Mark started volunteering as a victim service worker 23 years ago. Today, he leads the police-based victim services team at the Surrey RCMP.
It is his job and it is also his passion. “If I had to look back on my career, at this point in time, and say what I’ve found the most rewarding, or what has made the biggest difference – I would always say my Victim Services work.”
“In the worst day of somebody’s life, we provide support, comfort and guidance.”
Mark and his team provide emotional support and practical assistance to victims of crime and their families. One of the most important things they do is connect people with critical resources in the community. “Most people don’t know what’s available to them.”
Mark and his team work closely with the community. In the case of domestic violence they connect women fleeing violence with the supports and services to get them “the help that they need, at the time that they need it.” He explains that the goal is to “create a network that gives her strength to see it through so that she can live the life that she wants to live.” When I think about Surrey Women’s Centre, you provide a holistic support system….whether it’s the clothing exchange that you offer, finding housing or financial support - it’s a one-stop place where you can come to get the help that you need. Those types of supports didn’t exist before.”
Reflecting on his work, Mark shares, “Some of the calls we attend stick with you, and can affect you, emotionally.” But he finds inspiration and support in his team. “Having a supportive team that one can come back to defuse and debrief with, talk and share those experiences with is absolutely crucial. I marvel at the team I have right now, they are amazing.” He continues to say that, “I have to be the face of the team but they are the ones that do all the hard work, every day. I think it is important to recognize that they do all the tough stuff – they are the individuals who are trying to make things better”.