VICTORIA – British Columbia is joining the federal government in marking Victims of Crime Awareness Week, April 22-28, by providing over $40 million again this year to support the delivery of critical services to those individuals whose lives have been impacted by crime.

The B.C. government funds more than 160 victim service programs throughout the province to provide information, referrals, emotional support and practical assistance to victims of crime. In 2012-13, victim service providers will receive more than $12 million to deliver critical incident response, criminal justice system information and support, safety planning, practical and emotional support, and information and referral services to an expected 100,000 people or more.

The B.C. government also funds more than 250 violence-against-women counselling and outreach programs across B.C. In 2012-13, violence-against-women counselling and outreach programs – which include Stopping the Violence counselling programs for women, Children Who Witness Abuse counselling programs, Outreach and Multicultural Outreach services – will receive over $16.5 million in funding.

In addition, the B.C. government funds VictimLink BC, a toll-free, 24/7, multilingual crisis line throughout B.C. and Yukon for victims of violence and other crimes. They can be accessed toll-free at 1 800 563-0808 or: www.victimlinkbc.ca

Victims of Crime Awareness Week is an opportunity to raise awareness about issues facing victims of crime and about the programs, services and laws in place to help victims of crime and their families. The theme for this year is ‘Moving Forward’, which recognizes both victims of crime and those who work to assist and support them.

For information about events taking place across British Columbia during Victims of Crime Awareness Week, please visit: www.pssg.gov.bc.ca/crimeprevention