Category:standards for victims

Consultation on Victims Bill of Rights

On February 4, 2013, the Minister of Justice announced the Government of Canada’s intention to move forward with legislation to create a Victims Bill of Rights.

To inform the development of this legislation, the Government of Canada is seeking the views of stakeholders representing provincial and territorial governments, a variety of sectors within the criminal justice system, civil society, victims of crime, and the public.

To assist with the consultation, a discussion paper has been developed to provide an overview of the Canadian context and the recent efforts taken to improve responses to victims of crime, and to seek views on a Victims Bill of Rights including in respect of the following areas:

  • Purpose
  • Potential scope and content of victims rights
  • Effect of legislative rights, and
  • Remedies.

The discussion paper can be accessed here.  Submit your views to:


California law requires police officers to tell crime victims about their rights. Why not in Canada?

We can organize a week to raise awareness about crime victims.  Let’s pass legislation to make crime victims aware of what exists to help them.

The 2009 Statistics Canada survey of adults in Canada showed that an abysmal 31% of victims were reporting crime to the police.  In 2004, the same survey showed only 8% of sexual assault victims reporting crime to police.

In 2009, the retiring Chief Justice of Ontario and one of the father´s of our Charter of Rights and Freedoms recommended that police in Ontario inform victims of services and programs because international standards require it and because it will help victims get restitution and compensation.  He also recommended measuring whether victims were receiving the services and programs through social science surveys.  But nothing happened! (

In 2007, the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the US Office for Victims of Crime developed a package for police leaders to enhance the response of law enforcement to victims of crime.  Canadian police leadership have been active in the IACP since its founding.  This IACP package called for social science surveys to measure whether victims need were being met – like retired Chief Justice McMurtry.

Let´s get the Federal government to change the RCMP act and work with the Provincial governments and municipalities to help our police officers do what they want to do and make crime victims aware of services and programs that can help them.

Here is the tweet from the California Criminal Injuries Compensation that was retweeted to me by the Canada Resource Centre for Victims of Crime.  “Law enforcement officers don’t just read criminals their rights: they tell crime victims about theirs under Marsy’s Law. #PoliceWeek

PS Marsy´s law, the IACP proposals and ways to gender the police response to victims of violence against women are all discussed in my book Rights for Victims of Crime.

Irvin Waller, Ph.D.
President, International Organization for Victim Assistance
Full Professor, University of Ottawa | | @IrvinWaller

The Canadian Resource Centre for Victims of Crime offers support, research and education to survivors and stakeholders.

What's New

My name is Donna McCully.

It was always our wish to live in Jamaica in our dream home. So, in August 2012, my husband Sedrick Levine and I left Canada to move into our new home. We were thrilled to finally be starting the next chapter in our lives, in Sedrick’s beloved homeland. He bought a little bus and planned to operate tours for visitors to the island. I was helping him run this business venture, as part of our semi- retirement in Jamaica.

My life as I knew it was suddenly shattered when two masked men broke into our home on Sunday, November 17, 2013. Sedrick struggled with the men, allowing me to flee upstairs to call the police. His actions saved my life that day, and that of my father and his housekeeper, who were visiting us at the time. One of the masked intruders chased me upstairs and kicked in the bathroom door, but he stopped when he heard a gunshot from downstairs.

My husband Sedrick was killed that day and the men fled our home with a laptop. The Jamaican police have not yet found these men or charged them with killing my beloved husband. Their motive remains unknown.

This crime has completely changed my life. I suffer from Post-traumatic Stress Disorder now and have depression as a result. I came back to Canada, but I feel very isolated since this happened. These emotional scars may never heal.

I managed to find the Canadian Resource Centre for Victims of Crime by searching online one day. I didn’t know where to turn for help when I came home to Canada. The CRCVC has provided me with a lot of emotional support, which has been tremendously helpful. They’ve also written numerous letters to Jamaican officials seeking justice for Sedrick, as well as intervening with Canadian officials on my behalf. The office also helped connect me to a trauma therapist for counselling sessions too.

In order to try and make sense of what happened to Sedrick, it is my hope that others could support the work of the Canadian Resource Centre for Victims of Crime. There are so many other victims/survivors out there who also need their assistance.