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Do you know a woman who is being abused? A legal rights handbook

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Criminal Injuries Compensation Board

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Board (CICB) gives money to victims of violent crimes who have suffered injuries and have had expenses because of the crimes. You can apply even if criminal charges were not brought against your partner or he was found not guilty. However, a police report or a criminal conviction will help your case.

As soon as possible after the incident, contact the CICB to ask for an application form. You can call 1-800-372-7463 or 416-326-2900 in Toronto. For more information, see www.sjto.gov.on.ca/cicb.

If you have been sexually assaulted or experienced domestic violence, you can apply to the CICB at any time. There is no time limit for these crimes.

For other types of crimes, you must apply within 2 years from the date of the crime. After 2 years, you can ask the CICB for an extension of time. This is usually granted. Before granting an extension, the CICB might ask you for evidence to support your claim and why you did not apply earlier.

Do I need a lawyer?

You do not need a lawyer. However, it is a good idea to get a lawyer, paralegal, or advocate to help you with your CICB application. A community legal clinic or student legal clinic might be able to help you. See section, General legal services.

Is there a trial?

There is no trial. However, the CICB can deal with your application in 2 different ways: through an oral hearing or a documentary hearing.

At an oral hearing, you go in person and explain what happened to a panel of 1 or 2 people. You can bring witnesses to speak about the incident and/or a support person. You can also request an “electronic” hearing if you want your partner to participate by phone because, for example, you do not want to be in the same room as him. You can also present written evidence. This includes medical reports and police reports. However, most written evidence should be provided before the hearing. The CICB does not usually release medical or psychological reports to your partner.

A documentary hearing means the CICB will make a decision after reading all the reports and documents you send to them. You do not have to go in person.

CICB decides which hearing is better for your situation. However, if it schedules a written hearing but you would like the chance to be heard in person, you can ask for an oral hearing.

Will my partner know about the hearing?

The CICB will send your partner a notice of any hearing at the CICB, and they can participate. However, if they were convicted of a crime, they will not be notified, because their conviction is evidence that the crime happened. If they have not been convicted and choose to participate, they can call their own witnesses, call other evidence, or ask you questions. The CICB will also ask them questions, and you can ask questions.

How much can I get?

Awards are paid by the CICB, not your partner. The maximum lump-sum award is $25,000. However, most awards are much lower than that. They can be given all at once as a lump-sum payment or over time in a series of payments.

You can be compensated for different kinds of losses. These include expenses you had or will have because of the injury. For example, you can receive compensation for dental work, medication, and therapy. You can also receive money for travel if you have to travel more than 40 kilometres each way from home for treatment. Only expenses that another source will not pay are considered by the CICB. You can also be compensated for your pain and suffering or if you lost income because of your injuries.

You can make separate applications for your children if they have been victims of a violent crime, and have suffered physically or emotionally. If you are a victim of long-term domestic violence, you can apply for compensation for separate incidents of abuse if you have evidence of injuries you received for each of the separate incidents. Without this evidence, the CICB will combine the applications and consider them together.

For more information, see www.communitylegalcentre.ca/legal_information/Tips/CICB/CICB-Tip-Sheet.pdf.