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Victim and Witness Assistance

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  • Resources (31)
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  • FAQs (17)
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Victim and witness assistance programs ensure that victims and witnesses of crimes are treated with fairness and respect, afforded their rights, and provided with the services they need to help ease the impact of victimization. Victim and witness assistance services include, but are not limited to, crisis intervention, emergency shelter and transportation, counseling, and criminal justice advocacy. All states and most territories receive annual state victim assistance program formula grants that must be used to support local community-based organizations and public agencies that provide services directly to victims.

The following resources provide additional information about victim and witness assistance programs and services.


OVC and OVC-Sponsored Publications

Identity (ID) Theft Toolkit (2014) OVC-Sponsored, Grant, NCJ 248389.
National Identity Theft Victims Assistance Network (NITVAN) coalitions across the country each contributed to the creation of this toolkit for victim advocates, attorneys, law enforcement officers, and anyone else involved in assisting victims. In this toolkit, you’ll find guidance on improving and expanding service to identity theft victims, starting a collaborative group in your area, as well as downloadable, ready-to-customize training materials, brochures, and more.
HTML
 
Innovative Practices for Victim Services: Report From the Field (December 2014) OVC, Bulletin, NCJ 248495.
This e-bulletin provides brief descriptions of the innovative practices currently used by VOCA victim assistance and compensation programs throughout the country. This online resource promotes the replication of these practices, which cover six key program areas: needs assessment, systems advocacy and coordination, compensation, underserved populations, victims’ rights and services, and technology.
HTML
 
A Circle of Healing for Native Children Endangered by Drugs (December 2014) OVC, NCJ 248443.
This seven-video series and companion resource guide feature Native programs and practices that incorporate cultural stories and traditions to help children, families, and communities in Indian Country to heal from substance abuse-related trauma.
HTML
 
Eight Benefits of NIBRS to Victim Service Providers (November 2014) OVC, Bulletin, NCJ 248480.
This e-bulletin describes how victim service providers can use National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS)–a system for recording crimes known to the police–to gain a better understanding of specific types of victimization, determine disparities between victims known to law enforcement and those receiving victim services, and identify underserved groups of crime victims. Data presented from the 15 states which currently report to NIBRS can assist victim service providers to identify patterns of crime and victimization that can justify the need for additional resources and guide decisions on optimal resource development.
HTML
 
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
 

OJP Publications

Improving Human Trafficking Victim Identification-Validation and Dissemination of a Screening Tool (June 2014) NIJ-Sponsored, Grant, 455 pages, NCJ 246712.
This guide provides users with recommendations on how to build trust with potential victims, maintain confidentiality, and use the tool correctly. When properly used, the tool could give victim service providers, law enforcement and legal, healthcare, and social service providers with a standard means of identifying victims of human trafficking.
Abstract | PDF
 
Screening for Human Trafficking: Guidelines for Administering the Trafficking Victim Identification Tool (TVIT) (June 2014) NIJ-Sponsored, Grant, 37 pages, NCJ 246713.
This tool is designed for victim service providers and other providers to assist in identifying victims of human trafficking. Developed over the last seven years by the Vera Institute of Justice in collaboration with 11 victim service organizations in California, Colorado, New York, Texas and Washington, this NIJ-funded tool has been validated with a diverse sample of potential victims of trafficking and found reliable in predicting labor and sex trafficking.
Abstract | PDF
 
Practical Implications of Current Intimate Partner Violence Research for Victim Advocates and Service Providers (January 2013) NIJ-Sponsored, Grant, 260 pages, NCJ 244348.
This report expands and enhances the 2009 report titled "Practical Implications of Current Domestic Violence Research: For Law Enforcement, Prosecutors and Judges" to address the practical implications of current domestic violence research for victim advocates and service providers.
Abstract | PDF
 
No More Rights Without Remedies: An Impact Evaluation of the National Crime Victim Law Institute's Victims' Rights Clinics, Final Technical Report (2012) NIJ-Sponsored, Grant, 125 pages, NCJ 241752.
This grant report evaluates the National Crime Victim Law Institute's (NCVLI) victims' rights clinics. The clinics were designed to increase awareness of victims' rights among criminal justice professionals and to respond to violations of rights through legal advocacy. The current report examines the clinics' impact on the expansion of rights for victims, on court officials' attitudes toward victims' rights, on the extent to which victims' rights are honored in the criminal disposition process, and on the treatment of victims' rights in the print media. It also includes a discussion of sustainability of the clinics.
Abstract | PDF
 
Use of Victim Service Agencies by Victims of Serious Violent Crime, 1993-2009 (August 2011) BJS, Report, BJS Special Reports, 16 pages, NCJ 234212.
Presents data from the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) on trends in the percentage of serious violent crime victims who received help or advice from a victim service agency from 1993 to 2009.

Part Of the BJS Special Reports Series Abstract | PDF | TEXT
 

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Victim and witness assistance programs ensure that victims and witnesses of crimes are treated with fairness and respect, afforded their rights, and provided with the services they need to help ease the impact of victimization. Victim and witness assistance services include, but are not limited to, crisis intervention, emergency shelter and transportation, counseling, and criminal justice advocacy. All states and most territories receive annual state victim assistance program formula grants that must be used to support local community-based organizations and public agencies that provide services directly to victims.

The following resources provide additional information about victim and witness assistance programs and services.


Victim and witness assistance programs ensure that victims and witnesses of crimes are treated with fairness and respect, afforded their rights, and provided with the services they need to help ease the impact of victimization. Victim and witness assistance services include, but are not limited to, crisis intervention, emergency shelter and transportation, counseling, and criminal justice advocacy. All states and most territories receive annual state victim assistance program formula grants that must be used to support local community-based organizations and public agencies that provide services directly to victims.

The following resources provide additional information about victim and witness assistance programs and services.


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

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

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

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

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

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

Victim and witness assistance programs ensure that victims and witnesses of crimes are treated with fairness and respect, afforded their rights, and provided with the services they need to help ease the impact of victimization. Victim and witness assistance services include, but are not limited to, crisis intervention, emergency shelter and transportation, counseling, and criminal justice advocacy. All states and most territories receive annual state victim assistance program formula grants that must be used to support local community-based organizations and public agencies that provide services directly to victims.

The following resources provide additional information about victim and witness assistance programs and services.


What type of protection does the U.S. Department of Justice provide to trafficking victims?
Information for trafficking victims is available in the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) brochu... Read More

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

When may I submit my nomination for the National Crime Victims' Service Awards?
The 2015 National Crime Victims' Service Awards nomination period is now closed. For more informatio... Read More

Does OVC provide direct services for victims of crime?
Yes. OVC provides direct services to people victimized on Tribal or federal lands, such as military ... Read More

More FAQs

Victim and witness assistance programs ensure that victims and witnesses of crimes are treated with fairness and respect, afforded their rights, and provided with the services they need to help ease the impact of victimization. Victim and witness assistance services include, but are not limited to, crisis intervention, emergency shelter and transportation, counseling, and criminal justice advocacy. All states and most territories receive annual state victim assistance program formula grants that must be used to support local community-based organizations and public agencies that provide services directly to victims.

The following resources provide additional information about victim and witness assistance programs and services.


No funding records found relevant to this topic.

More Funding Opportunities

Victim and witness assistance programs ensure that victims and witnesses of crimes are treated with fairness and respect, afforded their rights, and provided with the services they need to help ease the impact of victimization. Victim and witness assistance services include, but are not limited to, crisis intervention, emergency shelter and transportation, counseling, and criminal justice advocacy. All states and most territories receive annual state victim assistance program formula grants that must be used to support local community-based organizations and public agencies that provide services directly to victims.

The following resources provide additional information about victim and witness assistance programs and services.


Publications

OVC and OVC-Sponsored Publications

Identity (ID) Theft Toolkit (2014) OVC-Sponsored, Grant, NCJ 248389. National Identity Theft Victims Assistance Network (NITVAN) coalitions across the country each contributed to the creation of this toolkit for victim advocates, attorneys, law enforcement officers, and anyone else involved in assisting victims. In this toolkit, you’ll find guidance on improving and expanding service to identity theft victims, starting a collaborative group in your area, as well as downloadable, ready-to-customize training materials, brochures, and more.
HTML
 
Innovative Practices for Victim Services: Report From the Field (December 2014) OVC, Bulletin, NCJ 248495. This e-bulletin provides brief descriptions of the innovative practices currently used by VOCA victim assistance and compensation programs throughout the country. This online resource promotes the replication of these practices, which cover six key program areas: needs assessment, systems advocacy and coordination, compensation, underserved populations, victims’ rights and services, and technology.
HTML
 
A Circle of Healing for Native Children Endangered by Drugs (December 2014) OVC, NCJ 248443. This seven-video series and companion resource guide feature Native programs and practices that incorporate cultural stories and traditions to help children, families, and communities in Indian Country to heal from substance abuse-related trauma.
HTML
 
Eight Benefits of NIBRS to Victim Service Providers (November 2014) OVC, Bulletin, NCJ 248480. This e-bulletin describes how victim service providers can use National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS)–a system for recording crimes known to the police–to gain a better understanding of specific types of victimization, determine disparities between victims known to law enforcement and those receiving victim services, and identify underserved groups of crime victims. Data presented from the 15 states which currently report to NIBRS can assist victim service providers to identify patterns of crime and victimization that can justify the need for additional resources and guide decisions on optimal resource development.
HTML
 
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
 

OJP Publications

Improving Human Trafficking Victim Identification-Validation and Dissemination of a Screening Tool (June 2014) NIJ-Sponsored, Grant, 455 pages, NCJ 246712. This guide provides users with recommendations on how to build trust with potential victims, maintain confidentiality, and use the tool correctly. When properly used, the tool could give victim service providers, law enforcement and legal, healthcare, and social service providers with a standard means of identifying victims of human trafficking.
Abstract | PDF
 
Screening for Human Trafficking: Guidelines for Administering the Trafficking Victim Identification Tool (TVIT) (June 2014) NIJ-Sponsored, Grant, 37 pages, NCJ 246713. This tool is designed for victim service providers and other providers to assist in identifying victims of human trafficking. Developed over the last seven years by the Vera Institute of Justice in collaboration with 11 victim service organizations in California, Colorado, New York, Texas and Washington, this NIJ-funded tool has been validated with a diverse sample of potential victims of trafficking and found reliable in predicting labor and sex trafficking.
Abstract | PDF
 
Practical Implications of Current Intimate Partner Violence Research for Victim Advocates and Service Providers (January 2013) NIJ-Sponsored, Grant, 260 pages, NCJ 244348. This report expands and enhances the 2009 report titled "Practical Implications of Current Domestic Violence Research: For Law Enforcement, Prosecutors and Judges" to address the practical implications of current domestic violence research for victim advocates and service providers.
Abstract | PDF
 
No More Rights Without Remedies: An Impact Evaluation of the National Crime Victim Law Institute's Victims' Rights Clinics, Final Technical Report (2012) NIJ-Sponsored, Grant, 125 pages, NCJ 241752. This grant report evaluates the National Crime Victim Law Institute's (NCVLI) victims' rights clinics. The clinics were designed to increase awareness of victims' rights among criminal justice professionals and to respond to violations of rights through legal advocacy. The current report examines the clinics' impact on the expansion of rights for victims, on court officials' attitudes toward victims' rights, on the extent to which victims' rights are honored in the criminal disposition process, and on the treatment of victims' rights in the print media. It also includes a discussion of sustainability of the clinics.
Abstract | PDF
 
Use of Victim Service Agencies by Victims of Serious Violent Crime, 1993-2009 (August 2011) BJS, Report, BJS Special Reports, 16 pages, NCJ 234212. Presents data from the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) on trends in the percentage of serious violent crime victims who received help or advice from a victim service agency from 1993 to 2009.
Part Of the BJS Special Reports Series
Abstract | PDF | TEXT
 

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Related Resources

OVC Funded Resources

Enhancing Law Enforcement Response to Victims
For over a decade, the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) has collaborated with OVC to promote crime victim rights and facilitate law enforcement's ability to effectively address victim needs. One of the key milestones of this collaboration includes the 21st Century Strategy for Enhancing Law Enforcement Response to Victims, consisting of the Strategy, the Implementation Guide, the Resource Toolkit, and the Training Supplemental. This Web site, which captures the 21st Century Strategy and a number of other victim-related materials and publications, serves as a unique law enforcement resource center for enhanced victim response.
 
Identity Theft Victim Assistance Network Project
The Maryland Crime Victims' Resource Center, Inc. (MCVRC), with funding from OVC, this project seeks to improve the response (infrastructure, training, outreach tools, and direct victim assistance services) to victims of identity theft nationwide.
 
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.
 

Federal Resources

Antiterrorism and Emergency Assistance Program (AEAP)
OVC manages AEAP, which offers five funding streams to provide timely relief to communities affected by terrorism and criminal mass violence for immediate and ongoing victim assistance services in the form of grants to qualifying applicants (including state victim assistance and compensation programs); U.S. Attorneys' Offices; federal, state, and local governments; and nongovernmental victim service organizations.
 
CrimeSolutions.gov
CrimeSolutions.gov is a searchable online database of evidence-based programs covering a range of justice-related topics, including victim assistance programs; corrections; courts; crime prevention; substance abuse; juveniles; law enforcement; and technology and forensics. The site is a tool to understand, access and integrate scientific evidence about programs into programmatic and policy decisions.
 
Department of Defense (DoD) Safe Helpline
The Department of Defense (DoD) Safe Helpline is a confidential crisis support service for adult service members of the DoD community affected by sexual assault. Operated by the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN), the helpline provides live, one-on-one expert advice and information 24/7.
 
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

Break the Chain Campaign
BTCC seeks to prevent and address the abuse and exploitation of migrant women workers through holistic leadership development, community engagement and survivor-driven outreach and policy advocacy.
 
Foundation Aiding the Elderly (FATE)
FATE serves as a voice for patients and works to bring about national reforms and enforcement of the laws governing the nursing home industry and its regulatory agencies in order to assure proper care, civil rights and meaningful, dignified life for the elderly in long-term care facilities.
 
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.
 
Helping And Lending Outreach Support (HALOS)
HALOS's mission is to provide resources and special opportunities to abused and neglected children and their caregivers through partnerships with faith-based and other community organizations. HALOS matches community donations to the needs of foster children and children cared for in the homes of family members other than their parents. OVC produced a toolkit available at www.ovc.gov/halos which offers lessons learned and suggests strategies for establishing programs like HALOS wherever foster families and relatives need additional support for the children in their care.
 
MiraMed
The mission of MiraMed is to protect, educate and support Russia’s disadvantaged youth and children growing up in institutions and eliminate the sexual trafficking of vulnerable young women and girls while assisting in the rescue, return and rehabilitation of trafficking victims.
 

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Web Forum Discussions

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

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

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

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

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

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


FAQs

What type of protection does the U.S. Department of Justice provide to trafficking victims?
Information for trafficking victims is available in the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) brochu... Read More

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

When may I submit my nomination for the National Crime Victims' Service Awards?
The 2015 National Crime Victims' Service Awards nomination period is now closed. For more informatio... Read More

Does OVC provide direct services for victims of crime?
Yes. OVC provides direct services to people victimized on Tribal or federal lands, such as military ... Read More

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Funding

No funding records found relevant to this topic.

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

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

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

Online Directory of Crime Victims Services.