Violence Prevention Grey Bruce

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What are your responsibilities?

Responsibilities checklist

The most effective way to prevent domestic & sexual violence is to work together as a community. This protocol outlines ways we can improve collaboration to reduce and manage risk.

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Working Together

Protocol for a Community Response to Sexual and Domestic Violence in Grey Bruce

Purpose of the Working Together Protocol

What are your responsibilities? Complete this 3-step checklist to guide your response.

Responsibilities Checklist

This Protocol outlines what happens when services and providers respond to sexual and domestic violence. It is designed to help service providers work together effectively and for the public to have a clearer understanding of how services and providers respond to sexual and domestic assault situations. The Protocol is the working agreement between the protocol partners with a focus on collaborative and consistent service response that increases safety, reduces risks, and helps to prevent further assaults in our community.

Violence Prevention Grey Bruce developed the Protocol with the Protocol Partners to provide direction and information for community service providers, the people who use services because of domestic or sexual violence, and the public. The Protocol outlines:

Protocol Partners

Protocol Partner Commitment

The Partners in this Protocol commit to:

Using the protocol as a tool to:

Limitations

Nothing contained in this Protocol document supersedes or takes precedence over any direction, information or other communication contained within any policy, procedure or guideline directing any participating agency, the Criminal Code of Canada, or any Ministry of the Attorney General, or other Government of Ontario or Government of Canada document. This protocol can be used in conjunction with other directives, and when there are no other directions or protocols, this protocol is to be used.

Five Protocol Priorities

The Protocol Partners agree to work together to respond to domestic and sexual violence with a focus on Five Priorities:

1. Safety and Support for Victims

The protocol partners recognize that the safety of victims of sexual and intimate partner abuse is paramount. This is true whether or not the victim chooses to be involved with the criminal justice system and/or supportive community services. Every effort is made to provide victims with the information and support they need to be safe in their homes and communities. Domestic and sexual violence is rarely a time limited issue and service providers are committed to working with individuals and families over the long term to support victim safety, even when the victim is reluctant to acknowledge or does not understand the risks.

Actions that increase safety for victims include:

Protocol partners work together to keep victims of sexual and domestic violence and abuse safe from harm and to provide a helpful and effective service response.

2. System Navigation

The justice and service system is complex and there are often overlaps and gaps in services and supports. Many people who come into these systems are unprepared for the complexity and the number of agencies and people that come into their lives as a result of sexual and/or domestic violence issues. Both sexual and domestic violence are deeply personal issues and are often surrounded by shame and silence, and people may not know that they are pervasive and common problems for many people.

Protocol partners work with victims and perpetrators to:

Protocol partners work with Victim Services and other abuse specific services to bridge service gaps and help people access services and supports. Situation Tables provide case management on an ‘as needs’ basis with a referral rapid mobilization of resources and service connections to meet the immediate needs of individuals and families experiencing acutely elevated levels of risk. See Resources for information.

3. Trauma & Violence Informed Response

See Resources / Trauma & Violence Informed Response for more information.

Trauma and violence informed care seeks to create safe environments for people dealing with sexual and intimate partner violence and abuse. It recognizes that people who have experienced trauma need to feel physically and emotionally safe. Service providers can work together to create safety and mitigate re traumatizing victims as part of the protocol response when they are aware of:

4. Collaborative, Effective Relationships

Protocol partners value collaborative approaches and share their expertise, skills and knowledge. They recognize the sexual and domestic violence are complex and pervasive issues that no one service or service provider can ‘solve’ alone.

Protocol partners:

This protocol includes ways to address conflicts that may arise, information on the wide range of services and supports available in Grey Bruce, and details about the roles and responsibilities of the protocol partners when responding to sexual and/or domestic violence.

5. Differentiated Response

Sexual assault and domestic violence are complex issues that can carry high levels of risk and potential trauma for victims, their families and responding service providers. Every person will experience abuse and trauma in a unique way and this demands a differentiated response from service providers. The protocol partners will consider the following factors for a differentiated response:

Roles & Responsibilities of the Protocol Partners

Role of Police Services

Police services will:

Investigate all reports of sexual assault and domestic violence, according to ministry guidelines and legislative regulatory requirements.

Conduct investigations with officers with the knowledge, skills and abilities to investigate domestic and sexual assault cases

Use a trauma and violence informed approach with all victims of sexual and domestic violence that includes: a focus on victim safety, establishing trust, using a sensitive, compassionate and non judgmental approach that demonstrates caring and understanding, and consideration of the impact of trauma on memory and the behavior of victims. Police will conduct joint investigations and interviews with Bruce Grey Child and Family Services as part of a trauma informed practice and a collaborative partnership approach in cases of child abuse. Additional information under Trauma Informed Response.

Conduct separate interviews with victim and suspect to create a safe environment for victims.

Gather and collect evidence, including photographs of the crime scene, photographs of the victims injuries (with consent), physical evidence, 911 tapes, and in sexual assault cases provide information to the victim about attending the hospital for the collection of medical and forensic evidence and/or medical treatment.

Follow existing protocols with Bruce Grey Child and Family Services. When no Police – Child and Family Services protocol is in place, conduct joint investigations and interviews with BGCFS and share relevant information.

Contact Victim Services on behalf of victims, for safety planning, follow up supports, case management and Victim Quick Response

Provide risk assessment and referral to High Risk Teams, where appropriate

Refer to the Grey Bruce Situation Table for rapid mobilization of resources and service connections to meet the immediate needs of individuals and families experiencing acutely elevated levels of risk

Provide safety planning and information and/or referrals for follow up support for victims when Victim Services is not involved,

Consider, as part of an investigation, a threat assessment of the perpetrator, if he is known, and provide a copy to the Crown attorney’s office,

Monitor all domestic and sexual violence cases to ensure compliance with police services procedures,

Provide all pertinent information to the Crown attorney’s office in the Crown brief, including any notification to Bruce Grey Child and Family Services,

Notify the Victim / Witness Assistance Program and provide it with victim contact information when a charge is laid,

Provide information pertaining to bail and release conditions to victims directly, or in collaboration with the Victim / Witness Assistance Program,

Present evidence at the bail hearing to keep the perpetrator in custody if the perpetrator poses a threat to the victim and/or children. Consult with Child and Family Services to ensure child safety as appropriate.

Investigate promptly any reported breaches of lawful court orders, recognizances or probation orders,

Work with Policing Services at Saugeen (OPP) and Nawash First Nations, Native Child Welfare Program, Anishnabek Child and Youth Services, Health Care Services and Kabaeshiwim Respite – Women’s Shelter to coordinate services that will keep victims safe and provide collaborative and consistent services to support children and meet their identified cultural and other needs,

Notify Probation and Parole of the new offence/occurrence when perpetrator is under current supervision and when a breach of probation charge is laid through an automatic notification process,

Notify Crown attorney immediately when bail conditions are breached, particularly in cases where the perpetrator is on Early Intervention

Role of Victim Services Bruce Grey Perth

Victim Services will:

Provide 24–7 immediate telephone or on-scene crisis intervention to victims of recent and historical sexual assault.

Provide emotional support, practical assistance, information and referral services to victims, to ensure that their immediate needs are met and that they are aware of, and/or connected to, additional services for longer-term support.

Support access to the Victim Quick Response Program to request emergency funds for clean up and funeral expenses, or to request funds for related counselling, securing of premises, personal safety and transportation expenses.

Use a trauma and violence informed approach with all victims of sexual and domestic violence that includes: a focus on victim safety, establishing trust, using a sensitive, compassionate and non judgmental approach that demonstrates caring and understanding, and consideration of the impact of trauma on memory and the behavior of victims. See Resources for additional information on Trauma Informed Response

Provide case management services as per mandate.

Refer to the Grey Bruce Situation Table for rapid mobilization of resources and service connections to meet the immediate needs of individuals and families experiencing acutely elevated levels of risk.

Report as per ‘duty to report’ according to the Child, Youth and Family Services Act and work with the local Child and Family Services (BGCFS), to ensure that assessment and possible treatment for a child victim is attained as soon as possible.

Provide risk assessment, referral to the Grey or Bruce High Risk Team, where appropriate, and safety planning as needed.

Ask the victim to sign a release of information to coordinate seamless service delivery with other service providers.

Ask the victim to sign a release of information in order to forward the victim’s name to Victim Witness Assistance Program (V/WAP) in cases where charges are laid.

Work with Policing Services at Saugeen (OPP) and Nawash First Nations, Native Child Welfare Program, Anishnabek Child and Youth Services, Health Care Services and Kabaeshiwim Respite – Women’s Shelter to coordinate services that will keep victims safe and provide collaborative and consistent services to support children and meet their identified cultural and other needs.

Role of Bruce Grey Child and Family Services:

Bruce Grey Child and Family Services (BGCFS) investigates reports of child abuse and neglect, as outlined in the Child Youth and Family Services Act of Ontario.

Bruce Grey Child and Family Services (BGCFS) will:

Provide the non-offending parent with information about choices and options for service provision for their child(ren) in cases of child abuse, including an information package with contact numbers and descriptions of services,

Provide appropriate interventions for children, in order to ensure that they are adequately protected from harm or risk of harm,

Use a trauma and violence informed approach with all victims of sexual and domestic violence that includes: a focus on victim safety, establishing trust, using a sensitive, compassionate and non judgmental approach that demonstrates caring and understanding, and consideration of the impact of trauma on memory and the behavior of victims. Additional information under Trauma Informed Response.

Use interventions and appropriate justice and community service and First Nations service systems to hold the perpetrator of the child sexual abuse or domestic violence accountable for the abuse,

Provide interventions in accordance with the Child Youth and Family Services Act and the current provincial Standards for Child Protection, when the worker becomes involved with a child who has been sexually assaulted, is at risk of being sexually harmed, or has been harmed or is at risk of harm because of domestic violence,

Immediately assess all cases requiring a protection investigation for urgency of response, and the need for police involvement, developing an investigation plan, in accordance with the severity of the allegation, to ensure the immediate safety of the child,

Follow existing protocols with local shelters and sexual assault centre programs, GBHS Sexual Assault / Partner Abuse Care Centre, police services and schools,

Work with Policing Services at Saugeen (OPP) and Nawash First Nations, Native Child Welfare Program, Anishnabek Child and Youth Services, Health Care Services and Kabaeshiwim Respite – Women’s Shelter to coordinate services that will keep victims safe and provide collaborative and consistent services to support children and meet their identified cultural and other needs,

Refer to the Grey Bruce Situation Table for rapid mobilization of resources and service connections to meet the immediate needs of individuals and families experiencing acutely elevated levels of risk

Ensure that the Crown attorney has pertinent information related to their plans to support the non-offending parent(s) and children (especially information related to access),

Appoint one point of contact for police services, the Crown attorney and Probation and Parole, in order to ensure effective and efficient communication for each case,

Confirm with police services, the Crown attorney and Probation and Parole whether a case is open and/or if it is a file in which there have been repeated concerns about the perpetrator when there is a release of information, warrant or a joint investigation,

Inform the Crown attorney and Probation and Parole if there are any conflicts or potential conflicts with current criminal court proceedings and family court matters, especially as this relates to bail conditions, conditions of release and access matters.

Role of Keystone Child, Youth and Family Services

Keystone Child, Youth and Family Services will:

Provide mental health assessment and counselling to children, youth and families including:

  • A “Quick Response Clinic” mental health counselling session,
  • Individual and family counselling, groups and workshops for parents, children and youth,
  • Risk assessment for high risk children and youth,
  • Cradle Link supports for at risk 0-6 children and parents,
  • Short term, crisis residential service for adolescents,
  • Telepsychiatry Consultation, Pediatric Consultation,
  • Youth Justice services Court Support Workers for youth attending the Owen Sound Court and specialized services for youth on probation or involved with the law.

Use a trauma and violence informed approach with all victims of sexual and domestic violence that includes: a focus on victim safety, establishing trust, using a sensitive, compassionate and non judgmental approach that demonstrates caring and understanding, and consideration of the impact of trauma on memory and the behaviour of victims.

Report as per ‘duty to report’ according to the Child, Youth and Family Services Act and work with the local Child and Family Services (BGCFS), to ensure that assessment and possible treatment for a child victim is attained as soon as possible

Work with Policing Services at Saugeen (OPP) and Nawash First Nations, Native Child Welfare Program, Anishnabek Child and Youth Services, Health Care Services and Kabaeshiwim Respite – Women’s Shelter to coordinate services that will keep victims safe and provide collaborative and consistent services to support children and meet their identified cultural and other needs,

Refer to the Grey Bruce Situation Table for rapid mobilization of resources and service connection to meet the immediate needs of individuals and families experiencing acutely elevated levels of risk.

Provide victims with information on the criminal justice process and case-specific information.

Provide information or appropriate referrals regarding safety planning and community resources.

Role of Sexual Assault / Partner Abuse Care Centre (GBHS)

Sexual Assault / Partner Abuse Care Centre (SAPACC) will:

Through the ER, specially educated nurses under SAPACC, provide 24/7 support and information regarding options for care after a recent assault. And provide physical examination, assessment and treatment of injuries, including medications to prevent or limit risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and provide emergency contraception if needed,

Use a trauma and violence informed approach with all victims of sexual and domestic violence that includes: a focus on victim safety, establishing trust, using a sensitive, compassionate and non judgmental approach that demonstrates caring and understanding, and consideration of the impact of trauma on memory and the behavior of victims. Additional information under Trauma Informed Response.

Only with the consent of the victim, collect forensic evidence including photographs,

Report as per ‘duty to report’ according to the Child, Youth and Family Services Act and work with local Child and Family Services (BGCFS), to ensure that assessment and possible treatment for a child victim is attained as soon as possible,

Provide follow-up care, including a review of laboratory results, further documentation of injury and monitoring of health concerns,

Provide information on services available in the community and facilitate referrals for victims and or the parent(s)/guardian(s) or caregiver(s) of a victimized child,

Work with Policing Services at Saugeen (OPP) and Nawash First Nations, Native Child Welfare Program, Anishnabek Child and Youth Services, Health Care Services and Kabaeshiwim Respite – Women’s Shelter to coordinate services that will keep victims safe and provide collaborative and consistent services to support children and meet their identified cultural and other needs,

The Sexual Assault / Partner Abuse Care Centre has counselors that provide crisis trauma counselling during the week, and ongoing counselling for any victim who is 12 years and older, and for the caregiver(s)/parent(s) of children

Role of the Crown Attorney

The Crown attorney will:

Screen all files in accordance with the policies of the Ministry of the Attorney General, including determining whether a referral to BGCFS is necessary, in domestic violence cases,

Refer victims of sexual abuse and domestic violence to Victim/Witness Assistance Program, in cases where victims have not been referred, to facilitate the victims’ input into conditions of release and sentencing matters,

Use the Show Cause Report and the Domestic Violence Supplemental Report completed by the investigating officer to prepare/present for bail hearings, trials and sentencing hearings, and to determine whether or not to consent to bail and if the accused is to be released, what conditions should be submitted to the Justice of the Peace for the safety of the victim, witnesses and their families,

Screens all domestic violence cases for eligibility for Early Intervention Program (EIP)

Make the Crown Brief Synopsis available for Probation and Parole, prior to sentencing, in order to facilitate preparation of a pre-sentence report,

Consider all information provided by the Community Partner Consultation/Case Management group, including Nawash; Native Child Welfare Program, Health Centre, and Saugeen Health, Anishnabek Child and Youth Prevention Program, and Kabaeshiwim Respite – Women’s Shelter to support the non-offending parent(s) and their children and meet their identified cultural and other needs,

Ensure that victim-impact information is provided to the court on sentencing,

Request police and probation to gather evidence for the Crown to determine whether a Long Term Offender Application should be made, for submission to the Regional Crown Office for review, in the appropriate cases.

Role of Victim / Witness Assistance Program (V/WAP)

Victim/Witness Assistance Program will:

Make immediate contact with victims, upon referral, to assess safety and concerns regarding bail, and communicate this to the Crown on the victim’s behalf,

Use a trauma and violence informed approach with all victims of sexual and domestic violence that includes: a focus on victim safety, establishing trust, using a sensitive, compassionate and non judgmental approach that demonstrates caring and understanding, and consideration of the impact of trauma on memory and the behavior of victims. Additional information under Trauma Informed Response.

After initial contact, V/WAP will advise victims to contact V/WAP office for information on the status of their cases,

Report as per ‘duty to report’ according to the Child, Youth and Family Services Act and work with local Child and Family Services (BGCFS), to ensure that assessment and possible treatment for a child victim is attained as soon as possible,

Provide copies of and review release conditions/undertakings, recognizance of bail, probation orders and peace bonds (public courts documents) with victims,

Provide information or appropriate referrals regarding safety planning and community resources (e.g. Victim Services, Victim Support Line, Legal Advice, etc.),

Provide assistance and emotional support to prepare victims/witnesses to give evidence (V/WAP staff will inform each victim that staff does not discuss evidence, and that staff has an obligation to disclose any information shared by victims that may be considered new information which may be relevant to the prosecution),

Provide victims with information on the criminal justice process and case-specific information,

Work with the Crown attorney to ensure that an assistant Crown attorney is assigned at the earliest opportunity (once the case is scheduled for a preliminary hearing of trial) and remains with the case until final disposition at trial whenever possible,

Work with the Crown attorney and/or police on the victims’ behalf regarding concerns about their cases, bail conditions or bail variations, preliminary hearings or trials, and the special needs of each victim, if requested to do so by the victims,

Encourage each victim to access an independent support person/agency throughout the justice process, including accessing Nawash; Health Centre and Saugeen Health and Kabaeshiwim Respite – Women’s Shelter to support victims and meet their identified cultural and other needs,

Collaborate with the Crown attorney to seek the victims’ input at various stages (such as bail hearings, bail reviews, bail variations, guilty pleas and sentencing hearings) and inform victims of the outcomes,

Provide risk assessment, referral to the High Risk Team, where appropriate, and safety planning as needed,

Provide information to PAR program re: Early Intervention clients’ court status when requested by PAR.

Inform victims of their right to complete a Victim/Impact Statement prior to sentencing, and provide assistance in completing the Victim/Impact Statement upon request,

Provide information regarding Criminal Injuries Compensation Board applications by referring victims to the toll-free 1-800-372-7463 number or website http://www.cicb.gov.on.ca to enable them to make an application,

Provide information about Statements on Restitution.

Role of Probation and Parole

Probation and Parole will:

Immediately notify Bruce Grey Child and Family Services, if conditions on a current probation order are relevant to the safety of the victim and notification is appropriate,

Supply the non-offending parent(s) of a child victim with general information about Probation and Parole, when appropriate,

Attempt to contact each victim (or parent of a child victim in the case of a minor), and/or new partner to corroborate offence information, to assist with the assessment of risk, for case supervision purposes, for enforcement purposes in the event of a subsequent offence or noncompliance, to create a link so the victim and/or new partner can readily access offender information to make informed personal-safety decisions,

Refer the victim to Victim Services and/or VWAP, as well as encourage them to register with the Ministry’s Victim Support Line at 1-888-579-2999,

Use a trauma and violence informed approach with all victims of sexual and domestic violence that includes: a focus on victim safety, establishing trust, using a sensitive, compassionate and non judgmental approach that demonstrates caring and understanding, and consideration of the impact of trauma on memory and the behavior of victims. Additional information under Trauma Informed Response.

Provide information to the victim and third parties about an adult offender, including whether or not the offender is in custody and the release date, whether or not the offender is on probation/parole or conditional sentence, the parole eligibility date for an offender serving a custodial sentence and whether parole has been granted or denied, additional condition(s) which specifically name the victim (such as non-association), the general geographic area of release from custody, whether the offender has escaped lawful custody,

Consider laying a charge or an allegation of breach for a violation of a supervision order, when appropriate,

Assign the supervision of the offender to a Probation and Parole officer to prepare reports for courts and other correctional decision makers, enforce probation orders, assess the offender utilizing ODARA, LSIOR, and

Static/Stable risk assessments, make case management decisions, and determine rehabilitative interventions (such as counselling, educational services),

Support offenders to report disclosures of historical and recent sexual offences to the local police, and if the perpetrator remains in a position to harm children or others, concerns will be reported to both police and Child and Family Services,

Provide risk assessment, referral to the High Risk Team where appropriate, and safety planning.

Role of Bruce Grey Sexual Assault Program (WHSBG)

WHSBG Bruce Sexual Assault Program will:

Offer individual and group counselling and support to women 16 years of age and older who have experienced sexual assault, childhood sexual abuse/incest or sexual harassment, recently or in the past, and make support available to the family and friends of survivors,

Provide immediate telephone support and information through 24-hour crisis lines,

Use a trauma and violence informed approach with all victims of sexual and domestic violence that includes: a focus on victim safety, establishing trust, using a sensitive, compassionate and non judgmental approach that demonstrates caring and understanding, and consideration of the impact of trauma on memory and the behavior of victims. Additional information under Trauma Informed Response.

Provide women with:

  • Crisis intervention,
  • Information,
  • Short- and long-term individual and group counselling,
  • Advocacy,
  • Court preparation Accompaniment,
  • Assistance with criminal injury compensation applications and victim-impact statements,
  • Other support services as requested by each woman for all recent and historical sexual assaults.

Report as per ‘duty to report’ according to the Child, Youth and Family Services Act and work with local Child and Family Services (BGCFS), to ensure that assessment and possible treatment for a child victim is attained as soon as possible,

Provide risk assessment, referral to the High Risk Team, where appropriate, and provides safety planning.

Refer to the Grey Bruce Situation Table for rapid mobilization of resources and service connections to meet the immediate needs of individuals and families experiencing acutely elevated levels of risk

Provide each woman with safe emergency shelter, if she requests it, including support and referrals to The Women’s Centre (Grey & Bruce) Inc., Women’s House Serving Bruce & Grey, and Kabaeshiwim Place of Rest – Women’s Shelter,

Provide referrals to sexual assault services for women victims living in Chippewas of Nawash or Chippewas of Saugeen First Nations communities,

Provide referrals to the sexual assault counselling services with HOPE Grey & Bruce Mental Health & Addiction Services,

Provide referrals to the GBHS Sexual Assault / Partner Abuse Care Centre.

Role of All Women’s Emergency Shelters in Grey and Bruce counties

Kabaeshiwim Respite – Women’s Shelter, The Women’s Centre (Grey & Bruce) Inc. and Women’s House Serving Bruce & Grey will provide:

  • Immediate telephone support and information through 24-hour crisis lines,
  • Risk assessments,
  • Safety planning,
  • Individual counselling,
  • Advocacy,
  • Accompaniments,
  • Assistance with housing, legal, financial and custody matters,
  • Development of transition plans,
  • Education and training,
  • Appropriate referrals, including to V/WAP when a charge has been laid.

Emergency shelter at all three shelter locations for women and their children (if the shelter of the woman’s choice is full, assistance in making alternative emergency shelter arrangements),

Report as per ‘duty to report’ according to the Child, Youth and Family Services Act and work with local Child and Family Services (BGCFS), to ensure that assessment and possible treatment for a child victim is attained as soon as possible,

Link women and their children living in rural Grey and Bruce counties to municipal and county rural support services, and/or link victims and their children to appropriate rural support services.

Use a trauma and violence informed approach with all victims of sexual and domestic violence that includes: a focus on victim safety, establishing trust, using a sensitive, compassionate and non judgmental approach that demonstrates caring and understanding, and consideration of the impact of trauma on memory and the behavior of victims. Additional information under Trauma Informed Response.

Refer to the Grey Bruce Situation Table for rapid mobilization of resources and service connections to meet the immediate needs of individuals and families experiencing acutely elevated levels of risk

Role of the CMHA Men’s Program

The CMHA Men’s Program provides:

  • Individual Assessments
  • 12 week Partner Assault Response group sessions for male and female domestic violence offenders,
  • Partner contact for women whose partners are involved with the PAR program,
  • Reporting and referrals to other involved agencies with client consent.
  • My Dad’s Group, a 13 session parenting program for high-risk struggling fathers
  • Male Survivor Program for men who have experienced sexual abuse as children and youths (individual counseling).

The CMHA Men’s program will:

Report all incidents of sexual or domestic assault to police services, with the consent of the victim,

Report all incidents of sexual or domestic assault to Probation and Parole services, if the perpetrator attends the Men’s Program as part of his probation order or a Peace Bond,

Report all incidents of sexual or domestic assault to the Crown’s office, if the perpetrator attends the Men’s Program as part of the Early Intervention Program or a Peace Bond,

Determine if it is appropriate to contact each perpetrator’s partner to offer information and support, and complete this task if it is appropriate,

Provide Probation and Parole office with weekly progress reports and summary reports for all mandated perpetrators,

Provide the Crown attorney’s office with necessary documentation for client participation in the Early Intervention Program,

Report as per ‘duty to report’ according to the Child, Youth and Family Services Act and work with local Child and Family Services (BGCFS), to ensure that assessment and possible treatment for a child victim is attained as soon as possible,

Work with Nawash Health Centre, Saugeen Health and Kabaeshiwim Respite – Women’s Shelter, The Women’s Centre (Grey & Bruce) Inc. and Women’s House Serving Bruce & Grey to coordinate services that will keep victims safe and provide collaborative and consistent services to support victims and perpetrators and meet their identified cultural and other needs,

Provide risk assessment, referral to the High Risk Team, where appropriate, and provides safety planning.

Use a trauma and violence informed approach with all victims of sexual and domestic violence that includes: a focus on victim safety, establishing trust, using a sensitive, compassionate and non judgmental approach that demonstrates caring and understanding, and consideration of the impact of trauma on memory and the behavior of victims. Additional information under Trauma Informed Response.

Role of Municipal Social Services

Municipal Social Services in Grey County and Bruce County provide a range of support services such as Ontario Works, Child Care, and Housing services for eligible clients (for more specific information about available services in each county check 211).

Municipal Social Services in Grey County and Bruce County will:

Where staff identify domestic violence and sexual abuse at intake and/or during the case planning process to determine how Ontario Works, Children’s Services and/or Housing Services can support safety and support needs,

Report as per ‘duty to report’ according to the Child, Youth and Family Services Act and work with local Child and Family Services (BGCFS), to ensure that assessment and possible treatment for a child victim is attained as soon as possible,

Accept and approve applications for Special Priority Status (SPP) for rent geared to income, rent supplement and portable housing benefits to expedite access to safe and affordable housing,

Expedite the social assistance intake process when an applicant is in a crisis or emergency situation as a result of sexual assault or domestic violence,

Provide emergency assistance, including the immediate issuance of manual cheques for pickup at local office (Grey County only), or through Direct Bank Deposit, if the client has a secure bank account (Bruce County).

Provide off site meetings, when necessary, to ensure the safety of the client. 

Ensure that victims in high-risk situations are not required to pursue support payments from perpetrators in order to maintain eligibility for Ontario Works,

Ensure that the Ontario Works Directives are applied in each victim’s case, especially as they relate to deferrals and exemptions related to work placements,

Provide risk assessment, and where appropriate a referral to the High Risk Team for supports including safety planning.

Refer to the Grey Bruce Situation Table for rapid mobilization of resources and service connections to meet the immediate needs of individuals and families experiencing acutely elevated levels of risk

Use a trauma and violence informed approach with all victims of sexual and domestic violence that includes: a focus on victim safety, establishing trust, using a sensitive, compassionate and non judgmental approach that demonstrates caring and understanding, and consideration of the impact of trauma on memory and the behavior of victims. Additional information under Trauma Informed Response

Ensure that appropriate local referrals are provided.

Role of Grey Bruce Health Unit

Grey Bruce Health Unit supports the coordination of services as outlined in the Community Response Protocol. The role of Grey Bruce Health Unit continues to be supporting those most vulnerable to Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence through a coordinated approach to identification, referral and follow-up.

Protocol Management, Renewal and Complaints

Protocol Management — Role of Violence Prevention Grey Bruce

VPGB is responsible for the updating, maintenance and renewal of this protocol document, and for making the protocol available to protocol partners and the public on its website: violencepreventiongreybruce.com

VPGB works with the protocol partners to organize protocol training, implementation and evaluation activities as requested and/or required.

Any questions or concerns about this protocol can be directed to VPGB by contacting the Coordinator at info@violencepreventiongreybruce.com

Role of VPGB Protocol Committee

Violence Prevention Grey Bruce is the formal ‘custodian’ of this protocol, and hosts the protocol on its website as a community service.

Each Protocol partner assigns a Protocol Contact Person who is responsible for distributing any new information or changes to the protocol in their organization. The Protocol Contact Person sits on the VPGB Protocol Committee and represents their organization.

The Protocol Committee meets annually in January to renew the protocol agreement, make any necessary changes and organize any necessary training. The membership of the committee will include protocol partners and HER Grey Bruce, (a member of VPGB and a voice for survivors of domestic and sexual violence). Additional meetings may be called to deal with conflicts or concerns that arise from the Protocol Partners.

Complaints

There are 3 steps to resolve a complaint or issue between protocol partners or with service users:

  1. Speak directly to the person with the complaint with the goal of resolving it.
  2. If the issue is not resolved, speak to your supervisor about the complaint and ask them to resolve the issue with the person directly, or with the supervisor of a worker, if the complaint is from a partner organization.
  3. If the issue is still not resolve, bring the complaint to the VPGB Protocol Committee in the form of a letter sent to coordinator@violencepreventiongreybruce.com. The committee will review the matter and will assist in the resolution of the complaint, and/or make changes to the protocol.

Resources

Trauma and Violence Informed Response

Goals:

What is Trauma?

Trauma affects people from all socioeconomic backgrounds, levels of educational attainment, and areas of geographical residence, ages, and racial or ethnic affiliation.

The more marginalized and most vulnerable members of society are at greater risk

It is more common for youth, the impoverished, and minority groups to experience trauma

Women are more likely to experience higher rates of trauma responses, indicating that gender is also important and relevant in understanding trauma, its causes, and its effects.

The less power a person has the higher the risk of trauma

What is trauma informed care?

Understanding the Victim Response to Trauma (Sexual and Domestic Assaults)

  1. Individuals respond to trauma in a variety of ways. Victims may display a range of demeanor and emotions from crying and distress, to extremely calm and/or seemingly cheerful.
  2. Trauma can affect a victim’s ability to give a detailed or chronological statement. A person who experiences trauma often will recall and/or disclose information over a period of time as memories are triggered and as trust is established with responders.
  3. Do not make judgments about credibility based on a victim’s demeanor or inability to articulate a chronological narrative.
  4. Be aware that offenders typically choose victims based on a perceived lack of credibility or perceived vulnerability knowing that this will make others doubt the victim’s report of the assault (vulnerabilities may include age, status, alcohol consumption, or other circumstances).

Some Suggested Best Practices

DO

be particularly aware of how the suspect may have exploited or created victim vulnerability and accessibility.

DO

continue to use open-ended questions and do not suggest answers.

DO

say:

  • Tell me more about that…
  • Tell me your thoughts when…
  • Help me understand what you mean…

DO NOT

ask “why” – this can feel blaming to victims.

DO NOT

interrogate the victim. This is not the time to determine if the victim can withstand the rigors of cross-examination at trial.

Case Management — Grey Bruce Situation Table for Acute Risk

The Situation Table is a collaborative, integrated multi-agency team striving to build safer and healthier communities through rapid mobilization of resources and service connections to meet the immediate needs of individuals and families experiencing acutely elevated levels of risk

Membership of the Grey Bruce Situation Table for Acute Risk will consist of those agencies determined as appropriate for participation by the Steering Committee and that have completed an Agency Participation Form, Confidentiality Agreement for each agency participant and the required training.

Representatives at the Situation Table for Acute Risk will have the authority to make decisions for their organizations that fall within the scope of the Table for Acute Risk’s roles and authorities.

Referral to the Situation Table

Situation Table for Acute Risk Membership

Safety Planning

A comprehensive Guide to Safety Planning in domestic violence situations can be downloaded from Victim Service Bruce Grey Perth http://www.vsbgp.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Safety-Plan-VSBGP.pdf

On site Safety Planning 24/7 for victims and survivors of domestic abuse: Women’s House Serving Bruce and Grey (Kincardine), The Women’s Centre (Grey & Bruce) (Owen Sound) and Kaebashiwin Place of Rest (Saugeen First Nation).

Telephone Safety Planning is available 24/7 by contacting Violence Against Women Crisis Lines: Women’s House 1 800 265-3026, Women’s Centre 1 800 265-3722 and Victim Services 1-866-376-9852

Responsibilities Checklist

Complete this 3-step checklist to guide your response. For more information on organization-specific responsibilities, please refer to Protocol Roles

1 Who needs help?

Current Initiatives

Working Together Protocol

This Protocol outlines what happens when services and providers respond to sexual and domestic violence. It is designed to help service providers work together effectively and for the public to have a clearer understanding of how services and providers respond to sexual and domestic assault situations.

STOP Sexual Violence Survey

What is Sexual Violence? Can we prevent sexual violence in Grey Bruce? What is needed to make change in our community? Violence…

Know Me(n) Better

In November 2017, the Men’s Program and its Advisory Committee offered a one-day forum called Know Me(n) Better at the Bayshore Community…

Senior Abuse Network

Grey Bruce Seniors Safety Network In 2015 concerned citizens and service providers came together looking for a way to address the abuse…

Workplace Violence

Every workplace needs to be a safe and respectful environment, and employers are required by law to keep the workplace free of…

No Wrong Door

Women and men who have concurrent mental health, substance abuse and trauma/abuse issues in their lives have complex needs that often make…

Building a Bigger Wave

Building a Bigger Wave is a provincial network of Violence Against Women Coordinating Committees. VPGB is a member and is working to…

Into the Open: Sexual Violence Prevention

In June of 2014 Violence Prevention Grey Bruce struck a sub committee to work with the community on sexual violence prevention in…

We are leading the way to a safer community.

Our shared vision is an inclusive community where all people live their lives free from all forms of violence and oppression, and have equal access to the best of what the community has to offer.

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