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Victim and Witness Assistance

  • Publications (74)
  • Resources (31)
  • Forum Discussions (5)
  • FAQs (18)
  • Funding (0)
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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

Faces of Human Trafficking (January 2016) OVC, NCJ 248754.
This video series and resource guide raise awareness of the seriousness of human trafficking, the many forms it can takes, and the important role that everyone can play in identifying and serving victims. This new multidisciplinary resource includes nine videos with Spanish subtitles; Public Service Announcements (PSAs) in English, Spanish, Thai, Hindi, and Tagalog; a discussion guide; four fact sheets; and four posters designed for service providers and allied professionals, law enforcement, the general public, and victims/survivors.
HTML
 
2016 National Crime Victims' Rights Week (NCVRW) Poster (2015) OVC, PS000030.
The 2016 NCVRW Theme Poster evokes the theme-Serving Victims. Building Trust. Restoring Hope.—which underscores the importance of early intervention and victim services in establishing trust with victims, which in turn begins to restore their hope for healing and recovery. The poster is available for download in in color or black and white and can be customized by your organization before printing.
PDF (Color, 22' x 28') | PDF (Black and White, 22' x 28') | PDF (Customizable, Color) | PDF (Customizable, Black and White)
 
2015 OVC Report to the Nation, Fiscal Years 2013-2014: Building Capacity Through Research, Innovation, Technology, and Training (August 2015) OVC, Report, OVC Fact Sheets, 4 pages, NCJ 248907.
OVC's Report to the Nation summarizes the progress made in upholding crime victims' rights and providing high-quality services to victims, survivors, and communities during fiscal years 2013−2014. The report highlights innovative programs and victim-centered initiatives, summarizes financial support to states and U.S. territories, and provides insight into OVC's strategic efforts to address both emerging and enduring challenges in order to expand and enhance victim assistance throughout the Nation.
Abstract | HTML
Part Of the OVC Fact Sheets Series
 
Helping Victims of Mass Violence and Terrorism: Planning, Response, Recovery, and Resources (August 2015) OVC, 2 pages, NCJ 248647.
This toolkit is designed to help communities prepare for and respond to victims of mass violence and terrorism in the most timely, effective, and compassionate manner possible. OVC created this product in coordination with the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Office for Victim Assistance and DOJ's Office of Justice for Victims of Overseas Terrorism.
Abstract | HTML
 
Federal Strategic Action Plan on Services for Victims of Human Trafficking in the United States: Fiscal Years 2013-2014 Status Report (July 2015) OVC, Report, 64 pages, NCJ 248967.
The Federal Strategic Action Plan on Services for Victims of Human Trafficking in the United States, 2013–2017. This status report identifies progress made by federal agencies during fiscal years 2013-2014 to address the goals, objectives, and the actions identified in the Federal Strategic Action Plan to ensure that all victims of human trafficking in the U.S. are identified and have access to the services they need to recover.
Abstract | PDF
 

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

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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 Feb 10 2016 at 2:00PM, Michelle Harkey, founder and CEO of Stars Mentoring Services, LLC, and Keisha Varnell, Director of Interpersonal Violence Prevention Programs at Jackson State University, hosted a discussion on Outreach and Response to Teen Victims of Dating Violence

On Jan 28 2016 at 2:00PM, Bernard Keels, Director of the University Chapel at Morgan State University, and Barry McCrary, Associate Professor in the school of law enforcement and justice administration at Western Illinois University, hosted a discussion on Challenges and Opportunities for Supporting Nontraditional Victims

On Jan 20 2016 at 2:00PM, Kimber Nicoletti, M.S.W., Director and Founder of Multicultural Efforts to End Sexual Assault at Purdue University, and Kiricka Yarbough Smith, former manager of the human trafficking program for the North Carolina Coalition Against Sexual Assault, hosted a discussion on Human Trafficking in Rural Communities

On Dec 9 2015 at 2:00PM, Dan Gregory, Community Relations Coordinator at Casa de los Niños, and Joyce Siegel, L.M.S.W., has been the Program Director for Sexual Assault Services of Calhoun County, Michigan, hosted a discussion on Using Volunteers Effectively

On Nov 17 2015 at 2:00PM, Geri Wisner, Tribal Prosecutor for the Pawnee Nation and Wyandotte Tribe of Oklahoma, and Sarah Collins, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of South Dakota, hosted a discussion on Improving Federal Agency Response to Sexual Violence in Indian Country

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 is the Federal Government doing to combat human trafficking?
Although the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has long enforced criminal laws against involuntary se... 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 a 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

I would like to apply for a Professional Development Scholarship. Where can I find the application?
Visit the Professional Development Scholarship Program section of the OVC TTAC website for specific ... Read More

How do I check on the status of my scholarship application?
To check on the status of your scholarship application, contact the OVC Training and Technical Assis... 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

Faces of Human Trafficking (January 2016) OVC, NCJ 248754. This video series and resource guide raise awareness of the seriousness of human trafficking, the many forms it can takes, and the important role that everyone can play in identifying and serving victims. This new multidisciplinary resource includes nine videos with Spanish subtitles; Public Service Announcements (PSAs) in English, Spanish, Thai, Hindi, and Tagalog; a discussion guide; four fact sheets; and four posters designed for service providers and allied professionals, law enforcement, the general public, and victims/survivors.
HTML
 
2016 National Crime Victims' Rights Week (NCVRW) Poster (2015) OVC, PS000030. The 2016 NCVRW Theme Poster evokes the theme-Serving Victims. Building Trust. Restoring Hope.—which underscores the importance of early intervention and victim services in establishing trust with victims, which in turn begins to restore their hope for healing and recovery. The poster is available for download in in color or black and white and can be customized by your organization before printing.
PDF (Color, 22' x 28') | PDF (Black and White, 22' x 28') | PDF (Customizable, Color) | PDF (Customizable, Black and White)
 
2015 OVC Report to the Nation, Fiscal Years 2013-2014: Building Capacity Through Research, Innovation, Technology, and Training (August 2015) OVC, Report, OVC Fact Sheets, 4 pages, NCJ 248907. OVC's Report to the Nation summarizes the progress made in upholding crime victims' rights and providing high-quality services to victims, survivors, and communities during fiscal years 2013−2014. The report highlights innovative programs and victim-centered initiatives, summarizes financial support to states and U.S. territories, and provides insight into OVC's strategic efforts to address both emerging and enduring challenges in order to expand and enhance victim assistance throughout the Nation.
Abstract | HTML
Part Of the OVC Fact Sheets Series
 
Helping Victims of Mass Violence and Terrorism: Planning, Response, Recovery, and Resources (August 2015) OVC, 2 pages, NCJ 248647. This toolkit is designed to help communities prepare for and respond to victims of mass violence and terrorism in the most timely, effective, and compassionate manner possible. OVC created this product in coordination with the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Office for Victim Assistance and DOJ's Office of Justice for Victims of Overseas Terrorism.
Abstract | HTML
 
Federal Strategic Action Plan on Services for Victims of Human Trafficking in the United States: Fiscal Years 2013-2014 Status Report (July 2015) OVC, Report, 64 pages, NCJ 248967. The Federal Strategic Action Plan on Services for Victims of Human Trafficking in the United States, 2013–2017. This status report identifies progress made by federal agencies during fiscal years 2013-2014 to address the goals, objectives, and the actions identified in the Federal Strategic Action Plan to ensure that all victims of human trafficking in the U.S. are identified and have access to the services they need to recover.
Abstract | PDF
 

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

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Related Resources

OVC Funded Resources

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.
 
Department of Defense (DOD): Victim and Witness Assistance Council (VWAC)
The Council's Web site offers information and links to assist victims, and witnesses to crimes on military installations. Resources include contact information for victim and witness assistance coordinators for the Coast Guard, Department of the Air Force, Department of the Army, Department of the Navy, Marine Corps, Office of the Secretary of Defense. Each branch of services has: 1) An interdisciplinary Victim and Witness Assistance Council; 2)a Family Advocacy Program designed to prevent and treat child and spouse abuse; and 3) a central repository for tracking notice of the status of offenders confined in military correctional facilities. In addition, local councils have been established at each major military installation to ensure that an interdisciplinary approach is followed by victim and witness service providers.
 
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.
 
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

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.
 
International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW)
IFSW is a global organisation striving for social justice, human rights and social development through social work, best practices and international cooperation between social workers and their professional organisations.
 
National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life (NCALL)
NCALL's mission is to eliminate abuse in later life by challenging beliefs, policies, practices and systems that allow abuse to occur and continue and to improve safety, services and support to victims through advocacy and education.
 
National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV)
NNEDV works closely with domestic violence coalitions, allied organization, and individuals to understand the ongoing and emerging needs of domestic violence victims and advocacy programs.
 
Shared Hope International
Shared Hope International is a worldwide effort to prevent and eradicate sex trafficking and slavery through education and public awareness.
 

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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 Feb 10 2016 at 2:00PM, Michelle Harkey, founder and CEO of Stars Mentoring Services, LLC, and Keisha Varnell, Director of Interpersonal Violence Prevention Programs at Jackson State University, hosted a discussion on Outreach and Response to Teen Victims of Dating Violence

On Jan 28 2016 at 2:00PM, Bernard Keels, Director of the University Chapel at Morgan State University, and Barry McCrary, Associate Professor in the school of law enforcement and justice administration at Western Illinois University, hosted a discussion on Challenges and Opportunities for Supporting Nontraditional Victims

On Jan 20 2016 at 2:00PM, Kimber Nicoletti, M.S.W., Director and Founder of Multicultural Efforts to End Sexual Assault at Purdue University, and Kiricka Yarbough Smith, former manager of the human trafficking program for the North Carolina Coalition Against Sexual Assault, hosted a discussion on Human Trafficking in Rural Communities

On Dec 9 2015 at 2:00PM, Dan Gregory, Community Relations Coordinator at Casa de los Niños, and Joyce Siegel, L.M.S.W., has been the Program Director for Sexual Assault Services of Calhoun County, Michigan, hosted a discussion on Using Volunteers Effectively

On Nov 17 2015 at 2:00PM, Geri Wisner, Tribal Prosecutor for the Pawnee Nation and Wyandotte Tribe of Oklahoma, and Sarah Collins, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of South Dakota, hosted a discussion on Improving Federal Agency Response to Sexual Violence in Indian Country


FAQs

What is the Federal Government doing to combat human trafficking?
Although the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has long enforced criminal laws against involuntary se... 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 a 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

I would like to apply for a Professional Development Scholarship. Where can I find the application?
Visit the Professional Development Scholarship Program section of the OVC TTAC website for specific ... Read More

How do I check on the status of my scholarship application?
To check on the status of your scholarship application, contact the OVC Training and Technical Assis... 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 Crime Victims' Service Awards Ceremony
Washington, DC
04/12/2016-04/12/2016

Online Directory of Crime Victims Services.