Breadcrumb trail

  1. Home
  2. Publications
  3. Empowering Victims and Survivors of Crime

Empowering Victims and Survivors of Crime

Title image of various human silhouettes with the title Giving a Voice to Victims


Download printer friendly pdf

Help on PDF

 

Office of the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime

Heard. Respected. Victims First.

 

Who we are

Created in 2007, the Office of the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime (OFOVC) provides a voice for victims of crime at the federal level, and works to ensure the federal government meets its commitments to victims of crime.  


What is an Ombudsman?

An Ombudsman is chosen by the Government to independently review complaints about government programs or services. An Ombudsman can recommend solutions or propose changes to laws, programs or policies.


Who we serve 

We serve Canadians who have suffered physical harm, emotional harm or financial loss as the result of a criminal offence in Canada or another country.

We also support their spouses, relatives, and dependents.


What we do

To carry out our mandate, we focus on three areas:

  1. We help victims by...
    • answering questions about victims’ rights under federal law, including the Corrections and Conditional Release Act (CCRA) and theCanadian Victims Bill of Rights (CVBR)
    • reviewing complaints related to federal departments, agencies, laws, policies, programs and services for victims and survivors of crime
    • providing information about victims' services and programs in Canada

  2. We raise awareness by...
    • ensuring policy-makers are aware of victims’ rights, needs and concerns
    • telling Canadians who we are and what we do

  3. We provide advice by...
    • identifying federal laws, programs, policies, or services that have a negative impact on victims of crime
    • making recommendations to the federal government on how to make its laws, policies and processes more responsive to the needs of victims of crime  

What are my rights under the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights?

The Government of Canada passed the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights (CVBR) in 2015. This was an important step in protecting victims’ rights and giving victims of crime a stronger voice in the criminal justice system.


The CVBR gives victims of crime the right to:

  1. Information
    • Victims have the right to ask for and get information from criminal justice employees during the police investigation, trial, sentencing or corrections phases. They also have the right to information about the services and programs available to them, including restorative justice.

  2. Protection
    • Victims have the right to have their security and privacy considered during the criminal justice process.

  3. Participation
    • Victims have the right to express their views and have them considered when authorities in the criminal justice system make decisions that affect their rights.

  4. Seek Restitution
    • Victims have the right to ask a judge to consider making a restitution order (a requirement for financial payment). If restitution is ordered but not paid, victims can seek a civil court judgment in provincial court.

Resolving complaints

If you believe that a federal department has not respected your rights as a victim, you can submit a complaint to it. If you are not sure where to direct your complaint, we can help.


If you are not satisfied with the outcome of your complaint, or if you feel that you have not been treated fairly, you can contact us. We will make every attempt to address complaints quickly and informally.


How to reach us

Website: victimsfirst.gc.ca

Telephone (toll-free): 1-866-481-8429

TTY (Teletypewriter): 1-877-644-8385

Email: victimsfirst@ombudsman.gc.ca


Mail:
Office of the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime
P.O. Box 55037
Ottawa, Ontario K1P 1A1

 

Twitter: @OFOVC

Facebook: Facebook.com/OFOVC

 

Sign up for our #OFOVCCommunity newsletter!