Court Support Services

"I would not have known what to do without your help. Thank you!"

Who We Are and How We Help

Victoria J.

Board President

Joan S.

Executive Director

Grande Prairie & District Victim Services is a police-based, community-directed program providing information, support and referrals to persons who have been victims of crime, trauma and tragedy.

GPVSU is a non-profit organization providing services 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Our services are free and confidential. If you have suffered a traumatic experience as a victim of crime, trauma or tragedy, you may be feeling overwhelmed, confused or distrustful of others. You may experience feelings and emotions such as fear, stress, anger, violation, isolation, shock, disbelief, helplessness, hurt, depression and self-doubt.

We are here to offer you support. Other victims who have experienced what you have been experiencing are feeling the same feelings that you are. Grande Prairie & District Victim Services provides a listening ear, comfort, and reassurance, all with the utmost confidentiality and sensitivity. You are not alone.

We will provide you with referrals to other community resources that may be helpful to you such as; counselling, distress and/or crisis lines, shelters, Social Services, Family Services and the Medical Examiners office.

Some of the Ways We Serve Victims

Talk: Discussing your feelings can help you work through emotional trauma.

Acceptance: Understand that you had no control over the events that occurred during the victimization and it is not your fault.

Practice Patience: Realize that healing takes time as emotions and feelings need to be worked through over time.

Practice Self-Care: It is alright to believe in yourself once more and to trust others again. Although this was a negative experience, you can overcome it. Do not be afraid to show your emotions. Experiencing difficult emotions is normal and keeping feelings inside may slow down your recovery.

Helping Victims Manage Information

Our role is to reduce the impact of crime and tragedy on victims. When you need information about your case, we liaise with the RCMP on your behalf. We will answer your questions about the court system including: Has an arrest been made? How do I report additional stolen property? When is my court date? Which RCMP member is in-charge of my case? How do I file a Victim Impact Statement? Can I apply for restitution?

One of our mandates as a Victim Services Unit is to provide Court Support for Victims of Crime. Court support has several components, including:

Court Updates

If you are a victim, our Victim Services office will provide you with Court Outcome Updates from the Court Appearance(s) the accused has attended.  Unless there is a Preliminary Trial, it is not necessary for the victim to attend court until the date and time the victim is required to appear as a witness. It is important that you know what has been happening at the court appearances the accused has to attend. Victim Services can keep track of those appearances and advise you about what has occurred, when the next court date is and when and if a trial will take place.


Court Orientation

Victims who are scheduled to appear at the Grande Prairie Courthouse will be contacted approximately one month prior to their court appearance. Orientation consists of the following:

  • Grande Prairie Courthouse:  a tour of the courthouse and of a courtroom (usually takes approx 30 mins)

  • Q&A Period: gives the opportunity for victims to ask questions and talk about whatever fears and misconceptions they may have, (Court is not like on TV).

Victims and witnesses are encouraged to read their written statement and/or view their video statement about one week before the trial start date. This is to refresh the victim's memory. However, an RCMP member must give permission first and supply the documents and/or videos.


Court Accompaniment

This includes the following:

  • VSU provides a support person who accompanies the witness (victim) to court.

  • The support person will sit with the witness while they wait to testify.

  • The support person will also sit in the courtroom while the witness testifies.

    • Due to the nature of some evidence, it is not always in the victim's best interest to have family in the courtroom while testifying. To ensure victims are not alone during this process, Grande Prairie and District Victim Services feels it is important to make a support person available.

Victims and witnesses are encouraged to read their written statement and/or view their video statement about one week before the trial start date. This is to refresh the victim's memory. However, an RCMP member must give permission first and supply the documents and/or videos.

Legal Services

Provincial Court

Grande Prairie

Court of Queen's Bench

Grande Prairie

Provincial Court

Edmonton - Queen's Bench
  • Civil Division,
    Main Floor Law Courts
    1A, Sir Winston Churchill Square
    Edmonton, AB
    T5J 0R2

Edmonton Courts Services

For General Information Call:

Alberta Justice Family Court Counsellor

Crown Prosecutor's Office

Legal Aid

Probation

Financial Support

please see Get Help/FAQ’s and Forms.

Victims Programs

please see Get Help/FAQ’s and Forms.

Crisis Intervention

please see Get Help/FAQ’s and Forms.

Our Sponsors