Victim services in Canada, 2011/2012

By Mary Allen

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In 2012, police identified about 367,000 victims of violent crime in Canada.1 In addition, there were victims of crime in Canada who did not report their victimization to authorities, as well as families and friends of victims who may have been secondary victims, particularly of violent crimes such as homicide.2 A wide range of services are available to these individuals, particularly those who are involved with the justice system. These services are provided by a variety of organizations, including police, courts, government and not-for profit organizations. The structure of publicly-funded victim services varies across provinces and territories.

The provision of victim services in Canada is the responsibility of the provinces and territories. The federal, provincial and territorial governments have all endorsed a common set of objectives which guide the development of policies, programs and legislation related to victims of crime in Canada. These objectives are articulated in the Canadian Statement of Basic Principles of Justice for Victims of Crime (2003). This statement lays out a number of principles to promote the fair treatment of victims. For the most part, these involve providing victims with the information they need, considering their needs for safety and protection, helping them participate in criminal justice processes, and helping them access assistance services and receive compensation. These services must also take into account the specific needs and diversity of victims (Department of Justice 2003). In addition, provinces and territories provide various other forms of assistance to victims, and some offer compensation programs. The federal government is currently developing a Victims Bill of Rights (Department of Justice 2013). Consultation on the proposed Bill with numerous stakeholders, including provincial and territorial representatives, has examined the need for legislated (enforceable) rights for victims with respect to information, participation in the court process, protection and restitution.

Since 2003, Statistics Canada has conducted the Victim Services Survey (VSS) on a biennial basis in order to collect information on the provision and use of victim services.3 Where a respondent has multiple locations providing victim services, these are counted as individual victim service providers.4 For most questions in the survey, these respondents provided a single response which was applied to all locations. Because of changes made to the survey over time, comparisons to previous cycles should not be made.

This Juristat article provides information on the types of victim services provided, who delivered these services and how they were provided. The report also includes a profile of the victims who used these services in 2011/2012.5

The vast majority of victim service providers directly offer protection and crisis services, as well as information and assistance with the criminal justice system

The information in this report is based on the 760 victim service providers and six criminal injuries compensation programs which responded to the Victim Services Survey.6 In total, these providers served almost 460,000 victims in 2011/2012.7 These services are offered to all primary and secondary victims of crime whether or not they have reported an incident to police.8

The large majority of these service providers, about 90%, provided some form of protection or crisis service, as well as helping victims participate in the court system or offering information about the criminal justice system (Chart 1). 9, 10

Chart 1

Description for chart 1

A large majority of victim service providers directly offered services related to protection. Most providers offered immediate or long-term safety planning and about 60% provided risk assessment and prevention training.11 Crisis services were offered by 90% of providers. These included crisis intervention/response, emergency/disaster response, and critical incident stress debriefings for individuals involved in the period immediately following a crime or other traumatic incident. Just under one-third of victim service providers offered crisis counseling or ran a crisis/distress line (Table 1).

Most victim service providers also supplied support to victims to help them participate in the criminal justice system (90%). In particular, these services included court accompaniment, assistance with victim impact statements and victim or witness preparation. In addition, most services provided information to support victims in the system (89%). This ranged from information on the criminal justice system to victim notification specific to their own situation (hearings, offender relocation, offender release). About half of victim services reported that they provided legal information to victims.

A variety of other services were available from some providers. Almost two-thirds (64%) of providers offered medical-related services, primarily hospital accompaniment. Victim service providers also offered transportation or services related to shelter or housing. In particular, 20% provided emergency shelter or housing, 5% provided help with accessing longer-term housing, and 19% offered housing assistance. Almost one-quarter reported that they provided basic needs such as food and clothing. About one-half of providers offered some form of counseling for victims and nearly one-third provided services related to restorative justice (see Text box 1).

Just over half of providers (56%) offered assistance related to compensation. This was primarily assistance with claims for compensation. In some cases victim service providers offered financial or other compensation such as paying for professional counseling.

Text box 1
Restorative justice services most common with on-reserve victim service providers

Nearly one in ten (9%) victim service providers that responded to the VSS reported that they were directly involved in the delivery or coordination of restorative justice process for criminal justice matters. Restorative justice programs are a way to respond to a criminal act that puts the emphasis on the wrong done to a person as well as to the community. Participation in a restorative justice program is a voluntary process that involves discussions between the victim and offender. The goals of restorative justice are to “repair the harm caused by the crime, reintegrate the offender into the community and achieve a sense of healing for the victim and the greater community. The focal point of restorative justice is a face-to-face meeting between the offender, the victim and the community.” The offender is expected to make reparation to the victim and the community (Latimer 2000).

Examples of restorative justice programs include: victim offender mediation; family group conferencing; sentencing circles; consensus-based decision-making on the sentence; surrogate victim and offender programs; and victim offender reconciliation panels. The availability of these programs varied by province and territory.

Victim service providers also offered related support for these programs. In total, almost one-third (30%) provided services related to “restorative justice or mediation measures”, including providing information or support: 18% of victim service providers reported offering orientation and information for restorative justice or mediation measures, and 27% offered accompaniment and support for restorative justice or mediation measures. 12, 13

Restorative justice programs are more common with service providers who assist victims from Aboriginal communities. Among those victim service providers who served reserves and reported to VSS, 17% reported that they were directly involved in the delivery or coordination of restorative justice programs compared to 9% overall. For providers located on-reserve, 29% were directly involved in this activity. Other services related to restorative justice or mediation measures were also more common among service providers located on reserve. Half of victim service providers located on reserve (50%) reported that they provided services related to restorative justice or mediation measures compared to 30% overall.

End of text box.

Most victim services are provided by police- or community-based organizations

Most victim services are provided by police services (36%) or by community-based, not-for-profit organizations (24%) (Chart 2). Another 14% of service providers are sexual assault or rape crisis centres. In addition, victim services are provided by court-based providers (10%).14

Chart 2

Description for chart 2

The provision of victim services differs by province and territory (Table 2).15 Some provinces have set up province-wide networks of victim service providers in order to provide an integrated approach. Ontario has a Victim Crisis Assistance and Referral Service (VCARS) which is made up of not-for-profit community-based programs or providers that work closely with police and provide on-scene and short-term help to victims and refer them to other community services for longer-term assistance (7% of all service providers). Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Manitoba and Yukon offer system-based delivery of victim services that are independent from the police and court systems, and which assist victims throughout their contact with the criminal justice system (7% of all providers).

The types of service offered directly to victims and their families differ by type of victim service provider (Table 3). Some providers did not offer all victim services directly, but many instead referred victims to other organizations. For example, while 22% of police-based victim services provided counseling directly, 99% provided referrals to other counseling services.

Victim service providers also differ in the methods they used to deliver services, generally reflecting their role or mandate within the broader system.16 Sexual assault centres (96%) and community-based services (74%) were the most likely among providers to report that their main contact with victims was face-to-face (other than at the scene of an incident).17 System-based providers (66%) and police-based services (53%) were more likely to deliver services by telephone, and almost half (48%) of Ontario VCARS providers reported that their main method of service delivery was at the scene of the incident.

Text box 2
Types of victim service providers

In 2011/2012, the Victim Services Survey questionnaire was sent to victim service providers and head offices throughout Canada. The term "victim service provider" is used to refer to a wide variety of agencies. Based upon the following definitions, respondents were asked to indicate the type of service that best described their agency or organization.

Police-based: Victim services that are offered by a federal, provincial or municipal police service.

Court-based victim/witness assistance program: Programs specifically mandated to provide support services for individuals who have become involved in the court process as either victims or witnesses of crime. They generally provide information, assistance, and referrals, with the goal of making the court process less intimidating. Specific types of services provided can include court orientation, preparation and accompaniment, updates on the progress of a case, coordination of meetings with the Crown, assessment of children's ability to testify. Programs can be geared toward specific clientele such as children or victims of family violence.

Community-based victim/witness assistance program: Community-based, non-profit organizations that participate in the implementation of a victim and/or witness assistance program.

Sexual assault/rape crisis centre or hospital-based sexual assault treatment centre: Victim services whose mandate is to exclusively serve victims of recent or historical sexual assault or rape. Sexual assault/rape crisis centres will often have 24-hour crisis telephone lines and are community–based, non-profit agencies. Hospital-based sexual assault centres consist of a team of nurses and physicians who are on-call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week through the emergency department so that victims of sexual assault can receive specialized medical and emotional care.

System-based: A model of service delivery for victims of crime that is independent from police, courts and Crown attorneys and assists victims throughout their contact with the criminal justice system. System-based agencies may also service clients who choose not to involve the criminal justice system. These models of service are found in Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Manitoba, and Yukon where they are administered by the provincial or territorial government.

Victim Crisis Assistance and Referral: Specific to Ontario, programs or victim service providers that work closely with the police and are community-based, non-government services. They provide on-scene and short-term assistance to victims of crime and other traumatic events and make referrals to community services for longer-term assistance.

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About one-third of victim service providers are mandated to serve victims of specific types of offences

Most victim service providers (65%) are not mandated to serve victims of specific types of offences and therefore offered services to victims of crimes in general. About one-third (35%), primarily sexual assault centres and community-based services, reported that they are mandated to serve victims of specific offences.                        

Almost all of the organizations with targeted mandates provided programming for victims of sexual assault18 (31% of all providers) or child sexual abuse (31%).19, 20 These targeted services may be specific to adults, seniors, children and/or the families of victims. About one-quarter of victim service providers reported that they are mandated to serve victims of partner abuse21 (27%) or other domestic violence22 (23%). Information on specific programs for different groups of victims can be found in Table 4.

Many victim service providers have dedicated programs targeting specific populations

Accommodating the needs and diversity of victims is an important objective for victim services (Department of Justice 2003). Four in ten victim service providers reported that they have dedicated programs designed to serve different types of victims. About one-third of victim service providers reported that they had programs dedicated to adults (37%), seniors (31%) or children (32%). About one-quarter (24%) said that they had dedicated programming for female victims and 14% had dedicated programming for male victims (Table 5).23

Overall, about one-third of service providers offered dedicated services targeting specific populations. The most common of these was dedicated programming for Aboriginal populations, reported by 28% of providers.

Victim service providers are generally located to ensure service to urban and rural populations. In 2011/2012, 76% of victim service providers said that they provided services to urban or suburban areas24. Over half (57%) reported that they served rural areas. In addition, 24% of providers served reserves, with 5% of victim service providers located on reserve.

The majority of victim service providers could provide assistance to victims speaking languages other than English or French

In order to serve victims from a variety of linguistic backgrounds, 72% of victim service providers reported that they were able to assist clients who only spoke languages other than English or French either formally, with staff, volunteers, or audio or visual material, or informally, such as with help from the victim’s family or friends. This varied, however, by type of provider. Almost all court-based services (97%), as well as system-based providers (92%) and the Ontario VCARS (89%) could provide service in some other language(s). Just over two-thirds of police-based services (69%) and sexual assault centres (68%) offered services in other languages, as well as over half (58%) of community-based providers.

Victim service providers made use of various resources to help victims in languages other than English and French. Over half (56%) used informal interpreters such as family members, friends or caregivers; many used paid (45%) or volunteer (31%) interpreters; and some had staff members who could communicate with victims in other languages (41%). The most commonly reported non-official languages spoken by staff or volunteers were Spanish (25%) and German (19%).

In addition, victim service providers sometimes made audio or visual materials available in selected languages for clients who speak languages other than French or English. The most common non-official languages for these materials were Chinese languages (30%), Spanish (29%) and Punjabi (25%) (Chart 3). The availability of services in non-official languages varied widely, and likely depends on staff competencies and the needs of victims in the local area.25

Chart 3

Description for chart 3

Almost all victim service providers were able to serve victims with physical disabilities, and developmental disabilities or mental disorders

Almost all victim service providers reported that they could accommodate victims with mobility impairment (96%). More specifically, 93% said they were wheelchair accessible. Almost three-quarters could accommodate clients with visual impairment (73%) or hearing impairment (70%).26

In addition, 85% reported that they were able to provide assistance to clients with developmental disabilities or mental disorders. Most of these relied on partnerships or assistance from other agencies (88%) or informal help (74%) to assist clients with developmental disabilities or mental disorders. Trained staff members were available in 48% of these organizations.

Most victim service providers relied on a mix of staff and volunteers and the majority provided additional training for those who work with victims

Victim service providers usually rely on a mix of staff and volunteers to provide assistance to victims. In 2011/2012, 72% of victim service providers made use of volunteers.27

Most victim service providers who made use of volunteers (62%) had no minimum educational requirements for them, but 77% reported that they do have other requirements such as completion of certified workshops, seminars or skills training directly related to the delivery of victim services. In addition, 71% of organizations with volunteers provided some form of formal training to them, with over half providing formal professional skills training (59%), orientation training (56%) or awareness training (54%).

In contrast, minimum education requirements for paid staff were more stringent. Two-thirds of service providers required college (22%) or university education (43%) as the minimum requirement for paid employees. Another 17% required at least high school education. Furthermore, 80% required additional training or certification for staff who work directly with victims. As with volunteers, most organizations provided some form of formal training for staff (91%). The majority offered professional skills training (82%), orientation (70%) or awareness training (62%).

Almost all victim service providers worked in partnership with other organizations and agencies

Most victim service providers, however, did not rely solely on their staff and volunteers to provide support to victims. Virtually all victim service providers reported that they had working partnerships or relationships outside of their program with other agencies, programs or service providers. The most common partnerships were with other victim service agencies (99%), policing services (98%), transition homes or shelters (95%) and social services (95%). Three-quarters reported partnerships with fire, health and emergency services (82%), or educational services (82%). In addition, 83% of victim service providers served on boards or committees related to victims’ issues and services.28

While expenditure information was not available for all victim service providers responding to the 2011/2012 VSS, those that did report data (92% of respondents) indicated having spent about $161 million providing formal services to victims of crime.29 Among other items, these expenditures covered employee salaries, overheads, capital expenditures, training, fundraising expenses, and direct client costs. This amount did not include compensation or awards granted to victims.

Text box 3
Canadian federal correctional system and the delivery of victim services

In Canada, the federal correctional system, which is responsible for offenders sentenced to prison for two years or more, also plays a role in the delivery of direct services to victims of crime. Victims of an offender who is sentenced to federal correctional supervision may be eligible for services provided by the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC), the Parole Board of Canada (PBC), and for financial assistance to allow them to attend PBC hearings. These services can take many forms including providing victims with information on the status of an offender in the correctional system. While the VSS does not collect information on these services, these data are available from the CSC and the PBC.

Information from CSC indicates that 7,395 victims were registered with the CSC to receive information in 2011/2012. Most of these (86%) were victims of violent offences. In the same year, the CSC sent 46,678 notifications to registered victims. In total, the number of pieces of information provided to registered victims was 122,532. Information about the release of an offender was the most common type of information (Public Safety Canada 2012).

With regards to the delivery of information to victims, the PBC reported 21,449 contacts with victims in 2011/2012, a 5% drop from the previous year. In 2011/2012, victims presented 223 victim statements at 140 parole hearings (Parole Board of Canada n.d.).

End of text box.

In 2011/2012, victim service providers reported that they assisted almost 460,000 primary and secondary victims

Victim service providers who were able to provide information on the number of clients reported that they helped 458,615 primary and secondary victims between April 1, 2011 and March 31, 2012.30

In addition, respondents were asked to provide information for a specific day (May 24, 2102) to provide a snapshot of the types of clients served.31 In total, respondents representing 696 service providers (92% of respondents) reported that they assisted 10,664 primary and secondary victims on the “snapshot” day.

The majority of victims assisted were women, of whom the majority were victims of a violent offence by spouse, ex-spouse, intimate partner or other family member

Three-quarters of the victims assisted on snapshot day were female (Table 6). Among all females assisted, over eight in ten were victims of a violent offence (84%). More specifically, 30% of female clients who received services were victims of sexual assault; half of female clients were victims of other violent offences.32

About six in ten female clients (61%) were victims of a violent offence by a spouse, ex-spouse, intimate partner or other family member.33 Almost one-third of these (31%) were victims of sexual assault.

Seven out of ten male clients served by victim service providers on snapshot day were victims of a violent offence, with 15% having received services for sexual assault. One-third of males helped that day (33%) were victims of a violent offence by a spouse, ex-spouse, intimate partner or other family member. About one-quarter (29%) of male clients were victims of violent offences involving someone other than a family member or intimate partner.34 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.35

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

Half of victims assisted had previously been helped by the same provider, most more than once

Half of victims assisted by victim service providers on snapshot day (May 24, 2012) had been helped by the same provider previously (49%).36 Of these, the majority (96%) had received services from the same provider in the previous twelve months. Victim service providers could identify that over half of these repeat clients had been there at least twice in the previous year (59%); 33% had been there five or more times.

Criminal injuries compensation and other financial benefit programs awarded $146 million to victims in 2011/2012

Where they exist, criminal injuries compensation programs are administered by provincial and territorial governments and provide monetary awards and benefits to victims of crime to help ease financial hardship incurred as a result of their victimization. These programs pay fees for specific services for victims of crime. Examples include professional counseling, transportation to hearings, child maintenance and paying fees for legal counsel. Criminal injuries compensation programs exist in all provinces except Newfoundland and Labrador. There are no criminal injuries compensation programs in the territories. However, Yukon and the Northwest Territories provide emergency financial assistance funds (for victims of violent crime where no other financial assistance is available), and Nunavut has a Victim Travel Support Program.

While there are provincial differences in eligibility criteria, compensation programs are generally open to victims of criminal offences (usually violent crimes) or the dependents of homicide victims. Compensation may be awarded whether or not the offender is prosecuted or convicted, or even if no charges are laid (Canadian Resource Centre for Victims of Crime 2013).

From April 1, 2011 to March 31, 2012, 19,239 applications were adjudicated or concluded by compensation and other financial benefit programs for victims of crime.37 About three-quarters (78%) were approved and 16% were rejected. For the remainder of applications, respondents reported a variety of other outcomes, such as decision pending or application withdrawn.

Among adjudicated applications, 64% were submitted by female victims and 36% by male victims.38 Females who received assistance from a compensation or benefit program were most likely to request services in relation to an assault (54%) or a sexual assault (35%). While males were also most likely to turn to a compensation or benefit program in response to an assault (74%), the proportion of those who sought compensation for a sexual assault was much lower (13%).

Together, all compensation and benefit providers indicated that they had awarded $146 million to victims of crime in 2011/2012.39

Text box 4
Victim Services Directory

The Victim Services Directory is an on-line directory of the victim service providers available in a given community. It was created by the Policy Centre for Victim Issues (PCVI) of the Department of Justice Canada and launched during the National Victims of Crime Awareness Week in April 2009. The directory provides information by type of service or type of victimization and can be searched by location.

According to the PCVI, the objective of the directory is to:

  • help service agencies, 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 victim service providers listed in the directory was originally compiled using the 2006 cycle of the Victim Services Survey and is updated after each cycle of the VSS as well as by victim services themselves. While the list 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/cj-jp/victims-victimes/vsd-rsv/index.html.

End of text box.

Summary

In Canada, there are many types of government-funded agencies that are mandated to assist victims of crime. They provide a wide range of services to victims, with the most common being protection, support in crisis situations, information on the criminal justice system, and assistance with participation in the justice system.

In 2011/2012, most clientele who sought help from a victim service provider were females who had been the victim of a violent crime, generally by a spouse, ex-spouse, intimate partner or other family member. Many victim service providers offer specialized programs for victims of certain crimes or target specific populations. In addition, criminal injuries compensation programs provide compensation to victims to ease any financial hardship incurred as a result of their victimization.

Survey Description

The Victim Services Survey 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, as well as a number of victim service providers from across Canada. The objectives of the survey are 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.

The VSS is a mail-out/mail-back paper questionnaire and is intended to be a census of victim service providers that fall within its scope. For administrative reasons, some lead agencies submitted one form representing data for all service locations under their administration. Of the 504 organizations eligible to respond, 409 sent forms containing data for 760 agencies and six criminal injuries compensation programs and other financial benefit programs.

The total number of victim service providers is estimated to be 923. This number is based on the number of locations represented by eligible respondents plus an estimate of the number of locations represented by non-respondents. Information from the previous cycle of the survey was used to estimate the number of victim service providers represented by 55 non-respondents who had provided information in previous cycles of the survey. Information on the remaining 40 non-respondents was unavailable. As a result, the estimated total number of victim service providers may be underestimated. Using this methodology, based on the 760 victim service provider locations and 6 dedicated criminal injuries compensation programs reporting to the survey, the estimated response rate is 83%.

One hundred and three (103) respondents provided data for multiple locations representing 460 victim service providers. Because respondents provide only one response about the characteristics of services provided, these responses are applied to all locations. In certain cases, this may result in an overestimate of the number of victim service providers with certain categorical characteristics, such as special programs, or support in non-official languages. Information on expenditures, compensation and number of clients are assumed to be totals for all locations.

The majority of agencies deemed ineligible to respond had either closed or were otherwise classified as outside the scope of the survey. An examination of provincial and territorial response rates showed that Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island and Manitoba had a response rate of 100%. This was followed by Quebec (98%), New Brunswick (95%), Saskatchewan (95%), Alberta (90%), Ontario (88%), Nova Scotia (86%), Yukon (83%), British Columbia (80%), Nunavut (67%) and the Northwest Territories (38%).

A number of victim service providers in New Brunswick were unable to provide a count of the number of clients served on May 24, 2012 and instead provided a profile of their active caseload on that day. One victim service provider in British Columbia was unable to provide a count of the number of clients served on May 24, 2012 and instead provided a profile of clients served for the month of May, 2012.

Because of the heterogeneous nature of victim service providers, it is not possible to estimate or impute values for those service providers that did not respond to the survey, or those that provided partial responses. Therefore, the data reflect respondents and responses received. Because response rates vary from one survey cycle to another, comparisons to data for previous cycles is not recommended.

Detailed data tables

Table 1 Victim service providers offering direct services or referrals, by type of service, 2011/2012

Table 2 Types of victim service providers, by province and territory, 2011/2012

Table 3 Provision of victim services, by type of provider, 2011/2012

Table 4 Victim service providers that are mandated to offer services to victims of specific types of offences, by sex of victim, Canada, 2011/2012

Table 5 Dedicated programs for specific groups of victims, 2011/2012

Table 6 Clients served by victim service providers, by sex of victim and type of crime, Canada, May 24, 2012

References

Canadian Resource Centre for Victims of Crime. 2013. Financial Assistance. http://crcvc.ca/for-victims/financial-assistance/ (accessed 30 September 2013).

Department of Justice. 2003. Canadian Statement of Basic Principles of Justice for Victims of Crime. Ottawa. http://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/rp-pr/cj-jp/victim/03/princ.html (accessed 11 December 2013).

Department of Justice. 2013. Victims Rights: Enhancing Criminal Law Responses to Better Meet the Needs of Victims of Crime in Canada. Ottawa. http://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/cj-jp/victims-victimes/vrights-droitsv/ (accessed 14 August, 2013).

Latimer, Jeff. 2000. The effects of Restorative Justice programming: A review of the empirical. Ottawa. http://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/rp-pr/csj-sjc/jsp-sjp/rr00_16/index.html (accessed 11 December 2013).

Mulligan, Leah. 2014. “Victim services in Canada: National, provincial and territorial fact sheets, 2011/2012”. Fact sheets. Statistics Canada. Catalogue no. 85-003-X.

Office of the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime. n.d. Victim Services in Canada. Ottawa. http://www.victimsfirst.gc.ca/serv/spt-spt.html

Parole Board of Canada. n.d. PBC QuickStats. http://www.pbc-clcc.gc.ca/infocntr/factsh/parole_stats-eng.shtml (accessed 30 September 2013).

Public Safety Canada. 2012. Corrections and Conditional Release Statistical Overview. http://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/cnt/rsrcs/pblctns/2012-ccrs/index-eng.aspx#f4 (accessed 30 September 2013).

Notes

  1. The 2012 Uniform Crime Reporting Survey provides information on victims of violent criminal incidents. This does not include victims of property offences.
  2. A primary victim of crime is a person who is the direct victim of a criminal offence, while a secondary victim of crime is a person who has suffered harm or loss as a result of an incident perpetrated against another person, for example, the spouse of a homicide victim.
  3. Funding for the Victim Services Survey as well as this Juristat article and the Provincial and Territorial Factsheets (Mulligan 2014) was provided by the Policy Centre for Victim Issues of the Department of Justice Canada.
  4. For example, a system-based victim services organization coordinating 12 locations would be counted as 12 system-based victim service providers.
  5. For information specific to the provinces and territories, see (Mulligan 2014).
  6. There are ten provincial and territorial criminal injuries compensation programs: six reported that they were only involved in Criminal Injury Compensation, and the other four reported to the VSS that they also provided other victim services.
  7. The information in this report represents the 409 respondents who reported for 760 victim service providers and six criminal injuries compensation programs. Of the ten provincial/territorial Criminal Injuries Compensation (CIC) programs, four are included as victim service providers as they offer the CIC program as well as additional services. It is important to note that not all victim service providers were able to report complete data. Where this is the case, exclusions are noted.

    The estimated total number of victim service providers in Canada is 923 (see Survey Description section).

    Previous cycles of the VSS were conducted in 2002/2003, 2005/2006, 2007/2008 and 2009/2010. Direct comparisons between data in this cycle and those from previous cycles are not recommended due, in part, to differences in the methodologies used to count victim service providers. For more information, see the Survey Description section at the end of this article.
  8. A primary victim of crime is a person who is the direct victim of a criminal offence, while a secondary victim of crime is a person who has suffered harm or loss as a result of an incident perpetrated against another person, for example, the spouse of a homicide victim.
  9. Respondents reporting for multiple locations provided a single response which was applied to all locations. Estimates for the number of victim service providers for all profile information other than the geography served (urban, rural, reserve) may therefore be overestimated.
  10. This analysis focuses on services offered directly by providers. In addition, other services may be offered through referral to other organizations.
  11. Risk assessment involves determining if the victim is at risk of being re-victimized.
  12. Respondents reporting for multiple locations provided a single response which was applied to all locations. Estimates for the number of victim service providers for all profile information other than the geography served (urban, rural, reserve) may therefore be overestimated.
  13. In its question about types of victim services, the VSS asks about direct or referred services related to “restorative justice or mediation measures”. In addition, respondents were asked if their program or victims service was “involved in the delivery/coordination of restorative processes for criminal justice matters.”
  14. For many respondents, victim services are just one part of their overall activities and may not be the primary activity of the organization offering them. Information on the type of victim service provider is based on the primary role of the organization offering the services.
  15. A description of victim services by province and territory is available from the Department of Justice Canada at http://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/cj-jp/victims-victimes/prov.html.
  16. Respondents reporting for multiple locations provided a single response which was applied to all locations. Estimates for the number of victim service providers for all profile information other than the geography served (urban, rural, reserve) may therefore be overestimated.
  17. While the overall response rate for this question is 85%, response was very low for court-based providers. For this reason, information for court-based services is excluded here.
  18. Includes special programs for adult or senior victims of sexual assault.
  19. Includes special programs for adult or senior victims of childhood sexual abuse as well as child and youth victims of sexual abuse/assault, or sexual exploitation. 27% of victim service providers offered programs specifically for child and youth victims.
  20. Respondents reporting for multiple locations provided a single response which was applied to all locations. Estimates for the number of victim service providers for all profile information other than the geography served (urban, rural, reserve) may therefore be overestimated.
  21. Includes special programs for adult or senior victims of partner abuse as well as youth victims of dating violence.
  22. Includes special programs for adult, child or youth victims of domestic violence.
  23. Respondents reporting for multiple locations provided a single response which was applied to all locations. Estimates for the number of victim service providers for all profile information other than the geography served (urban, rural, reserve) may therefore be overestimated.
  24. Urban or suburban areas are defined in the questionnaire as areas that have minimum population concentrations of 1,000. Rural or village areas include small towns, villages and other populated places with less than 1,000 population.
  25. Respondents reporting for multiple locations provided a single response which was applied to all locations. Estimates for the number of victim service providers for all profile information other than the geography served (urban, rural, reserve) may therefore be overestimated.
  26. Respondents reporting for multiple locations provided a single response which was applied to all locations. Estimates for the number of victim service providers for all profile information other than the geography served (urban, rural, reserve) may therefore be overestimated.
  27. Respondents reporting for multiple locations provided a single response which was applied to all locations. Estimates for the number of victim service providers for all profile information other than the geography served (urban, rural, reserve) may therefore be overestimated.
  28. Respondents reporting for multiple locations provided a single response which was applied to all locations. Estimates for the number of victim service providers for all profile information other than the geography served (urban, rural, reserve) may therefore be overestimated.
  29. Based on responses from 697 or 92% of service providers.
  30. A primary victim of crime is a person who is the direct victim of a criminal offence, while a secondary victim of crime is a person who has suffered harm or loss as a result of an incident perpetrated against another person, for example, the spouse of a homicide victim.
  31. If a victim service provider was not scheduled to provide service to victims of crime on May 24, 2012, then they were asked to consider the next working day as the “snapshot day”. In some other cases, snapshot day information was not available. Information on clients served on snapshot day was reported by 90% of victim service providers. These providers also represented 90% of total clients served during the reference year.
  32. Excluding homicide and other offences causing death for which information on the relationship between victim and offender is not reported, as these are secondary victims.
  33. Excluding homicide and other offences causing death for which information on the relationship between victim and offender is not reported, as these are secondary victims It is worth noting that the survey does not ask separately about violence perpetrated by a spouse, ex-spouse or intimate partner. This may include dating partners.
  34. Excluding homicide and other offences causing death for which information on the relationship between victim and offender is not reported, as these are secondary victims.
  35. Excluding homicide and other offences causing death for which information on the relationship between victim and offender is not reported, as these are secondary victims.
  36. This rate reflects the 80% of respondents who provided information on number of clients served on the snapshot day and who also answered the question on repeat clients.
  37. This includes new applications received as well as applications brought forward from the previous year, and excludes applications carried forward to the next year.
  38. Detailed information on age, sex, or offence was available for respondents representing 62% of adjudicated applications. The percentage of male and female applicants is based on applications for which the sex was known. For 5% of applications where details were provided, sex was not reported. Information on offence was available for all applications.
  39. This amount represents the amount awarded by the six criminal injuries compensation programs responding to the survey as well as eight other respondents providing criminal injuries compensation. In total, these respondents represented 47 locations. Data for 2009/2010 have been revised and show over $137 million awarded.
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