Saturday, March 29, 2008

P.S. I Miss You...

F.A.C.T. Book of Poems
P.S. I Miss You....

We are very pleased to announce that the long awaited Book of Poetry
P.S. I Miss You... is now available.

This book was completely written by F.A.C.T. members and their families & friends. The cover artwork & all the illustrations have been created by Moneca Melan. We would also like to thank Kathleen Mortenson for writing the introduction to our book.

All of us at F.A.C.T. would also like to especially thank the woman who helped us make this book become a reality. None of this would have been possible without the kindness of Cindy Vautour-Smith, who dedicated many hours to designing and creating the finished product.

All proceeds from P.S. I Miss You... go directly to supporting F.A.C.T. in its initiatives to create change within Canada's Justice System through awareness campaigns, media interviews & educational programs and to pay for printing of the book.

We want to thank everyone who contributed to this book. To see this book come together from start to finish has been an amazing journey for me. It has helped me to heal in ways I can not even begin to express. I hope that all of you will purchase one for yourselves, and be sure to have your friends, families and co-workers purchase one as well.

The book has been made to fit in your pocket book, and will hold a few pages in the back for your thoughts. For those of you who would like to be the first to purchase your copy of P.S. I Miss You... please find the order form attached to this email. Please allow a few weeks for shipping, as I will wait until I have a few orders before shipping the books off.

If you would like to help us sell these books please contact Sandra at F.A.C.T. 604-338-1411, or email us at

We look forward to hearing from all of you!! Please also find a picture of the book included.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

You are cordially invited to attend the National Victims of Crime Awareness Week Forum

"Finding the Way Together"

Sunday, April 13, 2008
11:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Confederation Park, N. Burnaby

Hosted By:
Families Against Crime & Trauma (F.A.C.T.)

Co-Hosted By:
MADD Greater Vancouver Chapter
End Youth Violence

Special Guest Speakers
Food & Refreshments
Candle Light Vigil

In Memory of all those we have lost....

Saturday, September 29, 2007

F.A.C.T. Decals!! Order Yours Today!!

Proudly Show your Support

Families Against Crime & Trauma

ONLY $5.00

Show your Support & Purchase one today
Help make a difference in your communities!

Don’t wait until a violent crime touches your family

To Order Your Decal Please Call Sandra at (604)-338-1411 or Send an email to so that we can send you an order form.

Friday, September 21, 2007

David Toner Urges Transit Riders to Sign a Petition


David Toner urges transit riders to sign a petition for an increase in transit security yesterday. David Toner paced along the bus terminal at Joyce SkyTrain Station yesterday collecting signatures for a petition to increase transit security.

Three short months ago, Toner was on hand for the sentencing of Robert Forslund, 28, and Katherine Quinn, 24, for the brutal July 2005 killing of Toner's 16-year-old son, Matthew Martins, at Surrey Central SkyTrain Station."We need to keep pushing at this and keep bringing this to the forefront of the community to make sure this doesn't become an issue that's forgotten," he said.

Vancouver-Kingsway MLA Adrian Dix authored the petition and has been working since April to collect between 3,000 and 4,000 signatures.Dix is lobbying for at least 60 additional transit police officers to be added to current plans for expansion to keep riders safe.He said officers are effective when focused on security rather than fare evasion.
End Justice Nightmare
By Robert Marshall

It is so sadly amusing. Listening to some highly touted experts talk about justice. That somehow concerns expressed by common folk have no basis in reality. That they are fostered by a story-hungry media riding piggy-back on right-winged extremists who cry the sky is falling.
Some experts may even be inclined to look at the stats, skewed as they may be, and backslap officials for a job well done. Very few see violent crime in a real light. So ubiquitous it becomes background noise. And like cancer, it can't happen to me.
But that's a numbers story and it takes more than that to define justice. A victim is more than a number. More than background noise.
In the aftermath of crime, victims can be set adrift on impossible-to-navigate waters. Left to their own devices like helpless orphans in a foreign land where common sense is both precious and scarce.
For many years, official justice has cast victims' interests and needs to the side. Through necessity those same people have bonded, organized and formed networks to help others like themselves who have been abused, raped or experienced the trauma of a loved one's murder.
Some of the many groups include Citizens Untied for Safety and Justice (CUSJ) that was put together in 1981 and unbelievably had to push an agenda trying to ensure the safety of children trumped criminal rights.
Victims of Violence (VOV) was founded in 1984 on the heels of the Clifford Olson sex-slayings. Nobody wanted listen to the parents of the murdered children. Officials belittled and battled them instead. Treated them like trash. When families needed the most help, justice failed spectacularly.
Manitoba Organization of Victim Advocates (MOVA,) started in 2000, is dedicated to improving a victim's lot. Even small things, like a room where victims and families can get away from the curious intrusion of the media during the infamous 10-minute -- real time, 1 hour -- breaks. Away from the chilling glares of a killer's supporters. Common sense perhaps but only an uphill struggle from MOVA made such a room a reality.
Families Against Crime and Trauma (FACT) was recently founded by Sandra Martin-Toners and Nina Rivet both of whom lost loved ones to violence.
Despite the last quarter century and the emotional tolls of many groups and individuals the same problems persist. Victims are lost. Sloppy communication abounds. Lawyers in their own worlds. Sentence calculation. The list goes on.
And with that FACT and their motto, "our tears will not compromise our strength," is spreading across Canada with their flag flying in B.C.
FACT's goals are nothing new. A justice system that balances accountability and sensibility with judicial independence. A respectful system that recognizes tragedy and goes beyond the hot wind of election rhetoric.
If justice defines us, what has happened to Canada? The true north, strong and free.
We are all responsible for the degeneration of our system. Our evolution has meant that someone whose job is to ensure righteousness, has no qualms about stomping on a victim and at the same time being gun shy with killers and drug dealers.
Losing a child to senseless violence must be the worst nightmare. Why must dealing with the justice system be a close second?

Robert Marshall was a police officer for 27 years. E-mail comments to to the editor should be sent to

F.A.C.T. demands victims' rights

'People don't trust the justice system,' says murdered teen's dad
Glenda Luymes, The ProvincePublished: Sunday, August 12, 2007
When Linda Jonas opened her front door and saw a police officer, she knew something was wrong.

But when he said her son Cory was dead, she didn't believe him.
"I said, 'No, he can't be dead. I just talked to him.' The officer said, 'I'm sorry, but he is.' And that was it -- nothing was the same," Jonas recalled yesterday.

In an interview at a community crime forum in New Westminster, Jonas talked about the tremendous impact a single act of violence has had on her life.
"It doesn't get any easier. It has been two years since I last saw him, and that just gets harder," she said.
In addition to her son's death, Jonas was also faced with the grim news that his best friend, Colen Chapman, had killed him.
Both roofers, the men were living together in Mission, along with Chapman's common-law wife. On Nov. 2, 2005, Chapman came home to find Cory and his wife in a compromising situation. Chapman kicked his friend in the head 10 times, before eventually calling an ambulance. Cory died, and Chapman was charged with second-degree murder.
As the preliminary inquiry began, Jonas was still struggling to understand what had happened, while at the same time struggling to negotiate the criminal justice system.
"I was looking for anyone who might be able to relate to what I was going through," she said.
Then she saw a newspaper article about the parents of Jesse Penner, a 20-year-old Port Coquitlam man who was killed at a house party. She knew she had to talk to them.
The Penners eventually put Jonas in touch with FACT, a victim support and advocacy group started by Nina Rivet, whose sister was killed by a street racer, and David Toner and his wife, Sandra Martins-Toner, whose 16-year-old son Matthew was murdered at a Surrey SkyTrain station.
"She was the angel I had been praying for," said Jonas of Rivet. "Without FACT, things would have been so much harder. I suddenly realized that there are so many people out there that have been touched by violence, and it's not going to stop until we do something."
Chapman's second-degree murder trial abruptly ended with a manslaughter plea. In March, he was given five years in jail, but with double credit for time already served, that meant only two years. Then, Jonas received a letter informing her Chapman will be applying for day parole in October.
"I couldn't believe it. I feel incredibly let down by the courts," she said.
It was a common theme at the forum.
"People don't trust the justice system," said Toner. "We've taken our angst and our anger and tried to turn it into something positive -- a voice for change."
The forum was also attended by three NDP MLAs, including public safety critic Mike Farnworth, who said victims deserve more rights.
"Victims have a right to know that when they go to court, they will be heard," he said.
© The Vancouver Province 2007
'L'il man' remembered by friends and family
By Dan Ferguson Staff ReporterAug 24 2005

Web memorial for murdered teen His nickname was "Lil' Man," and he used it with pride. Matthew Martins is remembered as a personable, good-looking young man and able amateur rapper on an Internet website established to commemorate the 16-year-old Vancouver resident who was killed on the Canada Day weekend at the Surrey Central SkyTrain station. The Internet site at features photos and a brief downloadable video of Martin "free-styling" a rap song where he calls himself "Lil' Man." The same nickname is affectionately repeated in multiple messages posted on the website by friends and family who recall the short, slightly built Martins as a larger-than-life personality who had many friends. "RIP Matty (Lil Man)" reads one guestbook entry from a female friend. "You taught me never to take my friends for granted, you taught me how to love people I just met, how to be patient with them even when they're being jerks, how to speak peace even to those who are mean to me and so much more ... Thank you for being my friend, my brother, and a piece of me." Martins' mother calls her son by a different nickname, "boo" in her message. " ... how do we go on from here boo? I sit staring at your photos, so scared that you will start to vanish from my minds eye. I listen to your voice on your recordings, so that I can hear the sweetness of your voice. ... . Your birthday is just around the corner, I'm trying to think of something special we can do for you. If you can think of something, come to me in my dreams and show me ... Matthew, please send mommy a sign and let me know you're okay." Martins died in hospital a few hours after he was found lying in a pool of blood at the bus loop near the Surrey Central SkyTrain station July 2. The teen had taken the train to visit some friends in Surrey. Two people have been charged with second degree murder in his death, Katherine Anne Quoin, 22, and Robert Allan Forslund, 27, both of Surrey. The pair have been held in custody since their arrest. Last Wednesday afternoon, the couple made brief appearances in Surrey Provincial Court, just long enough to book their next court appearance later this month. As the sheriff's officer removed Forslund before bringing in in Quinn, they crossed paths long enough for him to yell at her, "I love you," and for her to reply, "I love you too."

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Mom fights for son's memory

Ted Colley

Her son was brutally murdered in Surrey two years ago.
His killers have been tried, convicted and sentenced. Reporters have moved on to other things, but Sandra Martins-Toner and her family can't escape their grief, the nearly overwhelming sense of loss.
"It's kind of surreal," she said.
"Sometimes it seems like it was just yesterday. Sometimes it seems like I haven't heard his voice or seen his beautiful face forever."
Matthew Martins was just 16 when he left this world. He was beaten to death at Surrey Central SkyTrain station in the early morning hours of July 2, 2005.
Robert Forslund, 29, and Katherine Quinn, 24, were convicted in April of killing Matthew and are serving life sentences for second-degree murder. Forslund must serve 17 years before applying for parole and Quinn, 10 years. Quinn is appealing her conviction.
Forslund, tall and powerfully built, viciously beat Matthew, only five feet three inches tall and 125 pounds, and left him for dead. Quinn was convicted of inciting her boyfriend to attack, an accusation she denies still.
As Sandra talks about her son's death, his killers and the effect the ordeal has had on her and the ones she loves, her determination to carry on for their sake dominates. Occasionally though, the darkness closes in and tears come.
The utter horror of Matthew's murder haunts her. The world frightens her now. Sandra worries endlessly that something bad will happen to Matthew's younger brothers, Mitchell, 15, and 10-year-old Braydon.
"I'm always on them, afraid to let them out of my sight. I think I'm smothering them. I try not to do that, but it's so hard."
The boys are also consumed by their brother's death. They're both getting counseling to help with the fear and uncertainty unleashed that night, but it's a struggle.
Matthew's diminutive size made him the object of teasing and worse. Less than a year before his death, he was assaulted by a group of teens in Vancouver. They were out to steal his chain and crucifix. He was knocked to the ground and kicked repeatedly until a passing motorist scared off his assailants.
"He was so small. He struggled all his life with that. He used to say, 'I'm an easy target,'" Sandra said.
"When he was around nine years old he was angry and bitter about it, but when he got to be about 14, he decided he couldn't do anything about his size and just accepted it. He struggled all his life to fit in somewhere, for acceptance. He finally came into his own and then something like this happened."
She and Matthew's father parted company long ago and David Toner has been the man in her life for the past 10 years and her husband for six. The murder turned all their lives upside down, but the family stands together, each member doing all he can to help the others.
"It's tested us, I'll tell you. I think it has strengthened us because we have to lean on each other," David said.
The extended family has become closer, too, since Matthew's death, but it hasn't worked that way with some of their friends.
"Some of them have just drifted away. I think they just don't know how to act with us; what to say," David said.
Not content to suffer their grief in silence, Sandra and David have teamed up with Nina Rivet, a North Surrey resident whose sister Irene Thorpe was killed by street racers in November 2000.
Together, they've formed FACT - Families Against Crime and Trauma - an advocacy group for victims of crime and their families. FACT will also lobby for changes in the justice system.
David said 10 per cent of criminals are responsible for 80 per cent of crime and the law must change to curb them.
"If you could lock them up and keep them locked up, that would reduce crime dramatically."
To learn more about FACT, visit
published on 06/29/2007

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Families Against Crime and Trauma ( F.A.C.T.)

An organization here to provide a voice for those affected by a violent crime, and for those who have lost a loved one to a criminal act.