Assistance to Victims of Crime

From 2014 to 2018, there were over 29,000 victims of violent crime in Ottawa. During this time, the proportion of female and male victims has been evenly distributed at 50 percent. What differs is the nature of their victimization. Males are more likely to be the victim of assault, robbery, attempted murder and homicide, while females are primarily victims of sexual assault, forcible confinement, and human trafficking.

The Ottawa Police Service Victim Crisis Unit works collaboratively with many community partners each day to provide services to victims of crime and tragic circumstances.  The Unit is staffed by professionally registered crisis counsellors who deliver crisis intervention and post trauma interventions to victim and survivors of crime and tragic circumstances.

In 2018, the Unit’s professional crisis counsellors delivered over 7,600 interventions to victims of crime and tragic circumstances and through a partnership with Ottawa Victim Services (OVS) referred over 6,500 victims. 

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In April 2018, during National Victims and Survivors of Crime Awareness Week, the Unit partnered with the Algonquin College Victimology Program, CHEO and Catholic Family Services to deliver a sought after workshop on Trauma and Violence Informed Practices for Victims and Survivors of Crime.

After the September tornadoes in 2018, the Unit worked tirelessly alongside their sworn colleagues and City partners to provide door to door wellness checks to residents of Ottawa impacted by the disaster.

By far one of the highlights of the year was when the new addition to the Victim Crisis Unit was sworn in on October 18, 2018. K9 West was officially sworn into the Ottawa Police Service as the Victim Crisis Unit Facility Dog and from the onset has demonstrated a keen ability to effectively assist with a variety of duties within his assigned position. K9 West has responded to a number of on-scene situations that have been deemed suitable and safe for him to attend. These include providing post-death notification support to children and families, and comforting a number of victims of violent crimes who were unable to attend the station for crisis support.

K9 West has also assisted our Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Unit with canine-assisted intervention support to child victims either before or immediately following their interviews with police. Lastly, he has provided canine-assisted support to witnesses of traumatic death including motor vehicle fatalities, homicide and suicide.

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