Victim Services works collaboratively with police officers to assist the victims of crime.
Once officers have responded to a crime and ensured the physical safety of all involved, Victim Services may be called to assist with non-policing issues, such as emotional support and referral information. Sometimes they may be asked to stay with a victim while officers gather information or take a statement.
The goal of the unit is to enhance the services provided to victims by the police—including increasing police officers’ awareness of the issues that victims face—and to help victims by connecting them to community agencies and services.
The victim-centered approach
You will always feel valued when speaking to Victim Services. We believe that:
- the victim's needs come first
- the victim identifies their own needs
- the victim is the expert
- the victim makes their own choices
To help empower you, Victim Services is here to:
- provide information
- present options
Who can use Victim Services?
Any person who has been the victim of a crime has access to the Victim Services Unit. Call 902.490.5300, Monday to Friday between 8:30 a.m and 4:30 p.m., to speak to us.
Why focus on domestic violence?
Nova Scotia has a pro-arrest, pro-charge policy regarding domestic violence. That means that, during the investigation of domestic violence, police officers must lay charges where there is reasonable evidence that an offence took place. In Halifax, the Rehtaeh Parsons case led to the Victim Services Unit proactively responding to the victims of sexualized violence.
The program is staffed by a civilian coordinator, a civilian caseworker, two domestic violence case coordinators, and dedicated volunteers.
Like victims of crime, staff and volunteers come from all walks of life, bringing with them a variety of interests, life experiences, and expertise. Their time, commitment, and energy is essential to the provision of service to victims of crime, and intimate partner/spousal abuse in particular. These are highly trained and skilled employees and volunteers, and they’re here to help.
Meet the team who support victims of sexual assault, domestic abuse, and violent crime in the Halifax region.
- Halifax Regional Police Victim Services Brochure [PDF]
- Bryony House – transition houses and women’s shelter in Halifax
- Public Prosecution Service in Nova Scotia – information on how the legal process works in Nova Scotia
- Legal Information Society of Nova Scotia – free legal advice from a charitable organization
- And They Lived Happily Ever After - Rights and Responsibilities of Common Law Partners [PDF], from the Nova Scotia Advisory Council on the Status of Women
- Making Changes: A Book for Women in Abusive Relationships, from the Nova Scotia Advisory Council on the Status of Women
- Nova Scotia Domestic Violence Resource Centre
- Stop Family Violence – information from the Public Health Agency of Canada