Gouvernement du Québec - Justice

Victims of crime

Rights, Remedies and ResourcesRights, Remedies and Resources

If you are the victim of a crime, what are your rights? What are the rights of your immediate family? What remedies are available? Where can you get help? We will attempt to answer all of these questions in this document.

Your rights
Your responsibilities
Remedies
    • Application for compensation
      under the Crime Victims Compensation Act
    • Application for compensation
      under the Act respecting industrial accidents
      and occupational diseases
    • Application for compensation
      from the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec
    • Request to terminate a lease on grounds of violence or sexual assault
    • Proceedings before the civil courts
    • Restitution order issued by a criminal court
Resources
    • Crime victims assistance centres
    • Domestic violence hotline
    • Shelters and assistance centres for women
      who are the victims of domestic violence
    • Assistance centres for victims of sexual assault
    • The Trauma Studies Centre (TSC)
For more information


Your rights

In Québec, the Act respecting assistance for victims of crime Clicking on this icon will take you to another website. guarantees the rights of victims and their immediate family following a crime committed in Québec. If you are the victim of a criminal offence, you have:

  • the right to be treated with courtesy, fairness and understanding, and with respect for your dignity and privacy;

  • the right to be informed as fully as possible of your rights and the remedies available to you, and of your role in the criminal justice process and participation in criminal proceedings;

  • the right to be informed, on request, of the progress and final disposition of the case;

  • the right to be informed, on request, of the progress and outcome of the police investigation, to such extent as is possible and if not inconsistent with the public interest;

  • the right to be informed of the availability of health services and social services or other appropriate assistance or prevention services through which you may obtain such medical, psychological and social care or help as you may require;

  • depending on the resources available, the right to assistance services and protection against intimidation and retaliation;

  • the right to present and have your concerns and viewpoints examined at the appropriate stages of legal proceedings, if your personal interest is affected;

  • to the extent provided for by law, the right to receive reasonable compensation for expenses incurred to testify;

  • to the extent provided for by law, the right to receive prompt and fair restitution or compensation for damages suffered;

  • to the extent provided for by law, the right to have any seized property returned as soon as possible when it is no longer required for legal purposes.

All victims of crime also have the right to make a written victim impact statement that will be presented in court during sentencing.

Under article 1974.1 of the Civil Code of Québec, a lessee may resiliate a current lease if, because of the violent behaviour of a spouse or former spouse or because of a sexual aggression, even by a third party, the safety of the lessee or of a child living with the lessee is threatened.

Your responsibilities

Victims must cooperate as fully as possible with the relevant law enforcement authorities.

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Remedies

There are various ways to seek compensation or restitution for injury or damage suffered as the victim of a criminal act. This document provides a brief overview of the possibilities, depending on individual situations. Assistance in seeking compensation or restitution is available from your local crime victim assistance centre Clicking on this icon will take you to another website. (CAVAC).

Application for compensation under the Crime Victims Compensation Act

A person who is injured - physically or mentally - as the victim of a crime against the person is eligible for compensation under the Crime Victims Compensation Act Clicking on this icon will take you to another website..

If the victim dies as the result of the crime, the victim’s spouse, dependents or parents, if the victim was a minor, may receive the compensation provided for in the Act (funeral expenses, benefits, etc.).

In addition, since March 22, 2007, psychotherapeutic rehabilitation services have been available for the close relations of a crime victim, as defined by the Crime Victims Compensation Act, if the crime was committed after May 9, 2006.


Important

The application for compensation must be submitted within one year after the physical or mental injury is sustained or the victim dies.

The Crime Victims Compensation Act does not apply in the case of crimes against property such as housebreaking, robbery without violence, vandalism or fraud, or in the case of a hit-and-run accident.

Application forms to obtain compensation are available from the Direction de l'indemnisation des victimes d'actes criminels Clicking on this icon will take you to another website. at:

1199, rue de Bleury, 5e étage
Case postale 6056, succursale Centre-ville
Montréal (Québec) H3C 4E1
Telephone, Montréal area: 514 906-3019
Toll-free: 1 800 561-4822
E-mail: ivac@csst.qc.ca

The forms, and assistance from a resource person, are also available at all CAVACs.

Application for compensation under the Act respecting industrial accidents and occupational diseases

If you are injured during a crime committed at your place of work, you are eligible for compensation under the Act respecting industrial accidents and occupational diseases administered by the Commission de la santé et de la sécurité du travail du Québec (CSST).

Your employer must be notified immediately of the injury, and must in turn notify the CSST.

If an employee dies as the result of a crime committed in the workplace, the employee’s spouse and dependents may receive death benefits. The employer must notify the CSST immediately after learning of the death. An application for compensation must be made to the CSST by a beneficiary or representative of the employee within six months of the date of death.


Important

After more than 14 days off work, the worker, or the worker’s beneficiary or representative, must complete the CSST form used to make a claim within six months from the date of the injury or death.

For more information, contact your regional CSST office at the address listed in the blue pages of the telephone directory in the Québec government section under the Workplace Health and Safety heading. You can also get information from the CSST Clicking on this icon will take you to another website. website.

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Application for compensation from the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ)

Bodily injury

A victim of crime who sustains bodily injury in an accident involving an automobile, may be eligible for compensation under the Automobile Insurance Act, administered by the SAAQ. If the victim dies, the victim’s spouse, dependents and, in some cases, parents may receive compensation under the Act.


Important

You must contact the SAAQ within three years from the date of the accident, death, or appearance of a bodily injury caused by the accident.

Damage to property

Damage to property is covered by your liability insurance, if any. However, following a hit-and-run accident, the SAAQ may pay compensation if the victim’s liability insurance does not cover the type of damage caused.


Important

If you are involved in a hit-and-run accident, you must report it to the police within 48 hours and cannot have your vehicle repaired before the SAAQ has assessed the damage. You must file an application for compensation with the SAAQ within 60 days of the accident.

The SAAQ Clicking on this icon will take you to another website. can be contacted at:

Phone: 418 643-7620 (Québec)
514 873-7620 (Montréal)
1 800 361-7620 (other areas, toll-free)
E-mail: courrier@saaq.gouv .qc.ca


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Request to terminate a lease on grounds of violence or sexual assault

If you wish to terminate your lease because the violent behaviour of a spouse or former spouse, or because a sexual aggression, even by a third party, threatens your safety or the safety of a child living with you, you must send your landlord a written notice accompanied by an attestation from a public officer stating that the termination of the lease is a measure that will ensure your safety or the safety of a child living with you. To obtain the attestation, you must fill out the form Request for an attestation for the purpose of resiliating a lease on grounds of violence or sexual assault.

After taking the oath or solemn affirmation (see Schedule 1 of the form), you must send the duly completed form to the office of the criminal and penal prosecuting attorneys (Bureau des procureurs aux poursuites criminelles et pénales) at the courthouse serving your municipality. If you made a complaint to the Montréal police service concerning the facts stated in your request, you must send your request to the Montréal Municipal Court Clicking on this icon will take you to another website.. Your request will be processed by one of the public officers designated by the Minister of Justice.

Proceedings before the civil courts

If the perpetrator of the crime of which you were the victim is known, you may sue for damages before the civil courts, whether or not the perpetrator has been prosecuted for a criminal offence or found guilty.

If your claim does not exceed $7,000, you may go through the small claims division of the Court of Québec. The fees are minimal and you must act for yourself, without a lawyer.

It is important to note that in many cases it is necessary, even essential, to send a formal demand before undertaking legal proceedings. In fact, your action may fail if you cannot prove that you have sent a formal notice.

You may ask a lawyer to draw up a formal notice for you.

If the amount of your claim is greater than $7,000, you should consult a lawyer. You can verify whether you are eligible for legal aid by contacting your local Community Legal Centre .


Important

The proceedings must be instituted within three years of the date on which the damage or injury was caused or the date on which it first became apparent.

For more information, contact the clerk of the Civil Division of the Court of Québec at the courthouse where the proceedings will be instituted.

Restitution order issued by a criminal court

If you sustain property damage or bodily injury as the result of a crime, and if the offender is found guilty of causing the damage or injury, the judge may, when pronouncing sentence, order the offender to make restitution. A restitution order may be made on the judge’s initiative or at the request of the Prosecuting Attorney. In either case, it is up to the judge to decide whether a restitution order is appropriate.

If you do not receive payment from the offender, you may, depending on the amount set in the restitution order, have the order registered at the clerk’s office of the Civil Division of the Court of Québec or the clerk’s office of the Superior Court. Registering the order will ensure that it can be enforced as if it were a judgment by a civil court.

It is important to note that a restitution order in a criminal case may only be made if the accused is found guilty, if a suitable amount of damages can be easily determined without turning the trial into a civil suit, and if the judge considers it appropriate.

The criminal and penal prosecuting attorney will, on request, provide more information about restitution orders.

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Resources

Various resources and assistance services are available to the victims of crime, their close relations and witnesses. The local police department or the nearest health and social services centre or CAVAC can provide information about the most suitable resources.

Crime victims assistance centres (CAVAC)

Crime victims assistance centres (or CAVACs) provide free and confidential services specifically for victims of crime and their immediate family . The centres offer reception, counselling and support services for victims and their immediate family after crimes involving bodily injury or property damage, whether or not a complaint has been filed.

The staff at each CAVAC are professionals who provide relevant information about the legal process and victims’ rights and remedies, in particular concerning compensation. They are trained to intervene in situations of post-traumatic shock and can support victims and their immediate family during dealings with the courts or other public or private organizations. If necessary, they will refer the individual to the appropriate legal, medical, social and community resources.

CAVAC services are available Monday to Friday. To contact a CAVAC, call 1 866 LE CAVAC (532-2822) or go to the website Clicking on this icon will take you to another website..

Domestic violence hotline (S.O.S. violence conjugale Clicking on this icon will take you to another website.)

This confidential, bilingual telephone service is available free of charge twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, for any person facing problems of domestic violence. It can be reached at 514 873-9010 in the Montréal area or 1 800 363-9010 (toll-free) elsewhere in Québec.

Shelters and assistance centres for women who are the victims of domestic violence

Shelters and assistance centres for women who are the victims of domestic violence offer housing, reception, information, support and guidance services. The domestic violence hotline (S.O.S. violence conjugale) can give information about the resources available in your area.

Assistance centres for victims of sexual assault (CALACs)

Assistance centres for victims of sexual assault (CALACs) offer assistance, support and guidance services for women and teenagers who are the victims of sexual assault. Some centres have an emergency telephone service available around the clock. To find the telephone number for one of these organizations, consult the Regroupement québécois des CALACS Icône indiquant que l'utilisateur sera conduit à un autre site..

The Trauma Studies Centre (TSC)

The Trauma Studies Centre (TSC) Clicking on this icon will take you to another website. is a multidisciplinary research, teaching and clinical centre dedicated to trauma-related issues. It is based on collaboration between researchers and caregivers from the fields of psychology, psychiatry, neurobiology, cognitive science and workplace health and safety. The only facility of its kind in Quebec, the Centre is a non-profit organization.

To contact the TSC, call 514 251-4000, extension 3574, or go to their website (in french) Clicking on this icon will take you to another website..

For more information

Crime victims assistance centres (CAVACs):
     • CAVAC website Clicking on this icon will take you to another website.
The regroupement québécois des CALACS:
     • Regroupement québécois des CALACS website Icône indiquant que l'utilisateur sera conduit à un autre site.
S.O.S. violence conjugale
     • Organization website Icône indiquant que l'utilisateur sera conduit à un autre site. (In French)
Legal proceedings and sentences:
     • Victims of crime - Understanding the court system and sentencing procedure
The various stages in the judicial process for minors:
     • The Youth Criminal Justice Act: The legal procedure
     • Victims of crime: Understanding the youth criminal justice system
Measures to fight domestic violence:
     • Government action plan 2004-2009 on domestic violence
Key information on the street gang problem
     • Website Choisis ton gang Clicking on this icon will take you to another website.
The addresses and telephone numbers of Québec courthouses:
     • Courthouses
The judicial district a municipality is located in:
     • Search for a judicial district
The conditions of the crime victims compensation program:
     • INFOVAC-Plus Clicking on this icon will take you to another website. (In French)
The Québec parole board:
     • Commission québécoise des libérations conditionnelles website Clicking on this icon will take you to another website. (In French)
The Correctional Service of Canada:
     • Correctional Service of Canada website Clicking on this icon will take you to another website.
The National Parole Board:
     • National Parole Board website Clicking on this icon will take you to another website.
The federal Policy Centre for Victim Issues:
     • Policy Centre website Clicking on this icon will take you to another website.
The Commission de la santé et de la sécurité au travail:
     • Commission de la santé et de la sécurité au travail website Clicking on this icon will take you to another website.
The Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec:
     • Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec website Clicking on this icon will take you to another website.
The community legal centre in your region:
     • Commission des services juridiques website
Community resources (by category and region)
     • CAVAC website Clicking on this icon will take you to another website.
     • Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux Clicking on this icon will take you to another website. (In French)
Laws relating to assistance for victims of crime:
     • Act respecting assistance for victims of crime Clicking on this icon will take you to another website.
     • Crime Victims Compensation Act Clicking on this icon will take you to another website.


The content of this document is given for information purposes only and has no legal value.

For more informations, please contact us.

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Latest update: July 20, 2012



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