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Frequently Asked Questions






I am a victim of crime – where can I get help?

In Ontario, there are a number of services to help victims of crime.

If you have been the victim of a crime you should report it to the police in your area. When you see the police, you can ask them to put you in touch with a victims’ service organization in your community.

If for some reason you are not ready to go to the police, you can contact the Victim Support Line for referrals to support and services for victims in your community. You can call the Victim Support Line toll-free at 1-888-579-2888, or in the Greater Toronto Area at 416-314-2447.


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Does the Office for Victims of Crime provide services to victims of crime?

No. The Office for Victims of Crime does not provide direct services to victims of crime. The OVC’s mandate is to ensure that the needs of victims of crime in Ontario are met. To help us fulfill that role, we would like to hear directly from victims of crime about programs that were helpful to them, barriers that prevented their access to programs or services, and any ideas on ways to improve services. This information will enable the OVC to provide the Attorney General with advice that is well informed and grounded in the realities of victims’ lives. The OVC regularly consults with victims, victim advocates, criminal justice professionals, and community agencies and organizations that provide assistance to victims of crime.


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I am a victim of crime and need financial assistance, who can I turn to?

In Ontario there is a program called the Victim Quick Response Program (VQRP) that provides emergency funds in the immediate aftermath of a violent crime for victims who have no other financial means. Only certain expenses are covered and applications to the VQRP must be made within 14 days of the reported crime. For more information about the VQRP program contact your local police service or the Victims and Vulnerable Persons Division at 416-325-3265.

If you are a victim of a violent crime, you may also apply to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board (CICB). For more information on the types of compensation that may be available to you, contact the CICB toll free at 1-800-372-7463 or in the Greater Toronto Area at 416-326-2900. You can also go to the CICB website.


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What is the difference between the Office for Victims of Crime and the Victims and Vulnerable Persons Division?

The Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) and the Victims and Vulnerable Persons Division (VVPD), formerly the Ontario Victim Services Secretariat (OVSS), are two different organizations; however, they do work closely together. The OVC provides advice to the Attorney General on victims’ issues, including provision of service. The VVPD is a division of the Ministry of the Attorney General that administers and runs the programs that help victims of crime. A description of programs administered by the VVPD can be found at the VVPD website.


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Can the Office for Victims of Crime provide me with legal advice?

No, the Office for Victims of Crime does not provide legal advice.

If you need legal advice, here are a few options that might help you:

1. If you need a lawyer, you can contact the Lawyer Referral Service at 1-900-565-4LRS (4577). For $6, this service will give you the name of a lawyer who will provide a free consultation of up to 30 minutes to help you determine your rights and options. The fee applies once you call the telephone number.

2. Depending on the exact nature of your legal issue, your community legal clinic or the nearest legal aid office might be able to help. Check the yellow pages or the internet for the nearest legal clinic or office of Legal Aid Ontario.


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Where can I get information about the criminal justice system?

The Ministry of the Attorney General website provides information about the criminal justice system at http://www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.ca/english/justice-ont/default.asp.

You can also call the Victim Support Line toll-free at 1-888-579-2888, or in the Greater Toronto Area at 416-314-2447 to speak to somebody about the criminal court process.


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I have a complaint about a service provided to me as a victim. Who should I contact?

First, you should contact the organization that provided you with the service. Let them know you were not satisfied with the service you received and why. Ask them how they intend to address the problem.

If you are not satisfied with the way in which the organization deals with your complaint, you have a few options.

You can call the Victim Support Line toll-free at 1-888-579-2888 or in the Greater Toronto Area at 416-314-2447 to speak to somebody about your concerns.

If you have a complaint about an Ontario government service or if you need some guidance on what complaint procedures are available, you can contact the office of the Ombudsman Ontario. You can call the Ombudsman Ontario’s Complaints Line toll free at 1-800-263-1830 or in the Greater Toronto Area at 416-586-3485, or by email at info@ombudsman.on.ca. To learn more about the complaints process, you can also go to the Ombudsman Ontario website and click on “Make a Complaint.

If you have a complaint about a federal organization or federal legislation dealing with victims of crime, you can contact the Office of the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime toll free at 1-866-481-8429 or you can email them at victimsfirst@ombudsman.gc.ca. To learn more, visit the Office of the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime website.


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