Referrals and Follow-up regarding Victims of Crime (4:XII)
|This information applies to British Columbia, Canada. Last reviewed for legal accuracy by the Law Students' Legal Advice Program on June 30, 2021.|
If you refer the victim to a lawyer, social service agency, or health professional, remember to follow up to ensure that the victim is looked after. A simple phone call to the victim should suffice. Should you need to consult with a professional (for instance, a psychiatrist) about a victim’s ongoing case, you need to have the victim sign a written release form authorizing you to collect information about them, or on their behalf.
A. General Referrals
|P.O. Box 5550 Stn. Terminal||Telephone: (604) 660-3888 (Lower Mainland)|
|Vancouver, BC V6B 1H1||Toll-Free: 1-866-660-3888|
Provides financial assistance and benefits to victims of violent crimes, their immediate family members, and some witnesses to offset the costs of the victimization, and to promote their recovery from the physical and psychological effects of the offence. In situations where the offender represents an ongoing significant risk to the victim’s safety, protective measures such as home alarm systems, security devices, and equipment and other safety measures may be available. In cases involving high-risk victims, the victim and their family may be eligible for relocation expenses where all other safety measures are considered insufficient to address the victim’s safety needs. For a complete list of benefits available, see the CVAP website.
Directory of Victim Service and Violence Against Women Programs in BC A directory for violence against women and victim service programs across BC.
|302-815 Hornby Street||Telephone: (604) 660-0316 (Lower Mainland)|
|Vancouver, BC V6Z 2E6||Toll-Free: 1-877-315-8822|
The Victim Safety Unit provides information to victims when the accused or offender is supervised by BC Corrections. Some information may also be provided to persons named in a civil protection order. Victims may be provided with ongoing information about the status of an accused or an offender, including whether or not they are currently in provincial jail, when they may get out of provincial jail, what community they may be in, and what conditions the accused or offender may have to follow. If the offender is under federal jurisdiction (under the supervision of the Correctional Service of Canada or the Parole Board of Canada), the VSU will, upon request, forward the registration form to CSC/PBC. The CSC/PBC will provide victim notification to registered victims directly.
|Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General||Telephone: (604) 660-5199|
|302-815 Hornby Street||Toll-Free: 1-800-663-7867|
|Vancouver, BC V6Z 2E6||Fax: (604) 660-1635|
As the provincial centre of responsibility for victims’ issues, human trafficking, and crime prevention, the Division develops legislation and policies, provides training, and delivers and funds programs that support victims, address human trafficking, and provide a restorative justice response to crime.
|E-mail: VictimLinkBC@bc211.ca||Toll-Free: 1-800-563-0808|
|TTY: (6040 875-0885|
VictimLink BC is available 24 hours, seven days a week, and has information about and referrals to a number of support systems that are available to victims of crime. The service is toll-free, confidential, and anonymous.
|700-808 West Hastings Street||Telephone: (604) 660-4444|
|Vancouver, BC V6C 3L3||Fax: (604) 660-0374|
Provides assistance to adults who need support for financial and personal decision-making and administers estates of deceased persons if there is no one else to do it. They may also administer trust funds on behalf of minors. Service is available in 130 languages.
An online-based network with links to existing networks and information hubs to promote awareness of services and supports for victims of crime in Canada. They aim to raise awareness, understanding, and support for victims of crime in a society by providing online victim-centred information, resources, and referrals.
An online resource for victims and witnesses of crime in BC. The website links several Key Contacts such as the Victims Information Line, Lawyer Referral Service, Youth Against Violence Line, among others.
B. Referrals for Specific Victims
1. Children and youth Victims
Ministry of Child and Family Development
The Helpline for Children: 310-1234 (no area code needed)
To report suspected cases of child abuse or neglect.
After Hours Services
- Vancouver, North Shore, and Richmond: (604) 660-4927
- Rest of the Lower Mainland, from Burnaby and Delta to Maple Ridge and Langley: (604) 660-8180
- Elsewhere in BC: 1-800-663-9122
Refers those in crisis situations to food and emergency housing resources (after office hours and weekends).
|303-1720 Grant Street||Telephone: (778) 657-5544|
|Vancouver, BC V5L 2Y7||Toll-Free: 1-877-462-0037|
The Society for Children and Youth of BC (SCY) is a unique provincial organization dedicated to improving the well-being of children and youth in British Columbia. SCY recognizes that adult duty-bearers need to advocate for the rights of children and youth of BC as listed in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) in order to improve their well-being.
The SCY operates the Child and Youth Legal Centre (legal advice and representation for children and youth). Contact information is the same as for SCY.
The Child and Youth Legal Centre is committed to improving the well-being of children and youth in British Columbia through the advancement of their legal rights. The role of the Centre is to advocate on behalf of vulnerable children and youth in BC. The Centre provides legal representation, free to those who qualify, for young people who are experiencing problems related to family law, child protection, human rights and many other legal issues. The Centre has two full-time child and youth lawyers. The Centre offers a free drop-in clinic on the first Tuesday of every month at 920 East Hastings Street from 3-6 pm for children and youth aged 9 to 19. Call or visit their website for more details.
General Ministry Inquiries
Provincial Government Referral Service
Victoria: (250) 387-6121
Metro Vancouver: (604) 660-2421
Elsewhere in BC: 1-800-663-7867
2. Other Victims
UBC Life & Career Centre (Formerly the UBC Women's Resources Centre)
|UBC Robson Square, 800 Robson Street, Plaza Level, Room 1.400||Telephone: (604) 822-8585|
|Vancouver, BC V6Z 3B7|
Information and referral, counselling support groups for women, stress management, depression. Abusers may also be referred here.
Telephone: (604) 583-1295
The Surrey Women’s Centre has a mobile assault response team that provides services over the phone and in-person to anyone who has experienced a physical or sexual assault. They are available 24-hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. You do not have to go to the hospital or make a police report to use their services.
Telephone: (604) 255-6344
Outside lower mainland: 1-877-392-7583
WAVAW provides support services to survivors of sexualized violence who have shared experiences of gender marginalization: cis and trans women, Two-Spirit, trans and/or non-binary people. They advocate for social and systemic change through education, outreach and activism.
Telephone (Vancouver): (604) 682-6482
Telephone (Surrey): (778) 222-6885
BC Society for Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse aims to provide therapeutic services for males who have been sexually abused at some time in their lives. They provide treatment and support services to survivors and support significant-others and relatives of the survivors as well as educate on material concerning sexual abuse of males.
C. Referrals for Criminal Injuries Outside British Columbia
Provides general information for victims and the public, referrals to the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) and the Parole Board of Canada (PBC) for specific enquiries, and works to incorporate a victim’s perspective in national policy development.
The following is a list of criminal injury compensation legislation and program contact information for all Canadian provinces. A person who was the victim of a crime of violence that occurred in another province can contact the relevant program to determine whether they qualify for any form of compensation.
A) Other Canadian Provinces and Territories
Alberta: Victims of Crime Act, RSA 2000, c V-3.
|Alberta Solicitor General and Ministry of Public Security||Telephone: (780) 427-3441|
|9th Floor, John E. Bronwnlee Building||Toll-Free in Alberta: 310-0000|
|10365-97 Street||Outside Alberta: (780) 427-2711|
|Edmonton, AB T5J 3W7|
Manitoba: Victims' Bill of Rights, CCSM c V55.
|1410-405 Broadway||Telephone (Winnipeg): 945-0899|
|Winnipeg, MB R3C 3L6||Toll-Free: 1-800-262-9344|
New Brunswick: Victims Services Act, SNB 2016, c 113.
|Argyle Place||Telephone: (506) 453-3992|
|P.O. Box 6000||E-mail: DPS-MSP.Information@gnb.ca|
|Fredericton, NB E3B 5H1|
Newfoundland: Victims of Crime Services Act, RSNL 1990, c V-5.
|Department of Justice||Telephone: (709) 729-7970|
|Victim Services Program||E-mail: email@example.com|
|4th Floor, East Block, Confederation Building|
|P.O. Box 8700, St. John's, NL A1B 4J6|
Northwest Territories: Victims of Crime Act, RSNWT 1988, c 9.
|Department of Justice||Telephone: (867) 873-7500|
|c/o Public Trustee Office|
|P.O. Box 1320|
|Yellowknife, NWT X1A 2L9|
Nova Scotia: Victims' Rights and Services Act, SNS 1989, c 14.
Criminal Injuries Compensation Board
|Victim Services Division||Telephone: (902) 424-4030|
|5151 Terminal Road, 3rd Floor||E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org|
|P.O. Box 7, Halifax, NS B3J 2L6|
Ontario: Victims' Bill of Rights, SO 1995, c 6.
|14th Floor, 655 Bay Street||Telephone: (416) 326-2900|
|Toronto, ON M7A 2A3||Toll-Free: 1-800-372-7463|
|E-mail: email@example.com||Fax: (416) 326-2883|
Victim Notification System (VNS), Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General
Telephone: (416) 314-2447
Prince Edward Island: Victims of Crime Act, RSPEI 1988, c V-3.1.
Queens and Kings Counties
|Honourable C. R. McQuaid Family Law Centre||Telephone: (902) 368-4582|
|1 Harbourside Access Road||Fax: (902) 368-4514|
|P.O. Box 2000|
|Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8|
|263 Heather Moise Drive||Telephone: (902) 888-8218|
|Suite 19, 2nd Floor||Fax: (902) 888-8410|
|Summerside, PE C1N 5P1|
|1199, Rue Bleury||Telephone: (514) 906-3019|
|C.P. 6056, Succursale Centre-Ville||Toll-Free: 1-800-561-4822|
|Montreal, QC H3C 4E1||Fax: (514) 906-3029|
Saskatchewan: Victims of Crime Act, SS 1995, c V-6.011.
|610-1874 Scarth Street||Telephone: (306) 787-3500|
|Regina, SK, S4P 4B3||Toll-Free: 1-800-286-6664|
Phone: (867) 667-8500
Toll-free (In Yukon): 1-800-661-0408, local 8500
Fax: (867) 393-6240
Street address: 301 Jarvis Street, 2nd floor, Whitehorse Yukon
Mailing address: Victim Services, Dept. of Justice, Government of Yukon, Box 2703, Whitehorse, Yukon Y1A 2C6
Phone: (867) 993-5831
Fax: (867) 993-6380
Street address: 705B Church Street, Dawson City, Yukon
Mailing address: Box 1312, Dawson City, Yukon Y0B 1G0
Phone: (867) 536-2541
Fax: (867) 536-2684
Street address: 820 Adela Trail, Watson Lake, Yukon
Mailing address: Box 622, Watson Lake, Yukon Y0A 1C0
D. Finding Funding for Counselling
The CVAA establishes counselling services or expenses as a benefit that may be available to victims, immediate family members of injured or deceased victims, and some witnesses. The Crime Victim Assistance (General) Regulation sets out the conditions or limitations for providing counselling benefits and also establishes the approved fee rate for reimbursement of counselling services. The Counselling Guidelines provide further information and clarification regarding expectations for the provision of counselling services, reporting requirements and limitations applicable to service providers requesting reimbursement for counselling services on accepted claims with the CVAP.
Children’s Counselling Services (formerly Children’s Sexual Abuse Intervention Program)
Telephone: (604) 885-5881 ext. 228
This service helps children deal with the effects of trauma at each developmental level. Parents and professionals can call the Ministry of Child and Family Development at 1-877-387-7027 to request referrals to the program, which is free and confidential.
Stopping the Violence Counselling - Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General
There are a number of community-based counselling programs that provide counselling services to women who have experienced sexual assault, relationship violence, or childhood abuse. The range of individual and group counselling services are based on the needs of the individual women and delivered in an accessible, safe, and supportive environment.
Children Who Witness Abuse Programs - Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General
This community-based program provides individual and group counselling services for children who witness the abuse of a parent, who is most often a mother. Designed to help break the intergenerational cycle of violence against women, this program helps children cope with, and heal from, the trauma of living in an abusive situation. Support is also provided to the non-offending caregiver who has been abused by their partner.
Residential Historical Abuse Program
Toll-Free: 1-800-563-0808 (VictimLINK information line)
Acquire forms from the Ministry of Health, Victim Assistance, or Mental Health Centres.
The Residential Historical Abuse Program provides professional counselling services for BC residents who were abused while under the age of 19 and while living in a home or residential program operated or funded by the province. A counsellor who meets provincial standards will develop a personal treatment plan with the victim, which may include individual, group, or family counselling. The victim does not have to prove that they were sexually, physically, or mentally abused to receive counselling services, nor does they have to name the person(s) who abused them. The Ministry will simply verify that they were in that particular residential program at the time of the offence(s). No police complaint is necessary, but there is a legal obligation to report abuses to appropriate authorities if children are still at risk of being sexually abused. The government or the police may contact the victim for information. The contents of the application are otherwise confidential. The application process is simple and generally does not impede any legal action or application to the CVAP – although if the applicant is eligible for funding from another source for a same or similar purpose, the CVAP must deduct that funding (or those counselling sessions) when considering the application.
E. Resources and Remedies for Seniors
BC has a Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health for Seniors (Ronna-Rae Leonard), a Seniors’ Services Branch and an Office of the Seniors Advocate.
The following list represents some non-legal solutions that may assist the abused person.
1. General Support
If the adult is in need of health or home care related services, or there are concerns about the adult’s ability to seek support due to a disability or condition impacting their ability to make decisions, the victim’s nearest health unit (see the telephone book’s blue pages for contact information) is probably the best place to start. A trained nurse or social worker can investigate the situation, present options to the victim, and place them in contact with necessary assistance.
Seniors First BC (Formerly BC Centre for Elder Advocacy and Support)
Martha Jane Lewis, Executive Director
Telephone: (604) 688-1927
Disability Alliance of BC (Formerly BC Coalition of People with Disabilities)
|204-456 West Broadway||Telephone: (604) 875-0188|
|Vancouver, BC V5Y 1R3||Toll-Free: 1-800-663-1278|
|E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org||TTY Line (hearing-impaired only): (604) 875-8835|
Sherry Baker, Executive Director
Telephone: (604) 513-9758
If the alleged abuser cannot be removed from the home, the victim may need temporary shelter. Older and senior women at risk of violence may be admitted to women’s transition houses if space is available. Ama House in South Surrey/White Rock is a specialized transition house for older and senior women at risk of violence. See Chapter 22: Referrals for transition house phone numbers. Some houses do not have a one-week maximum stay, although all stays at transition houses are typically no longer than 30 days. If all of the local transition houses are full, Battered Women’s Support Services (telephone: (604) 687-1867) can sometimes locate alternative shelter. After Hours Services (see Chapter 22: Referrals) can also provide assistance and can refer elderly men to temporary shelter or housing.
3. Home Support
The victim may depend on the alleged abuser for help in the home and may be reluctant to act because they fear being placed in a nursing home. In fact, the victim may only need a little extra help to live alone. Phone the BC Ministry of Health Services Long-Term Care Program to determine whether the victim is eligible to receive home support services (cleaning, handyman services, etc.). A person may also be able to contact intake in the health authority in which they live to request an assessment. Moreover, home support services may also have the benefit of relieving the stress a caregiver/abuser may experience – stress that sometimes causes the abuse.
Also, phone Meals-On-Wheels, if necessary:
|Vancouver, Richmond||(604) 732-7638 or (604) 733-6615 (Cantonese)|
|Burnaby||(604) 299-5754 ext. 23|
|New West Minster||(604) 520-6621|
|North Shore, West Vancouver||(604) 922-3414|
|White Rock/South Surrey||(604) 541-6325|
|Port Coquitlam||(604) 942-7506|
4. Seniors' Benefits
The client may not be receiving all of the financial benefits they are entitled to. These benefits (Old Age Security Pension, Guaranteed Income Supplement, Canada Pension Plan, and others) may give the client more freedom to change their situation. Phone a local seniors’ centre for more information.
More information is available online here.
Information regarding Shelter Aid for Elderly Renters may be found here.
5. Links to the Community
The client may feel isolated and lonely. Ask the client if they would like a referral to a community organization. Community organisations such as a social or volunteer organisation can give them a sense of belonging and self-esteem.
For information on the signs that a person may have been trafficked; services available to victims of human trafficking, including legal services, health care, shelter, interpretation and counselling; and links to resources, see BC’s OCTIP, Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General website here.
BC's Office to Combat Trafficking in Persons, Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General
|Victim Services and Crime Prevention Division||Telephone: (604) 660-5199|
|302-815 Hornby Street||Toll-Free: 1-888-712-7974|
|Vancouver, BC V6Z 2E6||E-mail: email@example.com|
The above phone line is answered by VictimLink BC, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Interpretation is provided.
The Office to Combat Trafficking in Persons offers a free online training course on human trafficking aimed at service providers in both English and French. The online training is called “Human Trafficking: Canada is Not Immune”.
“Communities Taking Action: A Toolkit to Address Human Trafficking” supports communities to take action at the local level to raise awareness and prevent human trafficking. It provides practical information and specific examples of how BC communities are addressing this issue.
The online training course and toolkit are available here.
BC Crime Stoppers
Individuals with information about a crime are able to provide an anonymous tip by calling the tip line at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).
Individuals may also provide an anonymous tip online here.
RCMP Human Trafficking Coordinator for BC/Yukon The RCMP Human Trafficking Coordinator for the BC/Yukon region plays a significant role in the investigation of human trafficking situations and in raising awareness about this crime.
Telephone: (604) 598-4603
Seniors Abuse and Information Line (SAIL)
SAIL, operated by the BCCEAS, is a toll-free telephone line which is staffed 7 days a week (excluding holidays), 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. SAIL is a safe place for older adults, and those who care about them, to talk to someone about situations where they feel they are being abused or mistreated, or to receive information about elder abuse prevention. Call (604) 437-1940 or toll-free 1-866-437-1940.
|© Copyright 2021, The Greater Vancouver Law Students' Legal Advice Society.|