As part of National Victims of Crime Awareness Week, the The Victim Crisis Assistance & Referral Service hosted a conference banquet and awards ceremony yesterday in Kenora. It was the tenth anniversary of the event, funded by Justice Canada. Executive Director Monika Huminuk said it was exciting that Justice Canada would recognize a smaller community.

"It's really exciting that Canada Justice would put forward some grant opportunities for communities like ourselves to raise awareness in out community about crime related victims and some of the challenges they have," she said.

Huminuk said the anniversary is a mile stone as Kenora is one of the youngest of 50 sites across the province.

"We are one of the youngest of 50 sites across the province. So, as the years go on the numbers increase, referrals increase because other programs partner with us and become more familiar with the services we provide," she said.

The event featured many guest speakers including author and survivor Melissa McCormick. McCormick said over the years services for victims have made a lot of progress, and the topic has become less taboo.  

"There weren't any victim services or sexual assault crisis centres back when this happened to me, and thank god for the feminists because now we're in a situation where there is help out there. These ladies do a tremendous job, it's a selfless thing to do. I think it's amazing how well they work together," she said.

The theme of the event was Shaping the Future Together.The Sunset Area Victim Crisis Assistance & Referral Service is a not-for-profit community response program that provides support to victims of crimes and tragic circumstance.

For more information:

VCARS holding conference next Tuesday

Sunset Area Victim Services