VICTIM PROGRAMS

  • VICTIM IMPACT STATEMENTS

Under provisions of the Criminal Code of Canada and the Youth Criminal Justice Act, a Victim Impact Statement allows you to express in writing to a Judge how being a victim of crime has affected you and those close to you.

The purpose of the Victim Impact Statement is to describe how the crime has affected you emotionally and physically and the effect it has had on your life. If charges are laid, and if the accused person is found guilty, your Victim Impact Statement will be considered by the Judge during sentencing.

Victim Impact Statements are completed by one person who has been affected by a crime. Community Impact Statements are completed by one person representing a community who has been affected by a crime.

  • FINANCIAL BENEFITS

Victims of crime can get a monetary benefit to acknowledge victimization, based on serious injuries directly suffered from the crime.

  • Serious injury benefit – for victims who are seriously injured as a direct result of crime, who require assistance to perform daily functions
  • Death benefit – reimbursement of funeral costs for victims who died as a result of violent crime

 

Victims of crime can get financial assistance to assist with emergency safety and security expenses, court attendance expenses, as well as access to psychological supports for injuries suffered from the crime.

  • Emergency assistance – financial assistance following a violent crime to assist with safety and security-related losses and damages
  • Court attendance expenses – reimbursement for expenses related to court attendance for specified events, such as sentencing or providing a victim impact statement
  • Counselling – immediate access to short-term supports to assist in dealing with the psychological impacts related to specified Criminal Code offences
  • RESTITUTION

A restitution order requires the offender to pay the victim for financial losses the victim suffered because of the offender’s crime. Restitution can only be ordered for losses up to the time the offender is sentenced. It is part of an offender’s sentence and can be a stand-alone order or part of a probation order or conditional sentence. 

Restitution amounts must be easy to calculate and not in great dispute. For example, two weeks’ lost wages due to injuries caused by an assault could be proved with pay stubs and absence forms (from work). The replacement costs for goods stolen or vandalized could be proved with store receipts or estimates for the replacement of the items.

A judge can order restitution to cover a victim’s financial losses related to:

  • Damaged or lost property due to the crime;
  • Bodily injury or psychological harm due to the crime including loss of income or support;
  • Reasonable expenses for temporary housing, moving, food, childcare and transportation due to a spouse, common-law partner, child or other person moving out of the offender’s household because of harm or threat of harm from the offender;
  • Re-establishing a victim’s identity or correcting credit history or credit rating because of identity theft or fraud;
  • Costs that victims of non-consensual publication of an intimate image had to pay to have that image removed from the Internet or other digital networks.

Restitution cannot be ordered for pain and suffering, emotional distress, or other types of damages that can only be assessed in civil courts.