About CAVAC | Who we are
Crime Victims Assistance Centres, or CAVACs, offer front-line services to any crime victim or witness. Help from CAVACs is available whether the perpetrator of the crime has been identified, apprehended, prosecuted or convicted.
The CAVACs work in collaboration with experts from the legal community, health and social services networks and community organizations. CAVACs treat victims of crime with respect for their needs, and they proceed at a pace that is comfortable for each person they assist. The assistance centres believe in the victims’ abilities to manage their own lives and make the decisions that affect them.
In the 1980s, Quebec’s victim advocacy and assistance organization (AQPV) made representations to Minister of Justice Herbert Marx to have legislation passed in Québec that would clearly establish the rights of victims and facilitate the opening of assistance centres for all victims of crimes and their immediate families.
As a result, in 1988, the National Assembly enacted the Act respecting assistance for victims of crime. This Act also established the crime victims assistance office, or BAVAC (Bureau d’aide aux victimes d’actes criminels), at the Ministry of Justice.
The Act made the BAVAC responsible for supporting the establishment and ongoing operations of crime victims assistance centres throughout Québec. To finance these centres, the Act also created the Fonds d’aide aux victimes d’actes criminels.
Just a few days after the passage of the Act, the Justice Minister announced the opening of the first CAVAC in Québec. Sixteen other CAVACs have been opened since.
Crime victims assistance centres, commonly referred to as CAVACs, are non-profit organizations that are governed by the Act respecting assistance for victims of crime. They are financed by the Fonds d’aide aux victimes d’actes criminels (FAVAC).
The vision of the CAVAC network is to ensure that best practices are always applied to the different services offered to crime victims, witnesses and their immediate families.