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Alumna’s experience in restorative justice informs her work in victim support in Jamaica

Whether she’s advocating for victims of crime in Canada, East Africa or Jamaica, Anna Squier sees more similarities than differences. “When you’re working with a victim, no matter where you are, you’re dealing with emotions and someone’s state of being that has been changed. You’re trying to help that person move back towards a positive state of being,” says Squier, a 2011 graduate of the MA in Human Security and Peacebuilding program. She adds that what does differ between countries and communities are the tools used to address violence. An important tool in every community is a team of volunteers to support victims and offenders, says Squier, national volunteer program, policy and development adviser in the Victim Support Unit (VSU) with the Government of Jamaica’s Ministry of Justice. Her job, a placement through Cuso, involves establishing the VSU’s national volunteer program through writing policy, standardizing operations and eventually doing some training. She spent the past couple of months visiting 12 parishes (the provinces of Jamaica) to assess where the program is at and how it can be improved for the communities.

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