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Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Saskatchewan

BUFFALO REGIONAL VICTIMS SERVICES PROGRAM OPENS

Another step to help victims of crime was taken in Northern Saskatchewan today,

with the official opening of the Buffalo Regional Victims Services Program in

Buffalo Narrows.



"The opening of the Buffalo Narrows program brings the network of police-

affiliated victims services programs in Saskatchewan to 17," Justice Minister

Chris Axworthy said. "This program was designed in partnership with the

community to meet the specific needs of the people in the Buffalo Narrows area,

people who have been victims of crime and their families."



Saskatchewan Justice is providing $55,500 in annual funding to the Buffalo

Narrows Victims Services Program. The program will serve the communities of

Buffalo Narrows, Turnor Lake, Bear Creek, Dillon, St. George's Hill, Michel

Village, the Buffalo River Dene Nation and the Birch Narrows First Nation.



The building that houses the program was formerly the quarters for married

members of the local RCMP detachment. The building has been converted to

accommodate the new Victims Services program and a "soft room". Soft rooms

provide a comfortable, non-threatening atmosphere where police can conduct

video-taped interviews. The rooms are used primarily to interview children as

part of investigations of child abuse.



The government is providing one time funding of $5,000 to equip the Buffalo

Narrows soft room with the necessary video equipment. Furniture for the soft

room has been donated by The Northern Store, Buffalo Narrows; The Brick, Prince

Albert; and Houle Furniture, Prince Albert. To date, 26 soft rooms have been

established in 22 Saskatchewan communities.



In co-operation with the RCMP and municipal police forces, Victims Services co-

ordinators and volunteers provide information, support and referral services to

victims of crime. Last year, more than 400 volunteers gave 76,000 hours of

their time to help 20,000 people who were victims of crime throughout

Saskatchewan.



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For more information:



Debi McEwen

Saskatchewan Justice

Regina

Phone: 787-6043

e-mail: dmcewen@justice.gov.sk.ca
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