Are You a Victim in a Criminal Matter? MCA’s Victim Support Worker Can Help.

Have you been a victim of a crime in Akwesasne’s northern jurisdictions? Do you wonder about the case, your rights, the court proceedings, and the outcome? Do you wonder what happens next? Do you wonder if you are a “victim”? Do you need help accessing funds that are specifically for victims? Do you simply have questions about a crime against you and don’t know who to ask them to? The Mohawk Council of Akwesasne’s Community Justice Program has created a position specifically for you.

The Victim Support Worker position was created in 2018 and Jenna David has filled the important role for the community. Her office location is at the Akwesasne Mohawk Police Service station, where victims can meet with her safely and conveniently.

Prior to the creation of the position, victims in the community didn’t have a specific person to speak to.

Ms. David can assist community members who need someone to attend court with them, to help explain the process and what’s to be expected. Ms. David can also connect a victim with the information they’re seeking on court outcomes. Prior to the Victims Support Worker position, victims in the community wouldn’t know where to direct their questions or who to ask for follow up, besides the Akwesasne Mohawk Police.

In some occurrences, it may be obvious that a person is a victim and they can be assisted. However, many individuals often have questions about crimes and whether or not there is a victim situation, Ms. David said. This may be related to scams, elder abuse, and identity crimes. She can help community members identify when there is a victim situation and when laws have been broken.

Another benefit of the Victim Support Worker position has been Ms. David’s assistance in connecting victims with funds that are set aside specifically for them from the provincial Victim Fee Surcharge, which is attached to fines. There is a 2-year time limit to file a claim for certain crimes, but for other serious cases (child abuse, sexual abuse) there is no limit to when a person can access the funds. The Victim Support Worker can assist with the application process.