Frequently Asked Questions

 

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

If you have been the victim of a crime you may want to report it to the police in your area. In Ontario, there is also a wide range of community agencies and resources to help victims of crime. If you choose to contact the police you may want to ask them to put you in touch with a victim service organization in your community. Even if you don’t contact the police, you can access these and other local and provincial supports for victims of crime by contacting the Victim Support Line (VSL). The VSL is a province-wide, bilingual, information line that is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and can be reached at 1-888-579-2888 (toll-free), or at 416-314-2447 (in the Greater Toronto Area). To search for these supports online, you can also visit www.211ontario.ca.
 

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

No, the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) does not provide direct services to victims of crime. The OVC is an advisory agency that provides advice to the Attorney General of Ontario on issues relating to victims of crime.
 

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 or paralegal, you can contact the Law Society Referral Service (LSRS) at 1-800-268-8326 or in the Greater Toronto Area at 416-947-3330. When you call the LSRS, they will provide you with the name of a lawyer or licensed paralegal who will provide a free consultation of up to 30 minutes to help you know your rights and options. For more information, visit http://lsrs.lsuc.on.ca/lsrs/.
  2. Depending on the exact nature of your legal matter, your community legal clinic or the nearest Legal Aid Ontario office might be able to help. The fastest way to get legal aid help is to call Legal Aid Ontario toll-free at 1-800-668-8258 or in the Greater Toronto Area at 416-979-1446. For more information, visit www.legalaid.on.ca.

For more information regarding legal services, please see our “Resources for Victims” page.

 

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/criminal_law.asp

You can also find detailed information on the criminal justice process in our publications “Have You Been a Victim of Crime? What’s Next…” and “Living Beyond the Murder of a Loved One”.

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

 

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.

 

I am a victim of crime – Can I receive money from the Victims’ Justice Fund?

No, monies from the Victims’ Justice Fund cannot be accessed by individual victims. The Victims’ Justice Fund is used to support programs and services for victims of crime in Ontario.

The Victims and Vulnerable Persons Division (VVPD), a division of the Ministry of the Attorney General, oversees and administers the Victims’ Justice Fund. A list of programs and services for victims of crime can be found by visiting http://www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.ca/english/ovss/programs.asp.

 

I have a concern about a service provided to me as a victim. Who can I contact?

First, and if you’re comfortable, you could try to talk to the individual person, their supervisor, or the person in charge of the organization. You could also pursue the matter through a few other 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 and ask to be directed to someone who may be able to help address your concerns
  • If you have a concern about an Ontario government service or if you need some guidance on the available options, you can contact the Office of the Ombudsman Ontario, toll-free at 1-800-263-1830. You can also visit their website at www.ombudsman.on.ca and click on “Make a Complaint”.
  • If you have a concern 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 www.victimsfirst.gc.ca.

Pour de plus amples renseignements, veuillez consulter nos publications.