Victims of Crime
The Ontario government replaced Criminal Injuries Compensation for victims of violent crime with the Victim Quick Response Program+. This program may help pay for certain expenses if a victim has no other money to pay for them. Victims of violent crime must apply to the Victim Quick Response Program+ (VQRP+). The VQRP+ is run by the government and may be able to help pay for certain expenses people have because they're victims of a crime of violence. The VQRP+ decides who qualifies and how much money they get.
Victims may include people who are direct victims of a crime, their immediate family members, and witnesses of a crime. To get most kinds of help from the VQRP+, a victim must show that:
- they have no financial resources to pay the expenses that they're asking the VQRP+ to cover, and
- there are no publicly funded programs that can meet their needs.
To get assistance from the VQRP+, a victim must first report the crime to the police, or, in some cases, they can report to:
- a domestic violence shelter
- a sexual assault centre
- a child protection authority
- a hospital
- an Indigenous social service provider
- a community agency such as one of the following:
Chatham-Kent Sexual Assault Crisis Centre: A grassroots, anti-violence, equality seeking organization that offers a continuum of service for women 16 years of age or older who have experienced the impact of sexual assault / harassment / abuse, past or present.
24 Hour Crisis Line: 519-354-8688
Chatham-Kent Victim Services: Provides crisis intervention, emotional support, information, practical assistance and referrals to victims of crime.
Chatham-Kent Women’s Centre: Provides outreach counselling, crisis counselling (24hrs/7days a week), family court support, emergency shelter for women with or without children, support groups, child and youth programs, as well as safe, supportive, affordable housing for up to one year.
Crisis Line: 519-354-6360.
The VQRP+ has strict rules about who can qualify for help. For example, a victim, except for a direct victim of human trafficking, cannot get help from the VQRP+ if they were also charged by the police as a result of the incident. Police sometimes charge both people in cases of intimate partner violence. The VQRP+ pays for:
- funeral expenses
- crime scene cleanup
- some emergency expenses, for example, doing home safety repairs and installing motion sensors and deadbolt locks
- counselling or traditional Indigenous healing that provides immediate, short-term support, and transportation costs to attend
The VQRP+ says their goal is to process requests within 3-10 business days. There are very strict and short timelines for applying – only 45 days in some cases.
For more information or to apply to the VQRP+, people should contact their local VQRP+ service delivery organization, or they can call the Victim Support Line at 1-888-579-2888.
The Steps to Justice website has information for victims of crime.