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Victims Week 2024: What is the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights?

What is the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights (CVBR)?

The Canadian Victims Bill of Rights is a federal act outlining how victims of crime and their families need to be considered during every stage of the criminal justice process. 

This act helps to ensure victims are treated with courtesy, compassion and respect, including respect for their dignity. A victim is defined as a person who has suffered physical or emotional harm, property damage, or economic loss as a result of a crime. These rights are available to a victim who is in Canada or who is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.

A spouse, common-law partner, relative, or dependant can exercise a victim’s rights if the victim is deceased or not able to act on their own behalf, as well as anyone who has custody of the victim or their dependants.

These rights can be exercised while an offence is being investigated or in court, and when the offender is going through corrections or conditional release process.

Victims rights include a right to information, participation, seek restitution, and protection.

Expand the list below or see photos to learn more.



You have a right to ask for information about the justice system, victim services, and the progress of the case. Sometimes this may mean getting more complete information after these processes are finished, to protect the investigation or court proceedings.




If you feel these rights are not being respected by a federal department, you also have the right to file a complaint. Complaints against a provincial or territorial agency, like local police or victim services, will be addressed through their specific provincial or territorial laws.


Government of Canada, Victims' Roles & Rights in the Criminal Justice System

Canadian Resource Centre for Victims of Crime (CRCVC) - Know Your Rights


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