Victim Crisis Assistance and Referral Services

VCARS is an acronym for Victim Crisis Assistance and Referral Services.
  • VCARS receive core funding from the Ministry of the Attorney General, Ontario Victim Services Secretariat.
  • Operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
  • Not for profit, charitable organizations.
  • Confidential service (unless evidence of suicidal, homicidal or suspected child abuse, agency is bound to disclose).
  • Community based.
  • Work in partnership with local police services and other emergency service providers.
  • Each VCARS site is governed by a community Board of Directors.
  • There are currently 48 VCARS sites in the Province of Ontario.
  • Provide immediate on-site service to victims of crime and tragic circumstance.
  • VCARS provides information and referral programs to community agencies for longer term assistance and support.
  • Police & other emergency response providers call on VCARS to provide short term emotional support and practical assistance to victims.
  • Agency acts as a bridge between the traumatic incident and the person's natural or community support network.
  • Service is based on the concept of "Neighbours Helping Neighbours, Community Helping Community".
  • Services are offered free of charge.
Objectives and Goals
  • To ensure persons affected by crime, tragedy and disaster receive immediate support and assistance.
  • Support and practical assistance to lessen the effects of crisis.
  • To help victims to quickly return their lives to a desired degree of stability.
  • To assist police and other emergency service providers in meeting the needs of victims.
  • To facilitate the connection between the victim and appropriate community support services.
  • To provide follow up contact to ensure victim has received and will continue to receive assistance, if required.
  • To educate the community about victimization.
  • To reduce the possibility of re-victimization.
  • To provide an opportunity for community members to become involved in our communities.
  • Help victim to regain a sense of personal control.
  • To provide public education as to the effects of crime and tragedy and the existence of resources within the community.
  • To provide the opportunity for police to either concentrate on the investigational procedures knowing the victim's emotional needs are being met or to leave the scene to attend to other calls of a service.
  • To encourage personal empowerment.
  • To dispel self blame by placing the responsibility on the offender.
  • To encourage self care.

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