Providing Responsive Services to Victims of Crime

Presentation of a proactive approach - Block 2 – Workshop 6

This guide contains general information only and is not intended as legal advice. For legal advice, contact a lawyer. (PDF Version, 343 kb, PDF Help)

Sylvie Biscaro, Ps. Ed
Eric Malo, M.C.A.

Federal Symposium, Monday, April 19, 2010
Old City Hall
111 Sussex Drive, Ottawa

An Act respecting assistance for victims of crime

R.S.Q., c. A-13.2.

According to the Act respecting assistance for victims of crime,

a victim of a crime is

  1. any natural person who suffers physical or psychological injury or incurs property loss as a result of a criminal offence committed in Quebec;
  2. the immediate family and dependants of a victim, whether or not the perpetrator is identified, apprehended, prosecuted or convicted.

victims are entitled

  1. to be treated with courtesy, justice and comprehension and in a manner that is respectful of their dignity and privacy;
  2. to be informed of their rights and remedies;
  3. to be informed of the progress and outcome of the police investigation;
  4. to have their points of view heard during judicial proceedings;
  5. to be informed of the availability of health services and social services or other appropriate assistance or prevention services through which they may obtain such medical, psychological and social care or help as they may require.

Centres d'aide aux victimes d'actes criminels (CAVAC)

CAVAC Network

  1. Bas-Saint-Laurent
  2. Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean
  3. Capital-Nationale
  4. Mauricie
  5. Estrie
  6. Montréal
  7. Outaouais
  8. Abitibi-Témiscamingue
  9. Côte-Nord
  10. Nord-du-Québec
  11. Gaspésie-Îles-de-la-Madeleine
  12. Chaudière-Appalaches
  13. Laval
  14. Lanaudière
  15. Laurentides
  16. Montérégie
  17. Centre-du-Québec
Map of the province of Quebec, with green dots indicating where there is a CAVAC (Crime Victim Assistance Centre) primary address, a red dot indicating where there are other points of service and an orange dot indicating where there will be points of service in the future.

CAVAC's Mission

It is to provide responsive services by virtue of a crime to people of all ages, to victims of all crimes, as well as to their immediate family and witnesses.

Founding Principles

Crime victims assistance centres believe that .intervention should be delivered to all crime victims.with respect for their request and with respect for their ability to manage their life and make personal decisions while respecting their pace.

CAVACs provide victims with the following services:

  • post-trauma and psychosocial intervention
  • information about the judicial process, their rights and the remedies available to them
  • necessary technical assistance
  • referring victims to specialized services
  • accompanying them through the justice system

Front-line services are free of charge and strictly confidential.

CAVAC-Info & INFOVAC-Plus Programs

Inform victims of decisions of the Superior Court and of the Court of Québec, Criminal and Penal Division.

Findings of the Mauricie CAVAC:

  • CAVAC and the crime victims assistance services are not well known;
  • People are not interested in knowing about these services until they are victims of a crime;
  • Misconception of the way in which the justice system works.

Statements & Statutes

  • Statement of principle regarding witnesses – Justice Quebec 1998
  • Service Statement – Justice Quebec 2002
  • Act regarding the Director of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions (R.S.Q., c. D-9.1.1)
  • Act respecting assistance for victims of crime (R.S.Q., c. A-13.2)

Proactive Approach of the Mauricie CAVAC

  • Partners:
    • Mauricie CAVAC
    • Crown Prosecutors' office (now DPCP) of the Trois-Rivières courthouse
    • Justice services branch of the Trois-Rivières courthouse

INFOVAC-Plus & CAVAC-Info Programs at the Mauricie CAVAC

Judicial Process Continuum

Judicial Process Continuum

Judicial Process Continuum

INFOVAC-Plus Program

INFOVAC-Plus Program

Enhanced INFOVAC-Plus Program

Enhanced INFOVAC-Plus Program



Proactive Approach of the Mauricie CAVAC

Proactive Approach of the Mauricie CAVAC

Telephone Calls to the Victims

  • Approach
  • Information
  • Listening / support
  • Accessible judicial information
  • Reference to resources
  • CAVAC's telephone number

Sending of Court Documents

  • Personalized letter

Types of Court Documents

At the outset or during

  • Warrant for removal
  • Promise
  • Undertaking
  • Other documents

At the end

  • Warrant of committal
  • Probation order
  • Conditional sentence order
  • Other documents

Proactive Approach of the Mauricie CAVAC

Proactive Approach of the Mauricie CAVAC

Importance of Teamwork

CAVAC workers work in collaboration with stakeholders in judicial, community, public and educational settings in a manner consistent with the mandates of all the players.

Taking into account the victim who is at the heart of the intervention, so as to meet his or her needs.



  • "I was not aware that someone was arrested for theft."
  • "I did not understand what was happening. You shed light on the situation."
  • "This is the first time I have had to face court proceedings. I am not comfortable with such proceedings. I will require your assistance."
  • "My ex-wife, and mother of the child, may also need your services."
  • "I am relieved that you can be there tomorrow to accompany me."

To reach the Mauricie CAVAC,
call 819-373-0337 or
1 888 552-2822 (toll free in Quebec)

To reach the CAVAC nearest you in Quebec, call
1 866 LE CAVAC (1 866 532-2822)

Thank you!

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