The Ontario Government unveiled new supports today to make it easier for victims of violent crime and their families to get the help they need when and where they need it most.
The Victim Quick Response Program + (VQRP+), is an enhanced program to support victims of violent crimes. The new program builds on an existing program by making it easier to access services and supports.
Starting next month, victims of many violent crimes will be able to access VQRP+, to help cover emergency and essential expenses, funerals and counselling costs. The program is for victims and families whose lives have been impacted by violence, including domestic violence, human trafficking, homicide, and hate crimes.
Under VQRP+, victims do not have to pay out of pocket for eligible expenses.
Designated agencies in communities across Ontario will support victims in the immediate aftermath of a crime and will assist victims in accessing the supports they need.
"Victims won't be forced to relive their trauma through a long and complex adjudicative process - as they did when applying under the previous system," according to an Ontario news release. "Victims will quickly receive the supports they need, often within days of applying, and, in some cases, immediately."
The government is also adding support for families of homicide victims which are currently provided under the Financial Assistance for Families of Homicide Victims (FAFHV) program. A spouse of a homicide victim or each parent of a child homicide victim will receive up to $5,000.
"Practical and immediate support is vital in helping victims heal and rebuild their lives, especially human trafficking victims and families of homicide victims, who typically need numerous types of emergency and long-term services," said Sheri MacDonald, President of the Ontario Network of Victim Service Providers. "VQRP+ will bring real relief to more survivors in the aftermath of their victimization."
See also Supports for Victims of Crime