendations target the most significant needs. During this first meeting, we asked participants to identify their research interests and the issues they themselves are focusing on. After a productive discussion, the AAC selected several important issues to discuss going forward, including coercive control, strengthening the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights, access to restorative justice, improving access to victim services and working with underserved communities.We look forward to our next session!
On January 28, we co-hosted our first webinar (in a three-part series) with the Victim Justice Network, called “Removing Barriers and Building Partnerships to Serve Victims Across Jurisdictions.” The webinar brought together five experts to share perspectives, knowledge and information and to discuss ways to better collaborate across jurisdictions to serve and support Canadian victims of crime. We received excellent feedback from participants, and we are thrilled that the event was a success! You can view the presentation materials and a recording of the webinar online.
Community Forum: Yellowknife March 11–12
We are happy to announce that our first Community Forum will take place in Yellowknife on March 11 and 12. We will be holding a session with service providers/criminal justice workers and community-based advocates on March 11 (1 to 4 p.m.) and a public session for all Yellowknife residents on March 12 (6 to 8 p.m.). We hope to share information about our Office’s work and hear from residents about their lived experiences with the criminal justice system. Drop-ins are welcome. Please help us spread the word!
Preventing victimization campaign
Did you know that in 2015, Canada made a commitment to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030? SDG 5 (Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls) includes targets for reducing violence against women and girls. To that end, the OFOVC has partnered with the Canadian Municipal Network on Crime Prevention to develop a social media campaign aimed at preventing victimization in Canada. Our intention with this campaign is to highlight the high rates of victimization among certain demographics and promote actions to prevent it. We held our first stakeholder engagement session in Ottawa in January. We will be meeting with representatives from national, provincial and local organizations over the next few months to ensure key messages reflect the needs of those most at risk. Stay tuned as the campaign takes shape!
Canadian Victims Bill of Rights: A Report Card
Coming soon! To mark the five-year anniversary of the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights this year, we are working on a report card that will assess the impact of this legislation. We are asking:
- How are victims’ rights implemented across Canada?
- Do officials consistently inform victims of their rights?
- Are victims able to exercise their rights to information, participation and protection and seek restitution across the justice system?
- Can we measure how and when victims’ rights are respected?
- How can this legislation be strengthened?
The report card will allow us to make evidence-based recommendations on how to improve victims’ experiences in our criminal justice system.