Help for victims of crime
Support if you've experienced physical or emotional harm, property damage or economic loss as a result of a crime.
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.
If you’ve been a victim of crime, follow the steps below.
Ensure your immediate safety
If you're in immediate danger, call 911 right away.
If you’re concerned for your safety:
Talk to someone
The following help is available 24 hours a day:
- if you’re in immediate danger, call 911 right away
- if you’re concerned for your safety, but aren’t in immediate danger, contact your local police or victim services unit
- if you’d like to talk with trained staff about family violence, call the Family Violence Helpline or chat online
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’re 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 a Victim Services Unit
There are victim services unit in communities across Alberta. Victim services units are staffed with trained, caring people who'll help you throughout the criminal justice process. Victim services advocates will treat you with courtesy, compassion and respect.
Complete a Victim Impact Statement
A Victim Impact Statement gives you a chance to describe how you’ve been affected by a crime. If charges are laid and the accused person is found guilty, your statement will be considered by the judge at the time of sentencing.
It’s up to you to decide if you want to submit one.
Victim Impact Statement
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) (0.5 MB)
- 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
Step 1. Fill out the form
and / or
Death Benefit Application form (2.3 MB)
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 (0.5 MB).
Step 2. Submit the form
Mail the form to:
Victims of Crime Financial Benefits Program
10th Floor, 10365 - 97 Street
Edmonton, AB T5J 3W7
You can also fax the form to: 780-422-4213
If you feel you've been treated unfairly by the Financial Benefits Program, you can file a complaint.
Apply for restitution
Restitution is a court order that requires the offender to pay you for any out-of-pocket losses directly related to the crime. The judge is required to consider restitution. If it's not ordered, the judge must explain why.
Restitution may apply for the following:
- damage, destruction and loss of property
- bodily or psychological harm
- lost wages
- services like a counsellor or psychologist
- expenses incurred in moving out of the offender's house, including costs for temporary housing, food, childcare and transportation
- losses incurred by unknowingly purchasing or lending money on stolen property
- expenses incurred in re-establishing your identity, and correcting your credit history and credit rating, after identity theft
- expenses to remove a personal image from the Internet or other digital network
The accused and their lawyer will receive a copy of your Statement on Restitution.
Restitution may be sought from young offenders, but there are limitations. For example, the judge may order restitution as community service rather than money
How to apply
Step 1. Fill out the form
Statement on Restitution form (0.1 MB).
Step 2. Submit the form
Submit the form to the police or victim services unit. This form will be brought forward to the court, and you will be contacted regarding the judge’s decision.
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 (1.1 MB) 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
Family Violence Info Line
Available 12-8 pm daily
Kids Help Phone
Available 4 pm to midnight
Parent Information Line
Available 8:15 am-4:30 pm
Open Monday-Friday, closed statutory holidays
Shelters and victim services units
Shelters for seniors
Kerby Rotary Shelter (Calgary)
Seniors Safe House (Edmonton)