WHAT IS VCAO?
- VCAO or Victim Crisis Assistance Ontario are community response programs that provide immediate, short-term crisis intervention services to persons affected by crime, tragedy and disaster.
- VCAO programs offer a variety of crisis intervention services to persons affected by crime, tragedy and disaster 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
- VCAO teams of trained staff and volunteer crisis support workers provide emotional support, practical assistance and an information and referral program on-site or by telephone.
- VCAO programs are volunteer driven, working in partnership with police and other emergency personnel.
- VCAO programs are delivered through not-for-profit, charitable organizations each governed by a community Board of Directors.
VCAO provides assistance for:
Abuse, accidents, arson, assaults, break & enter, death notification, debriefing, disaster, domestic violence, drowning, family crisis, fatalities, fire, fraud, grief & bereavement, harassment, home invasion, homicide, missing persons, motor vehicle collisions, personal injury, property crime, robbery, safety planning, sexual assault, stalking, sudden death, and suicide.
How VCAO can assist:
- Help victims cope with the impact of a traumatic event.
- Helps victims regain a sense of personal control.
- Help victims return their lives to a desired degree of stability.
- Validate emotions and reactions.
- Assist victims until their community or natural support network arrives.
- Disseminate information about available resources/services, appropriate to the situation.
- Reduce possibility of re-victimization.
- Identify options/choices at a time when victims may need guidance/direction.
- Advocate on victim’s behalf.
- Assist police and other emergency service providers.
- Provide opportunities for community members to help others in their own community.
Who is a victim?
- Someone whose life has been affected by crime, tragedy or disaster.
- Family and friends of persons who have been injured or killed as a result of a serious accident or as a result of a crime.
- Someone who has viewed a violent or traumatic incident.
Crisis can be described as a predicament or occurrence that causes distress. Crisis can occur at any time causing such feelings as fear, rage, isolation and confusion. Crisis can invoke mental anguish and physical distress. Trained staff and volunteer crisis support workers are available 24/7 to provide much needed emotional support and practical assistance to help victims deal with their unique situation.