Victim's Rights

Victim Bill of Rights

The Ontario Victim's Bill of Rights states:

“The people of Ontario believe that victims of crime, who have suffered harm and whose rights and security have been violated by crime, should be treated with compassion and fairness. The people of Ontario further believe that the justice system should operate in a manner that does not increase the suffering of victims of crime and that does not discourage victims of crime from participating in the justice process.”

What we believe in

At Victim Services, we recognize that crime impacts more than just the immediate victim and for that reason we are also responsive to the needs of individuals, families and communities affected by crime and sudden tragedies. We support anyone who identifies as a victim of, survivor of, or witness to crime or tragic circumstance and their families.

What that means for clients of VSDR:

While the Act (which can be viewed here) emphasizes many rights and processes within the criminal justice system, we felt it necessary to provide some insight on what our role is and what you can expect from working with Victim Services of Durham Region (VSDR).

When the unthinkable happens, we’re here to support with crisis response, intervention, and prevention services. We recognize that the impacts of trauma are devastating and our team provides trauma-informed support and advocacy for victims/witnesses/families who have experienced a crime or sudden tragedy. We will work with you every step of the way. Here is what you can expect from our team at VSDR.

We will:

  • Treat you with courtesy, compassion, and respect
  • Provide a culturally safe environment where we value your cultural needs and beliefs
  • We will work with you to incorporate them into your planning
  • Provide judgment free support and validation
  • Provide you with the details you need to make informed decisions about the supports and planning you take part in
  • Respect your decisions and rights
  • Work side by side with you to ensure your needs, decisions, independence, strengths, etc are all being considered and valued
  • Ensure you are comfortable with the chosen resources and plans
  • Advocate for access to services, resources, and funding
  • Provide support using a trauma informed approach
  • Work with you to overcome barriers
  • Collaborate with community partners to ensure wrap around support
  • Keep you informed of updates regarding funding, referrals, and resources
  • Provide psychoeducation regarding stages of change, cycle of violence, and trauma responses

All victims served by staff or volunteers of VSDR have the right to:


Victims have the right to expect that VSDR will maintain the confidentiality of all written and oral information about the services they receive. This does not apply to statistical data which funding agencies require. However, no names are attached to VSDR statistics.

Considerate and Respectful Service

Victims have the right to receive considerate, dignified, and respectful care and service from all VSDR employees and volunteers.

Be Informed

Victims have the right to information about the services VSDR provides and how to use these services.


Victims have the right to quality services without discrimination as to race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, record of offences, marital status, family status or disability.

Be Informed of and Connected to Appropriate Services

Victims have the right to be proactively provided information on resources both within VSDR and at other agencies, and with consent, be connected with victim-chosen services and resources.

Victims have the right to be provided with diverse, culturally appropriate, inclusive and accessible services that also meet their linguistic needs and are in accordance with the O.Reg 191/11 Integrated Accessibility Standards and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA).

A Response to Complaints

Victims have the right to expect a respectful and timely response to complaints. Victims have the right to refuse to participate in any of VSDR’s programs, or stop taking part, without recrimination.

Decline to Participate in Research

Victims have the right to refuse participation in any research project at VSDR, without recrimination. If a victim agrees to participate, that victim has the right to discontinue participation at any time.

Please read our Complaints Policy

Our amazing partners

Helping us reach more people to make a bigger impact.

Community Awards

Attorney General Victim Service
Awards of Distinction 2022
Community Builders
Award 2022

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Contact us

Victim Services of Durham Region
605 Rossland Rd. E., Box 911 Whitby ON L1N 0B8
(905) 721-4226
1 (888) 579-1520 ext. 3400

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