JIS News

Director of the Victim Services Division (VSD), Osbourne Bailey, is reminding the public that there is no statute of limitations for victims of crimes needing support.

Persons who are primary, secondary and tertiary victims of crimes, despite how long ago it may have been committed, can still access the services of the Division.

Mr. Bailey told JIS News that persons can come into the VSD at any time to make a report and start counselling.

“There is no statute of limitations as regards to when a person can come in to report a crime. In fact, we have on record where persons have come to our offices up to eight years after the unfortunate event occurred, in that they were not aware of victim services at the time, and something happened up to eight years after to trigger feelings of grave need for counselling. We treated that person as the primary client, but in addition to that, the services are also provided to persons we call secondary clients – that means persons who are family members of persons who are victims,” he explained.

The primary victim refers to the person who was directly impacted by the crime and the tertiary victim refers to a person who is not a family member but who may share similarities with a primary victim.

“These are persons in a similar situation to the victim and somehow you are impacted, because they feel that it could easily have been them. You live on the same street, you are a woman of the same age or a child of the same age from the same school. We have provided therapy for primary, secondary and tertiary persons quite some while after,” Mr. Bailey said.

“Remember the damage done by crime is not always like a broken bone or a physical injury and there is no way to know if the wound has been completely healed or how it has healed, and if it does break out again there is need for us to provide some support and that’s what the victim services division does,” he added.

Meanwhile, persons wishing to access the services of the VSD are being encouraged to visit the parish offices located islandwide.

Persons can also call toll free 888 842 8467, 876 946 0663 or 876 618 3620. The VSD can also be contacted via email at vsd@moj.gov.jm.

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