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Victim Services Survey, 2011/2012

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Released: 2014-02-13

Between April 1, 2011, and March 31, 2012, 760 victim service providers reporting to the Victim Services Survey helped almost 460,000 victims of crime. The survey looked at services provided to both those directly victimized (primary victims) and persons affected by the victimization of another (secondary victims, such as family members of homicide victims).

A variety of organizations offered services to victims in Canada in 2011/2012, with police-based services (36%) being the most common, followed by community-based services (24%). In addition, services were provided by sexual assault centres (14%), courts (10%), Victim Crisis and Referral providers in Ontario (7%) and system-based services in other provinces (7%).

The vast majority of victim service providers offered protection (92%) and crisis (90%) services, as well as information to assist victims with the courts and justice system (89%) and support their participation in the system (90%). Almost two-thirds of providers (64%) offered medical-related assistance and over half provided shelter-related services (59%) or assistance with compensation (56%).

Service providers were asked for information on the characteristics of victims seeking services on a specific snapshot day, May 24, 2012. On this day, 696 victim service providers reported that they served over 10,000 clients. Most of these were women (78%), and, overall, the majority of clients (80%) were victims of violence. Of all the victims served on that day, 49% had previously received services from the same victim service provider.

Among all females assisted, over 8 in 10 (84%) were victims of a violent offence. Almost one-third (30%) of female clients who received services were victims of sexual assault, while half of female clients were victims of other violent offences. About 6 in 10 female clients (61%) were victims of a violent offence by a spouse, ex-spouse, intimate partner or other family member.

On snapshot day, 7 out of 10 male clients served by victim service providers were victims of a violent offence, with 15% having received services for sexual assault. One-third of males (33%) helped that day were victims of a violent offence by a spouse, ex-spouse, intimate partner or other family member. Male victims were notably more likely than females to be victims of non-violent offences (such as theft or destruction of property) or violent offences (non-sexual) involving someone other than a family member.

Male victims assisted by victim service providers on snapshot day were more frequently under age 18. For respondents able to report the age and sex of clients, 27% of male victims served were under age 18 compared with 17% of female victims.

  Note to readers

Data are collected through the Victim Services Survey, which is funded by the Department of Justice Canada's Policy Centre for Victim Issues and has been conducted every two years since 2003/2004. The survey was developed in consultation with federal, provincial and territorial ministries responsible for justice and victim services, as well as a number of victim service providers from across Canada. Its objective is to provide a profile of victim service providers, information on the types of services offered and an overview of the clients who use them through a snapshot of clients on a given day. In addition, the survey collects standardized information from criminal injuries compensation and other financial benefit programs regarding applications for compensation and awards to victims of crime. Because of changes made to the survey over time, comparisons to previous cycles should not be made.

System-based providers offer a model of service delivery for victims of crime that is independent from police, courts and Crown attorneys and assist victims throughout their contact with the criminal justice system.

The Juristat article "Victim services in Canada, 2011/2012" (Catalogue number85-002-X), is now available. From the Browse by key resource module of our website under Publications, choose All subjects, then Crime and justice, and Juristat.

The biennial report Victim Services in Canada: National, Provincial and Territorial Fact Sheets, 2011/2012 will be made available at a later date.

Contact information

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