Victims – Presenting a Statement

What is a victim statement?

A victim statement is a short text that you write describing how the crime continues to affect you. The statement describes for Board members any concerns you have for your safety, that of your family or your community.

Who can present a statement at a Parole Board of Canada hearing?

The definition of a victim is found in law. If you are an adult harmed by the crime, you may present a prepared statement at a parole hearing. If the victim is deceased, ill or unable to act, you may represent the victim if:

  • You are the spouse or conjugal partner of the victim;
  • You are a relative of the victim;
  • You have custody of, or are responsible for, a dependent of the victim (ie. a child); and
  • You are registered as a victim with the PBC.

How do I register as a victim?

You may register as a victim with the PBC by completing the Application to Receive Information as a Victim form.

What information should my statement include?

Board decisions are based on existing facts. In your own words, tell Board members about how the crime still affects you, and whether the offender still makes you concerned for your safety. You may also include for Board member consideration any special conditions on the release. Your statement is your voice in the hearing process. For tips, please refer to: Victims – Statement Checklist.

You can send the PBC information at any time about the risk an offender may pose at release. For more information, please refer to: Victims – Providing Information.

What if I have already prepared a victim statement for the court case?

If you have already prepared a victim statement for a court case or for the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC), Board members may get a copy of this statement as part of the hearing file. To direct your current concerns to the Board members making the release decision, you may wish to submit a new statement to the Board.

How do I arrange to present a statement?

If you plan to attend a hearing to present your statement, fill out a Request to Observe a Parole Hearing and/or Present a Victim Statement form. You must fill out this form even if you have already registered as a victim to receive information about an offender. A Regional Communications Officer (RCO) will then contact you to explain the hearing process. Write your statement and send it to the PBC regional office at least 30 days before the hearing. Your statement must be in writing because it is provided to Board members and the offender before the hearing.

Can I provide a statement if there isn't a hearing?

Yes. The PBC also makes decisions following an in-office review of an offender's file. You may still provide a written statement for consideration.

Will the offender get a copy?

Yes. Under the law, the PBC must give the offender a copy of your statement and all other information considered in a Board decision.

What if I can't attend in person?

If you can't attend in person, or you don't want to, you may submit a written statement, or a video or audio recording of you reading your statement. If this is the case, contact the PBC to discuss. For more on recorded statements, please refer to: Victims – Recording a Statement.

Can a child present a statement?

Normally, a victim must be 18 or older to present a statement in person. This is because serious and difficult subjects are discussed at hearings. A victim under 18 may present a recorded statement (audio or video) if a parent or guardian provides written consent to the Board. 

Can I get financial help to travel to the hearing?

The Department of Justice Victims Fund provides some financial assistance to attend a parole hearing. You may be eligible. For more information, call 1-866-544-1007, or go to justice.gc.ca.

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