Victims of Crime

  1. Emergency help

    If you are a victim of a crime, you can telephone the police by dialing “9-1-1” to get immediate help.

    There are also many help lines that you can call for assistance during or after reporting a crime. For example, the Toronto Police Service has a ‘Special Victims Section’ for victims of sex crimes. There are also specialized agencies to assist preparing young persons for court.

  2. Help lines

    Some specialized help lines for victims of certain crimes:

    Assaulted Women’s Help Line: 24 hour counselling and referral services by telephone

    • 416-863-0511
    • Toll-free: 1-866-863-0511
    • or #SAFE (#7233) on your Bell, Rogers, Fido or Telus mobile phone
    • www.awhl.org

    Kids Help Phone (up to 20 years of age):

    Toronto Police Service:

    • Emergency: 9-1-1
    • Non-Emergency: 416-808-2222

    Toronto Police Service, Sex Crimes Unit – Special Victims Section:

    Toronto Rape Crisis Centre: 24-hour counselling, short-term 1:1 counselling and court support

  3. Appearing in criminal court

    As a victim of a crime, you may be requested to come to court to give testimony against the accused in your case.

    The Crown Prosecutor or defence counsel may subpoena you so that you must come to court. If you are subpoenaed and you do not go to court, a witness warrant may be issued against you and you can be arrested and brought into court by the police.

    If you are testifying, you must tell the truth, or risk being charged with perjury for lying under oath. Importantly, nothing you say while testifying on the stand can be used as evidence against you criminally. For example: You were selling drugs in an alley way and the person buying the drugs from you robbed you – beat you up and stole your wallet. You are now testifying as the victim of the robbery. The Crown Prosecutor asked you what you were doing in the alleyway – and you answered that you were selling drugs. Even though you admitted in court that you were doing an illegal activity, you could not later be prosecuted for trafficking drugs because you were forced (subpoenaed) to go to court that day and answer questions about the incident.

  4. Civil lawsuits

    You can sue someone that hurt you in civil court. Superior court claims are for damages over $25,000. Small claims court, for claims under $25,000, provides a simplified procedure you to make a legal action against somebody who harmed you. For more inforamtion, see the Small Claims Court section.

  5. Criminal Injuries Compensation Board

    If you have suffered injury as a victim of a crime in Ontario, you may make a claim for compensation at the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board.

    There is a 2 year time limit from the date of the injury to lodge a claim. The claim may take one to a few years to settle, and you must be prepared to submit documentary evidence that confirms your injury through medical and police reports. You may be required to attend a hearing to verify the evidence presented.

    Conviction of the accused in your case is not required to claim for compensation. Police records and reports are also not required, but are helpful evidence to prove your case. Claims for injuries resulting from motor vehicle accidents will not be accepted.

    Visit the CICB website for more information, forms and guides: http://www.cicb.gov.on.ca/en/index.htm.  Or call the CICB: 416-326-2900 or 1-800-372-7463 (toll-free).

  6. Victims’ Services

    Some specialized services for victims of certain crimes:

    Barbara Schlifer Commemorative Clinic

    • Legal information and referral service for women who are survivors of violence
    • 416.323.9149
    • www.schliferclinic.com

    Boost Child Abuse Prevention and Intervention

    • Child abuse prevention and intervention services; support for child witnesses in court
    • 416.515.1100 ext. 331
    • Toll-free: 1-855424-1100
    • www.boostforkids.org

    Ministry of the Attorney General’s Victim Crisis Assistance and Referral Services (VCARS)

    Sexual Assault / Domestic Violence Care Centre

    Toronto Police Service Victim Services