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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

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)
 
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
 
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
 
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
 
Understanding the Organization, Operation, and Victimization Process of Labor Trafficking in the United States (October 2014) NIJ-Sponsored, Grant, 306 pages, NCJ 248461.
This report explores patterns of labor trafficking in the U.S., and found that trafficking occurs in multiple industries, including agriculture, hospitality, construction, and restaurants. The report verified that labor trafficking usually goes unreported, and law enforcement often have difficulty distinguishing labor trafficking from other workplace exploitation. Policy and practice implications of this research for federal and local law enforcement and victims' service agencies are outlined.
Abstract | PDF
 
Improving Human Trafficking Victim Identification-Validation and Dissemination of a Screening Tool (June 2014) NIJ-Sponsored, Grant, 455 pages, NCJ 246712.
This guide provides users with recommendations on how to build trust with potential victims, maintain confidentiality, and use the tool correctly. When properly used, the tool could give victim service providers, law enforcement and legal, healthcare, and social service providers with a standard means of identifying victims of human trafficking.
Abstract | PDF
 
Screening for Human Trafficking: Guidelines for Administering the Trafficking Victim Identification Tool (TVIT) (June 2014) NIJ-Sponsored, Grant, 37 pages, NCJ 246713.
This tool is designed for victim service providers and other providers to assist in identifying victims of human trafficking. Developed over the last seven years by the Vera Institute of Justice in collaboration with 11 victim service organizations in California, Colorado, New York, Texas and Washington, this NIJ-funded tool has been validated with a diverse sample of potential victims of trafficking and found reliable in predicting labor and sex trafficking.
Abstract | PDF
 
Practical Implications of Current Intimate Partner Violence Research for Victim Advocates and Service Providers (January 2013) NIJ-Sponsored, Grant, 260 pages, NCJ 244348.
This report expands and enhances the 2009 report titled "Practical Implications of Current Domestic Violence Research: For Law Enforcement, Prosecutors and Judges" to address the practical implications of current domestic violence research for victim advocates and service providers.
Abstract | PDF
 

Back to Top

Every crime has a victim, but not every victim has a voice within the criminal justice system. Victims often need someone to help them identify and assert their rights, navigate an unfamiliar criminal justice system process, issue a victim impact statement, provide counseling and support, or locate and obtain the services they need to help ease the impact of their victimization. Victim advocates perform a myriad of functions that may include speaking or acting on a victim’s behalf; serving as a liaison between the victim and the court system to minimize the physical, psychological, emotional, and financial effects of the crime on the victim; and working to effect social and system changes.

The following resources provide information on issues related to victim advocacy.


Every crime has a victim, but not every victim has a voice within the criminal justice system. Victims often need someone to help them identify and assert their rights, navigate an unfamiliar criminal justice system process, issue a victim impact statement, provide counseling and support, or locate and obtain the services they need to help ease the impact of their victimization. Victim advocates perform a myriad of functions that may include speaking or acting on a victim’s behalf; serving as a liaison between the victim and the court system to minimize the physical, psychological, emotional, and financial effects of the crime on the victim; and working to effect social and system changes.

The following resources provide information on issues related to victim advocacy.


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

On 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

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 a court action that requires perpetrators to make financial payments to their victims... Read More

How do I add my program/organization to the Online Directory of Crime Victim Services?
Visit the Get Posted section of the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) Online Directory of Crime Vict... 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 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

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

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)
 
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
 
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
 
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
 
Understanding the Organization, Operation, and Victimization Process of Labor Trafficking in the United States (October 2014) NIJ-Sponsored, Grant, 306 pages, NCJ 248461. This report explores patterns of labor trafficking in the U.S., and found that trafficking occurs in multiple industries, including agriculture, hospitality, construction, and restaurants. The report verified that labor trafficking usually goes unreported, and law enforcement often have difficulty distinguishing labor trafficking from other workplace exploitation. Policy and practice implications of this research for federal and local law enforcement and victims' service agencies are outlined.
Abstract | PDF
 
Improving Human Trafficking Victim Identification-Validation and Dissemination of a Screening Tool (June 2014) NIJ-Sponsored, Grant, 455 pages, NCJ 246712. This guide provides users with recommendations on how to build trust with potential victims, maintain confidentiality, and use the tool correctly. When properly used, the tool could give victim service providers, law enforcement and legal, healthcare, and social service providers with a standard means of identifying victims of human trafficking.
Abstract | PDF
 
Screening for Human Trafficking: Guidelines for Administering the Trafficking Victim Identification Tool (TVIT) (June 2014) NIJ-Sponsored, Grant, 37 pages, NCJ 246713. This tool is designed for victim service providers and other providers to assist in identifying victims of human trafficking. Developed over the last seven years by the Vera Institute of Justice in collaboration with 11 victim service organizations in California, Colorado, New York, Texas and Washington, this NIJ-funded tool has been validated with a diverse sample of potential victims of trafficking and found reliable in predicting labor and sex trafficking.
Abstract | PDF
 
Practical Implications of Current Intimate Partner Violence Research for Victim Advocates and Service Providers (January 2013) NIJ-Sponsored, Grant, 260 pages, NCJ 244348. This report expands and enhances the 2009 report titled "Practical Implications of Current Domestic Violence Research: For Law Enforcement, Prosecutors and Judges" to address the practical implications of current domestic violence research for victim advocates and service providers.
Abstract | PDF
 

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Related Resources

OVC Funded Resources

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

Corporation for National and Community Service (CNS)
The Corporation for National and Community Service provides opportunities for Americans of all ages and backgrounds to engage in service that addresses the Nation's educational, public safety, environmental, and other human needs to achieve direct and demonstrable results and to encourage all Americans to engage in such service. In doing so, the corporation will foster civic responsibility, strengthen the ties that bind us together as a people, and provide educational opportunity for those who make a substantial commitment to service.
 
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 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

Child Labor Public Education Project
The Child Labor Public Education Project provides educational workshops and materials on a range of issues regarding child labor in the U.S. and other countries.
 
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.
 
Mothers Against Sexual Abuse (MASA)
MASA works to prevent child sexual abuse by increasing adult awareness, connecting victims with resources and supporting legislation to protect children.
 
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.
 
Start by Believing
Sponsored by End Violence Against Women International, this campaign Web site is designed to inform and change the way individuals respond to victims of sexual violence.
 

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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 difference between compensation and restitution?
Restitution is a court action that requires perpetrators to make financial payments to their victims... Read More

How do I add my program/organization to the Online Directory of Crime Victim Services?
Visit the Get Posted section of the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) Online Directory of Crime Vict... 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 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

Back to Top


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.