There are changes coming to this program. Read more about supporting victims of crime and public safety.
Anyone can be a victim of crime. Victims of crime can suffer short-term and long-term physical or emotional effects, in addition to property damage, or economic loss as a result of a crime. Personal and financial support exists for victims.
Crime can include:
- property damage
You have rights as a victim of crime that protect your safety and dignity.
There is a short guide in Cree, English and French to help you know what to do if you are a victim of crime:
- anika kâ-mâyi-itôtahcik
- Guide for victims of crime
- Guide à l’intention des victimes d’actes criminels
What you need to do
Ensure your immediate safety
If you are in immediate danger, call 911 right away.
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.
Connect with victim services
There are victim services units in communities across Alberta. 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.
Apply for financial benefits
Victims of crime can get a monetary benefit to acknowledge victimization, based on the injuries directly suffered from the crime.
You may be eligible for financial benefits if you meet the following criteria:
- you were the victim of one of the eligible offences listed in the Victims of Crime Regulation (schedule 1)
- the crime happened in Alberta – you don't need to live here to be eligible
- you reported the crime to police within a reasonable period of time
- you co-operated with the investigation into the crime
- your application is received within 2 years of the date of the crime. In special circumstances this may be extended, for example, if you were under the age of 18 when the crime occurred you have until age 28 to apply.
Motor vehicle incidents are generally not eligible for the Financial Benefits Program.
Your criminal record and any action on your part that may have contributed to your injuries are also considered:
- injury benefit – for those physically / psychologically injured as a direct result of a crime
- witness benefit – for witnesses of a crime that resulted in the death of a loved one
- death benefit – reimbursement of funeral costs for victims that died as a result of violent crime
How to apply
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Step 1. Fill out the forms
You do not have to wait for a charge or conviction to apply for financial benefits. Any injuries must be verified by a medical professional (doctor or counsellor) who treated you for the injuries.
The amount paid depends on the severity of the injury. Benefit amounts are set in the Victims of Crime Regulation.
Step 2. Submit the form
Mail the form to:
Victims of Crime Financial Benefits Program
10th Floor, 10365 97 Street
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 3W7
You can also fax the form to: 780-422-4213.
If you feel you have been treated unfairly by the Financial Benefits Program, you can file a complaint.
Get information during the court process
During a police investigation, you may ask the police for the following:
- the progress of the investigation
- if there were charges laid
- the list of charges
- the name of the accused
Support for victims during the court process
If your case goes to trial, the victim services unit will explain the courtroom process and guide you through the hearing. You can prepare for court through the following:
- give your contact info to the Crown prosecutor and the victim services unit
- tell the Crown prosecutor about special needs you may have
- arrange for a court orientation session with the victim services unit
- complete and submit your Victim Impact Statement as soon as possible
Get information after the court process
If the accused is found guilty:
- the judge will consider your Victim Impact Statement while sentencing the offender
- you can read your victim impact statement out loud in court, or have someone read it for you if the judge allows
- if you do not want to be in the courtroom, the victim services unit will let you know the verdict
- if you have safety concerns, contact the police or victim services unit
If the offender receives a sentence of 2 years or more, they’ll be sent to a federal prison. To receive ongoing information about the offender, you must register with the Correctional Service of Canada. Your victim services unit can help you register.
If the offender receives a sentence of less than 2 years, they’ll be sent to the provincial corrections system. To receive ongoing information about the offender, you must fill out the Victim Request for Information and Disclosure form (PDF, 753 KB) to register with Community Corrections. Your victim services unit can help you register.
Once registered, you’ll be sent:
- the offender’s name
- the offence for which they were convicted and the court that convicted them
- the start and end dates of their sentence
- eligibility dates and review dates for temporary absences or parole
You may also be sent:
- the offender’s age
- notification when the offender is in custody
- notification when the offender leaves custody, and the reason for leaving
- the location of the penitentiary where the sentence is being served
- the date of any hearing for the purpose of detention
- the date, if any, on which the offender is to be released on temporary absence, work release, parole or statutory release
- any conditions attached to the offender’s temporary absence, work release, parole or statutory release
- the destination of the offender on any temporary absence, work release, parole or statutory release, and whether the offender will be in your vicinity while travelling to that destination
- the province where an offender is moved from a federal penitentiary to a provincial correctional facility
- a current photograph of the offender
Phone and live chat
Child Abuse Hotline
1-800-387-KIDS (5437) – Available 24/7
Family Violence Info Line
310-1818 – Available 24/7
Live chat – 12 to 8 pm daily
Kids Help Phone
1-800-668-6868 – Available 24/7
Live chat – 4 pm to midnight, Wednesday to Sunday
Parent Information Line
1-866-714-KIDS (5437) – 8:15 am to 4:30 pm, Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays
Shelters and victim services units
Shelters for seniors
Kerby Rotary Shelter (Calgary)
Seniors Safe House (Edmonton)