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  Victim Statements Victim Statements

What is a victim statement?

A victim statement is a short text describing how the offender's crime impacted you and continues to affect your life. The statement describes the physical, financial and ongoing emotional harm you suffered, any safety concerns you may have for yourself, your family or the community, and any ongoing effects on family or personal relationships.

Your information may be used during the parole decision making process to assist:

  • Parole Officers when preparing the offender’s case for parole consideration,
  • Wardens when making temporary release decisions, and
  • Board members when making parole decisions and deciding if special conditions are necessary to further manage the risk that the offender may present.

Victim statements should be written to the attention of the Correctional Service of Canada and/or the Parole Board of Canada.

Who can present a victim statement at a Parole Board hearing?

Under the Corrections and Conditional Release Act (CCRA), 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 Parole Board of Canada (PBC).

For more information on PBC hearings, see Parole Board Hearings.

Will my victim statement be shared with the offender?

Yes — Under the law, offenders have the right to see any information that will be considered during decision making. You should not include any information in your statement that you do not want the offender to know. Please note that no personal information about the victim who provided the information, other than their name, is shared with the offender.

What information should I include in my victim statement?

In your own words, tell the Correctional Service of Canada and the Parole Board of Canada how the crime still affects you and whether the offender still makes you concerned for your safety and that of your family or your community. Victim statements often include information about:

  • physical harm (ongoing medical needs)
  • financial harm (ongoing costs)
  • ongoing emotional harm
  • ongoing effects on family or personal relationships
  • the risk the offender could pose to you, your family and community if released
  • the effects of the crime on your daily life
  • requests that special conditions be imposed on the offender's eventual release. For example, you may request that the offender have no contact with you or your family

For more information and tips on preparing your Victim Statement, please refer to the webpages below:

What information should I refrain from including in my victim statement?

Your statement should not include personal information that could compromise your safety, the safety of your family or other people, such as current names (if changed), addresses or photographs, or any information you do not want shared with the offender. The statements should not contain threats or profanity.

How is the information I provide in my victim statement used?

Information from victims contributes to the correctional and conditional release process. Victim statements are considered along with other factors when the Correctional Service of Canada makes decisions about temporary absences, travel permits or work releases, an offender’s programming needs, risk level and security level.

The Parole Board of Canada considers victim statements at each review done during the offender's sentence related to the offender's conditional release.

Do I have to register as a victim to submit a victim statement?

No — You do not need to register as a victim to submit a victim statement; however, only registered victims can use the Victims Portal to submit victim statements.

If you do not want to register as a victim with the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) or the Parole Board of Canada (PBC) but want to submit a victim statement, you can mail your statement to the PBC regional office nearest you.

For more information, please refer to Correctional Service of Canada - Victim Services and Parole Board of Canada - Victims of Crime.

Note: Only registered victims can present victim statements at PBC hearings. For more information on PBC hearings, see Parole Board Hearings.

How can I submit my victim statement?

You can upload a victim statement to the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) and/or the Parole Board of Canada (PBC) in the Victim Statement(s) section of your Victims Portal account.

Alternatively, you can mail your statement to the PBC regional office nearest you.

When should I submit my victim statement?

Victims can send information about the offender who harmed them to the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) and/or the Parole Board of Canada (PBC) at any time. However, if you know that a parole hearing is scheduled and you decide to submit a victim statement to PBC, you should provide your written statement at least 30 days before the hearing.

For more information on PBC hearings, see Parole Board Hearings.

Can I provide a statement if there is no parole hearing?

Yes — You may provide information - such as the impact of the crime - for the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) to be aware of when making decisions about the management of the offender's case. You may also ask CSC staff to consider requests for conditions and/or the area where you reside in the release planning/decisions for the offender. CSC forwards your statements to the Parole Board of Canada (PBC) for their consideration in decisions they are mandated to make by the Corrections and Conditional Release Act (CCRA) in relation to the management of the offender's case.

CSC has a responsibility under subsections 27(1) and (2) of the CCRA to share the information you provide with the offender; however, any personal information (address, phone number, etc.) is removed prior to your statement being shared.

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

If you have already prepared a victim statement for the offender’s court case, the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) and the Parole Board of Canada (PBC) should get a copy of this statement as part of the offender’s file. To direct your current concerns, you may wish to submit a new statement to CSC and PBC.

Can I choose to submit my victim statement to the Correctional Service of Canada or the Parole Board of Canada only?

Yes — You may choose to submit your victim statement to the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) or the Parole Board of Canada (PBC) only or to both agencies. However, we encourage you to submit your statement to both CSC and PBC so that both agencies can benefit from the information you provide.

Can I submit a video or audio recording of my statement?

Yes — If you meet the definition of a victim under the Corrections and Conditional Release Act (CCRA), you may choose to submit a video or audio recording of you reading your written statement. You will still have to send in your written statement with your recording.

What should my video statement look like?

Your video statement should be a video recording of you reading your prepared statement into the camera, exactly as it is written. Do not include music, photos, images or graphics. Do not film other people with you while you are reading your statement. Aim for about 10 minutes or less. The video recording is meant to replace your presence at the hearing.

What if I present an audio statement?

Your audio statement should be a recording of your voice reading your statement, exactly as it is written. Do not include music, sounds or other people's voices.

How will my recorded statement be used in the hearing?

Your recording is treated like the written statement it represents. Both your written and recorded statement must be sent to the Parole Board of Canada (PBC) at least 30 days before the hearing. Once received, a PBC staff member will contact you to explain the hearing process. Your written statement is then provided to Board members and the offender before the hearing. At the hearing, your recording will be played for everyone in attendance.

Keep in mind: PBC hearings are open to observers. Other registered victims, observers or media, as well as the offender, will see or hear your recorded statement. Positioning of the video monitor will vary according to the set up of the hearing room. If you have concerns about the offender seeing your video, discuss this with the PBC well before the hearing. Although Board members have final say on what happens at a hearing, accommodations may be possible.

For more information on how your information is used by PBC, please see Victims - Providing Information.

For more information about the hearing process, please watch the Victim Services video on the Parole Board of Canada's website.

Can I present a recording even if I plan to attend the hearing?

Please talk to a Parole Board of Canada staff member ahead of time if is this your preference.

What do I do if I want to present a recorded statement?

To present a recorded statement, you must fill out a Request to Present a Victim Statement at a Hearing form and send it to the Parole Board of Canada (PBC) regional office where the hearing will take place. You must also contact the PBC office handling your file and inform them of your intent to present a victim statement.

What if I want to include photographs or other elements?

Under the law, information shared with the Parole Board of Canada must be shared with the offender, so the offender will see your recording. Board members may decide that some elements of your recording are inappropriate for a hearing. Board members have the final say on what happens at a hearing.

In what format should I submit my video or audio statement?

The Parole Board of Canada (PBC) accepts audio and video statements on:

  • CD/DVD
  • USB thumb drive (memory stick) - e.g. .mp3, .wma

If you have questions, please speak with the PBC staff member handling your case.

Do I need to hire a professional to videotape my statement?

No — A simple video of you, looking into the camera, reading your statement, will do.

For more information and tips on preparing your victim statement, see the Victims Statement Checklist on the Parole Board of Canada website.

Related Information

Frequently Asked Questions Glossary
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