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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
 
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)
 
Responding to Transgender Victims of Sexual Assault (June 2014) OVC, Electronic Document, 0 pages, NCJ 243903.
Transgender victims of sexual assault, like all crime victims, want and deserve to be respected, heard, believed, served, and supported. This user-friendly guide offers practical tools to promote understanding and support of transgender victims, whether you are a health care provider, law enforcement officer, emergency medical personnel, advocate, therapist, or support group facilitator. Learn how you can be a source of support and care for individuals in this high-risk population.
Abstract | HTML
 
HALOS Strategy: Community Collaborations for Children (May 2014) OVC, OVC Training, 0 pages, NCJ 246834.
This online toolkit offers lessons learned and suggests strategies for replicating or establishing programs like the Helping and Lending Outreach Support (HALOS) program wherever foster families and relatives need additional support for the children in their care. It explains key components of program development, implementation, and sustainability; and includes sample forms and materials used by HALOS and the replicating organizations.
Abstract | HTML
Part Of the OVC Training Series
 

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.
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
 
OJP 2014 Program Plan: Resources for the Criminal Justice and Juvenile Justice Field (May 2014) OJP, Electronic Document, 0 pages, NCJ 246682.
The Office of Justice Programs (OJP) Program Plan is a searchable online document of funding opportunities and new initiatives. It features the latest and most complete information regarding grant opportunities OJP intends to fund in the coming months, divided into 10 thematically organized sections.
Abstract | HTML
 
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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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 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

On Aug 27 2014 at 2:00PM, Jessica Alas, attorney with Lone Star Legal Aid and Project Director for the Wraparound Victim Legal Assistance Network, and Raina Bayas, Legal Director of the Rocky Mountain Victim Law Center, hosted a discussion on Victim Legal Assistance Networks: Needs Assessment/Planning Implementation

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
 
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)
 
Responding to Transgender Victims of Sexual Assault (June 2014) OVC, Electronic Document, 0 pages, NCJ 243903. Transgender victims of sexual assault, like all crime victims, want and deserve to be respected, heard, believed, served, and supported. This user-friendly guide offers practical tools to promote understanding and support of transgender victims, whether you are a health care provider, law enforcement officer, emergency medical personnel, advocate, therapist, or support group facilitator. Learn how you can be a source of support and care for individuals in this high-risk population.
Abstract | HTML
 
HALOS Strategy: Community Collaborations for Children (May 2014) OVC, OVC Training, 0 pages, NCJ 246834. This online toolkit offers lessons learned and suggests strategies for replicating or establishing programs like the Helping and Lending Outreach Support (HALOS) program wherever foster families and relatives need additional support for the children in their care. It explains key components of program development, implementation, and sustainability; and includes sample forms and materials used by HALOS and the replicating organizations.
Abstract | HTML
Part Of the OVC Training Series
 

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.
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
 
OJP 2014 Program Plan: Resources for the Criminal Justice and Juvenile Justice Field (May 2014) OJP, Electronic Document, 0 pages, NCJ 246682. The Office of Justice Programs (OJP) Program Plan is a searchable online document of funding opportunities and new initiatives. It features the latest and most complete information regarding grant opportunities OJP intends to fund in the coming months, divided into 10 thematically organized sections.
Abstract | HTML
 
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

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.
 
September 11th Victim Compensation Fund
The September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) has been reinstated and will provide compensation for any individual (or a personal representative of a deceased individual) who suffered physical harm or was killed as a result of the terrorist-related aircraft crashes of September 11, 2001, or the debris removal efforts that took place in the immediate aftermath of those crashes. On January 2, 2011, President Obama signed into law the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010 (P.L. 111-347) which expands the pool of applicants eligible for the Fund to include individuals who experienced injuries associated with the attacks or subsequent debris removal. The VCF site allows users to obtain a list of the kinds of documents and information needed in order to process claims; register for the VCF online, the first step in submitting your claim; fill out an online eligibility form to determine VCF eligibility; submit a claim online; and review Frequently Asked Questions.
 

Non-Governmental Resources

Crime Victims Advocacy Council
Crime Victims Advocacy Council seeks to help crime victims cope with their suffering and pain by concentrating their energies and resources in support groups, community education, crime prevention, raising community consciousness and acting as an advocate for crime victim’s rights.
 
Greenbook Initiative
The Greenbook Initiative helps child welfare workers, domestic violence advocates and family court judges in communities across the country change their approach to family violence to better help battered women and their children achieve safety.
 
National Adult Protective Services Association (NAPSA)
NAPSA provides state Adult Protective Services program administrators and staff with a forum for sharing information, solving problems, and improving the quality of services for victims of elder and vulnerable adult abuse.
 
National Center for Victims of Crime (NCVC)
NCVC offers advocacy, victim services, referrals, training, and a virtual library. NCVC programs include a legislative database of state and federal victims’ rights statutes and information on the Victims’ Bill of Rights. NCVC also tracks the following legislative issues relating to crime victims: clemency, community notification, constitutional amendments, dating violence, elder fraud, identity theft, interstate compact on parole and probation, parole, payment of forensic exams, notoriety for profit "son of sam" laws, spousal rape, stalking, victims’ bills of rights, and violence against women.
 
National Domestic Violence Hotline
1-800-799-SAFE (1-800-799-7233) TTY: 1-800-787-3224 Staff provide callers with crisis intervention, information about domestic violence, and referrals to local programs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Telephone assistance is available in many languages, including Spanish.
 

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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 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

On Aug 27 2014 at 2:00PM, Jessica Alas, attorney with Lone Star Legal Aid and Project Director for the Wraparound Victim Legal Assistance Network, and Raina Bayas, Legal Director of the Rocky Mountain Victim Law Center, hosted a discussion on Victim Legal Assistance Networks: Needs Assessment/Planning Implementation


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)
14th National Indian Nations Conference: Justice for Victims of Crime
Palm Springs, CA
12/11/2014-12/14/2014

Online Directory of Crime Victims Services.