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Victim Support

Who is a Victim?

A victim is described as a person or business who has suffered harm or loss as a result of an offence.

Harm may include:

  • Physical or mental injury
  • Emotional suffering
  • Economic loss

In their search for assistance, victims may become involved in the Criminal Justice System. During this time, they have a right to be treated with respect and dignity. As well, involvement in the Criminal Justice System should not cause further inconveniences for the victim.

When an individual violates the law, the action is a violation again all members of society and should be treated as such. Therefore, everyone should take responsibility for helping victims of crime and victims should receive all the help and assistance they may need.

Safety of Victims

Victims have a right to be safe from becoming re-victimized. In any situation where safety is a concern, measures should be taken to ensure the protection of victims, their dependants, guardians, and spouses.

Access to Services

There are many services within the community that can help victims of crime. These services may be social, legal, medical, and mental health services that help victims respond to their needs. Often there are more people affected by a crime than the victim, such as dependants, guardians, and spouses. Resources should also be accessible for these individuals, where appropriate.

Information

Victims should have access to information about services from which they may benefit and should receive assistance in making use of those services. Victims should have access to the following information:

  • the scope, nature, timing, and progress of the prosecution of the offence in which he or she was the victim
  • the role of the victim and of other persons involved in the prosecution of the offence
  • court procedures
  • crime prevention

Alternative Resolutions

Another option for victims to explore are resources other than court procedures, such as using a mediator to resolve situations and determine financial or other restitution. Restitution is a financial payment that must be made either to the court or directly to the individual. When matters are addressed in a court setting, court officials and representatives should consider the needs of the victim. For example, whether or not a victim is entitled to restitution should be addressed in making a final decision about the matter.

The Victim Impact Statement

Contacting Victim Services in Newfoundland and Labrador

If you have been the victim of a crime and would like more information about Victim Services or writing a Victim Impact Statement, you can contact any of the following locations: