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Victim Advocacy/Advocates

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Every crime has a victim, but not every victim has a voice within the criminal justice system. Victims often need someone to help them identify and assert their rights, navigate an unfamiliar criminal justice system process, issue a victim impact statement, provide counseling and support, or locate and obtain the services they need to help ease the impact of their victimization. Victim advocates perform a myriad of functions that may include speaking or acting on a victim’s behalf; serving as a liaison between the victim and the court system to minimize the physical, psychological, emotional, and financial effects of the crime on the victim; and working to effect social and system changes.

The following resources provide information on issues related to victim advocacy.


OVC and OVC-Sponsored Publications

Identity (ID) Theft Toolkit (2014) OVC-Sponsored, Grant, NCJ 248389.
National Identity Theft Victims Assistance Network (NITVAN) coalitions across the country each contributed to the creation of this toolkit for victim advocates, attorneys, law enforcement officers, and anyone else involved in assisting victims. In this toolkit, you’ll find guidance on improving and expanding service to identity theft victims, starting a collaborative group in your area, as well as downloadable, ready-to-customize training materials, brochures, and more.
HTML
 
Innovative Practices for Victim Services: Report From the Field (December 2014) OVC, Bulletin, NCJ 248495.
This e-bulletin provides brief descriptions of the innovative practices currently used by VOCA victim assistance and compensation programs throughout the country. This online resource promotes the replication of these practices, which cover six key program areas: needs assessment, systems advocacy and coordination, compensation, underserved populations, victims’ rights and services, and technology.
HTML
 
A Circle of Healing for Native Children Endangered by Drugs (December 2014) OVC, NCJ 248443.
This seven-video series and companion resource guide feature Native programs and practices that incorporate cultural stories and traditions to help children, families, and communities in Indian Country to heal from substance abuse-related trauma.
HTML
 
Eight Benefits of NIBRS to Victim Service Providers (November 2014) OVC, Bulletin, NCJ 248480.
This e-bulletin describes how victim service providers can use National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS)–a system for recording crimes known to the police–to gain a better understanding of specific types of victimization, determine disparities between victims known to law enforcement and those receiving victim services, and identify underserved groups of crime victims. Data presented from the 15 states which currently report to NIBRS can assist victim service providers to identify patterns of crime and victimization that can justify the need for additional resources and guide decisions on optimal resource development.
HTML
 
2015 National Crime Victims' Rights Week (NCVRW) Poster (September 2014) OVC, PS000028.
The 2015 NCVRW poster evokes the 2015 theme—"Engaging Communities. Empowering Victims."—and reminds us of the importance of creating a victim response system that is open and accessible to all survivors and victims of crime. The poster highlights the importance of building partnerships throughout our communities to better address all victims’ needs by believing them and offering support and resources regardless of where they disclose their victimization. Everybody plays a role. The poster is available for download in 22" x 28" in color or black & white and can be customized for your organization before printing.
PDF (Color, 22 x 28) | PDF (Black & White, 22 x 28) | HTML (JPG, Color, 22 x 28) | HTML (JPG, Black & White, 22 x 28)
 

OJP Publications

Understanding the Organization, Operation, and Victimization Process of Labor Trafficking in the United States (October 2014) NIJ-Sponsored, Grant, 306 pages, NCJ 248461.
This report explores patterns of labor trafficking in the U.S., and found that trafficking occurs in multiple industries, including agriculture, hospitality, construction, and restaurants. The report verified that labor trafficking usually goes unreported, and law enforcement often have difficulty distinguishing labor trafficking from other workplace exploitation. Policy and practice implications of this research for federal and local law enforcement and victims' service agencies are outlined.
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
 
Practical Implications of Current Intimate Partner Violence Research for Victim Advocates and Service Providers (January 2013) NIJ-Sponsored, Grant, 260 pages, NCJ 244348.
This report expands and enhances the 2009 report titled "Practical Implications of Current Domestic Violence Research: For Law Enforcement, Prosecutors and Judges" to address the practical implications of current domestic violence research for victim advocates and service providers.
Abstract | PDF
 
No More Rights Without Remedies: An Impact Evaluation of the National Crime Victim Law Institute's Victims' Rights Clinics, Final Technical Report (2012) NIJ-Sponsored, Grant, 125 pages, NCJ 241752.
This grant report evaluates the National Crime Victim Law Institute's (NCVLI) victims' rights clinics. The clinics were designed to increase awareness of victims' rights among criminal justice professionals and to respond to violations of rights through legal advocacy. The current report examines the clinics' impact on the expansion of rights for victims, on court officials' attitudes toward victims' rights, on the extent to which victims' rights are honored in the criminal disposition process, and on the treatment of victims' rights in the print media. It also includes a discussion of sustainability of the clinics.
Abstract | PDF
 

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Every crime has a victim, but not every victim has a voice within the criminal justice system. Victims often need someone to help them identify and assert their rights, navigate an unfamiliar criminal justice system process, issue a victim impact statement, provide counseling and support, or locate and obtain the services they need to help ease the impact of their victimization. Victim advocates perform a myriad of functions that may include speaking or acting on a victim’s behalf; serving as a liaison between the victim and the court system to minimize the physical, psychological, emotional, and financial effects of the crime on the victim; and working to effect social and system changes.

The following resources provide information on issues related to victim advocacy.


Every crime has a victim, but not every victim has a voice within the criminal justice system. Victims often need someone to help them identify and assert their rights, navigate an unfamiliar criminal justice system process, issue a victim impact statement, provide counseling and support, or locate and obtain the services they need to help ease the impact of their victimization. Victim advocates perform a myriad of functions that may include speaking or acting on a victim’s behalf; serving as a liaison between the victim and the court system to minimize the physical, psychological, emotional, and financial effects of the crime on the victim; and working to effect social and system changes.

The following resources provide information on issues related to victim advocacy.


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 Dec 8 2014 at 2:00PM, Carole Warshaw, MD, Director, National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma & Mental Health, and Gabriella Grant, Director, California Center of Excellence for Trauma Informed Care, hosted a discussion on Incorporating Trauma-Informed Care Principles Into Practice

On Nov 19 2014 at 2:00PM, Roe Bubar, J.D, Associate Professor at Colorado State University, and Leila Goldsmith, J.D., Child Advocacy Coordinator with the Tulalip Tribes of Washington, hosted a discussion on Forensic Interviewing in Tribal Communities

On Oct 15 2014 at 2:00PM, Steven Siegel, Director of the Special Programs Unit of the Denver District Attorney’s Office, and Cindy Southworth, Vice President of Development and Innovation at the National Network to End Domestic Violence, hosted a discussion on Responding to and Avoiding Crime Using Technology

On Sep 17 2014 at 2:00PM, Mitru Ciarlante, Director of Child & Club Safety for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, and Meg Garvin, M.A., J.D., Executive Director of the National Crime Victim Law Institute, hosted a discussion on Integrating Research Results Into Victim Services

On Sep 10 2014 at 2:00PM, Ilse Knecht, Deputy Director of Public Policy for NCVC and Project Manager for NCVC’s multiyear DNA education initiative, and Michele Mallin, rape survivor and public speaker, hosted a discussion on Working With Victims in Cold Hit DNA Cases

Every crime has a victim, but not every victim has a voice within the criminal justice system. Victims often need someone to help them identify and assert their rights, navigate an unfamiliar criminal justice system process, issue a victim impact statement, provide counseling and support, or locate and obtain the services they need to help ease the impact of their victimization. Victim advocates perform a myriad of functions that may include speaking or acting on a victim’s behalf; serving as a liaison between the victim and the court system to minimize the physical, psychological, emotional, and financial effects of the crime on the victim; and working to effect social and system changes.

The following resources provide information on issues related to victim advocacy.


What is the difference between compensation and restitution?
Restitution is court-ordered and compensation is provided by the Victim Compensation Program in each... Read More

How do I add my program/organization to the Online Directory of Crime Victim Services?
Please visit the Get Posted section of the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) Online Directory of Cri... 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

I am crime victim, how can I get help?
Help in your area is available from your State/Local Victim Compensation and Assistance programs. As... Read More

More FAQs

Every crime has a victim, but not every victim has a voice within the criminal justice system. Victims often need someone to help them identify and assert their rights, navigate an unfamiliar criminal justice system process, issue a victim impact statement, provide counseling and support, or locate and obtain the services they need to help ease the impact of their victimization. Victim advocates perform a myriad of functions that may include speaking or acting on a victim’s behalf; serving as a liaison between the victim and the court system to minimize the physical, psychological, emotional, and financial effects of the crime on the victim; and working to effect social and system changes.

The following resources provide information on issues related to victim advocacy.


No funding records found relevant to this topic.

More Funding Opportunities

Every crime has a victim, but not every victim has a voice within the criminal justice system. Victims often need someone to help them identify and assert their rights, navigate an unfamiliar criminal justice system process, issue a victim impact statement, provide counseling and support, or locate and obtain the services they need to help ease the impact of their victimization. Victim advocates perform a myriad of functions that may include speaking or acting on a victim’s behalf; serving as a liaison between the victim and the court system to minimize the physical, psychological, emotional, and financial effects of the crime on the victim; and working to effect social and system changes.

The following resources provide information on issues related to victim advocacy.


Publications

OVC and OVC-Sponsored Publications

Identity (ID) Theft Toolkit (2014) OVC-Sponsored, Grant, NCJ 248389. National Identity Theft Victims Assistance Network (NITVAN) coalitions across the country each contributed to the creation of this toolkit for victim advocates, attorneys, law enforcement officers, and anyone else involved in assisting victims. In this toolkit, you’ll find guidance on improving and expanding service to identity theft victims, starting a collaborative group in your area, as well as downloadable, ready-to-customize training materials, brochures, and more.
HTML
 
Innovative Practices for Victim Services: Report From the Field (December 2014) OVC, Bulletin, NCJ 248495. This e-bulletin provides brief descriptions of the innovative practices currently used by VOCA victim assistance and compensation programs throughout the country. This online resource promotes the replication of these practices, which cover six key program areas: needs assessment, systems advocacy and coordination, compensation, underserved populations, victims’ rights and services, and technology.
HTML
 
A Circle of Healing for Native Children Endangered by Drugs (December 2014) OVC, NCJ 248443. This seven-video series and companion resource guide feature Native programs and practices that incorporate cultural stories and traditions to help children, families, and communities in Indian Country to heal from substance abuse-related trauma.
HTML
 
Eight Benefits of NIBRS to Victim Service Providers (November 2014) OVC, Bulletin, NCJ 248480. This e-bulletin describes how victim service providers can use National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS)–a system for recording crimes known to the police–to gain a better understanding of specific types of victimization, determine disparities between victims known to law enforcement and those receiving victim services, and identify underserved groups of crime victims. Data presented from the 15 states which currently report to NIBRS can assist victim service providers to identify patterns of crime and victimization that can justify the need for additional resources and guide decisions on optimal resource development.
HTML
 
2015 National Crime Victims' Rights Week (NCVRW) Poster (September 2014) OVC, PS000028. The 2015 NCVRW poster evokes the 2015 theme—"Engaging Communities. Empowering Victims."—and reminds us of the importance of creating a victim response system that is open and accessible to all survivors and victims of crime. The poster highlights the importance of building partnerships throughout our communities to better address all victims’ needs by believing them and offering support and resources regardless of where they disclose their victimization. Everybody plays a role. The poster is available for download in 22" x 28" in color or black & white and can be customized for your organization before printing.
PDF (Color, 22 x 28) | PDF (Black & White, 22 x 28) | HTML (JPG, Color, 22 x 28) | HTML (JPG, Black & White, 22 x 28)
 

OJP Publications

Understanding the Organization, Operation, and Victimization Process of Labor Trafficking in the United States (October 2014) NIJ-Sponsored, Grant, 306 pages, NCJ 248461. This report explores patterns of labor trafficking in the U.S., and found that trafficking occurs in multiple industries, including agriculture, hospitality, construction, and restaurants. The report verified that labor trafficking usually goes unreported, and law enforcement often have difficulty distinguishing labor trafficking from other workplace exploitation. Policy and practice implications of this research for federal and local law enforcement and victims' service agencies are outlined.
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
 
Practical Implications of Current Intimate Partner Violence Research for Victim Advocates and Service Providers (January 2013) NIJ-Sponsored, Grant, 260 pages, NCJ 244348. This report expands and enhances the 2009 report titled "Practical Implications of Current Domestic Violence Research: For Law Enforcement, Prosecutors and Judges" to address the practical implications of current domestic violence research for victim advocates and service providers.
Abstract | PDF
 
No More Rights Without Remedies: An Impact Evaluation of the National Crime Victim Law Institute's Victims' Rights Clinics, Final Technical Report (2012) NIJ-Sponsored, Grant, 125 pages, NCJ 241752. This grant report evaluates the National Crime Victim Law Institute's (NCVLI) victims' rights clinics. The clinics were designed to increase awareness of victims' rights among criminal justice professionals and to respond to violations of rights through legal advocacy. The current report examines the clinics' impact on the expansion of rights for victims, on court officials' attitudes toward victims' rights, on the extent to which victims' rights are honored in the criminal disposition process, and on the treatment of victims' rights in the print media. It also includes a discussion of sustainability of the clinics.
Abstract | PDF
 

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Related Resources

OVC Funded Resources

International Rescue Committee (Florida)
The IRC provides assistance to refugees, displaced persons and others fleeing persecution and violent conflict throughout the world. Often one of the first agencies on the scene of an emergency, the IRC delivers critical medical and public health services, food, and shelter. Once a crisis stabilizes, it provides education, training, economic assistance and, if necessary, resettlement assistance.
 
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.
 
Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN)
RAINN operates a 24-hour telephone hotline (1-800-656-HOPE) and an Online Hotline for victims of sexual assault. The secure web-based hotline provides a safe, secure, and anonymous place for victims to get help online. RAINN also works to promote education and prevention of sexual assault, compiles and shares links to Legal Resources, including the State Mandatory Regulations regarding children and the elderly.
 
Safe Horizon
Safe Horizon's mission is to provide support, prevent violence, and promote justice for victims of crime and abuse, their families, and communities. Safe Horizon's program to assist victims and survivors of human trafficking helps deliver intensive case management, shelter, legal services, and mental health care to survivors of trafficking.
 

Federal Resources

CrimeSolutions.gov
CrimeSolutions.gov is a searchable online database of evidence-based programs covering a range of justice-related topics, including victim assistance programs; corrections; courts; crime prevention; substance abuse; juveniles; law enforcement; and technology and forensics. The site is a tool to understand, access and integrate scientific evidence about programs into programmatic and policy decisions.
 
Department of Defense (DOD): Victim and Witness Assistance Council (VWAC)
The Council's Web site offers information and links to assist victims, and witnesses to crimes on military installations. Resources include contact information for victim and witness assistance coordinators for the Coast Guard, Department of the Air Force, Department of the Army, Department of the Navy, Marine Corps, Office of the Secretary of Defense. Each branch of services has: 1) An interdisciplinary Victim and Witness Assistance Council; 2)a Family Advocacy Program designed to prevent and treat child and spouse abuse; and 3) a central repository for tracking notice of the status of offenders confined in military correctional facilities. In addition, local councils have been established at each major military installation to ensure that an interdisciplinary approach is followed by victim and witness service providers.
 
Elder Justice Initiative
This site serves as a resource for victims of elder abuse and financial exploitation and their families, practitioners who serve them, law enforcement agencies and prosecutors, and researchers seeking to understand and address this silent epidemic plaguing our nation's elders. Victims and family members will find information about how to report and get assistance for victims of elder abuse and financial exploitation in all 50 states and the U.S. territories.
 
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.
 

Non-Governmental Resources

Child Labor Public Education Project
The Child Labor Public Education Project provides educational workshops and materials on a range of issues regarding child labor in the U.S. and other countries.
 
International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW)
IFSW is a global organisation striving for social justice, human rights and social development through social work, best practices and international cooperation between social workers and their professional organisations.
 
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.
 
National Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Association
NCASAA provides advocacy, public education, and resources for CASA programs across the country. The association also trains CASA volunteers, who work to find safe, permanent homes for abused and neglected children.
 
National Latin@ Network
A project of Casa de Esperanza, the Network provides bilingual information and resources for people working within Latin communities to prevent and eliminate domestic violence. This Web site includes a resource library, public policy updates and action alerts, informative videos, training opportunities, and a blog among other culturally-specific information.
 

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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 Dec 8 2014 at 2:00PM, Carole Warshaw, MD, Director, National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma & Mental Health, and Gabriella Grant, Director, California Center of Excellence for Trauma Informed Care, hosted a discussion on Incorporating Trauma-Informed Care Principles Into Practice

On Nov 19 2014 at 2:00PM, Roe Bubar, J.D, Associate Professor at Colorado State University, and Leila Goldsmith, J.D., Child Advocacy Coordinator with the Tulalip Tribes of Washington, hosted a discussion on Forensic Interviewing in Tribal Communities

On Oct 15 2014 at 2:00PM, Steven Siegel, Director of the Special Programs Unit of the Denver District Attorney’s Office, and Cindy Southworth, Vice President of Development and Innovation at the National Network to End Domestic Violence, hosted a discussion on Responding to and Avoiding Crime Using Technology

On Sep 17 2014 at 2:00PM, Mitru Ciarlante, Director of Child & Club Safety for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, and Meg Garvin, M.A., J.D., Executive Director of the National Crime Victim Law Institute, hosted a discussion on Integrating Research Results Into Victim Services

On Sep 10 2014 at 2:00PM, Ilse Knecht, Deputy Director of Public Policy for NCVC and Project Manager for NCVC’s multiyear DNA education initiative, and Michele Mallin, rape survivor and public speaker, hosted a discussion on Working With Victims in Cold Hit DNA Cases


FAQs

What is the difference between compensation and restitution?
Restitution is court-ordered and compensation is provided by the Victim Compensation Program in each... Read More

How do I add my program/organization to the Online Directory of Crime Victim Services?
Please visit the Get Posted section of the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) Online Directory of Cri... 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

I am crime victim, how can I get help?
Help in your area is available from your State/Local Victim Compensation and Assistance programs. As... Read More

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Funding

No funding records found relevant to this topic.

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National Calendar of Crime Victim Assistance-Related Events
Upcoming Event(s)
10th Annual Conference on Crimes Against Women
Dallas, TX
03/16/2015-03/18/2015

National Conference on Health and Domestic Violence
Washington, DC
03/19/2015-03/21/2015

2015 International Conference on Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence and Campus Responses
New Orleans, LA
04/07/2015-04/09/2015

Online Directory of Crime Victims Services.