1. Get to safety

  • Talk to someone

    Help is available 24 hours a day:

    • If you are concerned for your safety, but aren’t in immediate danger, contact your local police or victim services unit.
    • If you would like to talk with trained staff about family violence, call 310-1818 for the Family Violence Helpline.
    • Chat online with trained staff on Family Violence Info Line Chat.
  • Find an emergency shelter

    If you feel staying in your home puts you in danger, go to a Family Violence Emergency Shelter. These shelters offer people a safe place to stay when they are fleeing a domestic violence situation.

  • Leave an unsafe home

    Alberta has legislation that allows renters affected by domestic violence to end their tenancy without incurring any financial penalties from landlords.

  • Get a protection order

    You can apply for a protection order that forbids the other person from contacting you. Your local victim services unit can help you apply for an order.

  • Stay safe online

    Abusers and criminals can track your internet activities.

2. Find a victim services unit

Victim services units are staffed with trained, caring people who will help you throughout the criminal justice process. Victim services advocates will treat you with courtesy, compassion and respect.

3. File an impact statement

Impact statements let the judge know how the offender’s crime has hurt you or your community.

The judge must receive your statement before the offender is sentenced.

4. Apply for recovery and assistance programs

Programs and services are available to help you cover the cost of recovering from a crime.

  • Victim restitution and recovery

    Restitution is when an offender pays you back for expenses related to their crime. You can ask for restitution if the person:

    • is found guilty of the crime
    • has not been sentenced, yet

    Learn more: Victim restitution and recovery

  • Victims of Crime Assistance Program

    Victims of violent crime can apply for financial help to cover expenses related to recovery.

    This includes expenses related to:

    • emergency safety and security assistance
    • counselling
    • physical injury support and services

    Learn more: Victims of Crime Assistance Program

  • Funeral and grief counselling expense reimbursement

    Families of homicide victims can apply for reimbursement for funeral and grief counselling expenses.

    Learn more: Funeral expense and grief counselling support

  • Court expense reimbursement program

    If you are a victim of a serious Criminal Code (Canada) offence or family members of a homicide victim, you can get reimbursed for travel expenses to help you attend court proceedings, such as to deliver victims impact statements or attend sentencing.

    Learn more: Court attendance reimbursement program

5. Know your rights

As a victim of crime, you have rights that protect your safety and dignity.

Alberta victims have protection under the Victims of Crime and Public Safety Act and Canadian Victims Bill of Rights. Your rights include the following:

  • you should be treated with courtesy, compassion and respect
  • your privacy should be considered and respected to the greatest extent possible
  • all reasonable measures should be taken to minimize inconvenience to you
  • your safety and security should be considered at all stages of the criminal justice process
  • you should be protected from intimidation and retaliation by all means necessary
  • you should be given information about the criminal justice system, your role and opportunities to participate in criminal justice processes
  • you should be given information about the status of the investigation, the scheduling, progress and final outcome of the proceedings and the status of the offender in the correctional system
  • you should be given information about available victim assistance services, including victim impact statements, requesting restitution, means of obtaining financial reparation and other programs
  • you should promptly receive financial benefits for the injuries that you have suffered
  • if charges are laid, you have the right to prepare and give the court a victim impact statement that tells how the crime affected you
  • you have the right to ask to read your victim impact statement out loud in court, or ask someone else to read it for you
  • you have the right to not be contacted by inmates
  • your views, concerns and representation are an important consideration in criminal justice processes
  • you should be given information about how to complain when you believe that these principles have not been followed
  • your needs, concerns and diversity should be considered in the development and delivery of programs, education and training

Contact

Connect with the Victims Assistance Program:
Email: [email protected]

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