Category:financial assistance

Information for Canadians harmed in Las Vegas, Nevada on October 1, 2017

FBI Assistance for Victims of the Harvest Music Festival Shooting in Las Vegas:

The FBI Victim Services Division will arrange and pay for repatriation of deceased and injured victims from Las Vegas. They have a large team on the ground in Las Vegas and can help injured victims who need assisted transport or premium class airfare based on medical need, family/companion travel, etc. They can reimburse family members that traveled to Las Vegas. They will also be handling the association and return of personal effects. Individuals who were directly affected can also reach the FBI through this email address: LVFestivalAssist@fbi.gov or at https://www.fbi.gov/…/assistance-for-victims-of-the-harvest… . Victims can enter their information and someone will respond back to them as soon as possible.

Nevada Department of Administration Victims of Crime Program:

Canadians impacted by the Las Vegas tragedy should fill out an application with the  the Nevada Department of Administration Victims of Crime Program. Their contact information is: 702-486-2740 and the email address is applications@voc-net.com

Financial Assistance for Canadians Victimized Abroad:

Canadians who have been the victim of a serious violent crime in a foreign country may be eligible for financial assistance through the Victims Fund. As of April 1, 2007, financial assistance is available to individual Canadians who are victims of specified serious violent crimes in a foreign jurisdiction for serious situations of undue hardship where no other source of financial assistance is available. The Victims Fund may help cover various expenses where the victim has no other source of financial assistance, up to a maximum of $10,000. Visit here to apply or call 1-888-606-5111 or email.

The costs of victimization are significant

At the Centre, we hear from many parents who are suffering incredibly. We just heard from a Mom whose son was stabbed to death in July. It was a random attack, after a party, in the early morning hours. She explained that she is hanging in there somehow; but needs to take time off work. She just cannot function.

Of course she needs time off work. No one is ever prepared to lose a child, especially in a violent manner. Even if her child is grown and 25 years old, it is the worst thing that a parent can experience. She explained her husband has gone back to work, even though he is struggling. He is forced to go back because there are bills to pay and surviving children to raise and care for. The mother foresees financial difficulties for her family. She does not know what help is available to her family in Ontario.

It is hard to have to tell her there is little financial assistance available to her.  Yes, the province will help cover some emergency costs like the funeral and some counselling for the immediate family members. This is a good thing and very much needed. But what about the longer term? Many parents and siblings experience such strong traumatic reactions to the loss of their loved one to violence that they simply cannot function normally for months or years. They are grief stricken and unable to work. Ontario has a Financial Assistance for Families of Homicide Victims Program, which can provide up to $10,000 to parents or spouses of homicide victims, but accessing the funds is not expedited. How do parents take the time off they need to recover and still care for their families?

The federal government has recognized that parents of missing and murdered children may need time off work and should have their income supplemented during this time. This is an important program but frustratingly, the Income Support program only applies where children are under 18 years of age. The program simply cannot reach all those who need it because of the eligibility restrictions.

What do victims need to facilitate resilience and recovery? We know that crime and violence places a massive financial burden on victims. The cost of crime cannot be overlooked when we are developing responses to help victims and survivors. Some of our provinces and territories in Canada offer no financial assistance at all to victims of violent crime. This is unacceptable.

It takes time for healing to be achieved when someone is victimized by violence. While you cannot go back to life as it was before the traumatic event occurred, victims and survivors can be resilient if they have strong supports from the outset. If parents don’t have to stress about paying the rent or mortgage they can concentrate on getting well. Getting well means victims become resilient survivors who can hopefully return to work, and even create new meaning in their lives.

The Canadian Resource Centre for Victims of Crime offers support, research and education to survivors and stakeholders.

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