Programs and Services for Victims of Crime
A Report to the Community, Victims, Survivors and Service Providers 2010
Table of Contents
- Minister's Message
- Victim Services Awards of Distinction
- Victims and others personally impacted by crime who have raised the profile of victims' issues in Ontario
- Service providers who deliver outstanding services to victims of crime
- Field practitioners who develop and implement innovative victim service programs and projects
- Volunteers who offer their time and personal resources to help victims
- Multiple Category Nominations
- The Development of Victims' Services in Ontario
- Victims' Services Today
- Programs Helping Victims in Ontario
- Easing the pain
- Finding the way
- Helping to heal
- Finding better ways
- Victims' Justice Fund
- Victims' Bill of Rights, 1995
Ontario, in keeping with the spirit of the Victims' Bill of Rights has developed a wide-ranging system for providing help to victims of crime. We have translated the belief of treating victims with compassion and fairness into practice.
Programs like the community-based Victim Crisis Assistance and Referral Services support survivors 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Through our funding to sexual assault, rape crisis centres and initiatives like our Victim Quick Response Program, we offer much needed support in the aftermath of violence and tragedy.
Programs like the Victim/Witness Assistance Programs help those affected through court proceedings and our Domestic Violence Court Program focuses on the needs of domestic violence victims and their children.
In addition, we are continually improving victim services in Ontario. Over the past year we provided Aboriginal Victim Services Grants that expand First Nation's capacity to provide victim services. These grants support the development of culturally appropriate training programs and support for Aboriginal victims of crime in Ontario. We have also met with members of the community to develop additional supports for male victims of sexual abuse and are working with ministries across the government on services that are responsive to the needs of children who have been victimized.
This report provides an overview of the programs and work that makes Ontario a national leader in victim services. It includes a number of personal stories that highlight the work of victim assistance workers and recount the experiences of those nominated for the Attorney General's Victim Services Awards of Distinction. It is the professional, considerate and compassionate care of hundreds of people across the province that make these programs possible. I would like to take this opportunity to thank them all for their dedication and contribution to delivering victim services in Ontario.
The Honourable Chris Bentley
Attorney General of Ontario
Victim Services Awards of Distinction
In December 2006, the Ontario government announced the Attorney General's Victim Services Awards of Distinction to recognize exceptional achievements by dedicated professionals and volunteers in victim services. The awards also acknowledge the strength, creativity and courage of individual victims who have overcome adversity to forge a better future for themselves, their families and their communities while raising the profile of victims' issues in Ontario. Finally, by recognizing innovative services and supports to victims of crime, the awards seek to encourage the sharing of best practices and unique achievements among victim services professionals and volunteers across the province.
For information on eligibility, the nomination process and nomination deadlines for next year, visit the OVSS web site at http://www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.ca/english/about/vw/awards.asp.
This year, the awards will recognize excellence and outstanding achievement in the following areas:
- Victims and other individuals personally impacted by crime who have raised the profile of victims' issues in the province;
- Service providers who deliver exceptional services to victims of crime;
- Field practitioners who develop and implement innovative victim service programs and projects;
- Volunteers who offer their time and personal resources to help victims.
This year, a panel of two community members and one representative of the Office for Victims of Crime, supported by staff from the Ministry of the Attorney General, reviewed the nominations, and then submitted their recommendations to the Attorney General, who makes the final award decisions.
The following are some of the individuals and organizations that have been nominated for the 2010 Victim Services Awards of Distinction. These profiles are extracted from information provided by the nominators.
Victims and others personally impacted by crime who have raised the profile of victims' issues in Ontario
Julie Craven's eight year old son, Jared, was murdered by her estranged husband in March 2006. Following that tragedy, with the support of her father, John Craven, she launched a campaign to ensure that Coroner's inquests are held for any child who dies at the hands of a parent who has a prior history with the child welfare and justice systems. That campaign resulted in a petition with 60,000 signatures and the support of every Member of the Provincial Parliament, and culminated in the unanimous passage of Bill 89 - Kevin and Jared's Law - on October 19, 2006.
Service providers who deliver outstanding services to victims of crime
Region of Waterloo Family Violence Project provides an innovative model for agencies and services seeking greater collaboration and coordination. The project, which opened in January 2006, hosts 14 agencies and services with 130 professionals, all dedicated to domestic violence intervention and prevention. Front-line workers representing government and non-government agencies work together to support and empower victims and their children, who can access a variety of services all in one place.
Michelle Smith, Executive Director, The Women's Support Network of York Region, has improved services in York Region by developing close partnerships with groups including the York Region Abuse Program, the York Regional Police Service, and the region's Violence Against Women Coordinating Committee (serving as co-chair); by promoting programs that deal with sexual violence, assault and harassment for Grade 7 and 8 students in the York Region District School Board; and by establishing guidelines with local shelters to coordinate services for women who have been sexually assaulted.
Janet Handy, Senior Director, The Gatehouse has provided exemplary leadership for The Gatehouse Adult Support Network, a self-sustaining, multi-tiered program of alternative support for adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse. She has worked at The Gatehouse for eight years, and is known for her ability to listen to colleagues and clients, and to link what she hears to her knowledge and understanding. She is co-author of Gatehouse training manuals, and provided leadership for the Gatehouse Investigation Support Program, a 24/7 program used by police and child welfare officials to reduce trauma in the aftermath of abuse and provide followup support for family members.
The Guelph-Wellington Women in Crisis agency was started 32 years ago by a group of women who wanted to respond to sexual violence. It has grown into a dynamic organization that provides a continuum of services to women who have experienced both sexual and physical abuse, allowing them to have most of their needs met by one agency. It has distinguished itself in the community for the leadership it provides on issues of violence against women and children.
Board Case Officers, of the Ontario Parole Board, are helping to create a cultural shift in the criminal justice system by expanding the focus on the needs of victims to include the parole process. Through their personal dealings with victims, the officers, located in three regional locations, have consistently demonstrated great compassion and caring, often spending countless hours providing information about the parole process.
Johanne Morency, Counsellor, Centre francophone d'aide et de lutte contre les agressions à caractère sexuel d'Ottawa (CALACS) offers invaluable help to victims who truly need support and encouragement in their path to healing after a traumatic experience. CALACS is an assistance centre for victims of sexual assault, where victims can receive individualized therapy and support. Many clients have commented on the kindness and humanity with which they were treated by Johanne and her team.
Field practitioners who develop and implement innovative victim service programs and projects
Sexual Assault Centre for Quinte & District has provided counselling, support and advocacy in Hastings and Prince Edward Counties for men and women who have survived sexual abuse for almost 20 years. Now, its Sexual Assault Residential Healing Centre offers sustained and intensive therapeutic counselling in a safe, healing residential environment. Participants in this unique new program, pioneered in Canada, report life-changing personal growth and renewed strength to succeed in day-to-day life.
Yasmin Hussain, Sexual Assault Centre, London, was research coordinator with Intersecting Sites of Violence in the Lives of Girls, an innovative arts-based participatory action research project at sites across Canada. She mentored a highly diverse group of girls and young women, teaching them how knowledge can be used to bring about social action and change. The success of the project would not have been possible without Yasmin's profound and unwavering commitment, compassion and caring.
Sergeant George Couchie, Ontario Provincial Police Aboriginal Policing Bureau, and five colleagues provide Aboriginal heritage and culture training to some 500 police officers and other Ontario public servants each year. The training helps participants understand history's relevance to present-day society by demonstrating that domestic violence, suicide, and alcohol and drug abuse in First Nations communities are coping mechanisms resulting from the victimization of the residential school system.
Volunteers who offer their time and personal resources to help victims
Penny Fisher, herself a survivor of abuse, has been a member of the Women's Voices for Action Committee since 2007. In 2008, she became a member of the Woman Abuse Council of Toronto, and in 2009, the first survivor to join the council's board of directors. While still struggling with her own issues, she continues to be a dedicated advocate for women and their children, giving others hope and in doing so, affecting the lives of many women both directly and indirectly.
Sylvie Huntley, a survivor of domestic violence, volunteers with the Barrie & Area VCARS program. Her personal experience has made her an advocate for others who are surviving this type of abuse. She now speaks at many public events, seeking to change society's view of issues surrounding abuse by shedding light on domestic violence.
Multiple Category Nominations
Some nominations were received that encompassed more than one award category. The numbers 1 following each nominee's name indicate the categories for which they were nominated.
The Gatehouse Child Abuse Investigation and Support Site (2, 3, 4) offers victims of child abuse a comfortable, safe environment for disclosure, and support for families during an investigation. It also supports adult survivors of child abuse through The Gatehouse Adult Support Network. Many of its volunteers are former clients. Since its creation in 1998, The Gatehouse has serve 2500 children, youth, adults and accompanying family members.
Colleen Purdon (2,3,4) has worked with passion and determination for 23 years on behalf of violence against women and women's equality. She has worked with individual victims of abuse, with overarching research, community and development projects, and with community groups serving diverse victims. As a professional, researcher, advocate and social activist, Colleen has had a lasting impact not only in Grey and Bruce Counties, but also provincially and nationally.
Marilyn Oladimeji, Board Chair, Women's Multicultural Resource and Counselling Centre of Durham (2, 4) has devoted almost 20 years to helping survivors of sexual violence through counselling, mentoring and advocating for an end to violence against women and children. She was a counsellor at the Toronto Rape Crisis Centre for 18 years. In 2000, she became president of the Ontario Coalition of Rape Crisis Centres, and is the recipient of a 2006 Ontario Outstanding Achievement Award for Voluntarism.
Maureen Reid (2, 3), a social worker at the Children's Aid Society of London and Middlesex for more than 30 years, has never lost her passion as an advocate for victims of crime and trauma. Highlights of her career include helping to found the agency's Sexual Abuse Treatment Program and serving as chair of the Community Child Abuse Prevention Council.
Gwendolyn Broadmore's (1, 4) son, Liam, was a homicide victim in 2005. Her journey through her grief and the criminal justice system was the catalyst for writing her booklet Grief and the Courts, which provides information, resources and support for those affected by crime and offers a first-hand look at grief and grieving. The booklet is now available through V/WAP offices and is an invaluable resource for victims of crime, their families and those who serve them.
Lisa Warriner, Executive Director, Victim Services Hastings and Board Chair, Ontario Network of Victim Services Providers (2, 3), has continually worked to raise the profile of victim services both in Hastings and Prince Edward Counties and across Ontario. She has made her own service more culturally diverse to better serve her community, and her strategic vision has created a tremendous sense of solidarity among the network's members.
The Development of Victims' Services in Ontario
The concept of helping victims started to take root in the late 1960s, and Ontario was one of the first jurisdictions to act. In 1971, the Compensation for Victims of Crime Act (CVCA) replaced the 1967 Law Enforcement Compensation Act (LECA) 2 and created the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board. The new Act allowed the board to compensate any victim of a violent crime that occurred in Ontario and who made a claim to the board.
The most recent amendments to the CVCA, in 2000, improved a victim's ability to access the program. Changes included extending the time limit for filing a claim from one to two years, removing the requirement that applicants prove financial need to be eligible for interim payments, and increasing the total maximum monthly awards for permanent injury or support from $250,000 to $365,000 for a single occurrence for all applicants.
Our Vision for Victim Services:
A province where all victims are treated with dignity and respect, and can access a network of co-ordinated, victim-centred support services.
Another important development in Ontario was the proclamation in 1996 of An Act Respecting Victims of Crime - Victims' Bill of Rights, which supports and recognizes the needs of victims of crime and establishes the Victims' Justice Fund. In 2001, the act was amended to establish the Office for Victims of Crime as a permanent advisory agency. The Act's preamble and the principles that form the Victims' Bill of Rights are included in the appendices.
Victim Commemoration Events
June 13, 2010
Each year, the Ontario Victim Services Secretariat provides grants to three communities for victims commemoration events on the Sunday closest to June 11, the anniversary of the proclamation of the Victims' Bill of Rights.
The 2010 events are scheduled for June 13.
For more information on these events, check the OVSS web site http://www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.ca/english/ovss/ closer to the date of the events.
Victims' Services Today
From these beginnings, the Ontario government and its community partners have developed a flexible and comprehensive network of support services designed to help victims and survivors of domestic violence, sexual abuse, child exploitation, hate crimes and other crimes cope with the impact of their ordeals.
Government ministries work together to fund or deliver these services, often in partnership with community groups and volunteers. Information about all of them can be obtained through the Victim Support Line (toll free at 1-888-579-2888, or 416-314-2447 in the Greater Toronto area) or on-line at the Ontario Victim Services Secretariat (OVSS) web site, http://www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.ca/english/ovss/.
Support for victims of crime is available from the moment the crime is committed. For more serious crimes, support may continue right through to the end of court proceedings, and often longer. Individuals may receive, among other services, shelter, counselling, emergency financial help, and information about what to expect if they have to attend or testify in court. They may also be eligible for compensation if they have suffered from violent crime.
Programs Helping Victims in Ontario
Easing the pain:
Reacting to the immediate crisis
The Ontario government recognizes that it is important to begin providing support to survivors as quickly as possible following a crisis. The following are some of the immediate intervention programs it operates or funds.
The Victim Crisis Assistance and Referral Service (VCARS) provides immediate help to survivors of crime or disasters, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Police officers on the scene can arrange for VCARS staff or trained volunteers to provide on-site, short-term assistance and make referrals to other community agencies for longer-term help. VCARS is delivered in 48 communities.
VCARS can also provide financial and other support to victims of violent crime through the Victim Quick Response Program, which may provide funds to pay for such things as cleaning up a crime scene, making premises secure to ensure safety, or paying travel and related costs for a family member who must identify a homicide victim or care for a severely-injured victim of a violent crime. The program may also assist with funeral expenses of homicide victims and provide short-term counselling for survivors.
To assist women who are survivors of sexual assault, the Ontario government also supports 42 community-based agencies that provide support and counselling to survivors of sexual crimes. Services are provided in both English and French.
Several programs offer support for women leaving abusive relationships. These include a crisis telephone service that supports abused women and provides information to concerned family and friends. To help women escape such situations, the government funds Violence Against Women (VAW) shelters across the province. These shelters provide temporary housing as well as emotional and practical support, including helping women complete safety plans designed to prevent re-victimization.
Another government-funded program is the Transitional and Housing Support Program, which connects women with a range of community support services intended to help women move to a life free of violence. Services include finding and maintaining housing.
To assist those women with limited English or French skills gain better access to shelters, the justice system and social and health services for victims, Language Interpreter Services are offered by community organizations across Ontario.
Helping to ensure that survivors of sexual assaults are treated sensitively by the health care system is the responsibility of 34 hospital-based sexual assault and domestic violence treatment centres. These programs provide acute care and forensic services, using supplies provided by the government, to those who have been sexually assaulted or are survivors of domestic violence. They also treat sexual assault victims to lessen the risk that they will contract HIV as a result of the assault.
Children are among the most vulnerable of victims. In Ontario, Children's Aid Societies deliver mandated child protection services. They seek to protect children from physical, sexual and emotional abuse or neglect, provide counselling for children and families, provide temporary or permanent care for children who cannot remain with their families for protection reasons, and place children for adoption.
Finding the way:
Coping with the criminal justice system and beginning to rebuild
Survivors of violent crimes, sexual assaults and domestic violence are often required to testify in court and to participate in other aspects of the criminal justice system. The Ontario government provides a range of supports to help individuals through this often difficult phase, when they may in effect be asked to re-live traumatic events.
A key service is the Victim/Witness Assistance Program. Operating in 62 offices across the province V/WAP provides comprehensive court-based support services to victims and witnesses of violent crime, enhancing their understanding of, and participation in, the criminal justice system. This includes explaining to victims how to prepare victim impact statements for use in Court.
The mother of an adult female murder victim included the following thank-you in her victim impact statement: "I reserve my deepest gratitude for the (two) women in the Victim/Witness Assistance Program, who have been intimately involved in this case from beginning to end and without whom I could not have survived. Their support, compassion and professional competence have been unwavering."
Recognizing the complex needs of many survivors, the province supports the Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic, a unique multi-disciplinary organization that provides counselling, legal representation, interpretation services and information and referral services to women.
Similarly, SupportLink helps those at risk of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking develop personal safety plans, information and referrals to community services, followup contact and, where appropriate, a cell phone programmed to dial 9-1-1.
The Ontario government also supports programs that seek to ensure the safety of victims of domestic violence by intervening early in the criminal justice process, when an accused person is being considered for bail. For example, the Bail Safety Program operates in 10 locations across the province. Teams of Crown Attorneys, police and Victim/Witness Assistance Program staff interview the victim prior to the bail hearing, using a checklist that includes agreed-upon risk factors. As a result, the Crown Attorney is able to provide the Court with better evidence of risk at the bail hearing. During the interview, the victim also receives referrals, safety planning and support.
Ontario's Domestic Violence Court (DVC) Program operates in all 54 court jurisdictions in the province. In a DVC Program site, specialists work together to ensure priority is given to the safety and needs of domestic violence victims and their children, and to focus on holding offenders accountable.
Partner Assault Response (PAR) is a key component of the DVC Program. PAR programs are 16-week education/counselling programs offered through community organizations for offenders who have abused their partners. Attendance is by court order. During the program, offenders are urged to examine their attitudes towards domestic abuse, and PAR staff assists the victim to create personal safety plans, learn how their partners are progressing and get in touch with other community resources.
When an offender is being considered for early release at a provincial parole board hearing, the government helps make it possible for survivors of violent crimes to attend and participate in those hearings. Drawing on the Victims Justice Fund, the government will reimburse the expenses of victims and individuals who accompany them. They may attend as observers, or they may make submissions to the board on matters that may influence the board's decision.
Helping to heal:
Supporting survivors of serious crime
Many survivors require longer term support to adjust to the physical and emotional harm they have suffered, or to prevent re-victimization of survivors. To that end, the Ontario government has developed and funds programs of ongoing support and encouragement.
Lack of financial independence is a common barrier for women seeking to leave an abusive relationship. To help overcome that obstacle, the province provides employment training programs in 10 communities, and skills training and employment support services to women experiencing or at risk of domestic violence.
Women's centres, located throughout Ontario, provide safety planning, pre-employment services, information and referrals.
Other initiatives provide peer support, information and resources, and self improvement training for survivors of violence against women on a local and regional basis, and at the provincial level through the Women's Centre for Social Justice.
The Men's Project, an individual and group counselling program for men who have experienced sexual or physical abuse as children, is based in Eastern Ontario and offers province-wide support through a toll free help line (1-877-677-6532). It is one of several programs to support male survivors of sexual abuse. Other programs range from providing individual and group counselling to survivors to improving intervention strategies through advanced training.
Supervised access centres offer a safe, neutral, child-focused setting to assist separated families deal with some of the difficulties that arise when carrying out orders for access between the child and the parents or another relative, such as a grandparent, where there is a concern for the safety of the child and/or the adults. Trained staff provides both fully supervised visits in the centre and supervised exchanges where the child is transferred from one parent to the other at the centre but the visits take place outside of the centre and are not supervised. There is no contact between the parents at the centre. Centre staff note factual observations of the parent/child interaction during visits or exchanges. These notes are available on request to assist the parents and the courts make on-going decisions about parenting arrangements. The program is available across the province.
Finding better ways:
Developing new approaches to victim services
While the Ontario government has developed a comprehensive network of supports for victims, it recognizes that there is always more that can be done. To explore even more effective programs, it funds innovative projects and research that may eventually change the way survivors of violence are helped in Ontario.
Akwe: go Aboriginal Urban Children and Youth promotes healthy development for Aboriginal children ages 7 to 12. The programs are tailored to each community and each participant, and feature teachings by elders and other culturally relevant programs.
The new Aboriginal Victims Support Grant Program is an investment in improving services to Aboriginal survivors of crime by supporting Aboriginal communities and organizations that deliver victim services to Aboriginal men, women, children and youth in Ontario.
Helping communities develop their ability to provide victim services is the goal of the government's Community Capacity Building grants, which focus on financial, human resources and organizational development.
The Hate Crimes Community Grants initiative has provided funding to enhance community resources; address gaps in services to victims of hate crimes; hold a hate crimes forum to improve connections among victims groups, educators and members of the criminal justice system; maintain a web site for victims with information about hate crimes and victim services; and develop guidelines for community victim impact statements related to hate crimes for use in Court.
The Internet Child Exploitation (ICE) Counselling Program is a pilot program that provides short-term, immediate counselling to child victims of Internet sexual exploitation. A victim's immediate family may also be included.
The Ontario government supports the use of restorative justice processes that focus on repairing harm caused by crime, while holding youth accountable for their actions. Youth Justice Committees bring together the youth and his or her family with victims and community representatives in an effort to seek a resolution that affords healing, repairs harm and prevents future harm.
Two young teenage victims of domestic violence have started a group to develop and deliver presentations focussing on teen relationship abuse to regional high schools. They offer testimonials to the abuse they suffered, describe the warning signs for spotting abuse and suggest ways of responding if a friend is abusive or being abused. Their work, which they intend to extend throughout their region, has been applauded by the local Domestic Violence Coordinating Committee.
School-Based Prevention/Diversion programs make use of restorative justice principles and community-based programming. Peer or adult mediation is designed to bring together the offender and the victim, encouraging reparation and providing both with support services.
The Ontario government also supports a wide range of public education campaigns to end violence against women. For example, Neighbours, Friends and Families raises awareness of the signs of abuse so that those close to an at-risk woman or an abusive man can help. The program has been adapted for Aboriginal and Francophone communities, and reaches out to diverse communities across Ontario through its web site, www.neighboursfriendsandfamilies.ca
In the area of elder abuse, the government supports prevention initiatives through a partnership with the Ontario Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse. Through Ontario's Strategy to Combat Elder Abuse, three key priorities are addressed, including coordination of community resources, building capacity of front-line staff serving seniors, and public education to raise awareness of this growing problem.
Victims' Justice Fund
The Victims' Justice Fund (VJF) was established in 1996 under the Victims' Bill of Rights 3. The VJF receives about 97 per cent of its revenues from surcharges applied to fines under Provincial Offences Act (other than for parking offences), the Criminal Code of Canada and the federal Contraventions Act.
The Victims' Bill of Rights requires that the VJF be used to assist victims of Criminal Code offences "whether by supporting programs that provide assistance to victims, by making grants to community agencies assisting victims, or otherwise." "Victims" include individuals who suffer "emotional or physical harm, loss of or damage to property, or economic harm" as a result of crime. Almost all of the VJF's funds are used to support programs that assist individual victims.
Since its inception, the Victims' Justice Fund has provided more than $400 million to government funded and community-led programs, including this year's allocation of $52.6 million.
The Victims Justice Fund is an important source of funding for key victims' services programming throughout the province, but it is only part of the Ontario government's commitment to victim services. Programs and services that receive funding from the VJF may also receive funds from other government and non-government sources.
Victims' Bill of Rights, 1995
The people of Ontario believe that victims of crime, who have suffered harm and whose rights and security have been violated by crime, should be treated with compassion and fairness. The people of Ontario further believe that the justice system should operate in a manner that does not increase the suffering of victims of crime and that does not discourage victims of crime from participating in the justice process.
The following principles apply to the treatment of victims of crime:
- Victims should be treated with courtesy, compassion and respect for their personal dignity and privacy by justice system officials.
- Victims should have access to information about,
- the services and remedies available to victims of crime,
- the provisions of this Act and of the Compensation for Victims of Crime Act that might assist them,
- the protection available to victims to prevent unlawful intimidation,
- the progress of investigations that relate to the crime,
- the charges laid with respect to the crime and, if no charges are laid, the reasons why no charges are laid,
- the victim's role in the prosecution,
- court procedures that relate to the prosecution,
- the dates and places of all significant proceedings that relate to the prosecution,
- the outcome of all significant proceedings, including any proceedings on appeal,
- any pretrial arrangements that are made that relate to a plea that may be entered by the accused at trial,
- the interim release and, in the event of conviction, the sentencing of an accused,
- any disposition made under section 672.54 or 672.58 of the Criminal Code (Canada) in respect of an accused who is found unfit to stand trial or who is found not criminally responsible on account of mental disorder, and
- their right under the Criminal Code (Canada) to make representations to the court by way of a victim impact statement.
- A victim of a prescribed crime should, if he or she so requests, be notified of,
- any application for release or any impending release of the convicted person, including release in accordance with a program of temporary absence, on parole or on an unescorted temporary absence pass, and
- any escape of the convicted person from custody.
- If the person accused of a prescribed crime is found unfit to stand trial or is found not criminally responsible on account of mental disorder, the victim should, if he or she so requests, be notified of,
- any hearing held with respect to the accused by the Review Board established or designated for Ontario pursuant to subsection 672.38 (1) of the Criminal Code (Canada),
- any order of the Review Board directing the absolute or conditional discharge of the accused, and
- any escape of the accused from custody.
- Victims of sexual assault should, if the victim so requests, be interviewed during the investigation of the crime only by police officers and officials of the same gender as the victim.
- A victim's property that is in the custody of justice system officials should be returned promptly to the victim, where the property is no longer needed for the purposes of the justice system. 1995, c. 6, s. 2 (1).
For Further Information
The Victim Support Line (VSL) is your quickest way of getting information that may help you when you've been the victim of crime.
VSL information counsellors can refer you to supports and services in you community. You can also register to receive notice about the scheduled release of an offender, request or provide certain information about adult offenders and learn more about the criminal justice system.
Call toll-free at 1-888-579-2888
In the Toronto dialing area, call 416-314-2447.
You may also find information about services in your community at
- 1. Victims and other individuals personally impacted by crime who have raised the profile of victims' issues in the province
2. Service providers who deliver exceptional services to victims of crime
3. Field practitioners who develop and implement innovative victim service programs and projects
4. Volunteers who offer their time and personal resources to help victims
- Under the Act, peace officers, police officers and firefighters could be compensated for injuries resulting from criminal acts. That act was amended in 1969 to include other victims of violent crime.
- The Victims' Bill of Rights is a provincial statute that establishes the Victims Justice Fund as a special purpose account within the government's Consolidated Revenue Fund.