East Algoma OPP – Elliot Lake Welcomes Julia Manuel as Victim Specialist

The East Algoma Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) proudly welcomes Julia Manuel as the Victim Specialist at the Elliot Lake OPP detachment.

The OPP Victim-Centred Approach Team (VCAT) aims to implement the building blocks of the framework for an OPP Victim-Centred Approach by engaging with our members, our community partners, victim support organizations and other stakeholders to assist and understand the needs of victims/survivors in accordance with victims legislative rights and our obligations including the Canadian Victim Bill of Rights and Ontario Victim Bill of Rights.

The Victim Specialist Program

The mission of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Victim Specialist Program is to ensure victims involved with investigations by the OPP have access to the rights and assistance to which they are entitled under the law. The program facilitates effective communication and information, and sets clear expectations, ensuring victims/survivors are provided the appropriate assistance to understand and participate throughout the investigative process and criminal justice system.


Victim Specialists have the distinct and unique responsibility to provide supports specific to the investigative process through the assistance and guidance of the investigating member. Responsibilities focus on serving victims in the traumatic aftermath of victimization by providing essential information on their role in the criminal justice/investigative process, including a victim’s rights to information, case status information, resource information and identification of their needs.


A Victim Needs Assessment (VNA) is an internal tool that has been developed for officers responding to calls for service, which empowers our people to assist and understand the needs of victims/survivors. The VNA is not an offer of services, rather a mechanism to allow victims/survivors the opportunity to express their individual needs to front line officers. The VNA provides an avenue for victims/survivors to tell OPP members, in their own words, whether they may require accommodations or additional supports. By understanding needs surrounding communication/understanding, safety, and religious/cultural practices, the OPP can ensure proper resources and supports are available; this also ensures a victim-centred approach is established and observed throughout the investigative process.


If a victim/survivor indicates specific supports/accommodations are required, the VNA will trigger a referral to a Victim Specialist to provide further assistance throughout the investigative process. This ensures the OPP are providing effective communication and information and are setting clear expectations. The Victim Specialist Program, working in collaboration with our community partners, facilitates a holistic approach to meet short, medium and long term needs of victims/survivors.