The Federal Victims Strategy brings together federal efforts to give victims a more effective voice in the criminal justice system. It was created in 2007 and made permanent in 2011. The Department of Justice Canada works in close collaboration with other federal institutions as well as with victims, victims' advocates, provincial and territorial governments, victim services, law enforcement, and others involved in the criminal justice system to implement the Federal Victims Strategy. As lead of the Federal Victim Strategy, the Policy Centre for Victim Issues at the Department of Justice develops policy and criminal law reform, funds various programs to meet the needs of victims of crime, explores best practices to address victims' needs, and raises awareness about victims of crime and their role in the criminal justice system.
Within the Federal Victims Strategy, the Victims Fund is a grants and contributions program administered by the Department of Justice. More than $12 million is available each year to provinces, territories and non-governmental organizations whose projects, activities and operations support the objectives of the Federal Victims Strategy.
The Victims Fund provides funding to projects and activities that:
- Enhance victim assistance programs across Canada;
- Promote access to justice and participation in the justice system and the development of laws, policies, and programs;
- Promote the implementation of principles, guidelines, and laws designed to address the needs of victims of crime in the criminal justice system;
- Contribute to increased knowledge and awareness of the impact of victimization, the needs of victims of crime, available services, assistance and programs, and legislation; and
- Promote, encourage and/or enhance governmental and non-governmental organizations' involvement in the identification of victims' needs and gaps in services, as well as in the development and delivery of programs, services and assistance to victims, including capacity building within non-governmental organizations.
Since 2006, the Government of Canada has allocated more than $158 million to give victims a more effective voice in the criminal justice system through initiatives delivered by the Department of Justice Canada. This amount includes $10.3 million for new or enhanced Child Advocacy Centres (CACs) and Child and Youth Advocacy Centres (CYACs). CAC/CYAC projects have been funded in more than 20 cities or municipalities across Canada. CAC/CYACs adopt a child-focused, seamless, coordinated and collaborative approach to addressing the needs of child and youth victims who have experienced abuse or witnessed violence, and provide services to their families.
More information is available on the Department of Justice Canada's website.
Department of Justice Canada