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Crime Victim Services

  • Publications (138)
  • Resources (75)
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  • FAQs (79)
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OVC and OVC-Sponsored Publications

2016 National Crime Victims' Rights Week (NCVRW) Resource Guide (2016) OVC, 108 pages, NCJ 249210.
The 2016 NCVRW Resource Guide, released ahead of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, April 10 to 16, highlights this year’s theme, Serving Victims. Building Trust. Restoring Hope. The Guide includes user-friendly outreach tools and sample products, information on the history of victims’ rights in the United States, and practical ideas to show how serving victims and building trust restores hope and strengthens communities. The Guide is available in both English and Spanish.
Abstract | PDF (English) | PDF (Spanish) | HTML (English) | HTML (Spanish)
 
Achieving Excellence: Model Standards for Serving Victims and Survivors of Crime (August 2016) OVC, NCJ 250080.
This e-publication provides guidelines and recommendations to help victim service providers and program administrators improve the quality and consistency of their response to crime victims. It includes program standards for guidelines, policies, and procedures that victim-serving organizations should have in place; competency standards for providers’ general attitudes, knowledge, and skills; and ethical standards for addressing a range of issues that may occur during daily service provision.
HTML
 
Helping Victims of Mass Violence & Terrorism Planning, Response, Recovery, and Resources Web Training Series Summary Report (August 2016) OVC, 2 pages, NCJ 250176.
This summary report provides information about a training series to introduce the Helping Victims of Mass Violence and Terrorism: Planning, Response, Recovery, and Resources Toolkit. Presenters highlighted the Family Assistance Center Victim Assistance Protocol to take participants through the Partnerships and Planning, Response, and Recovery components of the toolkit. Included in this report is a link to view one of the recorded trainings.
PDF
 
Crime Victim Compensation Program Initiative Fact Sheet (July 2016) OVC, OVC Fact Sheets, NCJ 249924.
The Crime Victim Compensation Program Initiative was instituted to further the Department of Justice's mission to provide crime victims with the services they need to recover from their victimization. In Fiscal Year 2013, OVC awarded funds to the Iowa, California, and Vermont state crime victim compensation programs to help them develop or enhance innovative strategies to increase their program's efficiency, responsiveness, and accessibility for crime victims. This fact sheet highlights the work that these three programs implemented which other state programs can use as a model for replication.
PDF | HTML
Part Of the OVC Fact Sheets Series
 
Vision 21 Accomplishments (July 2016) OVC, Fact Sheet, OVC Fact Sheets, NCJ 249938.
The goal of OVC’s Vision 21 initiative is to expand the vision and impact of the crime victim assistance field. This fact sheet highlights OVC accomplishments to meet the goals of Vision 21 by promoting data and research to inform future program development, so that victims can be served effectively; supporting and building the capacity of those who work in the field; and fostering innovation to address enduring and emerging challenges of the crime victims field.
PDF
Part Of the OVC Fact Sheets Series
 

OJP Publications

Notifying Sexual Assault Victims After Testing Evidence (January 2016) NIJ, 20 pages, NCJ 249153.
Using a victim-centered approach for notifying victims about the status of their sexual assault cases may help minimize the trauma a victim experiences when receiving this type of information, especially in older cases. This brochure explores the victim-centered approach that teams in Houston and Detroit used to develop victim notification protocols about the results of sexual assault kit (SAK) testing.
Abstract
 
Detroit Sexual Assault Kit (SAK) Action Research Project (ARP), Final Report (February 2015) NIJ-Sponsored, Grant, 551 pages, NCJ 248680.
This report documents the Detroit Sexual Assault Action-Research Project, in which a multidisciplinary team looked at the issue of a large number of sexual assault kits (SAKs) that had not been sent to a crime lab for DNA-testing. The team identified the underlying factors that contributed to the issue; developed and evaluated a plan for testing the SAKs; and created and evaluated protocols for notifying victims of the results of the testing. The report also offers practitioner-friendly resources, including how to create victim-notification protocols.
Abstract | PDF
 
Evaluation of Services for Domestic Minor Victims of Human Trafficking (August 2014) NIJ-Sponsored, Grant, 115 pages, NCJ 248578.
This primary goals of this evaluation were documenting program implementation of the three OVC funded programs, identify promising practices for service delivery programs, and informing delivery of current and future efforts to serve victims of sex and labor trafficking of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents under the age of 18.
Abstract | PDF
 
Improving Human Trafficking Victim Identification-Validation and Dissemination of a Screening Tool (June 2014) NIJ-Sponsored, Grant, 455 pages, NCJ 246712.
This guide provides users with recommendations on how to build trust with potential victims, maintain confidentiality, and use the tool correctly. When properly used, the tool could give victim service providers, law enforcement and legal, healthcare, and social service providers with a standard means of identifying victims of human trafficking.
Abstract | PDF
 
Screening for Human Trafficking: Guidelines for Administering the Trafficking Victim Identification Tool (TVIT) (June 2014) NIJ-Sponsored, Grant, 37 pages, NCJ 246713.
This tool is designed for victim service providers and other providers to assist in identifying victims of human trafficking. Developed over the last seven years by the Vera Institute of Justice in collaboration with 11 victim service organizations in California, Colorado, New York, Texas and Washington, this NIJ-funded tool has been validated with a diverse sample of potential victims of trafficking and found reliable in predicting labor and sex trafficking.
Abstract | PDF
 

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Each month the Nation's experts answer your questions about best practices in victim services. Below are upcoming and most recent session discussions in this topic:

On Jul 20 2016 at 2:00PM, Merry O'Brien, M.S.W., the Network for Victim Recovery of DC’s Identity Theft Assistance, and Paula Pierce, J.D., former Manager of Hotline Services for Texas Legal Services Center, hosted a discussion on Serving Victims of Financial Fraud and Fraud Prevention

On Jul 13 2016 at 2:00PM, Pamela Todd, Ph.D., CEO and founder of Ray of Hope Foster Care, Inc.,, and Diane Payne, owner of Justice for Native Children Consulting, hosted a discussion on Support and Services for Drug-Endangered Children

On Jun 22 2016 at 2:00PM, Sid Jordan, J.D., consultant with the Coalition Ending Gender-Based Violence (CEGV) in King County, Washington, hosted a discussion on Integrating the Needs of LGBTQ Victims into Mainstream Victim Services

On May 24 2016 at 2:00PM, Linda McFarlane, MSW, LCSW, Deputy Executive Director, Just Detention International, and Jeralita Costa, community victim liaison with the Washington State Department of Corrections,, hosted a discussion on Helping Incarcerated Victims of Crime

On Apr 7 2016 at 2:00PM, Kristian Hall, Sexual Assault Response Coordinator, North Carolina National Guard, and Yvonne Viel, Sexual Assault Response Coordinator, Test Wing, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, hosted a discussion on Confidentiality for Victims of Military Sexual Trauma


What is the difference between compensation and restitution?
Restitution is a court action that requires perpetrators to make financial payments to their victims... Read More

What is the Federal Government doing to combat human trafficking?
Although the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has long enforced criminal laws against involuntary se... Read More

How do I add my program/organization to the Online Directory of Crime Victim Services?
Visit the Get Posted section of the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) Online Directory of Crime Vict... Read More

What is victim assistance?
Each year, states and territories receive Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) funds to support community-bas... Read More

What is the Online Directory of Crime Victim Services?
The Online Directory of Crime Victim Services is a Web-enabled, online resource sponsored by the Off... Read More

More FAQs


FY 2016 Vision 21: Law Enforcement and the Communities They Serve: Supporting Collective Healing in the Wake of Harm (PDF 220 kb)
Deadline: 09/07/2016
OVC will make one award of up to $7 million to support law enforcement agencies, crime victims, and communities by developing, implementing and assessing evidence-based and trauma-informed law enforcement response strategies, protocols, and interventions which promote community engagement and healing prior to and in the wake of police-involved shootings and other high-profile incidents of violence. Strategies include responses to incidents featuring differences in race, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability or immigration status, whether the victim of the incident is a member of the community or an officer. The grantee will in turn competitively select and fund at least six law enforcement demonstration sites, provide oversight and technical assistance to them, and provide rapid response to other communities that experience law-enforcement involved shootings, death, or other crisis incidents. Apply by September 7, 2016.


FY 2016 Application Guidance for Invitation to Apply for Antiterrorism and Emergency Assistance Program for Crime Victim Compensation and/or Assistance (PDF 275 kb)
Deadline: Open
The Antiterrorism and Emergency Assistance Program (AEAP) is a mechanism by which the Director of OVC may award supplemental crime victim compensation and assistance to respond to an act of terrorism or mass criminal violence. The criminal act has to be of sufficient magnitude that it overwhelms the affected jurisdiction’s or program’s ability to respond to the event. This is a restricted invitation because the program is intended to respond to specific cases of terrorism and mass violence. Only after OVC has consulted with an eligible organization can an application be submitted.

More Funding Opportunities


Publications

OVC and OVC-Sponsored Publications

2016 National Crime Victims' Rights Week (NCVRW) Resource Guide (2016) OVC, 108 pages, NCJ 249210. The 2016 NCVRW Resource Guide, released ahead of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, April 10 to 16, highlights this year’s theme, Serving Victims. Building Trust. Restoring Hope. The Guide includes user-friendly outreach tools and sample products, information on the history of victims’ rights in the United States, and practical ideas to show how serving victims and building trust restores hope and strengthens communities. The Guide is available in both English and Spanish.
Abstract | PDF (English) | PDF (Spanish) | HTML (English) | HTML (Spanish)
 
Achieving Excellence: Model Standards for Serving Victims and Survivors of Crime (August 2016) OVC, NCJ 250080. This e-publication provides guidelines and recommendations to help victim service providers and program administrators improve the quality and consistency of their response to crime victims. It includes program standards for guidelines, policies, and procedures that victim-serving organizations should have in place; competency standards for providers’ general attitudes, knowledge, and skills; and ethical standards for addressing a range of issues that may occur during daily service provision.
HTML
 
Helping Victims of Mass Violence & Terrorism Planning, Response, Recovery, and Resources Web Training Series Summary Report (August 2016) OVC, 2 pages, NCJ 250176. This summary report provides information about a training series to introduce the Helping Victims of Mass Violence and Terrorism: Planning, Response, Recovery, and Resources Toolkit. Presenters highlighted the Family Assistance Center Victim Assistance Protocol to take participants through the Partnerships and Planning, Response, and Recovery components of the toolkit. Included in this report is a link to view one of the recorded trainings.
PDF
 
Crime Victim Compensation Program Initiative Fact Sheet (July 2016) OVC, OVC Fact Sheets, NCJ 249924. The Crime Victim Compensation Program Initiative was instituted to further the Department of Justice's mission to provide crime victims with the services they need to recover from their victimization. In Fiscal Year 2013, OVC awarded funds to the Iowa, California, and Vermont state crime victim compensation programs to help them develop or enhance innovative strategies to increase their program's efficiency, responsiveness, and accessibility for crime victims. This fact sheet highlights the work that these three programs implemented which other state programs can use as a model for replication.
PDF | HTML
Part Of the OVC Fact Sheets Series
 
Vision 21 Accomplishments (July 2016) OVC, Fact Sheet, OVC Fact Sheets, NCJ 249938. The goal of OVC’s Vision 21 initiative is to expand the vision and impact of the crime victim assistance field. This fact sheet highlights OVC accomplishments to meet the goals of Vision 21 by promoting data and research to inform future program development, so that victims can be served effectively; supporting and building the capacity of those who work in the field; and fostering innovation to address enduring and emerging challenges of the crime victims field.
PDF
Part Of the OVC Fact Sheets Series
 

OJP Publications

Notifying Sexual Assault Victims After Testing Evidence (January 2016) NIJ, 20 pages, NCJ 249153. Using a victim-centered approach for notifying victims about the status of their sexual assault cases may help minimize the trauma a victim experiences when receiving this type of information, especially in older cases. This brochure explores the victim-centered approach that teams in Houston and Detroit used to develop victim notification protocols about the results of sexual assault kit (SAK) testing.
Abstract
 
Detroit Sexual Assault Kit (SAK) Action Research Project (ARP), Final Report (February 2015) NIJ-Sponsored, Grant, 551 pages, NCJ 248680. This report documents the Detroit Sexual Assault Action-Research Project, in which a multidisciplinary team looked at the issue of a large number of sexual assault kits (SAKs) that had not been sent to a crime lab for DNA-testing. The team identified the underlying factors that contributed to the issue; developed and evaluated a plan for testing the SAKs; and created and evaluated protocols for notifying victims of the results of the testing. The report also offers practitioner-friendly resources, including how to create victim-notification protocols.
Abstract | PDF
 
Evaluation of Services for Domestic Minor Victims of Human Trafficking (August 2014) NIJ-Sponsored, Grant, 115 pages, NCJ 248578. This primary goals of this evaluation were documenting program implementation of the three OVC funded programs, identify promising practices for service delivery programs, and informing delivery of current and future efforts to serve victims of sex and labor trafficking of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents under the age of 18.
Abstract | PDF
 
Improving Human Trafficking Victim Identification-Validation and Dissemination of a Screening Tool (June 2014) NIJ-Sponsored, Grant, 455 pages, NCJ 246712. This guide provides users with recommendations on how to build trust with potential victims, maintain confidentiality, and use the tool correctly. When properly used, the tool could give victim service providers, law enforcement and legal, healthcare, and social service providers with a standard means of identifying victims of human trafficking.
Abstract | PDF
 
Screening for Human Trafficking: Guidelines for Administering the Trafficking Victim Identification Tool (TVIT) (June 2014) NIJ-Sponsored, Grant, 37 pages, NCJ 246713. This tool is designed for victim service providers and other providers to assist in identifying victims of human trafficking. Developed over the last seven years by the Vera Institute of Justice in collaboration with 11 victim service organizations in California, Colorado, New York, Texas and Washington, this NIJ-funded tool has been validated with a diverse sample of potential victims of trafficking and found reliable in predicting labor and sex trafficking.
Abstract | PDF
 

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Related Resources

OVC Funded Resources

Enhancing Law Enforcement Response to Victims
For over a decade, the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) has collaborated with OVC to promote crime victim rights and facilitate law enforcement's ability to effectively address victim needs. One of the key milestones of this collaboration includes the 21st Century Strategy for Enhancing Law Enforcement Response to Victims, consisting of the Strategy, the Implementation Guide, the Resource Toolkit, and the Training Supplemental. This Web site, which captures the 21st Century Strategy and a number of other victim-related materials and publications, serves as a unique law enforcement resource center for enhanced victim response.
 
Identity Theft Victim Assistance Network Project
The Maryland Crime Victims' Resource Center, Inc. (MCVRC), with funding from OVC, this project seeks to improve the response (infrastructure, training, outreach tools, and direct victim assistance services) to victims of identity theft nationwide.
 
National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC): Cyberbullying
The National Crime Prevention Council, through funding from OVC, offers resources including fact sheets and four podcasts about general cyberbullying information, taking action in schools, creating community change, and how teens feel about cyberbullying.
 
Office for Victims of Crime (OVC): Human Trafficking
OVC’s human trafficking Web site contains a wide range of information including resources and research from the Federal Government, publications and products from OVC, local and national direct assistance information, and related funding opportunities for victims and survivors of human trafficking, victim service providers, law enforcement, and allied professionals.
 
The Use of Technology to Stalk: An Online Course
Produced by the Stalking Resource Center of the National Center for Victims of Crime with funding from OVC, this free self-paced, interactive online training will help increase the ability of criminal justice professionals and victim service providers to recognize how stalkers use technology and, ultimately, enhance their ability to work with victims of stalking. This course highlights: how stalkers use technologies to locate, harass, and surveil their victims; steps to assist in investigating stalking crimes; and how to support victims of stalking.
 

Federal Resources

Antiterrorism and Emergency Assistance Program (AEAP)
OVC manages AEAP, which offers five funding streams to provide timely relief to communities affected by terrorism and criminal mass violence for immediate and ongoing victim assistance services in the form of grants to qualifying applicants (including state victim assistance and compensation programs); U.S. Attorneys' Offices; federal, state, and local governments; and nongovernmental victim service organizations.
 
International Terrorism Victim Expense Reimbursement Program (ITVERP)
If you believe that you or someone you know has been a victim of international terrorism, help may be available. ITVERP is a program authorized by Congress to reimburse eligible direct victims of acts of international terrorism that occur outside the United States for expenses associated with that victimization.
 
National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS)
Sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs, NCJRS offers information on victimology and victim assistance, criminal justice, juvenile justice, information to support research, policy, and program development worldwide. NCJRS supplies the victim services field with resources, publications, and program information. The NCJRS library collection includes more than 30,000 resources relevant to the field.
 
U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ): Community Relations Service (CRS)
CRS, the "peacemaker" arm of the U.S. Department of Justice for community conflicts and tensions, provides expert guidance and assistance to community officials and civic leaders to help resolve and prevent racial and ethnic conflict, violence, and civil disorders.
 
World Trade Center Health Program
This program monitors, screens, treats and supports responders who responded to the disaster site at the World Trade Center in New York City and who may have been affected physically or mentally by their service. The site is designed to provide information related to all aspects of the World Trade Center Health Program, to highlight new developments in the program as they occur, and to help individuals find information of particular interest for them.
 

Non-Governmental Resources

American Red Cross
In addition to domestic disaster relief, the American Red Cross offers compassionate services in five other areas: community services that help the needy; support and comfort for military members and their families; the collection, processing and distribution of lifesaving blood and blood products; educational programs that promote health and safety; and international relief and development programs.
 
National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life (NCALL)
NCALL's mission is to eliminate abuse in later life by challenging beliefs, policies, practices and systems that allow abuse to occur and continue and to improve safety, services and support to victims through advocacy and education.
 
Statewide Automated Victim Information and Notification (SAVIN) Online Community
The website's primary purpose is to serve the technical assistance needs of Administrators who develop and direct automated victim information and notification systems. The web site serves as a conduit for the distribution of SAVIN-related information and materials gathered or developed by the SAVIN Training and Technical Assistance Project.
 
Victim Assistance Online
Run by Victim Assistance Online Resources, a nonprofit organization serving the victim assistance/victimology community, the Center supports service providers and professionals in related fields with an online directory of information and education resources.
 
Working to Halt Online Abuse (WHOA)
WHOA, a volunteer organization, fights online harassment by educating the public and law enforcement and empowering victims.
 

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Web Forum Discussions

Each month the Nation's experts answer your questions about best practices in victim services. Below are upcoming and most recent session discussions in this topic:

On Jul 20 2016 at 2:00PM, Merry O'Brien, M.S.W., the Network for Victim Recovery of DC’s Identity Theft Assistance, and Paula Pierce, J.D., former Manager of Hotline Services for Texas Legal Services Center, hosted a discussion on Serving Victims of Financial Fraud and Fraud Prevention

On Jul 13 2016 at 2:00PM, Pamela Todd, Ph.D., CEO and founder of Ray of Hope Foster Care, Inc.,, and Diane Payne, owner of Justice for Native Children Consulting, hosted a discussion on Support and Services for Drug-Endangered Children

On Jun 22 2016 at 2:00PM, Sid Jordan, J.D., consultant with the Coalition Ending Gender-Based Violence (CEGV) in King County, Washington, hosted a discussion on Integrating the Needs of LGBTQ Victims into Mainstream Victim Services

On May 24 2016 at 2:00PM, Linda McFarlane, MSW, LCSW, Deputy Executive Director, Just Detention International, and Jeralita Costa, community victim liaison with the Washington State Department of Corrections,, hosted a discussion on Helping Incarcerated Victims of Crime

On Apr 7 2016 at 2:00PM, Kristian Hall, Sexual Assault Response Coordinator, North Carolina National Guard, and Yvonne Viel, Sexual Assault Response Coordinator, Test Wing, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, hosted a discussion on Confidentiality for Victims of Military Sexual Trauma


FAQs

What is the difference between compensation and restitution?
Restitution is a court action that requires perpetrators to make financial payments to their victims... Read More

What is the Federal Government doing to combat human trafficking?
Although the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has long enforced criminal laws against involuntary se... Read More

How do I add my program/organization to the Online Directory of Crime Victim Services?
Visit the Get Posted section of the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) Online Directory of Crime Vict... Read More

What is victim assistance?
Each year, states and territories receive Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) funds to support community-bas... Read More

What is the Online Directory of Crime Victim Services?
The Online Directory of Crime Victim Services is a Web-enabled, online resource sponsored by the Off... Read More

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Funding

FY 2016 Vision 21: Law Enforcement and the Communities They Serve: Supporting Collective Healing in the Wake of Harm (PDF 220 kb)
Deadline: 09/07/2016
OVC will make one award of up to $7 million to support law enforcement agencies, crime victims, and communities by developing, implementing and assessing evidence-based and trauma-informed law enforcement response strategies, protocols, and interventions which promote community engagement and healing prior to and in the wake of police-involved shootings and other high-profile incidents of violence. Strategies include responses to incidents featuring differences in race, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability or immigration status, whether the victim of the incident is a member of the community or an officer. The grantee will in turn competitively select and fund at least six law enforcement demonstration sites, provide oversight and technical assistance to them, and provide rapid response to other communities that experience law-enforcement involved shootings, death, or other crisis incidents. Apply by September 7, 2016.


FY 2016 Application Guidance for Invitation to Apply for Antiterrorism and Emergency Assistance Program for Crime Victim Compensation and/or Assistance (PDF 275 kb)
Deadline: Open
The Antiterrorism and Emergency Assistance Program (AEAP) is a mechanism by which the Director of OVC may award supplemental crime victim compensation and assistance to respond to an act of terrorism or mass criminal violence. The criminal act has to be of sufficient magnitude that it overwhelms the affected jurisdiction’s or program’s ability to respond to the event. This is a restricted invitation because the program is intended to respond to specific cases of terrorism and mass violence. Only after OVC has consulted with an eligible organization can an application be submitted.

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National Calendar of Crime Victim Assistance-Related Events
Upcoming Event(s)
2016 National Center for Victims of Crime National Training Institute
Philadelphia, PA
09/19/2016-09/21/2016

15th National Indian Nations Conference: Justice for Victims of Crime
Palm Springs, CA
12/08/2016-12/10/2016

Online Directory of Crime Victims Services.