Criminal victimization is a frightening and unsettling experience for many Canadians. It is unpredictable, largely unpreventable and often unexpected.

Unlike normal life experiences, victimization is not sought out and never welcomed. It is debilitating and demoralizing. Its effects can be often long-term and difficult to overcome. Victims may be confused, fearful, frustrated and angry. They want to know why this happened, and why it happened to them.

Victims often have no knowledge of who or where to turn in the aftermath of a crime. They feel insecure and do not know who to trust or rely on for support, understanding and help. Not only do they suffer physically, emotionally, psychologically and financially from their victimization, they are also often burdened by the complexity of the criminal justice system.

We all have a right to be free from victimization and we all have a shared responsibility to make that happen. This quick guide is designed to give you practical information to help you if you or someone you know has been a victim. It tells you what to look for, how to respond, and who to call for help.

This information has been adapted from the Impact of Victimization article prepared by the Canadian Resource Centre for Victims of Crime. Visit them on the web at

Further information for victims can be found here

For more information about victim’s role and rights in the criminal justice system, as well as changes as a result of the Victim Bill of Rights Act, click here

Click here to view a Fact Sheet about Victim Impact Statements and Community Impact Statements prepared by the Federal Government