Court Support for Victims of Crime
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Court support and information are available to victims of crime in British Columbia.
Victim Service Worker
A victim service worker can help you understand what is happening during the court proceedings. They can provide you with support throughout the court process. Receiving support can help reduce your anxiety and fears and allows you to ask questions about how the criminal justice system works. For more information, including a referral for a local victim service program, please call VictimLinkBC.
Victim Court Support Program
The Victim Court Support Program works closely with Crown counsel, justice personnel, and other victim service providers to ensure victims, witnesses and their families are provided with information and support.
The program provides services at Vancouver Provincial Court, Downtown Community Court, Port Coquitlam Provincial Court, Surrey Provincial Court, as well as First Nations Court in New Westminster and North Vancouver.
Victim court support caseworkers:
- Support victims, witnesses and their families with updates, emotional assistance and information
- Assist with Victim Impact Statements, applications for Crime Victim Assistance and registration with the Victim Safety Unit
- Offer general information about the criminal justice system
- Accompany victims and witnesses to court and Crown counsel interviews
- Connect victims and witnesses at the courthouse with victim service programs and other resources
The Victims of Crime Act obliges justice system personnel to treat crime victims with courtesy and respect. It also gives victims the right to information about the justice system, victim services and certain legislation.
Your Voice in Criminal Court: Court Information for Adult Witnesses is a video introducing adult witnesses to Provincial Court. (Your Voice in Criminal Court: A Guide to Court Orientation for Adult Witnesses is a printable guide to the video.)
Information on Improving the Experience of Victims and Witnesses in Court answers common question about testifying in criminal court, including information about aids that may be available to help vulnerable victims and witnesses testify.
Preparation–Victim Impact Statement
A Victim Impact Statement is a written account of how a crime has affected you. The statement is your opportunity, as a victim, to tell the court and person who committed the crime how the incident has impacted you and your family members’ lives. It is your opportunity to have your voice heard. A victim service worker can help you prepare a statement.
For more information, please see Victim Impact Statement.
Victim service workers can orient you to court and provide support during the court case. Contact VictimLinkBC for more information.
Testimonial accommodations are special steps taken to support victims or witnesses of crime during their testimony in court. Visit Court Support for more information about testimonial accommodations.
Travel to Court - Financial Help
As a victim of crime, if you must travel to attend your court case, you may be able to have some of your travel expenses, such as meals, accommodation and transportation, covered.
When you are subpoenaed (needed as a witness) by Crown counsel to testify at court, the Crown covers your travel expenses. Talk to Crown counsel or the witness notifier for details.
Should you want to attend the trial of a loved one killed during a crime, but are not required by Crown counsel to come to court (they do not need you as a witness), you may be eligible for travel expenses through the Crime Victim Assistance Program.
If you cannot get your expenses as a victim or family member covered by Crown counsel or the Crime Victim Assistance Program, you may be able to apply to the victim travel fund. For more information and contacts or to request an application form, please visit: Victim Travel Fund.
You can also ask about travel to court and how your travel expenses might be covered by talking to a victim service worker at VictimLinkBC.
Visit Court Support for more information.