Year after year, there are generally more victims of crime in Manitoba per inhabitant than any other Canadian provinces and more victims of crime in Winnipeg, Manitoba per inhabitant than any other Canadian cities (source http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crime_in_Canada).
Furthermore, Manitoba has the sad record of being the murder province of Canada and Winnipeg the murder capital of Canada. The last thing a victim of crime wants, however, is being reduced to a number or a statistic. The sad fact remains that the way the system processes victims is often heartless and compassionless. This translates in the victim feeling profoundly misunderstood and alone.
Being a victim of crime can be quite a disorienting and traumatic experience. Whether you reside in Winnipeg and want to meet in-person, or live anywhere else in Manitoba and want to talk on the phone or meet online, I offer personalized victim services to meet your unique needs.
The only chance of a victim of crime for human treatment often lies in the hands of the therapists or counsellors they are dealing with–and not necessarily with the justice system. In fact, the relationship between victims of crime and their therapists is often sufficient for a victim to start coming around and feeling better. Indeed, the single fact of being held in a supportive and positive environment by a counsellor who expresses unconditional positive regard facilitates healing for a victim.
In my experience of working with victims of crimes, the most frequent question they ask themselves is, Why me? Why did it have to happen to me? This question creates confusion in the mind and destabilizes the individual. The reason why a simple question like this can create such a mess is that it is unanswerable from the level of consciousness the victim was operating from at the moment of the incident. Only by attaining to some peace and clarity can the answer to such a question be revealed. Most of the time, victims of crime are disoriented, uncertain, and confused; in short, not in a state favoring healing and understanding - or even thinking straight for that matter.
Victims of crime understandably have the natural tendency to feel like victims, as they feel that something happened without their consent. The counselling services I provide aim at remembering you are creators, not victims, for only a creator can manifest a better future.
The victim services provided by a psychotherapist or counsellor may definitely have a positive impact and play a positive role in the life of a victim. The greatest obstacle to healing is to move away from victim mentality. Paradoxically, using a collectively agreed upon term like ‘victim’ to identify oneself may hinder healing by making one feel like one, hence lowering mood. Whenever we go through an experience we cannot fully explain or understand, human beings have this bad habit of perceiving themselves as victims. Although one is justified and has all the reasons in the world to feel this way, it does not change the fact that this way of thinking and perceiving situations is dysfunctional, as it engenders powerlessness and makes it much more difficult to change the circumstances of one’s life.
Consequently, the crime that was committed ends up imprisoning the victim of crime as long as he or she perceives himself or herself as a victim. In my opinion the trick, thus, in providing therapeutic services to a victim of crime is to empower them, to give them back the power they feel was taken away. This is partly done by reminding them, through interventions of all kinds, they are not victims, but rather free and independent individuals.
If you have been victim of a crime in Manitoba, make sure you get victim services form someone who will stand by you, for you. Get the victims services you deserve, wherever you reside in Manitoba.
One can imagine that the process of rising above victim mentality and regaining one’s sovereignty and independence may take a fair amount of time, and indeed it does. Luckily, all victims of crime in Manitoba have the right to receive free counselling services for up to 16 sessions – with the possibility of prolongation. Indeed, the Manitoba Department of Justice – Victims Services Branch has a program in place for victims of crime called Compensation for Victims of Crime. Besides psychological services to victims and their family members, the program offers the possibility for job retraining (when deemed necessary), bodywork therapies (e.g. physiotherapy, chiropractor, acupuncture), loss work compensation, etc. [Compensation for Victims of Crime PDF brochure].