Victims of crime seek to be understood in order to make sense of their lives in the aftermath of crime. Recognizing that the current judicial systems are predominantly focused on offenders, the Church Council seeks to explore and address the needs of victims through developing consultation on pastoral care and victims needs.
The impetus to develop a pastoral care for those affected by crime initiative relates to a community symposium on Victims and the Church, held in Ottawa in May of 2007. Since then, the Church Council has been working to equip churches to take a more active and helpful role in responding to crime victims and others affected by crime in their communities.
The Church Council, in collaboration with the Mennonite Central Committee Canada and the Quakers, has developed a project to resource and train pastoral care so they may respond to the needs of victims of crime in their community.
The first step, which took place during our 2009 Annual General Meeting, was to promote a national consultation that brough together representatives from NGOs, government, churches, hospitals, prisons, and other ministries.
In May 2010, the Church Council hosted a follow-up forum, the theme of which was “Victims’ Needs, Why Should I Care?” Our objective was to identify new initiatives that foster personal growth and to invite the providers of those initiatives to share their experiences with one another. The forum created the opportunity for the sharing of real-life experiences by victims, as well as discussion and workshops about different programs and approaches.
Download the full report in French and English