Leave this website now
- How we can help
How we can help
If you have been, or are representing, a victim of crime and have questions or a complaint about the federal laws, policies or services that apply to victims, please contact us.
The OFOVC will review any complaints that fall within our mandate in an impartial and independent manner. We may also initiate a broader review of the issue you raise in order to make recommendations to the Government of Canada on how to improve its laws, policies or services for victims of crime.
How will you handle my complaint?
The OFOVC works closely with the victims who contact us to try to find solutions following the process outlined below. However, because every victim's situation is different, the process may differ slightly in some cases. In every case, we will give all parties of a dispute an opportunity to be heard and will treat all victims, government departments and agencies fairly, with dignity and respect.
Text description of this graph is available on a separate page.
What types of complaints can you review?
The OFOVC can review most complaints relating to federal departments, laws and services that apply to victims of crime. For example, a victim might contact us if he or she:
- was not provided with information on the offender who harmed them, as set out in the Corrections and Conditional Release Act;
- was not treated with respect by a federal department or agency;
- was registered but was not notified of the release of an offender; or
- feels that Canada's laws or policies for victims of crime do not meet their needs.
There are some types of complaints related to federal departments and policies that we can not review, such as:
- decisions of the Parole Board of Canada (i.e. releasing an offender);
- a recommendation made by the Correctional Service of Canada to a parole board (i.e. support for release of an offender); and
- a decision of the Correctional Service of Canada to transfer an offender or authorize a release (i.e. temporary absence for medical care).
We also cannot review decisions made by a judge pertaining to an offender's sentencing and/or prosecution or complaints related to matters that fall under provincial jurisdiction, such as provincial compensation, police investigations, and violations of provincial victims' rights legislations.
If you are not sure whether your complaint falls within our mandate, don't worry. If we cannot address your complaint directly, we will happily help by connecting you with the appropriate agency or service.
How long will it take?
Because every case is different it is not possible to know exactly how long it will take to resolve a case; however, our complaint review officers will work diligently to address your concerns as quickly as possible.
What do you do with the information I give you?
All information we receive from victims is kept strictly confidential and is not shared with other organizations, unless the individual gives us permission to do so.
We will also use the experiences you share with us to better understand the issues facing victims in Canada. Based on this information, we may make broad systemic recommendations to the federal government on how it can change its policies or laws to better address the needs and concerns of all victims.
The Office of the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime (OFOVC) helps victims and their loved ones, non-government organizations and other agents working on behalf of victims with any questions or concerns they may have about the federal government laws, departments and services that serve victims of crime.
We work both individually with the victims who contact us directly and collectively on behalf of victims to effect positive change to Canada's federal laws, policies and procedures for assisting and supporting victims of crime.
If you are a victim of crime, the OFOVC can:
- answer any questions you might have 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 other federal government departments, laws or policies
- refer you to programs and services in your city or province that may be able to help you
Working for all victims
We use the experiences victims share with us to help identify broader issues that impact all victims and to make recommendations to the federal government on how to change its policies or laws to better suit the needs and concerns of victims.
The OFOVC also works to ensure that policy makers and other criminal justice personnel are aware of victims' needs and concerns in order to encourage the development of policy and legislation that is more responsive to the needs of victims.