To: Maureen Armstrong, Chair of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board
Insist the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board of Ontario Respect Victims` Privacy
We call on the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board to stand behind their own commitment to privacy and safety and to immediately stop contacting offenders in relation to claims made by victims to the CICB.
Why is this important?
It has come to the public's attention that the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board of Ontario is not currently respecting the privacy of victims of crime. Despite the fact that victims/survivors are not seeking compensation from the offender themselves, the offender is being contacted and informed of the proceedings. As a result, many victims are having their own right to privacy violated. For example, in cases of domestic violence the victim's new address, doctors office, or other personal and private information could be revealled to a partner who was previously found guilty of stalking or any other form of violence, making the victim vulnerable once again.
Many of the victims accessing compensation through this organization are doing so because they need the money to cover lost wages, medical expenses and other costs related to the crime. Many of the crimes compensation is sought for involve violence and abuse, some of it historical in nature.
If victims were aware that their offender would be contacted as a result of filing a claim, many would likely choose not to file with your organization, making it a huge barrier to access. Any procedure that results in increased danger for any human being should immediately be stopped and new policy developed and followed. The current actions of CICB are putting victim`s lives at risk and further violating their right to safety and privacy.
We ask you to consider how the current actions of the CICB fit with their own policy around the privacy of victims. See below;
"We are committed to the principles of the Victims' Bill of Rights, 1995, in that all victims who come before the Board are treated with courtesy, compassion and respect for their personal dignity and privacy." Taken directly from the CICB website which can be found at http://www.cicb.gov.on.ca/en.