If you are a victim of crime and require assistance, or if you just want to talk to someone, call VictimLink BC at 1-800-563-0808 to connect with a victim service worker in your area. To find out more about what you can do if you have been a victim of crime, visit the VictimsInfo.ca website. The website has information on the following topics:
- Attending a Parole Hearing: Victims as well as members of the public may, with permission, attend parole board hearings. Downloadable forms, resource links and an instructional video will prepare you to attend parole board hearings.
- Victim Impact Statements: A Victim Impact Statement describes how a crime has affected you. Downloadable forms, resource links and an instructional video help you complete a statement.
- Going to Court: Information, resource links and an instructional video provide an introduction to going to court in BC. Topics include Court and You as well as Help to Prepare.
- Reporting a Crime: Information, resources and links provide guidance on how to report a crime. Topics include “When There is a Duty Under the Law to Report a Crime to the Police” as well as “What Happens After a Crime is Reported”.
Financial assistance for crime victims and witnesses
The Crime Victim Assistance Program is a provincial government program that provides financial assistance to some victims of crime. To find out if you qualify, go to the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General of BC website.
Testifying as a witness
If you witnessed a crime and will testify in court, it will help to be prepared for what will happen. You can learn about testifying in court with the video Your Voice in Criminal Court.
Witness tips: before you go to court
It is a good idea to get some information about what to expect before you go to court. Often there are delays and you may also need to come to court a few times for your case. Here are some tips to help you prepare.
- Keep all your court documents together in a safe place.
- Talk about your feelings with someone you trust.
- You may want to show your thoughts and feelings about going to court by drawing a picture, writing a poem or some other personal way.
- Talk to the Victim/Witness Assistance staff or the police officer about testifying in court.
- If someone is making you afraid to go to court, it is important to tell the police officer or a victim service worker right away.
- Visit a courtroom before you testify. It will help you to get a feeling for how a trial works.
- Tell the Crown Counsel or the Victim/Witness Assistance Program staff if you are pregnant or have any special needs due to a disability, or an illness such as asthma, diabetes or epilepsy.
- Tell the investigating police officer if you need transportation or a place to stay to attend court far from where you live.
- Ask Crown Counsel or the police officer where to meet them to review your information before going into the court.
- If you have a job, your employer must give you the time off to attend court.
- Tell the Crown Counsel, police officer, or the Victim/Witness Assistance Program staff, if you do not understand at least one of Canada’s official languages (French or English).
- Plan to be at court for the whole day. No one knows exactly when you will begin your testimony or how long it will take.
- Think about bringing a support person with you to court.
- Take time in the days before court to do something you enjoy. Even something as simple as going for a short walk can help you feel better.
- Do something calming and relaxing the night before court.