Effects of crime

Personal and financial support exists for victims. Victims of crime can suffer:

  • short-term and long-term:
    • physical effects
    • emotional effects
  • property damage
  • economic loss

Find safety

Ensure your immediate 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.

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 help

Financial benefits

Victims of crime can get a monetary benefit to acknowledge victimization, based on serious injuries directly suffered from the crime.

  • serious injury benefit – for victims who are seriously injured as a direct result of crime, who require assistance to perform daily functions
  • death benefit – reimbursement of funeral costs for victims who died as a result of violent crime

Emergency assistance

Victims of crime can get financial assistance to assist with emergency safety and security expenses, court attendance expenses, as well as access to psychological supports for injuries suffered from the crime.

  • emergency assistance – financial assistance following a violent crime to assist with safety and security-related losses and damages
  • court attendance expenses – reimbursement for expenses related to court attendance for specified events, such as sentencing or providing a victim impact statement
  • counselling – immediate access to short-term supports to assist in dealing with the psychological impacts related to specified Criminal Code offences

Eligibility

Motor vehicle incidents are generally not eligible for financial benefits or assistance programs.

You may be eligible for assistance if you meet the following criteria:

Financial benefits

  • you were the victim of one of the eligible offences listed in the Victims of Crime and Public Safety 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
  • your injuries require you to need assistance performing daily functions
  • 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

Your criminal record and any action on your part that may have contributed to your injuries are also considered.

Emergency assistance

  • you were the victim of a serious eligible offence
  • 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
  • your application is received within 45 days of the date of the crime – in special circumstances this may be extended

If you have questions about eligibility, please contact the Victims of Crime Assistance Program.

How to apply

We are no longer accepting applications for injury benefits and witness-to-homicide benefits. Applications submitted prior to June 26, 2020, will still be processed.

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Step 1. Fill out the forms

You do not have to wait for a charge or conviction to apply, but the incident must first be reported to a police agency.

Any injuries must be verified by a medical professional (doctor or counsellor) who treated you for the injuries.

or

Step 2. Submit the form

Email: [email protected]

Mail:

Victims of Crime Assistance Program
10th Floor, 10365 97 Street
Edmonton, Alberta  T5J 3W7

You can also fax the form to: 780-422-4213.

Restitution

You can ask the judge to consider restitution – a court order to have the offender pay you back for expenses caused by the crime.

Court process

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

Long-term support

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

How it works

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

Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters

Sexual assault centres in Alberta

Shelters for seniors

Kerby Rotary Shelter (Calgary)

Seniors Safe House (Edmonton)

Indigenous centres and services

Métis and Indigenous Children’s Services offices

Native Counselling Services of Alberta

Native Friendship Centres