Where can I find help?

Whether or not you decide to report to the police, there are many supports and services that can help you in the aftermath of sexual violence from the time of the crime and in the longer term.  Some of these services can provide you with information about alternative ways to acheive justice should you decide that the criminal justic system is not the right avenue for you. The Resources section at the end of this guide provides information on the many services that are available to you, including telephone lines for referrals and support, counselling services, Indigenous-specific services, legal services, financial assistance (including a program that can help with some emergency expenses), and resources to learn more about your rights. 

As well, to find the services available in your community, you may call the Victim Support Line toll-free at 1-888-579-2888 (when you call, choose the option to speak to someone about supports and services in your community). They can help you locate services that meet your needs, taking into account the specialized needs of indigenous, LGBTQ, racialized, women with disabilities, sex workers and immigrant survivors or sexual assault. You can also visit Ontario’s online Victim Services Directory at services.findhelp.ca/ovss/. This website can help you search for programs and services by location and by type of crime. 

What if I am afraid for my physical safety? 

In addition to the option of seeking assistance from the police, there are also community programs and services that can assist with your safety. For example, there are safe houses or shelters that you may be able to go to. There are also services, such as Sexual Assault Centres and Victim Crisis Assistance Ontario programs that offer 24/7 crisis support and can help you create a safety plan. To find the services in your community, you may call the Victim Support Line or use the Victim Services Directory. 

In some cases, if you fear for your safety, you can go to court without charges being laid to request a section 810 protection order, also known as a peace bond. A peace bond may contain a number of conditions for the perpetrator, including he keep the peace and be of good behavior, he not contact or go within a certain distance of you or your family members or he not own weapons. 

Can I get financial compensation for my injuries? 

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Board (CICB) provides compensation for victims of violent crime. To be considered for compensation, you will need to submit an application to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board (CICB). If your application is approved, you may be compensated for pain and suffering, loss of income, medical or dental services, counselling, travel for treatment. If you have other expenses, check with the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board (CICB) to see if they can be covered. 

The sexual assault does not need to be reported to the police in order for you to apply for compensation, and you do not need a lawyer to apply (but depending on how complicated your case is, you may wish to get legal advice). 

For information on how to make an application, visit www.sjto.gov.on.ca/cicb or contact the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board toll-free at 1 800 372-7463.