Mi’kmaw woman heads Durham Victim Services

Victim Services of Durham Region (VSDR) has welcomed its new Executive Director Krista MacNeil. She has been the Clinical Director at the organization for the past two years and comes to her new role with more than 20 years of experience in the field.

“I am passionate about anti-oppressive practices that empower and support resilience in marginalized communities,” says MacNeil, “I value strong community partnerships that enhance support for victims of crime.”

MacNeil is a Mi’kmaw woman from Nujio’qonik, Ktaqmkuk. She completed her Master of Social Work from Wilfrid Laurier University and is certified in Trauma Focused Therapy through the Medical University of South Carolina. During her time with VSDR, the agency received the 2022 Attorney General’s Victim Services Team Award of Distinction and a 2022 Community Builders Award, said a statement.

VSDR is a team of crisis intervention counsellors, prevention facilitators, advocates, students and volunteers. Its mission is to prevent violence through awareness and education, as well as collaborate with community agencies to provide rapid, trauma-informed support and advocacy for every person in Durham who has experienced crime or sudden tragedy.

One of the community agencies VSDR collaborates with is Durham Regional Police Service (DRPS). The organizations work together to support victims and the community.

“We welcome Krista to her new role as Executive Director and look forward to our continued partnership with VSDR,” says Deputy Chief Joseph Maiorano of DRPS. “Officers know that they can call on VSDR to provide support to those in our community when they need it most. We are grateful for their commitment to victims through their crisis response, intervention and prevention services.”

VSDR would also like to thank Carly Kalish for her dedication and professionalism as the former Executive Director. Her leadership made a positive impact on the organization.

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