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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

Through Our Eyes: Children, Violence, and Trauma DVD (April 2015) OVC, NCJ 239938.
This video series addresses the needs of children exposed to crime, abuse, and violence; highlights major issues in child victimization; identifies promising practices for service providers and others working with young victims; and shows how trauma-informed care can help child victims recover to lead healthy, productive lives. Online only companion resource guides accompany each video.
HTML
 
2015 National Crime Victims' Rights Week (NCVRW) Poster (January 2015) 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)
 
2015 National Crime Victims' Rights Week (NCVRW) Resource Guide (January 2015) OVC, 182 pages, NCJ 247813.
The 2015 NCVRW Resource Guide, released ahead of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, April 19 to 25, highlights this year’s theme, Engaging Communities. Empowering Victims. The Guide includes a wide array of user-friendly outreach tools and sample products, a Theme DVD, current statistics on victimization, information on the history of victims’ rights in the United States, and concrete, practical ideas for engaging your community and empowering victims. Hardcopy versions of this year's Guide, which can be ordered through the National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS) at www.ncjrs.gov, include Introductory Materials and NCVRW Resource Guide Artwork.
Abstract | PDF | HTML
 
Identity (ID) Theft Toolkit (2014) OVC-Sponsored, Grant, 2 pages, 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.
Abstract | HTML
 
Innovative Practices for Victim Services: Report From the Field (December 2014) OVC, Bulletin, 20 pages, 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.
Abstract | HTML
 

OJP Publications

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
 
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
 

Back to Top

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 May 5 2015 at 2:00PM, Cris Sullivan, Director of the Research Consortium on Gender-Based Violence and Professor of Ecological/Community Psychology at Michigan State Univers, and Keri Darling, founder and Director/Trainer of DVAS, Deaf Vermonters Advocacy Services, hosted a discussion on Build Your Own Body of Evidence-Based Knowledge

On Apr 22 2015 at 2:00PM, Teresa Huizar, Executive Director of National Children's Alliance, and Rebecca Khalil, J.D., staff attorney with the National Crime Victim Law Institute, hosted a discussion on Child Victims: Providing Effective Rights Enforcement Representation

On Apr 8 2015 at 2:00PM, Ann McCarty, Associate Director of the North County (California) Rape Crisis and Child Protection Center, and Leah Holland, former sexual assault response coordinator and domestic violence victim advocate coordinator, U.S. Army Garrison in Yongsan, South Korea, hosted a discussion on Providing Appropriate Support for Military Victims of Sexual Assault

On Mar 25 2015 at 2:00PM, Katie Monroe, Senior Advocate for National Partnerships at the Innocence Project, and Karin Ho, brings over 30 years combined experience as a victim advocate in the sexual assault, domestic violence and postconviction corrections field, hosted a discussion on Postconviction Exonerations and Victim Assistance

On Feb 25 2015 at 2:00PM, Jennifer Burkmire, advocate for children and a contract consultant for nonprofit organizations that provide social services, and Cynthia King, President of King & Associates, Inc, hosted a discussion on Developing an Effective Multidisciplinary Team

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.


FY 2015 National Joint Training Conference for VOCA Victim Assistance and Victim Compensation Administrators (PDF 205 kb)
Deadline: 07/13/2015
One discretionary grant of $175,000 will be awarded to plan and administer the 2016 National Joint Training Conference for VOCA Victim Assistance and Victim Compensation Administrators, a 2.5-day conference that will provide training and technical assistance for Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) administrators, staff, and board members; and facilitate a forum for the presentation of state issues and practices. The conference will employ lectures, panels, workshops, and forums to explore ways to improve the delivery of crime victim services; provide an opportunity for VOCA administrators to exchange information, views, and experiences; and provide training and technical assistance on effective program operations. Those applying are strongly encouraged to begin the application process well in advance of the July 13, 2015, deadline.


FY 2015 Victim Services Language Access Fellowship Program (PDF 288 kb)
Deadline: 06/24/2015
OVC will make one award of up to $150,000 to an individual (organizations are not eligible to apply) with the desire, knowledge, and ability to successfully execute the development of a strategic initiative to ensure that all OVC-sponsored products, programs, and services are accessible to all victims; and who have prior experience with language access and victim services initiatives, especially for deaf, hard-of-hearing, and/or Limited English Proficiency (LEP) communities. Those applying are urged to begin in advance of the June 24, 2015, deadline.


FY 2015 Language Access Training and Technical Assistance Program (PDF 205 kb)
Deadline: 06/24/2015
OVC will make one award of up to $1,000,000 to a national-scope organization to enhance training, technical assistance, public awareness, and capacity building resources on language access for victim service providers and allied professionals. The objectives of this program are to improve access to services for victims who are deaf or hard-of-hearing, or who have limited English proficiency; increase victim service providers' and allied professionals' understanding of their legal and ethical obligations related to language access; and produce high-quality training and technical assistance and products to improve language access. Those applying are urged to begin in advance of the June 24, 2015, deadline.


FY 2015 Vision 21 Innovation Grants: Enhancing and Transforming Services for Victims of Crime (PDF 239 kb)
Deadline: 06/18/2015
Through cooperative agreements in up to 8 program areas, OVC will provide funding to enhance and transform services for victims of crime and to reach and serve more crime victims and address gaps in the crime victims’ field. OVC will consider proposals that provide training, technical assistance, capacity building, assessment, or strategic planning with a focus on identifying and addressing gaps in knowledge, assessing or developing and evaluating innovative practices, developing evidence-based training and technical assistance, or developing strategic approaches of leveraging resources to reach and serve more victims. Those applying are urged to begin in advance of the June 18, 2015, deadline.


FY 2015 Training and Technical Assistance on Comprehensive Legal Services for Human Trafficking Victims (PDF 180 kb)
Deadline: 06/18/2015
Note to Applicants: OVC has revised this solicitation to expand the eligibility requirements (see "Eligibility", pg. 1) and eliminate the match requirement (see "Budget Information", page 7.) If you have questions about these changes, please call the point of contact listed on pg. 2 of the solicitation. OVC will make up to 2 awards of up to $500,000 to expand access to comprehensive legal services for victims of human trafficking through training and technical assistance. Trafficking victims face an array of legal challenges including: immigration, family law, employment law, victims’ rights enforcement, civil actions, criminal restitution, and criminal records expungement/vacatur. Access to trained legal counsel assists victims in increasing their safety, financial security, independence, and self-sufficiency. This program seeks to expand the capacity of the existing legal services network to meet these critical needs. Applicants are urged to begin in advance of June 18, 2015.


FY 2015 Supporting Male Survivors of Violence (PDF 255 kb)
Deadline: 06/17/2015
OVC will make several awards of up to $1,000,000 each to improve responses to male survivors of violence, particularly boys and young men of color, and their families, and to dedicate technical assistance to support these efforts. Under Program Area 1, OVC will make 8 to 12 awards to fund demonstration sites to establish evidence-based models and practices to provide trauma-informed, comprehensive services for male survivors of violence and their families, and supporting policies. Under Purpose Area 2, OVC will fund up to two distinct technical assistance providers to support the demonstration site. This project will be undertaken in association with the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Those applying are urged to begin in advance of the June 17, 2015, deadline.


FY 2015 Vision 21: Building State Technology Capacity Competitive Solicitation (PDF 358 kb)
Deadline: 06/17/2015
OVC will make several awards of up to $60,000 each to state VOCA compensation programs to build new systems, or modify existing systems, for collecting electronic data; increase the accuracy of their administrative reporting; and satisfy the new OVC reporting requirements. This program is specifically for the improvement of data collection efforts to help increase the accuracy of administrative reporting through the OVC Performance Management Tool. OVC anticipates awarding approximately $2,000,000 to an unspecified number of state applicants in awards of up to $60,000 each. Those applying are urged to begin in advance of the June 17, 2015, deadline.


2016 National Crime Victims' Rights Week Community Awareness Projects (PDF 148 kb)
Deadline: 06/15/2015
OVC will award one cooperative agreement of up to $375,000 to provide technical assistance and financial, programmatic, and administrative support to approximately 60 communities and victim assistance organizations nationwide to conduct public education and awareness activities in their jurisdictions during 2016 National Crime Victims' Rights Week. Eligible applicants are limited to nonprofit organizations (including tribal nonprofit organizations), faith- and community-based organizations, and public agencies. Those applying are urged to begin in advance of the June 15, 2015, deadline.


FY 2015 State Victim Assistance Academy Technical Assistance Solicitation (PDF 187 kb)
Deadline: 06/15/2015
OVC will make one award of up to $1,000,000 to provide dedicated training and technical assistance (TTA) resources to further develop and sustain the State Victim Assistance Academies (SVAA) framework and assist SVAAs with providing comprehensive, academically based, fundamental education and training for victim service providers and allied professionals. The TTA provider chosen for this project will work cooperatively with OVC to establish and maintain a community of practice among the SVAA network, state VOCA assistance and compensation agencies, and colleges and universities working to provide training and education for victim service providers and allied professionals. Those applying are urged to begin in advance of the June 15, 2015, deadline.


FY 2015 Victim Assistance Professional Development Fellowship Program: Vision 21 Translation and Dissemination of Statistical Data (PDF 214 kb)
Deadline: 06/15/2015
OVC estimates that it will make one award of up to $500,000 for a joint fellowship program with BJS focused on the translation and dissemination of statistical data used by the victim service field. The individual awarded funding under this fellowship program will work with both OVC and BJS to improve the synthesis and translation of social science research and statistical findings to inform practice and policies in the victim services field. Visit the Jobs & Fellowships section of the OVC Web site at www.ovc.gov/about/jobs.html for general information about OVC's fellowship program. Those applying are urged to begin in advance of the June 15, 2015, deadline.


FY 2015 Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) Toolkit 2.0 Competitive Solicitation (PDF 368 kb)
Deadline: 06/08/2015
One cooperative agreement of $700,000 will be awarded to update the SART Toolkit: Resources for Sexual Assault Response Teams—an online resource for establishing, strengthening, and sustaining sexual assault response teams in a variety of settings—to ensure it contains the latest research, practices, and information to support sexual assault victims, particularly underserved populations. Eligible applicants are limited to organizations with a demonstrated history of longstanding, national-scale relationships with the sexual assault victim services field and a track record of developing national-scope technical assistance materials for the sexual assault victim services field. Those applying are urged to begin in advance of the June 8, 2015, deadline.


OVC FY 2015 American Indian/Alaska Native Training and Technical Assistance Program (PDF 178 kb)
Deadline: 06/01/2015
Two cooperative agreements of up to $1,500,000 each will be awarded to provide resources and coordination to increase the ability of American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) tribal communities to provide comprehensive and culturally appropriate services to crime victims, their families, and the community. Using a victim-centered approach, the award recipient will assist OVC in supporting the training and technical assistance needs of AI/AN communities that receive grant funds under Purpose Area 6 (Children's Justice Act Partnerships for Indian Communities) and Purpose Area 7 (Comprehensive Tribal Victim Assistance Program) of the Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation, as well as Vision 21 Community Wellness Centers. Eligible applicants are limited to nonprofit organizations, institutions of higher learning, and consortiums with demonstrated experience working with AI/AN communities. Those applying are urged to begin in advance of the June 1, 2015, deadline.


FY 2015 National Indian Nations Conference: Justice for Victims of Crime Application (PDF 167 kb)
Deadline: 06/01/2015
One cooperative agreement of up to $450,000 will be awarded to plan and conduct, in cooperation with OVC, the 15th National Indian Nations Conference: Justice for Victims of Crime, which will take place in 2016. The goal of the 3-day conference is to provide timely training, best practices, and resources to increase and enhance the capacity of victim service providers, criminal justice professionals, and other allied professionals to improve their response to the needs of American Indian and Alaska Native crime victims. To learn more about this biennial event, visit the 2014 National Indian Nations Conference Web site (www.ovcinc.org). Those applying are urged to begin the application process well in advance of the June 1, 2015 deadline.


FY 2015 Specialized Services for Victims of Human Trafficking (PDF 240 kb)
Deadline: 06/01/2015
OVC will make up to nine awards of up to $600,000 to enhance the quality and quantity of specialized services available to assist victims of human trafficking, including services for underserved victims of human trafficking such as American Indians and/or Alaska Natives or individuals who identify as straight, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or questioning. Funding will also support efforts to increase the capacity of communities to respond to human trafficking victims through the development of interagency partnerships, professional training, and public awareness activities. Those applying are urged to begin in advance of the June 1, 2015 deadline.


FY 2015 Comprehensive Services for Victims of All Forms of Human Trafficking (PDF 233 kb)
Deadline: 06/01/2015
OVC will make up to 10 awards of up to $750,000 to enhance the quality and quantity of services available to assist all victims of human trafficking in achieving their goals, which may include increased autonomy and self-sufficiency, and an increased feeling of safety and well-being. The primary objectives of this funding opportunity are to enhance interagency collaboration and the coordinated community response to victims of human trafficking, and to provide high-quality services that address the individualized needs of trafficking victims. Those applying are urged to begin in advance of the June 1, 2015 deadline.

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

Through Our Eyes: Children, Violence, and Trauma DVD (April 2015) OVC, NCJ 239938. This video series addresses the needs of children exposed to crime, abuse, and violence; highlights major issues in child victimization; identifies promising practices for service providers and others working with young victims; and shows how trauma-informed care can help child victims recover to lead healthy, productive lives. Online only companion resource guides accompany each video.
HTML
 
2015 National Crime Victims' Rights Week (NCVRW) Poster (January 2015) 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)
 
2015 National Crime Victims' Rights Week (NCVRW) Resource Guide (January 2015) OVC, 182 pages, NCJ 247813. The 2015 NCVRW Resource Guide, released ahead of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, April 19 to 25, highlights this year’s theme, Engaging Communities. Empowering Victims. The Guide includes a wide array of user-friendly outreach tools and sample products, a Theme DVD, current statistics on victimization, information on the history of victims’ rights in the United States, and concrete, practical ideas for engaging your community and empowering victims. Hardcopy versions of this year's Guide, which can be ordered through the National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS) at www.ncjrs.gov, include Introductory Materials and NCVRW Resource Guide Artwork.
Abstract | PDF | HTML
 
Identity (ID) Theft Toolkit (2014) OVC-Sponsored, Grant, 2 pages, 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.
Abstract | HTML
 
Innovative Practices for Victim Services: Report From the Field (December 2014) OVC, Bulletin, 20 pages, 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.
Abstract | HTML
 

OJP Publications

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
 
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
 

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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.
 
Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA): Victim Witness Assistance Program (VWAP)
The DEA-VWAP was implemented to ensure the rights of crime victims encountered in DEA investigations are met.
 
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.
 
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.
 
National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP)
NREPP is a searchable online registry of more than hundreds of interventions supporting mental health promotion, substance abuse prevention, and mental health and substance abuse treatment.
 

Non-Governmental Resources

Clery Center for Security On Campus
This nonprofit organization works to prevent campus violence and crimes and to assist campus victims in the enforcement of their legal rights.
 
Girls Educational and Mentoring Services
The mission of Girls Educational and Mentoring Services is to empower young women, ages 12–24, who have experienced commercial sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking to exit the commercial sex industry and develop to their full potential.
 
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD)
MADD has hundreds of chapters that assist victims of drunk driving crashes at the local level. Its Web site offers statistics, activism information, materials in Spanish, and program awareness resources. MADD recently launched a 24-hour hotline to lend support to victims of drunk driving and their friends and family. You can call 1-877-MADD-HELP for emotional support, guidance, and referrals.
 
National Association of Crime Victim Compensation Boards (NACVCB)
NACVCB shares information and ideas through its network of victim compensation programs. Training and technical assistance activities and other resources focus on fiscal stability, outreach, communication, and advocacy.
 
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.
 

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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 May 5 2015 at 2:00PM, Cris Sullivan, Director of the Research Consortium on Gender-Based Violence and Professor of Ecological/Community Psychology at Michigan State Univers, and Keri Darling, founder and Director/Trainer of DVAS, Deaf Vermonters Advocacy Services, hosted a discussion on Build Your Own Body of Evidence-Based Knowledge

On Apr 22 2015 at 2:00PM, Teresa Huizar, Executive Director of National Children's Alliance, and Rebecca Khalil, J.D., staff attorney with the National Crime Victim Law Institute, hosted a discussion on Child Victims: Providing Effective Rights Enforcement Representation

On Apr 8 2015 at 2:00PM, Ann McCarty, Associate Director of the North County (California) Rape Crisis and Child Protection Center, and Leah Holland, former sexual assault response coordinator and domestic violence victim advocate coordinator, U.S. Army Garrison in Yongsan, South Korea, hosted a discussion on Providing Appropriate Support for Military Victims of Sexual Assault

On Mar 25 2015 at 2:00PM, Katie Monroe, Senior Advocate for National Partnerships at the Innocence Project, and Karin Ho, brings over 30 years combined experience as a victim advocate in the sexual assault, domestic violence and postconviction corrections field, hosted a discussion on Postconviction Exonerations and Victim Assistance

On Feb 25 2015 at 2:00PM, Jennifer Burkmire, advocate for children and a contract consultant for nonprofit organizations that provide social services, and Cynthia King, President of King & Associates, Inc, hosted a discussion on Developing an Effective Multidisciplinary Team


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

FY 2015 National Joint Training Conference for VOCA Victim Assistance and Victim Compensation Administrators (PDF 205 kb)
Deadline: 07/13/2015
One discretionary grant of $175,000 will be awarded to plan and administer the 2016 National Joint Training Conference for VOCA Victim Assistance and Victim Compensation Administrators, a 2.5-day conference that will provide training and technical assistance for Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) administrators, staff, and board members; and facilitate a forum for the presentation of state issues and practices. The conference will employ lectures, panels, workshops, and forums to explore ways to improve the delivery of crime victim services; provide an opportunity for VOCA administrators to exchange information, views, and experiences; and provide training and technical assistance on effective program operations. Those applying are strongly encouraged to begin the application process well in advance of the July 13, 2015, deadline.


FY 2015 Victim Services Language Access Fellowship Program (PDF 288 kb)
Deadline: 06/24/2015
OVC will make one award of up to $150,000 to an individual (organizations are not eligible to apply) with the desire, knowledge, and ability to successfully execute the development of a strategic initiative to ensure that all OVC-sponsored products, programs, and services are accessible to all victims; and who have prior experience with language access and victim services initiatives, especially for deaf, hard-of-hearing, and/or Limited English Proficiency (LEP) communities. Those applying are urged to begin in advance of the June 24, 2015, deadline.


FY 2015 Language Access Training and Technical Assistance Program (PDF 205 kb)
Deadline: 06/24/2015
OVC will make one award of up to $1,000,000 to a national-scope organization to enhance training, technical assistance, public awareness, and capacity building resources on language access for victim service providers and allied professionals. The objectives of this program are to improve access to services for victims who are deaf or hard-of-hearing, or who have limited English proficiency; increase victim service providers' and allied professionals' understanding of their legal and ethical obligations related to language access; and produce high-quality training and technical assistance and products to improve language access. Those applying are urged to begin in advance of the June 24, 2015, deadline.


FY 2015 Vision 21 Innovation Grants: Enhancing and Transforming Services for Victims of Crime (PDF 239 kb)
Deadline: 06/18/2015
Through cooperative agreements in up to 8 program areas, OVC will provide funding to enhance and transform services for victims of crime and to reach and serve more crime victims and address gaps in the crime victims’ field. OVC will consider proposals that provide training, technical assistance, capacity building, assessment, or strategic planning with a focus on identifying and addressing gaps in knowledge, assessing or developing and evaluating innovative practices, developing evidence-based training and technical assistance, or developing strategic approaches of leveraging resources to reach and serve more victims. Those applying are urged to begin in advance of the June 18, 2015, deadline.


FY 2015 Training and Technical Assistance on Comprehensive Legal Services for Human Trafficking Victims (PDF 180 kb)
Deadline: 06/18/2015
Note to Applicants: OVC has revised this solicitation to expand the eligibility requirements (see "Eligibility", pg. 1) and eliminate the match requirement (see "Budget Information", page 7.) If you have questions about these changes, please call the point of contact listed on pg. 2 of the solicitation. OVC will make up to 2 awards of up to $500,000 to expand access to comprehensive legal services for victims of human trafficking through training and technical assistance. Trafficking victims face an array of legal challenges including: immigration, family law, employment law, victims’ rights enforcement, civil actions, criminal restitution, and criminal records expungement/vacatur. Access to trained legal counsel assists victims in increasing their safety, financial security, independence, and self-sufficiency. This program seeks to expand the capacity of the existing legal services network to meet these critical needs. Applicants are urged to begin in advance of June 18, 2015.


FY 2015 Supporting Male Survivors of Violence (PDF 255 kb)
Deadline: 06/17/2015
OVC will make several awards of up to $1,000,000 each to improve responses to male survivors of violence, particularly boys and young men of color, and their families, and to dedicate technical assistance to support these efforts. Under Program Area 1, OVC will make 8 to 12 awards to fund demonstration sites to establish evidence-based models and practices to provide trauma-informed, comprehensive services for male survivors of violence and their families, and supporting policies. Under Purpose Area 2, OVC will fund up to two distinct technical assistance providers to support the demonstration site. This project will be undertaken in association with the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Those applying are urged to begin in advance of the June 17, 2015, deadline.


FY 2015 Vision 21: Building State Technology Capacity Competitive Solicitation (PDF 358 kb)
Deadline: 06/17/2015
OVC will make several awards of up to $60,000 each to state VOCA compensation programs to build new systems, or modify existing systems, for collecting electronic data; increase the accuracy of their administrative reporting; and satisfy the new OVC reporting requirements. This program is specifically for the improvement of data collection efforts to help increase the accuracy of administrative reporting through the OVC Performance Management Tool. OVC anticipates awarding approximately $2,000,000 to an unspecified number of state applicants in awards of up to $60,000 each. Those applying are urged to begin in advance of the June 17, 2015, deadline.


2016 National Crime Victims' Rights Week Community Awareness Projects (PDF 148 kb)
Deadline: 06/15/2015
OVC will award one cooperative agreement of up to $375,000 to provide technical assistance and financial, programmatic, and administrative support to approximately 60 communities and victim assistance organizations nationwide to conduct public education and awareness activities in their jurisdictions during 2016 National Crime Victims' Rights Week. Eligible applicants are limited to nonprofit organizations (including tribal nonprofit organizations), faith- and community-based organizations, and public agencies. Those applying are urged to begin in advance of the June 15, 2015, deadline.


FY 2015 State Victim Assistance Academy Technical Assistance Solicitation (PDF 187 kb)
Deadline: 06/15/2015
OVC will make one award of up to $1,000,000 to provide dedicated training and technical assistance (TTA) resources to further develop and sustain the State Victim Assistance Academies (SVAA) framework and assist SVAAs with providing comprehensive, academically based, fundamental education and training for victim service providers and allied professionals. The TTA provider chosen for this project will work cooperatively with OVC to establish and maintain a community of practice among the SVAA network, state VOCA assistance and compensation agencies, and colleges and universities working to provide training and education for victim service providers and allied professionals. Those applying are urged to begin in advance of the June 15, 2015, deadline.


FY 2015 Victim Assistance Professional Development Fellowship Program: Vision 21 Translation and Dissemination of Statistical Data (PDF 214 kb)
Deadline: 06/15/2015
OVC estimates that it will make one award of up to $500,000 for a joint fellowship program with BJS focused on the translation and dissemination of statistical data used by the victim service field. The individual awarded funding under this fellowship program will work with both OVC and BJS to improve the synthesis and translation of social science research and statistical findings to inform practice and policies in the victim services field. Visit the Jobs & Fellowships section of the OVC Web site at www.ovc.gov/about/jobs.html for general information about OVC's fellowship program. Those applying are urged to begin in advance of the June 15, 2015, deadline.


FY 2015 Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) Toolkit 2.0 Competitive Solicitation (PDF 368 kb)
Deadline: 06/08/2015
One cooperative agreement of $700,000 will be awarded to update the SART Toolkit: Resources for Sexual Assault Response Teams—an online resource for establishing, strengthening, and sustaining sexual assault response teams in a variety of settings—to ensure it contains the latest research, practices, and information to support sexual assault victims, particularly underserved populations. Eligible applicants are limited to organizations with a demonstrated history of longstanding, national-scale relationships with the sexual assault victim services field and a track record of developing national-scope technical assistance materials for the sexual assault victim services field. Those applying are urged to begin in advance of the June 8, 2015, deadline.


OVC FY 2015 American Indian/Alaska Native Training and Technical Assistance Program (PDF 178 kb)
Deadline: 06/01/2015
Two cooperative agreements of up to $1,500,000 each will be awarded to provide resources and coordination to increase the ability of American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) tribal communities to provide comprehensive and culturally appropriate services to crime victims, their families, and the community. Using a victim-centered approach, the award recipient will assist OVC in supporting the training and technical assistance needs of AI/AN communities that receive grant funds under Purpose Area 6 (Children's Justice Act Partnerships for Indian Communities) and Purpose Area 7 (Comprehensive Tribal Victim Assistance Program) of the Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation, as well as Vision 21 Community Wellness Centers. Eligible applicants are limited to nonprofit organizations, institutions of higher learning, and consortiums with demonstrated experience working with AI/AN communities. Those applying are urged to begin in advance of the June 1, 2015, deadline.


FY 2015 National Indian Nations Conference: Justice for Victims of Crime Application (PDF 167 kb)
Deadline: 06/01/2015
One cooperative agreement of up to $450,000 will be awarded to plan and conduct, in cooperation with OVC, the 15th National Indian Nations Conference: Justice for Victims of Crime, which will take place in 2016. The goal of the 3-day conference is to provide timely training, best practices, and resources to increase and enhance the capacity of victim service providers, criminal justice professionals, and other allied professionals to improve their response to the needs of American Indian and Alaska Native crime victims. To learn more about this biennial event, visit the 2014 National Indian Nations Conference Web site (www.ovcinc.org). Those applying are urged to begin the application process well in advance of the June 1, 2015 deadline.


FY 2015 Specialized Services for Victims of Human Trafficking (PDF 240 kb)
Deadline: 06/01/2015
OVC will make up to nine awards of up to $600,000 to enhance the quality and quantity of specialized services available to assist victims of human trafficking, including services for underserved victims of human trafficking such as American Indians and/or Alaska Natives or individuals who identify as straight, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or questioning. Funding will also support efforts to increase the capacity of communities to respond to human trafficking victims through the development of interagency partnerships, professional training, and public awareness activities. Those applying are urged to begin in advance of the June 1, 2015 deadline.


FY 2015 Comprehensive Services for Victims of All Forms of Human Trafficking (PDF 233 kb)
Deadline: 06/01/2015
OVC will make up to 10 awards of up to $750,000 to enhance the quality and quantity of services available to assist all victims of human trafficking in achieving their goals, which may include increased autonomy and self-sufficiency, and an increased feeling of safety and well-being. The primary objectives of this funding opportunity are to enhance interagency collaboration and the coordinated community response to victims of human trafficking, and to provide high-quality services that address the individualized needs of trafficking victims. Those applying are urged to begin in advance of the June 1, 2015 deadline.

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