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Who we are and what we do

The Office of the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime (OFOVC) is an independent resource for victims in Canada. The Office was created in 2007 to ensure the federal government meets its responsibilities to victims of crime.

Victims can contact the Office to learn more 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. In addition to its direct work with victims, the Office also works to ensure that policy makers and other criminal justice personnel are aware of victims' needs and concerns and to identify important issues and trends that may negatively impact victims. Where appropriate, the Ombudsman may also make recommendations to the federal government.

Our mandate relates exclusively to matters of federal jurisdiction and enables the Office:

  • to promote access by victims to existing federal programs and services for victims;
  • to address complaints of victims about compliance with the provisions of the Corrections and Conditional Release Act that apply to victims of crimes committed by offenders under federal jurisdiction;
  • to promote awareness of the needs and concerns of victims and the applicable laws that benefit victims of crime, including to promote the principles set out in the Canadian Statement of Basic Principles of Justice for Victims of Crime with respect to matters of federal jurisdiction, among criminal justice personnel and policy makers;
  • to identify and review emerging and systemic issues, including those issues related to programs and services provided or administered by the Department of Justice or the Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, that impact negatively on victims of crime; and
  • to facilitate access by victims to existing federal programs and services by providing them with information and referrals.

If you are a victim of crime, the OFOVC can:

  • answer your questions about your rights as a victim;
  • give you information about the services and programs available to you through the federal government;
  • receive and review your complaints about federal government departments, agencies, employees, laws or policies;
  • refer you to programs and services in your city or province that may be able to help you; and
  • make recommendations to the federal government on how to change its policies or laws to better suit the needs and concerns of victims, and to report on those recommendations publicly.

The OFOVC's services are free of charge. We do not advocate on behalf of individual victims or provide legal advice. The OFOVC can review matters that occurred only after the Office was created in March 2007, or at the request of either the Minister of Justice or the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, and cannot address decisions related to provincial matters, such as compensation.

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