You have rights during the criminal justice process if you are a victim of crime.
You have the right to be treated fairly and with respect by all workers in the criminal justice system;
Your right to general information
If you are a victim of crime, British Columbia’s Victims of Crime Act gives you the right to receive information about:
Your right to information about the offence
If you are a victim of crime, you have a right, on request, to receive information from the criminal justice system including:
Your right to privacy
If you are a victim of crime, you have rights under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act:
Your right to financial assistance and benefits
If you or your immediate family member are the victim of a violent crime in British Columbia, the Crime Victim Assistance Act gives you the right to apply for benefits through the Crime Victim Assistance Program to help offset financial loss and assist in dealing with the impact of violent crime.
Your right to provide a Victim Impact Statement
If you are a victim of crime, you have the right to provide information to the court about how the crime has impacted you.
If you are a victim of certain offences, including all offences under the Criminal Code, the federal Canadian Victims Bill of Rights provides you with the following rights. There are limitations to exercising these rights including that they must be exercised in a manner that is not likely to interfere with the proper administration of justice.
Your right to information
Victims have the right on request to receive general information about the criminal justice system, the victim services and programs available to them, including restorative justice programs, and their right to file a complaint if they believe their rights have been denied or infringed. Victims can also request certain case specific information about the status and outcome of the investigation and prosecution.
Your right to protection
Victims have the right to have their security and privacy considered at all stages of the criminal justice process, and to have reasonable and necessary protection measures from intimidation and retaliation. Victims also have the right to ask for a testimonial aid or to have their identity protected when appearing as a witness at court appearances.
Your right to participation
Victims have the right to present victim impact statements and have them considered in court. Victims also have the right to express their views about decisions that affect their rights.
Your right to restitution
Victims have the right to have the court consider making a restitution order and have an unpaid restitution order entered as a civil court judgment.
If you believe that your rights have been breached, first file a complaint with the appropriate provincial or federal department or agency. The Canadian Victims Bill of Rights requires all provincial and federal departments and agencies that have responsibilities under the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights to have internal complaint mechanisms accessible to victims that would review complaints, make recommendations to correct any infringement, and notify victims about the results of the review.
Where can Victims Go to Make a CVBR Complaint
If you have exhausted the internal complaints process of a federal department or agency, and you are not satisfied with the outcome of that process, you can contact the Office of the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime to express your concerns. The Ombudsman may be able to make recommendations to the department or agency in response to the issues raised within the complaint or regarding the complaint process, or provide the you with information.
You may contact the Ombudsman at:
Telephone (toll-free): 1-866-481-8429