Did you know that victims of crimes are entitled to support under the law?
For National Victims of Crime Awareness Week, Éducaloi explains what you should know.
Victims of some crimes can get financial and psychological support.
The IVAC program (indemnisation des victimes d'actes criminels) was set up by the Quebec government. It compensates victims of crimes for both their physical and psychological injuries in some cases.
The program compensates victims of some crimes, such as the following:
- sexual assault
- forcible confinement, that is, being held against your will
- theft with violence
The program doesn't compensate for damage to property, for example,from simple theft or vandalism. But it does cover physical or psychological injury that results from a crime such as armed robbery.
Under the IVAC program, victims and some close relatives can get compensation and psychological support in some cases. For example, if the victim died or can no longer earn a living because of the injuries they suffered, their dependents might get compensation.
A claim for compensation must normally be made within two years of the victim's injuries or death. To make a claim, you don't have to wait until the person who committed the crime is charged or found guilty.
You simply fill out a form and send it to IVAC. You can get the form from the IVAC website or from the crime victims' assistance centre (CAVAC) closest to you.
Crime victims assistance centres (CAVACs) support victims and close relatives in the following ways:
- giving them moral support
- giving them information on their rights and recourses
- accompanying them through the medical and claim process.
There areCAVAC centres across Quebec. To find the closest centre to you, visit the CAVAC website or call 1-866-532-2822.
The IVAC program is not the only source of compensation.
- Victims of crimes that happened at work can apply for compensation to the Commission de la Santé et de la Sécurité au travail (CSST) (Web page in French only).
- Victims of hit-and-run automobile accidents can apply for compensation from the Société de l'assurance autompobile (SAAQ). They might also be entitled to compensation from their private insurer.
This article doesn't cover civil responsibility for physical injury or property damage.
In some cases where someone causes you physical injury or property damage, you can take legal action against them in court. You might be able to get financial compensation whether or not the person was found guilty of a crime.
For more information on what you can do to get compensation, read our articles: