Victim’s right to protection
Victims have the right to have their security and privacy considered, to have reasonable and necessary protection from intimidation and retaliation, and to ask that their identity not be publicly released.
Security and Privacy
The Canadian Victims Bill of Rights builds on existing laws by giving victims the right to:
- have their security and privacy considered by criminal justice personnel;
- be protected from intimidation and retaliation; and
- ask the court that their identity not be released to the public.
Victims have the right to request testimonial aids when testifying in court, and it is now easier for courts to order testimonial aids. Courts consider a number of factors, including the security and protection of witnesses, when deciding whether to allow victims to give their testimony by closed-circuit television, behind a screen, or with a support person close by.
Publication bans are mandatory if requested for victims under 18 years of age.
In sexual assault cases, amendments to the Criminal Code have changed how third-party records are handled to better protect the safety and privacy victims.
The Crown is able to make a spouse testify in all cases to help ensure that prosecutors have access to all relevant evidence.
These rights are available to victims as of July 23, 2015 (90 days after Royal Assent to the Victims Bill of Rights Act).
Federal Corrections and Conditional Release
For victims who have submitted a victim statement to the Parole Board of Canada, the Parole Board of Canada is able to impose reasonable and necessary conditions (for example non-contact orders or geographic limits) on offenders who are under a long-term supervision order, as is already the case with other offenders or provide reasons why it did not to so. The Board is also required to take reasonable steps to let victims know if the offender's conditions are removed or changed.
The Correctional Service of Canada is able to provide victims with access to a current photograph of the offender before his or her release, unless there is a risk to public safety.
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