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Recipients of the 2013 Victim Services Awards of Distinction

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Recipients of the 2013 Victim Services Awards of Distinction

Ministry of the Attorney General

The recipients of the 2013 Victim Services Awards of Distinction are:

Barbara Bird, Peterborough

Barbara Bird is a survivor of sexual assault and a therapist at the John Howard Society of Peterborough. She was inspired by her own experience to develop Healing from Within, a unique program that has helped scores of male survivors of childhood sexual assault in its six years of operation. The program uses a variety of techniques to help victims, including Reiki, hypnosis, play therapy, traditional Aboriginal approaches and a number of counselling methods. Barbara has been committed to community outreach, including school presentations on family violence during her 20 years with the John Howard Society. 

Janice Campbell, London

Janice Campbell has been a volunteer with the Sexual Assault Centre of London's 24-hour crisis and support line for 13 years. She has an unwavering commitment to end sexual violence in her community. Her passion for women's issues and her dedication in mentoring many crisis line volunteers have resulted in better support for victims of sexual violence in London and Middlesex County.

Nancy Chamberlain, Thunder Bay

Nancy Chamberlain, executive director of the Thunder Bay Community Counselling Centre, has been a leader and innovator in victim services for more than 25 years. She currently volunteers as a member of the boards of numerous organizations dedicated to supporting vulnerable and at-risk children, youth and victims of crime. In addition to her responsibilities as a professional and her commitment as a volunteer, Nancy initiated a partnership with 11 service providers to develop a sexual assault program for male victims, now serving 56 First Nations. Most recently, Nancy led a project that provides online counselling for clients, reaching more people than ever.

Emilie Crakondji, London

Emilie Crakondji has been the executive director of Carrefour des Femmes du Sud-Ouest de l'Ontario, the first francophone non-profit rape crisis centre in southwestern Ontario, for seven years.  She developed and implemented the plan for southwestern Ontario's first French-language rape crisis centre and has provided direct support and comfort to victims. Emilie developed Café-Causette, a coffee club aimed at providing a way for abused women to break out of their isolation. She also developed a program to counter cyber-bullying and educate kids on healthy relationships between boys and girls at seven French-language public and Catholic schools. 

Elizabeth Anne Danowski, Lindsay

Elizabeth Anne Danowski, an art therapy student with the Kawartha Lakes and Haliburton domestic violence coordinating committee, works to make a difference in her community, helping women who have experienced domestic violence. She provides a supportive, positive environment for these women to express their feelings through drawing. She donated her personal time and resources to turn these women's sketches into quilts. She provides compassionate support to victims and has facilitated regional survivors forums where women were able to express their hopes for the future through art. 

Lisa Fox, Kingston

Lisa Fox, women's outreach counsellor at Kingston Interval House, has almost 30 years of experience in the mental health field, and more than a dozen as a strong women's advocate. In a voluntary capacity, she helped to establish, and now chairs, the Kingston/Frontenac anti-violence coordinating committee. She expanded the committee from a few participants to include more than 25 organizations, including law enforcement, justice, shelter/housing, health and counselling groups that work together to provide a sustained and coordinated community response to domestic and sexual violence. 

Peggy Loyie, Fort Frances

Peggy Loyie has been working in victim services for 25 years, currently as the manager of the Rainy River district victim services program. She has also worked both professionally and as a volunteer, with many groups that support youth, Aboriginal survivors of residential schools and victims of crime, including victims of family violence. She worked with the local hospital to develop a program to triage sexual assault victims and train hospital staff. Her accomplishments in identifying the needs of victims and promoting healing are legendary in her community and beyond.

Dawn and Ed Novak, Utterson

Dawn and Ed Novak's daughter, Natalie, died in 2006 as a result of a violent act committed by her former boyfriend. Since losing their daughter, the Novaks have been active in raising awareness about the vital role of intervention in supporting victims of domestic violence. They developed the video If Only...Nat's Story that has been shown to all Grade 10 students in Muskoka and many other communities. They speak at schools, teaching young people to recognize the signs of abusive relationships, and have led discussions about domestic violence with community leaders across the province.

Michelle Schryer, Chatham

Michelle Schryer, executive director of the Chatham-Kent Sexual Assault Crisis Centre, has led many initiatives to break down barriers that prevent victims from getting the services and supports they need most, when they need them. She developed an outreach program to help 10 outlying areas of Chatham-Kent, where transportation issues had kept many victims from accessing services. Her expertise has been sought in the development of both federal and provincial legislation and her strength as an advocate for violence against women's issues is widely recognized across Ontario.

Kaye Torrie, Peterborough

In 2008, Kaye Torrie started working as a child witness advocate with BOOST, a community-based agency dedicated to eliminating violence against children. She is the only BOOST ambassador in the Peterborough and Tri-County areas and supports child victims/witnesses, and other participants in the court process in three separate courthouses. Her contribution in the community is further demonstrated by her efforts as a member of the board for the local Children's Aid Society, and her work with other agencies that serve victims of family abuse.

Kawartha Haliburton Victim Services, Kawartha

The staff of two at Kawartha Haliburton Victim Services, supported by 39 volunteers, regularly goes above and beyond the services that the agency is required to provide. The excellent partnerships and innovative programs the agency has developed, such as attending court with victims and witnesses of crime and a special process to quickly assist victims of domestic violence, are recognized locally and provincewide. The agency also provides 24/7 on-call support and referral services to the local hospital and offers special supports to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking.

The Lanark County Community Justice Program, Perth

The Lanark County Community Justice Program is a not-for-profit organization, almost exclusively operated by volunteers, that was founded in 1998 to develop restorative community justice in the area. This program trains volunteers to facilitate community justice forums that give victims of crime a voice and result in legally binding agreements that focus on the accused repairing the harm they have caused. The program is highly regarded by victims, police, the Crown attorney's office and community members. In 2012, the program conducted 40 Community Justice Forums.   

The Remember Me Homicide Support Group, Newmarket

The Remember Me Homicide Support Group of Newmarket was created after Edmund and Geraldine Healey's daughter, Brenda, was murdered in 2008. The family recognized the need for support services for other families dealing with grief as a result of homicide and to give them a chance to share their experiences in an understanding environment. Guest speakers are often invited to discuss victims' rights issues. The Healey family has raised awareness of victims' issues in York Region through initiatives such as Edmund's advocacy of Bill 168, which amended the Occupational Health and Safety Act to address violence and harassment in the workplace.

Victim Services Volunteer Training E-learning Project, Kenora

The Sunset Area Victim Crisis Assistance and Referral Service, located in Kenora, provides crisis intervention and referral services to victims of crime and tragic circumstances. This agency recognized the need for a standardized volunteer training tool, canvassed other service providers for interest and led the development of the Victim Services Volunteer Training E-learning Project. The project team secured funding, including grants from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, and incorporated a number of unique training resources into one accessible and interactive e-learning tool. Forty-five Victim Crisis Assistance and Referral Services across Ontario are now involved in the project, enabling them to provide volunteers with thorough and consistent e-training.

Working Against Violence Everyday (W.A.V.E.) Youth Action Team, Toronto

The W.A.V.E. Youth Action Team is a group of 18 high school students from Chaminade College in Toronto that created an anti-bullying, anti-violence presentation for children in Grades 2-6. The team developed a hands-on interactive workshop and has presented it to more than 450 students. The workshop supports victims by enforcing the message of speaking up, time away, opening up and peace (STOP) to identify bullying behaviour. W.A.V.E. is a registered charity, founded by Office for Victims of Crime board member Louise Russo, that seeks to inspire young people and members of the community to make their schools and communities safer.

Yellow Brick House, Richmond Hill          

Yellow Brick House, a York Region charitable organization, is a social service agency that has supported more than 5,500 victims in the past year. It has been providing programs and services to women and children who are victims of abuse for 35 years. Yellow Brick House offers a variety of free programs and services in over 28 languages to empower abused women and children to rebuild their lives and live free of violence. Its two emergency shelters offer food, clothing, housing support, legal guidance and counselling services and a crisis line. Parenting groups, art therapy, intervention and trauma counselling, and access to short-term transitional housing are also offered.

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