Programs and Services for Victims of Crime

For information about programs and services for victims of crime and their families, follow the links below.

To locate services in or near your community, use the Victim Services Directory or call the Victim Support Line toll-free at 1-888-579-2888, or in the Greater Toronto Area, 416-314-2447. If this is an emergency, call 9-1-1.

Support services for victims and families of victims:

Financial assistance programs for victims and families of victims:

Other initiatives for victims of crime:

Can't find what you're looking for? To find out which service(s) you need and how to access them, use the Victim Services Directory or call the Victim Support Line toll-free at 1-888-579-2888, or in the Greater Toronto Area, 416-314-2447.

Domestic Violence Court Program

Ontario's Domestic Violence Court has specialized processes for domestic violence cases during the investigation and prosecution of domestic violence cases.

Teams of specialized professionals work together to improve support for victims and investigate and prosecute cases more efficiently. These teams include police, crown attorneys, Victim / Witness Assistance Program staff, probation services, Partner Assault Response program staff and other community agencies.

Family Court Support Worker Program

Family Court Support Workers provide direct support to victims of domestic violence who are involved in the family court process.

A Family Court Support Worker will:

  • provide information about the family court process
  • help victims prepare for family court proceedings
  • refer victims to other specialized services and supports in the community
  • help with safety planning, such as getting to and from court safely
  • accompany the victim to court proceedings, where appropriate.

Family Court Support Workers are based in communities across the province. For a list of service providers, click here.

If you have questions about the program, or need helping finding your service provider, please call the Victim Support Line toll-free at 1-888-579-2888, or 416-314-2447 in the Greater Toronto Area.

Help for child victims

The Child Victim/Witness Program offers support and services to child victims and witnesses during the criminal court process. To find the Child Victim/Witness Program nearest you, please use the Victim Services Directory or call the Victim Support Line toll-free at 1-888-579-2888, or 416-314-2447 in the Greater Toronto Area. In areas where a Child Victim/Witness Program is not available, the Victim/Witness Assistance Program provides similar services.

Partner Assault Response Programs

Partner Assault Response (PAR) programs, a component of Ontario’s Domestic Violence Court program, are specialized group educational/counselling services offered by community-based agencies to people who have assaulted their partners. Some offenders are ordered to attend the PAR program by the court. PAR programs aim to enhance victim safety and hold offenders accountable for their behaviour.

The 12-session program gives offenders the opportunity to examine their beliefs and attitudes towards domestic abuse, and to learn non-abusive ways of resolving conflict.

While an offender is in the PAR program, staff offer the victim help with safety planning, referrals to community resources, and information about the offender's progress.

To find the PAR services in your community, visit the online Victim Services Directory.

Sexual Assault/Rape Crisis Centres

Female victims and survivors of sexual assault who are 16 years of age or older are eligible for a variety of counselling, information and referral services from community-based Sexual Assault/Rape Crisis Centres. These services include:

  • accompanying a victim to court, a hospital or police station
  • supportive peer counselling services (both one-to-one and group)
  • sexual violence education and training for professionals and members of the public
  • information and referral services

To find the Sexual Assault / Rape Crisis Centre closest to you, visit the online Victim Services Directory.

Victim Crisis Assistance Ontario (VCAO)

The Victim Crisis Assistance Ontario (VCAO) Program provides crisis intervention services to victims of crime and tragic circumstances after an incident 24 hours a day, seven days a week at the request of the police.

In addition to on-site crisis intervention, other services offered through the VCAO program include:

  • Safety planning for all eligible victims of crime
  • Referrals to appropriate community supports and services
  • Provision of cellular telephones for eligible victims
  • Needs assessments and customized service plans
  • Assisting eligible victims with emergency transportation to a safe location; crime-scene cleanup; funeral expenses; emergency home repairs to items that pose a safety risk; and emergency counselling
  • Enhanced support for vulnerable victims
  • Referrals to community agencies

To find the VCAO service provider closest to you, visit the online Victim Services Directory or call the Victim Support Line toll-free at 1-888-579-2888, or 416-314-2447 in the Greater Toronto Area.

Victim Quick Response Program

The Victim Quick Response Program (VQRP) provides immediate assistance to victims of violent crime. This includes victims of:

  • Homicide
  • Attempted murder
  • Serious assault (assault/threaten with a weapon, assault causing bodily harm, aggravated assault, kidnapping/abduction, forcible confinement, discharge of a firearm (where the individual is at substantial risk of harm); failure to provide the necessities of life, child abuse);
  • Domestic violence (Intimate Partner)
  • Sexual assault
  • Human trafficking
  • Hate crimes

Through this program, eligible victims who have no other financial means can access the following services:

  • Emergency home repairs to secure premises for the immediate safety of victims
  • Cell phones to prevent revictimization
  • Emergency accommodation and meals where there are no secure housing options available
  • Emergency personal care items, such as diapers, clothing
  • Replacement of eyeglasses/contact lenses damaged or destroyed during the commission of a crime
  • Transportation costs to identify a homicide victim or support a seriously injured victim
  • Removal of hate crime graffiti from home property and/or vehicle
  • Crime scene cleanup requiring specialized services
  • Contribution towards funeral expenses to assist families of homicide victims
  • Counselling/traditional healing to provide short-term, early intervention support to help victims of serious crime

VQRP is available in over 50 communities across the province. Find out if you are eligible for this program, and how to apply for support.

Victim/Witness Assistance Program

The Victim/Witness Assistance Program provides information, assistance and support to victims and witnesses of crime to increase their understanding of, and participation in, the criminal court process.

Services are provided on a priority basis to the most vulnerable victims and witnesses of violent crime, such as domestic violence, child abuse, sexual assault, homicide and hate crime. Families of traffic fatality victims are also eligible. Services begin once police have laid charges and continue until the court case is over.

Victim/Witness Assistance Program services include:

  • Crisis intervention
  • Emotional support
  • Case specific information (court dates, bail conditions)
  • Court preparation and orientation information
  • Needs assessment
  • Referrals to community agencies.

Staff also advise Crown attorneys on issues related to sexual assault and domestic violence, and participate in public education activities, engage in community initiatives and the development of related protocols with community partners. View our service standards.

For more information, please refer to the Victim/Witness Assistance Program brochure.

The Victim/Witness Assistance Program brochure is also available in the following languages:

The Victim/Witness Assistance Program (V/WAP) has created an activity book for children aged six and under who must go to court as victims or witnesses. Read more.

Vulnerable Victims and Family Fund

The Vulnerable Victims and Family Fund helps victims of crime and families of homicide victims participate more fully in the criminal court process.

Financial and court-based supports include:

  • Helping both victims of crime and families of homicide victims to travel to attend court during key points in a criminal proceeding, which could be a trial or other court matter
  • Providing vulnerable victims with interpretation services when they are observing a criminal proceeding
  • Ensuring that victims with disabilities have appropriate supports, such as real-time captioning or other equipment.

How do I apply for assistance under this new program?

Victims of crime and families of homicide victims should apply through Ontario’s Victim/Witness Assistance Program (V/WAP), which is available in all 54 court districts across the province. V/WAP staff will determine eligibility on a case-by-case basis and help those who may qualify for assistance to apply. To find the V/WAP office closest to you, visit the online Victims Services Directory.

See also: