VIII. Where can victims get more information and support?

Victims should contact the appropriate Review Board for information who can link them to the appropriate victim services office or Crown prosecutor’s office. They will be able to assist them or register them directly to receive the information and notification regarding Review Board hearings. They are likely the ones to keep victims apprised of important dates in the patient’s file such as notices of annual review hearings, forms to complete an impact statement, and forwarding the official disposition, and the reasons for the disposition. It is recommended that victims verify that the agency will be proactively notifying them of any hearings or changes for the patient, as policies vary across different jurisdictions. Victim services will also be able to let victims know what assistance and support they are eligible for, and how to go about obtaining services (eligibility and services offered vary by region). The Canadian Resource Centre for Victims of Crime also provides assistance to victims of NCRMD and UST patients (1-877-232-2610).

Ann’s story

My son was murdered by his co-worker. The accused was fit to stand trial, charged with first-degree murder but found not criminally responsible. I did not know that this could be a possibility, did not understand what that meant and no explanation was given as to what this meant in the trial or as an outcome.

I don’t want to be consumed by his life, but I guess it is important to have information provided so we know there are checks and balances, so we know that others are protected from him. I have attended most of the Board Hearings, about seven, all expenses at my own cost, costly, as I have had to travel from Ontario to Edmonton, which includes air travel, accommodation and meals. I would prefer to attend the hearing via video or tele-conference; my experience in person has been difficult.

My name is Donna McCully.

It was always our wish to live in Jamaica in our dream home. So, in August 2012, my husband Sedrick Levine and I left Canada to move into our new home. We were thrilled to finally be starting the next chapter in our lives, in Sedrick’s beloved homeland. He bought a little bus and planned to operate tours for visitors to the island. I was helping him run this business venture, as part of our semi- retirement in Jamaica.

My life as I knew it was suddenly shattered when two masked men broke into our home on Sunday, November 17, 2013. Sedrick struggled with the men, allowing me to flee upstairs to call the police. His actions saved my life that day, and that of my father and his housekeeper, who were visiting us at the time. One of the masked intruders chased me upstairs and kicked in the bathroom door, but he stopped when he heard a gunshot from downstairs.

My husband Sedrick was killed that day and the men fled our home with a laptop. The Jamaican police have not yet found these men or charged them with killing my beloved husband. Their motive remains unknown.

This crime has completely changed my life. I suffer from Post-traumatic Stress Disorder now and have depression as a result. I came back to Canada, but I feel very isolated since this happened. These emotional scars may never heal.

I managed to find the Canadian Resource Centre for Victims of Crime by searching online one day. I didn’t know where to turn for help when I came home to Canada. The CRCVC has provided me with a lot of emotional support, which has been tremendously helpful. They’ve also written numerous letters to Jamaican officials seeking justice for Sedrick, as well as intervening with Canadian officials on my behalf. The office also helped connect me to a trauma therapist for counselling sessions too.

In order to try and make sense of what happened to Sedrick, it is my hope that others could support the work of the Canadian Resource Centre for Victims of Crime. There are so many other victims/survivors out there who also need their assistance.