Victim Services Survey (VSS)
Detailed information for 2011-2012 (Snapshot day: May 24, 2012)
The objective of this survey is to collect information on victim service agencies that provided services directly to primary or secondary victims of crime during the 12-month reference period, as well as to provide a one-day snapshot of clientele being served on a specific date. Information on activities by criminal injuries compensation/financial benefit programs during the 12-month reference period is also collected.
Data release - February 13, 2014
The objective of this aggregate survey is to collect information on victim service agencies that delivered services directly to primary or secondary victims of crime during the 12-month reference period, as well as to provide a one-day snapshot of clientele served on a specific date. Information on activities by criminal injuries compensation/financial benefit programs during the 12-month reference period is also collected. The survey was developed in 2002 and 2003 to respond to a lack of information on services for victims of crime and the clients who use them. Until the development of the Victim Services Survey, the only source of national data on services for victims of crime was Statistics Canada's Transition Home Survey that collects information on residential services for abused women and their children.
This information can be used to understand the nature and extent of victim services in Canada, as well as the characteristics of clients who use them.
- Crime and justice
- Victims and victimization
Data sources and methodology
Victim service agencies were included in the survey if they provided direct services to primary or secondary victims of crime and were funded by a ministry responsible for justice matters in their province or territory or by a federal ministry responsible for justice matters, or if the equivalent of their program in another jurisdiction received funding from a ministry responsible for justice matters. The survey is intended to be a census of all system-based, police-based and court-based victim services, all sexual assault centres, as well as community-based agencies that fall within the survey scope. Also, the survey was distributed to all criminal injuries compensation programs and other financial benefit programs for victims of crime in order to collect separate information on applications and awards. The unit of count for this survey is the agency and for agencies that have multiple locations or offices, each office is counted as an agency.
The survey frame was created from existing public directories on services for victims of crime and from lists of victim service programs from provincial and territorial ministries responsible for victim services.
The collection instrument was designed based on two phases of consultations that were undertaken to assess the feasibility of a survey and to determine what information stakeholders and services deemed important and feasible to collect. The questions and the design of the questionnaire were refined through consultation with members of the Federal/Provincial/Territorial Working Group on Victims of Crime, Justice Canada's Policy Centre for Victim Issues, the CCJS Liaison Officer's Committee, management at the CCJS, Household Survey Methods Division and the questionnaire was finally tested by Statistics Canada's Questionnaire Design and Resource Centre.
The questionnaire has five sections: agency profile, annual information, revenues and expenditures, client profile, and annual information on criminal injuries compensation programs and other financial benefit programs. The first section collects descriptive information on the agency such as the type of agency, the types of services offered, populations targeted for service, programs dedicated to specific populations, accessibility to clients, and training and support for employees and volunteers. The second section collects annual information for the 12-month reference period, such as the number of clients served, the number of employees and volunteers, number of hours worked by volunteers and the number of victim impact statements with which the agency assisted clients. The third section collects information on the agency's revenues and expenditures. The fourth section collects characteristics of clients served on a particular day, including their sex, age grouping, type of victimization, type of services received, whether or not they reported to police and their source of referral to the agency. The fifth section relates only to criminal injuries compensation programs and other financial benefit programs for victims of crime and deals with the number and characteristics of applications, as well as the type and amount of awards granted.
This survey is a census with a cross-sectional design.
Data are collected for all units of the target population, therefore no sampling is done.
Data collection for this reference period: 2012-05-14 to 2012-10-26
Responding to this survey is voluntary.
Data are collected directly from survey respondents.
The survey frame was created from existing public directories on services for victims of crime and from lists of victim service programs from provincial and territorial ministries responsible for victim services. A survey package was mailed by Statistics Canada to each agency a few weeks prior to the May 24, 2012 snapshot day. Questionnaires were to be completed manually by agencies and returned to Statistics Canada in the envelope provided by June 14, 2012. Follow-up with agencies took place from June to October. For agencies that had offices in different locations, a survey questionnaire was mailed to each office. In some instances, a head office returned one survey form which contained data for all its affiliated offices or locations. In these cases, in order to avoid undercounting the extent of services within a jurisdiction, a weight representing the number of offices or locations was assigned to the record. In addition, there were other instances where the head office submitted a separate questionnaire containing only the aggregated revenue and expenditure information for all affiliated offices, and each affiliated office submitted a separate questionnaire reporting information on services and clients. This approach was taken where the administration of revenues and expenditures was the responsibility of the head office and not the affiliated offices through which services were delivered.
For copies of the questionnaires and guidebooks, please contact the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics at email@example.com or call toll free 1-800-387-2231.
View the Questionnaire(s) and reporting guide(s) .
Data were captured using Blaise which performs real-time edits and has built-in verification procedures. Statistics Canada interviewers followed-up on failed edits to obtain corrections.
Household Survey Methods division then passed the final file through an edit program built in SAS (i.e., Statistical Analysis System). The program identified missing, invalid and inconsistent entries. All edits were performed at the micro level and were intra-record. Edit reports were produced that identified records where critical and non-critical errors were detected. The Victim Services subject matter team then reviewed the reports and resolved errors detected.
Further error detection also occurred after the edit program was applied. The Victim Services Survey subject matter team calculated various ratios to identify outliers and applied corrections or estimations to the records in question.
No imputation is done for this survey.
This methodology type does not apply to this statistical program.
Frequencies and cross-tabulated tables were run to verify the validity and internal consistency of the information reported. In addition, some of the data were verified by some respondents.
Statistics Canada is prohibited by law from releasing any data which would divulge information obtained under the Statistics Act that relates to any identifiable person, business or organization without the prior knowledge or the consent in writing of that person, business or organization. Various confidentiality rules are applied to all data that are released or published to prevent the publication or disclosure of any information deemed confidential. If necessary, data are suppressed to prevent direct or residual disclosure of identifiable data.
Preliminary results are not released or available to the public.
The Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics has a policy of not releasing any tables or cross-tabulations that may identify a particular respondent. Where appropriate, cells with a count of less than 3 are not released.
No public use file is produced.
Revisions and seasonal adjustment
This methodology does not apply to this survey.
The overall response rate for the 2011-2012 Victim Services Survey was 83%. Response rates varied by province and territory, and by type of agency. Response rates also varied by survey question.