MADD Ottawa’s group initiative
offers new avenue of support.
Victims/survivors who attend MADD
Canada’s National Conference for Victims
of Impaired Driving often speak of the
immediate sense of kinship and comfort
they feel being amongst others who
understand what they are going through.
“No one is judging them for their feelings,
or expecting them to deal with their
grief in a certain manner or a certain
timeframe,” said Gregg Thomson, a
long-time volunteer with MADD Ottawa,
a Victim Services Volunteer and currently
Chairperson of MADD Canada’s National
Board of Directors. “They are with people
who respect their need to do things in their
own way, at their own pace.”
When MADD Ottawa volunteers began
exploring new ways to supplement their
one-to-one support for local victims and
survivors, they focused on a group meeting
format with the intent of recreating that
same comforting, safe atmosphere.
At the time, MADD Ottawa’s Victim
Services Volunteers were providing direct
one-to-one support to 24 victims and
survivors of impaired driving. The group
wanted to add another layer of support,
and a means of expanding the support
network so that victims and survivors
could help one another the same way they
do at the national conference.
The group held its first meeting in March
2014. Since then, it has met every six
weeks or so, with between 8 and 14
members in attendance. The meetings
are facilitated by Mr. Thomson and MADD
Ottawa Victim Services Volunteer Jess
Rawcliffe.
The group dynamic is proving immensely
beneficial to participants.
Support Group Provides Safe
Forum for Victims/Survivors
To stop impaired driving and to support victims of this violent crime.
matters
SPRING 2015
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