Referrals and Follow-up regarding Victims of Crime (4:XII)

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This information applies to British Columbia, Canada. Last reviewed for legal accuracy by the Law Students' Legal Advice Program on August 4, 2023.

Once a victim has been referred to another resource such as a lawyer, social service agency, or health professional, it is still important to follow up with the victim. This ensures that the being looked after. Should a person need to consult with a professional (for instance, a psychiatrist) about a victim’s ongoing case, the victim must sign a written release form authorizing information to be collected on their behalf.

A. General Referrals

Crime Victim Assistance Program

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

Victim Services & Violence Against Women Program Directory provides contact information for service providers across British Columbia that assist victims of crime and women and children impacted by violence.

Victim Notification - Victim Safety Unit

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.

VictimLink BC

VictimLink BC provides information and referral services to all victims of crime and immediate crisis support to victims of family and sexual violence, including victims of human trafficking exploited for labour or sexual services.

Available 24/7 and can be accessed by calling or texting 1-800-563-0808. The service is toll-free, confidential, and anonymous.

Public Guardian and Trustee of British Columbia

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.

The Public Guardian and Trustee (PGT) aids and protects the interests of those who lack legal capacity to protect their own interests. This includes the legal and financial interests of children under the age of 19; the legal, financial, personal, and health care interests of adults who required assistance in decision making; and administering the estates of deceased and missing persons.

Victim Justice Network

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.

The Victims Portal

A secure online portal that allows registered victims, and/or their named representatives, to access services and information which they are entitled to under the Corrections and Conditional Release Act (CCRA). The portal allows a victim to access information from the CSC and PBC and request specific information concerning the offender who harmed them.

B. Referrals for Children and Youth Victims

Child Protection Services BC

To report suspected cases of abuse or neglect of a child or youth under 19 phone 1 800 663-9122 at any time

Society for Children and Youth of BC (SCY)

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.

Child and Youth Legal Centre

Operated by the Society for Children and Youth of BC.

The Child and Youth Legal 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.

Appointments can be booked by calling 778-657-5544 or toll free at 1-877-462-0037 

C. Referrals for Criminal Injuries Outside British Columbia

National Office for Victims

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.

Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime

The Office of the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime (OFOVC) is an independent resource for victims in Canada. Victims can contact OFOVC to learn about their rights under federal law and the services available to them, or to make a complaint about any federal agency or federal legislation dealing with victims of crime.

1) Other Canadian Provinces and Territories

Alberta: Victims of Crime Act, RSA 2000, c V-3.

Victims of Crime Assistance Program

Manitoba: Victims' Bill of Rights, CCSM c V55.

Compensation for Victims of Crime Program

New Brunswick: Victims Services Act, SNB 2016, c 113.

Victims Services Program

Newfoundland: Victims of Crime Services Act, RSNL 1990, c V-5.

Victims Services Program, Provincial Headquarters

Northwest Territories: Victims of Crime Act, RSNWT 1988, c 9.

Victim Services

Nova Scotia: Victims' Rights and Services Act, SNS 1989, c 14.

'Department of Justice Victim Services

Ontario: Victims' Bill of Rights, SO 1995, c 6.

Ontario Victim Services (OVS)

Victim Notification System (VNS)

Prince Edward Island: Victims of Crime Act, RSPEI 1988, c V-3.1.

Victim Services

Quebec: Crime Victims Compensation Act, LRQ c I-6.

Indemnisation des Victimes d'actes Criminels (IVAC)

Saskatchewan: Victims of Crime Act, SS 1995, c V-6.011.

Victim Services

Yukon: Crime Prevention and Victim Services Trust Act, RSY 2002, c 49.

Victim Services

D. Finding Funding for Counselling

Crime Victim Assistance Program 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.

Child and Youth Mental Health (CYMH)

  • The Ministry of Children and Family Development's Child and Youth Mental Health (CYMH) teams located across B.C. provide a range of mental health assessment and treatment options for children and youth (0-18 years of age) and their families at no cost. Our clinics are staffed by mental health clinicians, psychologists, and psychiatrists.

Stopping the Violence Counselling (STV) and Community-Based Victim Services (CBVS)

  • STV: These programs provide essential counselling and support including information, referrals, and in some cases, system liaison services for women who have experienced sexual assault, violence in relationships, and/or childhood abuse.
  • CBVS: There are several 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.

© Copyright 2023, The Greater Vancouver Law Students' Legal Advice Society.