Victim services in Canada, 2007/2008

Warning View the most recent version.

Archived information

Archived information is provided for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It is not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards and has not been altered or updated since it was archived. Please "contact-us" to request a format other than those available.

By Julie Sauvé

Four out of 10 victim service agencies in Canada are police-based
Almost 406,000 victims were assisted by victim service providers from April 1, 2007 to March 31, 2008
The majority of victims who received assistance from a victim services agency on May 28, 2008 were victims of violent crimes
Service providers offer assistance specific to the needs of victims of sexual abuse and younger victims
Four out of 10 victim service providers offer specialized programs to victims
General information and emotional support are the most frequent services offered
The majority of victim service providers maintain partnerships with other agencies
A significant proportion of service providers can help victims in a language other than English or French
The majority of victim service providers can assist clients with disabilities
There were over 3,200 paid employees working in victim service agencies in Canada in 2007/2008
Traumatic or high profile events have repercussions on the delivery of services
Criminal injuries compensation programs and other financial benefit programs for victims of crime
Role of the Canadian correctional system in the delivery of victim services
Victim notification through the Correctional Service of Canada
Victim information and attendance at National Parole Board hearings
Methodology
References
Detailed data tables
Notes

In the last 30 years, there has been increasing recognition of the rights and needs of victims in the area of justice. At the international level, the United Nations adopted the Declaration of Basic Principles of Justice for Victims of Crime and Abuse of Power in 1985, and in 1988, it was the Canadian government's turn to endorse its own Canadian Statement of Basic Principles of Justice for Victims of Crime.1 Following this, legislation recognizing victims' rights was passed by the provinces (Boudreau, Poupart and Leroux 2009). Since then, the need for victims to be heard and informed, to express themselves, to be protected, and thus, to obtain support and assistance, has been recognized.

Services offered to victims cover a wide range, from general information and financial compensation to health services and counselling. These varied services are being provided to a group of victims that is quite diverse itself with respect to the nature of the victimization.

The Victim Services Survey (VSS), which is funded by the Policy Centre for Victim Issues of the Department of Justice Canada, collects data for a 12-month period on agencies that provide services to both primary and secondary victims of crime. It also provides a snapshot of the clientele served on a given day. This Juristat article presents a profile of services offered to victims in Canada, based on the results of the third cycle of the VSS.2 It also includes an analysis of victims who sought assistance during the 2007/2008 reference period and of victims served on May 28, 2008.

Four out of 10 victim service agencies in Canada are police-based

According to VSS data for 2007/2008, there were 884 victim service agencies in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2008. Responses were given by 7663 victim service providers and 5 agencies offering only criminal injuries compensation programs or other financial benefits programs to victims of crime.4

Of the 766 victim service providers reporting data for that period, a large proportion were police-based (40%). These were followed by community-based agencies (23%), sexual assault centres (17%), court-based agencies (8%), system-based agencies (6%) and the Ontario Victim Crisis Assistance and Referral Service (5%).

According to information from 679 victim service agencies (excluding compensation programs), the cost of providing formal services to victims of crime in Canada was $178.7 million in 2007/2008.5

Data from the 2007/2008 VSS show that 79% of agencies served rural areas, 74% served urban areas and 48% served reserves. While agencies offer services to rural and urban areas as well as reserves, the geographic isolation of rural areas can limit access to various services (Purdon 2004).

Chart 1
Four out of 10 victim service agencies are police-based

Description

Chart 1 Four out of 10 victim service agencies are police-based

1. Services under this model assist victims throughout their contact with the criminal justice system, from the police stage through to the corrections stage. This model can be characterized as one-stop service delivery.
Note: Percentages do not add up to 100% due to rounding.
Source: Statistics Canada, Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, Victim Services Survey, 2007/2008.

Textbox 1
Counting victim services

Questionnaires were sent to victim service providers throughout Canada. Since each province and territory is responsible for the delivery of services to victims, the management and organizational structures of victim services can differ from one jurisdiction to another.

While some agencies are independently managed, others are managed by head offices that provide services to victims through a number of regional offices.6 In the 2007/2008 Victim Services Survey (VSS), questionnaires were sent only to independent agencies and to head offices in order to reduce respondent burden. Head offices were expected to respond to the survey for all their regional offices. To accurately reflect the distribution of victim services in Canada, each of the independent agencies, head offices and regional offices is considered a separate service provider in this analysis.

Types of victim service agencies in Canada

According to VSS data, 57% of victim service providers were government agencies that offered direct (36%) or contracted services (21%) to victims of crime. The other service providers were non-government or community-based agencies.7

Almost 406,000 victims were assisted by victim service providers from April 1, 2007 to March 31, 2008

In 2008, 686 service providers indicated they had assisted close to 406,000 victims8 of crime from April 1, 2007 to March 31, 2008. According to the respondents providing this information, the number of women receiving assistance from a victim service provider was three times higher than the number of men. More specifically, slightly more than 181,000 women were helped by a victim services office, compared with 55,000 men. However, the sex of the victim was unknown for a significant proportion (42%).

Text box 2
Amendments to the Corrections and Conditional Release Act relating to the support of victims of crime

Victims of crime and their advocates have requested enhancements to the Corrections and Conditional Release Act(CCRA). As a result of this, the rights of victims to attend National Parole Board (NPB) hearings and to present statements will be enshrined in law.

In addition, the CCRA will be amended to expand the information that may be disclosed to victims by the Correctional Service of Canada and the NPB. In particular, these agencies will be empowered to provide victims with the reasons for an offender's transfer and to notify them in advance, whenever possible, of transfers to minimum security institutions; to disclose information on offender program participation and any convictions for serious disciplinary offences; to share with victims the reasons for a temporary absence; to provide guardians and caregivers of dependants of victims who are deceased, ill or otherwise incapacitated with the same information that victims themselves can receive.

When offenders withdraw their participation within 14 days of a hearing date, the NPB may proceed with a review and make decisions on their case. Victims will also be able to request information on the reasons why the offender declined to appear in a parole hearing. 

These proposed reforms will allow victims of crime to obtain additional information concerning the offender and enhance their role in the federal correctional system. In addition, a National Advisory Committee on Victim Issues, co-chaired by the Department of Justice Canada and Public Safety Canada has been created. Through this committee, victims have the opportunity to provide input into policies and procedures that impact victims and victims' services.

Source: http://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/media/nr/2009/nr20090616-11-eng.aspx (accessed July 20, 2009).

The majority of victims who received assistance from a victim services agency on May 28, 2008 were victims of violent crimes

On May 28, 2008, the Survey snapshot day, 9,808 victims received formal assistance from a victim services office.9 Of these victims, a large proportion received help in regard to a violent crime10 such as a sexual assault (21%), or another type of violent crime (40 %) such as an assault. Data from the 2004 General Social Survey on Victimization show that 9% of the victims of violent crimes turn to formal service agencies for assistance; a slightly larger percentage of victims of sexual assault (13%) turn to these agencies for assistance (Gannon and Mihorean 2005).

Another 16% of victims who obtained assistance from a service provider did so because of their experience with another type of incident, such as a property crime, a traffic violation, another Criminal Code offence or another incident.11 Victim service providers also assisted people who were indirectly victimized through a suicide, a drowning or another undetermined type of criminal incident (Table 1).

Among the primary or secondary victims who were served on May 28, 2008 and for whom respondents were able to provide the gender, three-quarters were female. Among them, 36% were from 18 to 34 years of age and another 36% were from the ages of 35 to 64. Slightly more than one third of male victims were from 35 to 64 years of age. 

Among the women who sought assistance, almost half12 (46%) did so because of a violent crime committed by their spouse, ex-spouse or intimate partner. Thirty-seven percent were victims of a violent crime (other than a sexual assault) at the hands of their spouse, 6% had been sexually assaulted and 3% were victims of criminal harassment. With regard to men who were victims of violent crimes (58%), the victimization involved mostly violent crimes other than sexual assaults, the perpetrator usually being someone other than a member of the family.

Service providers offer assistance specific to the needs of victims of sexual abuse and younger victims

Victim service providers offer a wide range of services to help their clients, who are a diverse group with regard to both the type of victimization they have suffered and the specific services they need. More specifically, 329 out of 766 victim service providers indicated that they offered their services to victims of specific types of crimes. Of those, three-quarters offered specific services to meet the needs of family members of children who were victims of sexual abuse. Regardless of the victim's sex, 71% offered their services specifically to adult victims of sexual assault, and 70% were able to help child and adolescent victims of sexual abuse, assault or exploitation (Table 2).

Text box 3
Victim Services Directory

The Victim Services Directory was created by the Policy Centre for Victim Issues of the Department of Justice Canada. It was launched during the National Victims of Crime Awareness Week in April 2009. This new on-line directory establishes a link between victims and the services that are available in their community, and its objective is to:

  • help service providers, victims and any other individuals locate services for victims of crime across Canada;
  • allow victims to determine which services they may require;
  • link organizations and victims; and
  • help all individuals access victim services.

The information on service providers in the directory has been compiled using the 2006 cycle of the Victim Services Survey. While the list of organisations is not exhaustive, the directory contains information on agencies that offer services in all provinces and territories. The Directory is available at: http://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/pi/pcvi-cpcv/vsd-rsv/sch-rch.asp.

Source: http://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/pi/pcvi-cpcv/vsd-rsv/index.html (accessed August 26, 2009).

Four out of 10 victim service providers offer specialized programs to victims

Canada's population is characterized by its diversity. Victims can be distinguished by their age, sex, culture, language or sexual orientation, or by a physical or mental disability. To take this diversity into account, 42% of victim service agencies have developed and implemented specialized programs or services for victims to address their particular needs.

Thus, 32% of service providers had programs specifically for children and youth, 28% offered specialized programs for adults, both women and men, and the same proportion (28%) had programs geared toward Aboriginal people. Elderly people and people with mental or physical disabilities also received services through specialized programs made available by 20% of victim service providers.

Chart 2
Victim service providers offer specialized programs for children and youth, 2007/2008

Description

Chart 2 Victim service providers offer specialized programs for children and youth, 2007/2008

Source: Statistics Canada, Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, Victim Services Survey, 2007/2008.

General information and emotional support are the most frequent services offered

Victims' needs vary with their particular situation, the quality of their support network, their vulnerability and their relationship with the aggressor (Boudreau et al., 2009). People who turn to victim service agencies for help most often indicate a need for information and support (Alberta Solicitor General and Public Security 2009; Prairie Research Associates, 2005; Wemmers and Canuto, 2002).

Victim service agencies in Canada offer a wide range of services, whether directly or by referral to other agencies (Table 3). They offer services that are directly related to criminal justice as well as services of a more general nature. It is the latter type of service that is more commonly provided to victim services clients.

In 2007/2008, the types of assistance most often provided directly by victim service agencies were general information (95%), emotional support (93%), liaison with other agencies on behalf of clients (91%), public awareness and prevention (90%), as well as immediate safety planning (87%). In terms of referral to other services, 87% of service providers refer victims to other agencies for long-term housing and child protection services (86%) to name a few.

In the case of justice-related services, 9 out of 10 victim service providers directly offered information on the criminal justice system structure and process, and 86% provided court accompaniment services. While the majority of justice-related services were provided directly by service agencies, some were offered through referral, for example, legal information (61%) and restorative justice orientation and information (58%).

The majority of victim service providers maintain partnerships with other agencies

Victim service providers often intervene jointly on behalf of clients by developing networks among themselves. These partnerships allow agencies to offer the widest possible range of services to their clients, increase accessibility to services, maximize referrals and service coordination between agencies, and promote resource sharing. In 2008, almost all victim services offices (97%) had established partnerships with other agencies that assist victims. A high proportion worked in cooperation with police services (95%), social services (93%), transition homes and shelters (90%) and other government agencies (84%).

Text box 4
A look at sexual assault centres

Sexual assault centres are mandated to serve victims of specific types of crimes, in particular, crimes of a sexual nature. There were 134 centres in Canada that assisted victims (men, women and children) of sexual assault. As well they offered their services to individuals who had been the victims of sexual abuse as children, to women who were victims of spousal violence and to family members of children who were victims of sexual abuse, among others.

From April 1, 2007 to March 31, 2008, these centres assisted almost 81,000 victims.13, 14 This number represents 20% of all victims of crime who turned to a service provider for help during this period. On May 28, 2008, 1,134 victims sought assistance from a sexual assault centre, which represents 12% of all victims assisted by victim service providers on snapshot day. Among these victims, almost three-quarters (73%) were female15. Thirteen percent were under the age of 18.

More than three-quarters of the women helped by these centres were victims of sexual assault. The others had requested assistance for other violent crimes or for unknown offences. Of those who were victims of sexual assault, 77% had been assaulted by a family member (other than their spouse, an ex-spouse or a partner), or by another person. Half of respondents did not know whether the victim had reported the incident to the police, and 21% of victims had done so.16

Clients of sexual assault centres have a wide range of services available to them. Unlike other victim service providers, who offered mostly general information to victims (96%),17 sexual assault centres18 provided services directly that most often involved intervention: public awareness and prevention (97%), emotional support (96%), liaising with other agencies on behalf of clients (93%) and crisis counselling (92%). When services were not directly available to victims, they were offered through referral to other agencies. This was the case for child protection services (81%), long-term housing (70%) and emergency shelter (64%).

Compared with all service providers, a lower proportion of sexual assault centres offer justice-related services. More specifically, while 94% of all service providers directly offered information on the criminal justice system structure and process, only 74% of sexual assault centres did so. Critical stress debriefing was among the services most often provided by these centres.

Seven out of 10 sexual assault centres developed their programs to meet the needs of specific populations. More than half of these centres had specialized programs for Aboriginal people, women, lesbian and bisexual women, as well as children and youth. In 2004, according to the General Social Survey (GSS), people with activity limitations had higher rates of sexual assault than those without these disabilities (Perreault 2009). Almost one out of two sexual assault centres offered specialized programs for people with mental or physical disabilities.

A significant proportion of service providers can help victims in a language other than English or French

Service providers must adapt to Canada's cultural diversity. According to census data, 13% of Canadians belonged to a minority group in 2006, and 8% of visible minorities could speak neither English nor French (Perreault, 2008). In the Canadian population in 2006, people whose mother tongue was neither English nor French made up 20%, up from the 2001 Census (Corbeil and Blaser, 2007). Although not all agencies could offer their services in a language other than English or French, 79% of victim service providers were able to help clients who could speak neither of the official languages through informal interpreters (family member of the victim, friend or caregiver) or volunteer interpreters.

The majority of victim service providers can assist clients with disabilities

According to the Participation and Activity Limitation Survey conducted in 2006, more than 4.4 million Canadians, or 14% of the population, had at least one physical or mental condition that limited their daily activities (Perreault, 2009). Victim service providers are therefore required to adapt to this reality. In fact, the majority (95%) of establishments providing services to victims said they could accommodate clients with reduced mobility.

In addition, 67%19 of victim service providers were able to assist clients with hearing impairments and 63%20 indicated they could meet the needs of clients with visual impairments.

Moreover, 88%21 of agencies reported they were able to provide assistance to clients with mental health problems. Among them, 92% called on partners or other specialized or professional agencies, 76% used informal assistance (family member, friend or caregiver) and 57% relied on staff members who had received specialized training.22

There were over 3,200 paid employees working in victim service agencies in Canada in 2007/2008

In total, 739 victim service agencies (96%) indicated that the equivalent of more than 3,200 paid employees23 had worked from April 1, 2007 to March 31, 2008. During that period, three-quarters of agencies received the services of nearly 8,700 volunteers.

The capacity to offer services to victims of crime requires education for both paid and volunteer workers. However, requirements for volunteers are less stringent. While 7 out of 10 agencies indicated that the minimum level of education for employees was a university or college degree or certificate, only 8% of agencies indicated that this was a requirement for volunteers.

Eighty-three percent of respondents indicated that they expected their employees to continue their training by participating in workshops, seminars and professional skills training directly related to the delivery of victim services, whereas 76% of respondents had the same expectations for the volunteers. Eight out of 10 agencies also reported offering some type of training to their employees and a little more than 7 out 10 agencies reported offering training to the volunteers.

Traumatic or high profile events have repercussions on the delivery of services

Many factors, including legislative amendments and changes to funding or programs, can have an impact on the delivery of services. Agencies participating in the survey were asked if certain events occurring during the previous two years had had an effect on the demand for their agency's services. Four out of 10 victim service providers said their workload had increased as a result of changes in partnerships with other programs and a similar proportion reported that traumatic or high profile events had had the same effect.

Changes in funding can also have an impact on service delivery, as they influence an agency's ability to hire personnel and develop programs. Hence, 31% of agencies reported that their financial resources had increased over the past two years, while 6% said they had decreased.

In general, legislative amendments and the implementation of a new act had few repercussions on service delivery, but in cases where they did, they usually resulted in an increased workload. Changes in federal legislation led to an increased workload for 18% of agencies.

Criminal injuries compensation programs and other financial benefit programs for victims of crime

Three-quarters of requests submitted to compensation programs and other financial benefit programs are approved

Data from the VSS show that, during the 2007/2008 fiscal year, nine provinces offered criminal injuries compensation programs for victims of crime.24 The objective of the compensation programs25 is to ease the financial burden resulting from crime on victims and their families (Canadian Resource Centre for Victims of Crime 2009). Each program is established under the respective province's legislative authority and is administered either by the department responsible for victim matters or a compensation board.

While there are differences in eligibility criteria among provinces, the programs are generally open to victims of criminal offences (usually violent crimes); to family members or dependants of deceased victims; and to persons who were injured or killed while trying to assist a police officer, or while preventing or attempting to prevent a crime (Canadian Resource Centre for Victims of Crime 2009).

In addition to the 5 programs offering only compensation services to victims of crime, 65 of the victim services offices that provided a wide range of services also offered compensation or other financial benefit programs for victims. Overall these offices reported 16,448 adjudicated or completed applications in 2007/2008, as well as 10,894 applications carried forward to the next year. Of the total number of applications that were adjudicated, 75% were approved and 14% rejected. For the remainder of the applications (11%), other outcomes were indicated such as decision pending or application withdrawn or dropped by the applicant.

Moreover, 45 participating agencies26 indicated they had awarded a total of $131 million in compensation to victims of crime in 2007/2008.27 The highest proportion of this amount was awarded for pain and suffering (19%), followed by loss of support to dependents (17%), and medical, rehabilitation, dental or eyewear costs (13%). The remaining compensation amount (42%) was awarded for other reasons, such as child maintenance, counselling services, and funeral and burial costs.

Approved applications for compensation involve primarily crimes against the person

From April 1, 2007 to March 31, 2008, over 10,000 applications were approved by 55 compensation programs and other financial benefit programs for victims of crime.28 Of this total, 36% were submitted by women victims and 21%, by men victims.29

Slightly more than three-quarters of women who received assistance from a compensation program requested services in relation to an assault (43%) or a sexual assault (34%). While 45% of applications submitted in relation to assaults involved women from 35 to 64 years of age,30 49% of applications concerning sexual assaults were submitted by female victims younger than 18.31

Men turned to compensation programs more often for assault (35%) and assault with a weapon or causing bodily harm (30%). Another 13% of all male applicants were victims of sexual assault, and of them, 67% were younger than 18.

Role of the Canadian correctional system in the delivery of victim services 

In Canada, the federal correctional system also plays a role in the delivery of direct services to victims of crimes committed by offenders admitted to correctional supervision. These services take the form of financial assistance for victims to allow them to attend National Parole Board (NPB) hearings or of information on the status of the offender in the correctional system. While the VSS does not collect information on these services, these data are available from the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) and the NPB.

Victim notification through the Correctional Service of Canada

In 2007/2008, 5,300 victims were registered with the Correctional Service of Canada32 to receive information.33 The CSC sent 14,679 disclosures to victims,34 the number of items of information totalling 24,823. Nearly two in five disclosures (37%) included information on an escorted temporary absence, 15% on a travel authorization, 10% on the location of the establishment where the offender was detained and 7% on a statutory release.

Victim information and attendance at National Parole Board hearings

With regard to the delivery of information to victims, the National Parole Board hearings (NPB)35 reported 20,457 contacts with victims in 2007/2008, an increase of 20% from the previous year. The majority of contacts involved victims of a violent crime, such as a sexual assault, or family members of murder victims.

In 2007/2008, victims made 244 presentations at 139 hearings. The majority of them were family members of victims of murder or manslaughter. In fact, 88% of presentations were made in person, while the remainder were recorded on audiotape or CD, or on videotape or DVD.

The NPB reported an increase in the number of presentations by victims, explaining this rise by the establishment of a fund to pay the travel costs incurred by victims wishing to attend hearings.

Methodology

This is the third cycle of the VSS, which is funded by the Department of Justice Canada's Policy Centre for Victim Issues. It was developed in consultation with federal, provincial and territorial ministries responsible for justice and victim services, and with a number of victim service agencies from across Canada. The objectives of the survey are to provide a profile of victim service agencies, information on the types of services offered and an overview of the clients who use them through a snapshot of clients served on May 28, 2008. 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.

Victim services are defined as agencies that provide direct services to primary or secondary victims of crime, and that are funded in whole or in part by a ministry responsible for justice matters. The survey covered system-based, police-based, court-based and community-based agencies, sexual assault centres, criminal injuries compensation programs and other financial benefit programs.

In 2008, 556 agencies, covering 939 locations offering services to victims, received a questionnaire for the VSS. A total of 279 independent agencies returned the completed questionnaire, and 104 head offices representing 479 victim service providers participated in the survey. In total, this analysis covers 771 victim services offices, of which 5 are criminal injuries compensation programs or financial benefit programs for victims of crime.36

The VSS is a mail-out/mail-back paper questionnaire and is intended to be a census of victim service agencies that fall within its scope. Although it was intended that each service location complete one form, for administrative reasons, some lead agencies submitted one form representing data for all service locations under their administration. Of the 884 agencies eligible to respond, 770 sent forms containing data for 766 agencies and 5 criminal injuries compensation programs and other financial benefit programs. This resulted in a response rate of 87%. The majority of those deemed ineligible to respond and outside the scope of the survey had closed or were otherwise classified.

An examination of provincial and territorial response rates showed that Prince Edward Island and Yukon had a response rate of 100%. This was followed by Newfoundland and Labrador (92%), New Brunswick (89%), Ontario (88%), Saskatchewan (87%), Quebec (86%), Manitoba (84%), Alberta and British Columbia (79% each), Nova Scotia (66%), the Northwest Territories (50%) and Nunavut (40%).

Data from the 2007/2008 cycle cannot be compared with those of previous cycles. In 2007/2008 the VSS questionnaire was modified to more accurately reflect the situation of victim services in Canada. In previous cycles the questionnaire was not designed to satisfactorily collect information on head offices and their regional offices. In 2007/2008 this situation was corrected.

References

Alberta Solicitor General and Public Security. 2009. Status Report 2007-2008—Victims Deserve to be Heard. Edmonton. Victim Services Branch.
https://www.solgps.alberta.ca/programs_and_services/victim_services/Pages/default.aspx (accessed August 25, 2009).

Boudreau, Jean, Lise Poupart and Katia Leroux. 2009. Introduction à l'intervention auprès des victimes d'actes criminels. Montréal. Association québécoise plaidoyer-victimes.

Canadian Resource Centre for Victims of Crime. 2009. Compensation.
www.crcvc.ca/en/compensation.php (accessed August 25, 2009).

Department of Justice Canada. 2009. Description of Victim Services Directory. Ottawa. Policy Centre for Victim Issues.
www.justice.gc.ca/eng/pi/pcvi-cpcv/vsd-rsv/index.html (accessed August 26, 2009).

Gannon, Maire and Karen Mihorean. 2005. "Criminal victimisation in Canada, 2004." Juristat.Vol. 25, no. 7. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 85-002-XPE.
www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/85-002-x/85-002-x2005007-eng.pdf (accessed August 25, 2009).

Hill, James K. PhD. 2004. "Information Sheet: The Basics of Victim Reactions and Coping." Working with Victims of Crime: A Manual Applying Research to Clinical Practice. Ottawa. Department of Justice Canada.
www.justice.gc.ca/eng/pi/cpcv-pcvi/pub/rech-res/f3.html(accessed August 26, 2009).

National Parole Board. 2009. National Parole Board Performance Report. Ottawa.
www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/dpr-rmr/2007-2008/inst/npb/npb-fra.pdf (accessed August 25, 2009).

Perreault, Samuel. 2009. Criminal Victimization and Health: A Profile of Victimization Among Persons with Activity Limitations or Other Health Problems. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 85F0033M. Ottawa. Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics Profile Series, no. 21.
www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/85f0033m/85f0033m2009021-eng.htm (accessed August 26, 2009).

Perreault, Samuel. 2008. Visible Minorities and Victimization. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 85F0033M. Ottawa, Ontario. Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics Profile Series, no. 15.
/pub/85f0033m/85f0033m2008015-eng.htm (accessed August 26, 2009).

Prairie Research Associates. 2005. "Victim respondents' overviews of their experiences." Multi-Site Survey of Victims of Crime and Criminal Justice Professionals across Canada: Summary of Victims of Crime Respondents. Ottawa. Policy Centre for Victim Issues. Department of Justice Canada.
http://justice.gc.ca/eng/pi/rs/rap-rep/2005/rr05_vic1/som2-sum2/p7.html

Public Safety Canada. 2009. Amendments to the Corrections and Conditional Release Act (CCRA). Ottawa.
www.publicsafert.gc.ca/media/nr/2009/nr20090616-1-eng.aspx (accessed July 20, 2009).

Purdon, Colleen. 2004. Woman Abuse and Ontario Works in a Rural Community: Rural Women Speak about their Experiences with Ontario Works.
www.crvawc.ca/documents/FinalRuralwomenspeakAboutOntarioWorksEdited.pdf (accessed July 20, 2009).

Statistics Canada. 2007. 2006 Census: The Evolving Linguistic Portrait. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 97-555-XWE2006001. Ottawa, Ontario. 2006 Census.
www12.statcan.ca/census-recensement/2006/as-sa/97-555/index-eng.cfm?CFID=3469753&CFTOKEN=28093065 (accessed August 25, 2009).

Wemmers, Jo-Anne and Marisa Canuto. 2002. Victims' Experiences with, Expectations and Perceptions of Restorative Justice: A Critical Review of the Literature. Ottawa. Policy Centre for Victim Issues. Department of Justice Canada.
www.justice.gc.ca/fra/pi/rs/rap-rep/2001/rr01_9/tdm-toc.html (accessed July 20, 2009).

Detailed data tables

Table 1 Number of clients served, by sex, age groupings and type of crime, May 28, 2008

Table 2 Service providers who offer services to victims of specific types of crimes, 2007-2008

Table 3 Percentage of victim service agencies that perform a service directly and/or through referral by type of service, 2007/2008

Notes

  1. The Declaration was revised in 2003.
  2. Previous cycles of the Survey were conducted in 2002/2003 and 2005/2006. Comparisons between data in this analysis and those from the previous cycles are not recommended due, in part, to differences in the methodologies used to count victim service agencies. For more information, see the Methodology section.
  3. Unless otherwise noted, the analysis that follows is based on the 766 victim service providers that reported data for the period from April 1, 2007 to March 31, 2008.
  4. Criminal injuries compensation programs and other financial benefits programs for victims of crime are analyzed separately in this report.
  5. Among the 766 service providers, 679 were able to provide that information. This amount excludes costs incurred to administer criminal injuries compensation and other financial benefits programs, and other costs not specifically related to the formal delivery of services provided to victims of crime.
  6. Following a series of consultations with respondents, it was found that local offices through which victims are served are called either "local office" or "regional office," depending on the province. In this Juristat the term "regional office" is used to refer to points of service that are managed by a central office, regardless of the province or territory.
  7. Government—direct service: a public department, agency or program that is entirely funded and whose service is delivered by regional, municipal, provincial, territorial or federal government departments and their agencies. Examples include police-based, system-based, court-based and corrections-based victim service agencies and criminal injuries compensation programs for victims of crime.

    Government—contracted service: an agency, program or organization that is funded by a regional, municipal, provincial, territorial or federal department but whose service is delivered by a non-government or community-based agency. Examples include Ontario's Victim Crisis Assistance and Referral Service and Quebec's Centres d'aide aux victimes d'actes criminels.

    Non-government or community-based organization: a private organization that is largely independent of government, that was not created for financial or material gain, and that addresses concerns such as social and humanitarian issues of development, individual and community welfare and well-being, disadvantage, poverty and environmental protection. Examples include sexual assault centres and rape crisis centres.
  8. In the survey, a victim is defined as either primary or secondary. Primary victims are those who were the direct target of the crime and secondary victims are those who were not the direct target of the offence but who were affected by it (e.g. family member, friend, classmate).
  9. Based on answers given by 728 victim services. On the day of the snapshot, 9,881 victims requested formal assistance although for 1%, the age, sex and type of crime could not be reported by respondents.
  10. Excludes secondary victims of homicide and other offences causing death.
  11. Includes criminal incidents, traffic incidents of undetermined criminal nature as well as other incidents of undetermined criminal nature.
  12. Based on 9,808 victims, since for 1% of victims, the respondents could not report the age, sex and type of crime distributions.
  13. Based on responses from 127 sexual assault centres.
  14. Sex was unknown for 77% of victims.
  15. Age and sex were unknown for 21% of victims.
  16. Twenty-nine percent of victims who went to a centre had not informed the police of the incident.
  17. Based on responses from 631 victim service providers, excluding sexual assault centres.
  18. Based on responses from 134 sexual assault centres.
  19. Represents 512 victim service providers.
  20. Represents 482 victim service providers.
  21. Represents 677 victim service providers.
  22. Four percent of agencies indicated they use methods other than those mentioned previously.
  23. Expressed as full-time equivalents.
  24. Of the 10 provinces, only Newfoundland and Labrador did not have a compensation program in 2007/2008.
  25. Aggregated counts for provincial criminal injuries compensation programs and other financial benefit programs may be influenced by activities undertaken in the largest provinces.
  26. Other programs were not able to provide that information.
  27. Data should not be compared with those from 2005/2006 because a different method was used to count agencies in that year.
  28. Other programs were not able to provide the information.
  29. For 43% of applications that were approved during the reference year, the age and sex of the victims were unknown.
  30. Thirty-nine percent of applications involved women from the ages of 18 to 34, and 12%, females younger than 18. Four percent of women who submitted applications were either 65 and older, or of unknown age. 
  31. Twenty-eight percent of applications involved women from the ages of 18 to 34, and 21%, women from 35 to 64 years of age. Two percent of women who submitted applications were either 65 and older, or of unknown age.
  32. The data in this section are from the Correctional Service of Canada's Offender Management System (August 2009).
  33. The same victim can be counted more than once if he or she is registered for more than one offender.
  34. Disclosure refers to the release of information to a victim registered with the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC). These disclosures from the CSC can contain more than one item of information. Registered victims can request a wide range of information from the CSC (see Text box 1).
  35. Data in this section are drawn from the National Parole Board Performance Report for 2007/2008, available at www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/dpr-rmr/2007-2008/inst/npb/npb-eng.pdf (accessed August 25, 2009).
  36. In 2008, 556 agencies, covering 939 locations offering services to victims, received a questionnaire for the VSS. Each is believed to provide services or programs to victims of crime. Of the 939 service providers, 884 were considered eligible to be included in the sample.
Date modified: