Were on the crime scene and saw or heard what happened ? Since then, having trouble coping? The Direction de l’IVAC also helps witnesses, since they may also be recognized as victims under the law, even if they were not the targets of the crime.
Adam saw his father repeatedly beat his mother when he was between 5 and 10 years-old and while he was quietly playing in his room. These events caused psychological injuries to him. When it happened, Adam was hiding in his room, waiting for the situation of violence to cease. Because he heard this physical domestic violence and because of its consequences, Adam may be recognized as a victim under the law.
Mark was walking in an isolated neighbourhood when he suddenly heard cries from a nearby alley. He got closer to see what was going on, and saw one man hitting another with his fists. The second man’s face was bleeding, and he seemed in a very bad state. Mark called emergency services and remained out of sight. When the ambulance arrived, he was in shock at having witnessed the violent scene. Since the incident, he has been having anxiety attacks and suffering from insomnia. He, too, can be recognized as a crime victim, because he saw the assault and because it has psychological consequences on him.
These examples show that witnesses to crimes can also become victims under the law. Eligibility requirements are the same as for all victims. Moreover, the witness must be on the crime scene when the crime happens and he or she must have seen or must have heard the crime.
The Direction de l’IVAC offers a range of benefits and services to help witnesses, recognized by law as victims, get through such trying times.