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Giving a Voice to Victims

Title image of various human silhouettes with the title Giving a Voice to Victims

Who We Are

Created in 2007, the Office of the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime (OFOVC) operates at arm's length from the federal government and works to help victims of crime and their families.

What We Do

The OFOVC responds directly to calls, emails and letters from victims of crime and works to ensure the federal government meets its responsibilities to victims. We:

  • inform victims about the federal programs and services that exist to help them;
  • address complaints made by victims about federal government departments, agencies, laws, policies, programs or services;
  • refer victims to programs and services in their city, province or territory that may be able to assist them;
  • identify issues that have a negative impact on victims and make recommendations to the federal government on how to effect positive change for victims of crime;
  • educate federal law and policy-makers about the needs and concerns of victims; and
  • promote the principles set out in the Canadian Statement of Basic Principles of Justice for Victims of Crime with federal decision- and policy-makers.

How We Help Victims

If you are a victim of crime, the OFOVC can:

  • answer your questions about your rights as a victim;
  • give you information about the services and programs available to you through the federal government;
  • receive and review your complaints about other federal government departments, agencies, laws, policies, programs or services;
  • refer you to programs and services in your city, province or territory that may be able to help you; and
  • make recommendations to the federal government on how to better meet the needs and concerns of victims and report on those recommendations publicly.

OFOVC's services are free of charge. We do not advocate on behalf of individual victims or provide legal advice. The OFOVC can review matters that occurred only after the Office was created in March 2007 and cannot review or assist with matters that fall within provincial responsibility, such as compensation.

Have a Complaint?

Any individual or organization can contact our office to make a complaint. However, we can review and address only those complaints that relate to victims of crime and their treatment by federal departments, agencies, employees, laws or policies.

If you are not sure if your complaint falls within our mandate, don't worry. If we cannot deal directly with your complaint, we will happily help by referring you to the appropriate agency or service. We want to hear from you.

How We Handle Complaints

Because every victim's situation is different, we address complaints on a case-by-case basis.

We work closely with the victims who contact us to try to find solutions. If the case doesn't fall within our mandate, we will do our best to refer the victim to the appropriate organization or office.

All information we receive from victims is kept strictly confidential and is not shared, unless the individual gives us permission to do so.

Every Victim Counts

If you are a victim of crime, or are providing assistance to one, and have questions or a complaint about a federal law, policy, program or service, please contact us.

The experiences you share with us will help us better understand the issues facing victims in Canada. Based on this information, we may make recommendations to the federal government on how it can change its policies, laws, programs or services to better address the needs and concerns of victims.

How you can reach us

Telephone (toll-free): 1-866-481-8429

TTY (Teletypewriter): 1-877-644-8385

Fax: 613-941-3498

E-mail: victimsfirst@ombudsman.gc.ca

Website: victimsfirst.gc.ca


Surface mail:

Office of the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime
P.O. Box 55037,
Ottawa, Ontario
K1P 1A1

Other Questions You May Have

Who is considered a "victim of crime?"

The law defines a victim of crime as someone who has experienced emotional or physical harm as the result of a crime committed in Canada. Family members, legal guardians or dependants are considered victims when the victim is deceased, is a child, or is unable to act for him/herself due to illness or incapacity.

What is an ombudsman?

An ombudsman is someone appointed by the Government to receive and review complaints made by citizens against government officials, agencies or departments. An ombudsman operates at arm's length from the Government to make sure that he or she remains impartial.