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Victims’ Rights & Services

  • Publications (34)
  • Resources (18)
  • Forum Discussions (5)
  • FAQs (8)
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Being a victim of crime and navigating the criminal justice system is oftentimes a frightening and unsettling experience. Because of funding authorized under the 1984 Victims of Crime Act and the dedicated efforts of advocates, lawmakers, victim service providers, and crime victims, an extensive range of services and resources is available to help victims heal and obtain justice. Additionally, today, every state and many tribes have a body of basic statutory rights and protections for victims of crime, as does the federal government. These victims' rights statutes have significantly influenced the manner in which victims are treated within the federal, state, tribal, and local criminal justice systems.

The following resources provide information on victims' rights and the services available to victims of crime.


OVC and OVC-Sponsored Publications

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
 
OVC Builds Capacity To Serve Crime Victims in Indian Country (July 2013) OVC, Fact Sheet, OVC Fact Sheets, FS 000393.
This fact sheet describes OVC's efforts to support American Indian/Alaska Native victims of crime by forging innovative partnerships to develop and expand exemplary tribal programs and services; and maintaining established programs that focus on culturally specific training, technical assistance, and case management, among other services.
HTML
Part Of the OVC Fact Sheets Series
 
Vision 21: Transforming Victim Services Final Report (May 2013) OVC, Report, 63 pages, NCJ 239957.
The Vision 21: Transforming Victim Services initiative was launched by OVC in fall 2010 to expand the vision and impact of the crime victim assistance field. This Final Report provides a set of findings and broad recommendations, informed by stakeholder forums and literature reviews, that form a framework for strategic, transformative change. The Final Report outlines ways the field can overcome the obstacles it faces and change how it meets victims' needs and addresses those who perpetrate crime.
Abstract | PDF (Full Report) | PDF (Summary & Recommendations) | PDF (At a Glance Fact Sheet)
 
Voice of the Victim: A Perspectives Spotlight Issue (2012) OVC-Sponsored, Grant, 100 pages, NCJ 238382.
Through OVC support, this special edition of the American Probation and Parole Association's Perspectives provides a collection of informative, thought-provoking articles to support community corrections professionals in incorporating victims' rights and services into daily practice. This resource teaches readers that victims' rights to information, notification, restitution, and participation are an integral component of community corrections.
Abstract | PDF
 

OJP Publications

Legal Issues Related to Elder Abuse: A Pocket Guide for Law Enforcement (2014) BJA-Sponsored, 58 pages, NCJ 248541.
This guide provides legal concepts, documents, and tools that may be misused to commit elder abuse or used properly to remedy it. Also presented are issues and actions that justice system professionals should consider if they suspect elder abuse has occurred.
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
 
Elder Abuse Emerges From the Shadows of Public Consciousness (April 2010) NIJ, Article, NIJ Journal, 4 pages, NCJ 229883.
This article reports on two studies sponsored by the National Institute of Justice that examined the prevalence of elder abuse and its detection through the forensic examination of the difference between accidental and inflicted bruising. The article concludes with descriptions of elder abuse cases in which prosecutors and victim-witness advocates have cooperated in gaining convictions of perpetrators of elder abuse.

Part Of the NIJ Journal Series Abstract | PDF | HTML
 
Finally Getting Victims Their Due: A Process Evaluation of the NCVLI Victims' Rights Clinics (August 2009) NIJ-Sponsored, Grant, 298 pages, NCJ 228389.
This report describes a process evaluation of the National Crime Victim Law Institute (NCVLI) State and Federal victims' rights clinics, which were established to promote awareness, education, and enforcement of crime victims' rights in the criminal justice system.
Abstract | PDF
 
Serving Limited English Proficient (LEP) Battered Women: A National Survey of the Courts' Capacity to Provide Protection Orders (June 2006) NIJ-Sponsored, Grant, 209 pages, NCJ 216072.
This federally supported study explored the capacity of Limited English Proficient (LEP) petitioners, specifically battered women to receive orders of protection.
Abstract | PDF
 

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Being a victim of crime and navigating the criminal justice system is oftentimes a frightening and unsettling experience. Because of funding authorized under the 1984 Victims of Crime Act and the dedicated efforts of advocates, lawmakers, victim service providers, and crime victims, an extensive range of services and resources is available to help victims heal and obtain justice. Additionally, today, every state and many tribes have a body of basic statutory rights and protections for victims of crime, as does the federal government. These victims' rights statutes have significantly influenced the manner in which victims are treated within the federal, state, tribal, and local criminal justice systems.

The following resources provide information on victims' rights and the services available to victims of crime.


Being a victim of crime and navigating the criminal justice system is oftentimes a frightening and unsettling experience. Because of funding authorized under the 1984 Victims of Crime Act and the dedicated efforts of advocates, lawmakers, victim service providers, and crime victims, an extensive range of services and resources is available to help victims heal and obtain justice. Additionally, today, every state and many tribes have a body of basic statutory rights and protections for victims of crime, as does the federal government. These victims' rights statutes have significantly influenced the manner in which victims are treated within the federal, state, tribal, and local criminal justice systems.

The following resources provide information on victims' rights and the services available to victims of crime.


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 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 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

On Jun 5 2013 at 2:00PM, Robin Parker, Executive Director of the Beyond Diversity Resource Center, and Sharon Stapel, Executive Director of the New York City Anti-Violence Project, hosted a discussion on Incorporating LGBTQ Victims’ Needs into Mainstream Victim Services

On Mar 6 2013 at 2:00PM, Jean Bruggeman, Human Trafficking Fellow with the Office for Victims of Crime, and Robin Hassler Thompson, consultant on issues related to human trafficking and domestic and sexual violence law and policy, hosted a discussion on Meeting Legal Needs of Adult and Minor Victims of Human Trafficking

On May 9 2012 at 2:00PM, Jamie Barnett, President of International Cruise Victims, hosted a discussion on Addressing the Needs of Victims on Cruise Ships

Being a victim of crime and navigating the criminal justice system is oftentimes a frightening and unsettling experience. Because of funding authorized under the 1984 Victims of Crime Act and the dedicated efforts of advocates, lawmakers, victim service providers, and crime victims, an extensive range of services and resources is available to help victims heal and obtain justice. Additionally, today, every state and many tribes have a body of basic statutory rights and protections for victims of crime, as does the federal government. These victims' rights statutes have significantly influenced the manner in which victims are treated within the federal, state, tribal, and local criminal justice systems.

The following resources provide information on victims' rights and the services available to victims of crime.


How many States have a bill of rights for victims?
A listing States with a bill of rights for crime victims is available on the National Center for Vic... Read More

What rights and services are available to crime victims?
An extensive range of services and resources is available to help crime victims obtain justice and h... Read More

Where can I conduct legal research relating to victims' rights?
If you’re interested in conducting legal research relating to crime victims, visit the VictimLaw and... Read More

Where can I find information on the Federal victim notification system?
Federal victim notification information is available on the Department of Justice's Victim Notificat... Read More

Who is considered a mandatory reporter of child abuse, including child sexual abuse/exploitation?
Individuals typically designated as mandatory reporters of child abuse, including child sexual abuse... Read More

More FAQs

Being a victim of crime and navigating the criminal justice system is oftentimes a frightening and unsettling experience. Because of funding authorized under the 1984 Victims of Crime Act and the dedicated efforts of advocates, lawmakers, victim service providers, and crime victims, an extensive range of services and resources is available to help victims heal and obtain justice. Additionally, today, every state and many tribes have a body of basic statutory rights and protections for victims of crime, as does the federal government. These victims' rights statutes have significantly influenced the manner in which victims are treated within the federal, state, tribal, and local criminal justice systems.

The following resources provide information on victims' rights and the services available to victims of crime.


No funding records found relevant to this topic.

More Funding Opportunities

Being a victim of crime and navigating the criminal justice system is oftentimes a frightening and unsettling experience. Because of funding authorized under the 1984 Victims of Crime Act and the dedicated efforts of advocates, lawmakers, victim service providers, and crime victims, an extensive range of services and resources is available to help victims heal and obtain justice. Additionally, today, every state and many tribes have a body of basic statutory rights and protections for victims of crime, as does the federal government. These victims' rights statutes have significantly influenced the manner in which victims are treated within the federal, state, tribal, and local criminal justice systems.

The following resources provide information on victims' rights and the services available to victims of crime.


Publications

OVC and OVC-Sponsored Publications

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
 
OVC Builds Capacity To Serve Crime Victims in Indian Country (July 2013) OVC, Fact Sheet, OVC Fact Sheets, FS 000393. This fact sheet describes OVC's efforts to support American Indian/Alaska Native victims of crime by forging innovative partnerships to develop and expand exemplary tribal programs and services; and maintaining established programs that focus on culturally specific training, technical assistance, and case management, among other services.
HTML
Part Of the OVC Fact Sheets Series
 
Vision 21: Transforming Victim Services Final Report (May 2013) OVC, Report, 63 pages, NCJ 239957. The Vision 21: Transforming Victim Services initiative was launched by OVC in fall 2010 to expand the vision and impact of the crime victim assistance field. This Final Report provides a set of findings and broad recommendations, informed by stakeholder forums and literature reviews, that form a framework for strategic, transformative change. The Final Report outlines ways the field can overcome the obstacles it faces and change how it meets victims' needs and addresses those who perpetrate crime.
Abstract | PDF (Full Report) | PDF (Summary & Recommendations) | PDF (At a Glance Fact Sheet)
 
Voice of the Victim: A Perspectives Spotlight Issue (2012) OVC-Sponsored, Grant, 100 pages, NCJ 238382. Through OVC support, this special edition of the American Probation and Parole Association's Perspectives provides a collection of informative, thought-provoking articles to support community corrections professionals in incorporating victims' rights and services into daily practice. This resource teaches readers that victims' rights to information, notification, restitution, and participation are an integral component of community corrections.
Abstract | PDF
 

OJP Publications

Legal Issues Related to Elder Abuse: A Pocket Guide for Law Enforcement (2014) BJA-Sponsored, 58 pages, NCJ 248541. This guide provides legal concepts, documents, and tools that may be misused to commit elder abuse or used properly to remedy it. Also presented are issues and actions that justice system professionals should consider if they suspect elder abuse has occurred.
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
 
Elder Abuse Emerges From the Shadows of Public Consciousness (April 2010) NIJ, Article, NIJ Journal, 4 pages, NCJ 229883. This article reports on two studies sponsored by the National Institute of Justice that examined the prevalence of elder abuse and its detection through the forensic examination of the difference between accidental and inflicted bruising. The article concludes with descriptions of elder abuse cases in which prosecutors and victim-witness advocates have cooperated in gaining convictions of perpetrators of elder abuse.
Part Of the NIJ Journal Series
Abstract | PDF | HTML
 
Finally Getting Victims Their Due: A Process Evaluation of the NCVLI Victims' Rights Clinics (August 2009) NIJ-Sponsored, Grant, 298 pages, NCJ 228389. This report describes a process evaluation of the National Crime Victim Law Institute (NCVLI) State and Federal victims' rights clinics, which were established to promote awareness, education, and enforcement of crime victims' rights in the criminal justice system.
Abstract | PDF
 
Serving Limited English Proficient (LEP) Battered Women: A National Survey of the Courts' Capacity to Provide Protection Orders (June 2006) NIJ-Sponsored, Grant, 209 pages, NCJ 216072. This federally supported study explored the capacity of Limited English Proficient (LEP) petitioners, specifically battered women to receive orders of protection.
Abstract | PDF
 

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Related Resources

OVC Funded Resources

Identity Theft Victim Assistance Network Project
The Maryland Crime Victims' Resource Center, Inc. (MCVRC), with funding from OVC, this project seeks to improve the response (infrastructure, training, outreach tools, and direct victim assistance services) to victims of identity theft nationwide.
 
National Alliance of Victims' Rights Attorneys (NAVRA)
A project of the National Crime Victim Law Institute (NCVLI) and partially funded through a grant from OVC, NAVRA is a membership alliance of attorneys and advocates committed to the protection, enforcement, and advancement of crime victims' rights nationwide.
 
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.
 
WomensLaw.org
A project of the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV), this Web site provides state-specific legal information and resources for survivors of domestic violence.
 

Federal Resources

Executive Office for United States Attorneys (EOUSA): Office of the Victims' Rights Ombudsman
A crime victim may file a complaint against any employee of the U.S. Department of Justice who violates or fails to provide the rights established under the Crime Victims' Rights Act of 2004, 18 U.S.C. Section 3771. The Department of Justice has established the Office of the Victims' Rights Ombudsman to receive and investigate complaints filed by crime victims against its employees, and has implemented Procedures To Promote Compliance With Crime Victims' Rights Obligations, 28 C.F.R. Section 45.10.
 
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

National Crime Victim Bar Association (NCVBA)
NCVBA educates attorneys, victim service providers, and the general public about civil legal remedies for crime victims. It also refers crime victims to civil attorneys in their local area.
 
National Crime Victim Law Institute (NCVLI)
NCVLI is an educational institution dedicated to promoting a fair and balanced criminal justice system through legal education, legal scholarship, legal information resources, and legal advocacy. NCVLI’s attorney staff accomplishes this mission by filing amicus curiae (friend of the court) briefs in cases nationwide advocating for victims’ rights; providing legal technical assistance to attorneys who represent crime victims, and conducting trainings all across the country on victims’ rights for attorneys, law students and victim services providers.
 
National Crime Victim Law Institute (NCVLI): National Clinic Network
The National Crime Victim Law Institute (NCVLI) actively promotes balance and fairness in the justice system through crime victim centered legal advocacy, education, and resource sharing. NCVLI supports pro bono legal clinics in eleven states. These clinics provide free legal counsel and support services to victims in state and federal criminal proceedings and, in some cases, tribal and juvenile courts. NCVLI provides intensive technical assistance, training, and support to the twelve clinics. NCVLI educates and conducts trainings on the enforcement of victims' rights to criminal justice professionals around the country, as do some of the clinics in the respective jurisdictions they cover.
 
Public Justice
This public interest law firm handles civil cases on behalf of victims. Cases involve several areas, including consumer protection and preservation of the civil justice system.
 
Statewide Automated Victim Information and Notification (SAVIN) Online Community
The website's primary purpose is to serve the technical assistance needs of Administrators who develop and direct automated victim information and notification systems. The web site serves as a conduit for the distribution of SAVIN-related information and materials gathered or developed by the SAVIN Training and Technical Assistance Project.
 

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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 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 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

On Jun 5 2013 at 2:00PM, Robin Parker, Executive Director of the Beyond Diversity Resource Center, and Sharon Stapel, Executive Director of the New York City Anti-Violence Project, hosted a discussion on Incorporating LGBTQ Victims’ Needs into Mainstream Victim Services

On Mar 6 2013 at 2:00PM, Jean Bruggeman, Human Trafficking Fellow with the Office for Victims of Crime, and Robin Hassler Thompson, consultant on issues related to human trafficking and domestic and sexual violence law and policy, hosted a discussion on Meeting Legal Needs of Adult and Minor Victims of Human Trafficking

On May 9 2012 at 2:00PM, Jamie Barnett, President of International Cruise Victims, hosted a discussion on Addressing the Needs of Victims on Cruise Ships


FAQs

How many States have a bill of rights for victims?
A listing States with a bill of rights for crime victims is available on the National Center for Vic... Read More

What rights and services are available to crime victims?
An extensive range of services and resources is available to help crime victims obtain justice and h... Read More

Where can I conduct legal research relating to victims' rights?
If you’re interested in conducting legal research relating to crime victims, visit the VictimLaw and... Read More

Where can I find information on the Federal victim notification system?
Federal victim notification information is available on the Department of Justice's Victim Notificat... Read More

Who is considered a mandatory reporter of child abuse, including child sexual abuse/exploitation?
Individuals typically designated as mandatory reporters of child abuse, including child sexual abuse... 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)
National Center for Victims of Crime 2015 National Training Institute
Anaheim, CA
09/09/2015-09/11/2015

International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Annual Conference and Expo
Chicago, IL
10/24/2015-10/27/2015

30th Annual San Diego International Conference on Child and Family Maltreatment
San Diego, CA
01/23/2016-01/28/2016

Online Directory of Crime Victims Services.