This post is not typical of my light-hearted thoughts and tongue-in-cheek observations.
This is a serious one about getting results through persistence and respectful dialogue with those who help to initiate change in Canada’s criminal justice system.
Over the past three years, I experienced stress and heightened anxieties while enduring glaring flaws and gaps in our system that seemed to favour offenders’ preferences, privacy and rights over their victims’. Each time and after expressing a “what the fnck?” reaction with family and friends, I embraced patience and politeness.
I converted my frustration and anger into a stubborn strength to express my concerns and offer recommendations to those who maintain the criminal justice system.
I pulled out pen and paper and made notes. I took to my trusty QWERTY keyboard and tapped away.
I wrote about the sequence of events, the government agencies I contacted, the circles I had to retrace then break through in order to ensure my personal safety. Although I allowed myself some emotional expression, I stuck to the facts when communicating with officials.
For the past six months I managed my stress and struggled to carry on with the love of my family, support of friends and a professional listener. I like to think I maintained a professional persona as a productive member of my community, of a civil society.
It hasn’t been easy.
I am thankful for the first responders and individuals in the justice systems who helped us get through tough periods since 2003. Yes, that long ago. If I did not personally thank you during the emotional times shortly after, please accept this delayed expression of gratitude.
I feel vindicated that my concerns and recommendations since 2012 have been heard by the Office of the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime (OFOVC), documented, verified, then communicated to those who can make changes.
I feel a sense of pride that my persistence is paying off to speak up for victims of crime whose anxieties have likely caused them to walk away from the confusing processes, and not wanting to be victimized again.
Victims and Survivors of Crime Week 2016
“Victims and Survivors of Crime Week is an annual outreach initiative of the Justice Canada Policy Centre for Victim Issues.
The goal of Victims and Survivors of Crime Week is to raise awareness about the issues facing victims and survivors of crime and the services and laws in place to help victims, survivors and their families. It is also about acknowledging the dedicated work of service providers who assist victims and survivors of crime and their families.
Victims and Survivors of Crime Week will take place from May 29 to June 4, 2016. The theme for the Week is “The Power of Our Voices.” The Week will include projects and events in communities across the country and a federal symposium in the National Capital Region on Friday, June 3, 2016.
Victims and Survivors of Crime Week evolved out of the annual National Victims of Crime Awareness Week. Survivors of crime are now included in the name of the week to acknowledge the many individuals who, having been victims of crime, overcome their victimization and identify themselves more affirmatively as survivors. ”
I am a survivor.