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Victim and Witness Assistance

  • Publications (67)
  • Resources (31)
  • Forum Discussions (5)
  • FAQs (17)
  • 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

Identity (ID) Theft Toolkit (2014) OVC-Sponsored, Grant, NCJ 248389.
National Identity Theft Victims Assistance Network (NITVAN) coalitions across the country each contributed to the creation of this toolkit for victim advocates, attorneys, law enforcement officers, and anyone else involved in assisting victims. In this toolkit, you’ll find guidance on improving and expanding service to identity theft victims, starting a collaborative group in your area, as well as downloadable, ready-to-customize training materials, brochures, and more.
HTML
 
Eight Benefits of NIBRS to Victim Service Providers (November 2014) OVC, Bulletin, NCJ 248480.
This e-bulletin describes how victim service providers can use National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS)–a system for recording crimes known to the police–to gain a better understanding of specific types of victimization, determine disparities between victims known to law enforcement and those receiving victim services, and identify underserved groups of crime victims. Data presented from the 15 states which currently report to NIBRS can assist victim service providers to identify patterns of crime and victimization that can justify the need for additional resources and guide decisions on optimal resource development.
HTML
 
Responding to Transgender Victims of Sexual Assault (June 2014) OVC, Electronic Document, 0 pages, NCJ 243903.
Transgender victims of sexual assault, like all crime victims, want and deserve to be respected, heard, believed, served, and supported. This user-friendly guide offers practical tools to promote understanding and support of transgender victims, whether you are a health care provider, law enforcement officer, emergency medical personnel, advocate, therapist, or support group facilitator. Learn how you can be a source of support and care for individuals in this high-risk population.
Abstract | HTML
 
HALOS Strategy: Community Collaborations for Children (May 2014) OVC, OVC Training, 0 pages, NCJ 246834.
This online toolkit offers lessons learned and suggests strategies for replicating or establishing programs like the Helping and Lending Outreach Support (HALOS) program wherever foster families and relatives need additional support for the children in their care. It explains key components of program development, implementation, and sustainability; and includes sample forms and materials used by HALOS and the replicating organizations.
Abstract | HTML
Part Of the OVC Training Series
 
Through Our Eyes: Children, Violence, and Trauma (April 2014) OVC, 0 pages, NCJ 241394.
This video series addresses the needs of children exposed to crime, abuse, and violence; highlights major issues in child victimization; identifies promising practices for service providers and others working with young victims; and shows how trauma-informed care can help child victims recover to lead healthy, productive lives. A companion resource guide accompanies each video and public awareness posters are available for download.
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
 
OJP 2014 Program Plan: Resources for the Criminal Justice and Juvenile Justice Field (May 2014) OJP, Electronic Document, 0 pages, NCJ 246682.
The Office of Justice Programs (OJP) Program Plan is a searchable online document of funding opportunities and new initiatives. It features the latest and most complete information regarding grant opportunities OJP intends to fund in the coming months, divided into 10 thematically organized sections.
Abstract | HTML
 
Practical Implications of Current Intimate Partner Violence Research for Victim Advocates and Service Providers (January 2013) NIJ-Sponsored, Grant, 260 pages, NCJ 244348.
This report expands and enhances the 2009 report titled "Practical Implications of Current Domestic Violence Research: For Law Enforcement, Prosecutors and Judges" to address the practical implications of current domestic violence research for victim advocates and service providers.
Abstract | PDF
 
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 Nov 19 2014 at 2:00PM, Roe Bubar, J.D, Associate Professor at Colorado State University, and Leila Goldsmith, J.D., Child Advocacy Coordinator with the Tulalip Tribes of Washington, hosted a discussion on Forensic Interviewing in Tribal Communities

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

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

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

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

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
 
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
 
HALOS Strategy: Community Collaborations for Children (May 2014) OVC, OVC Training, 0 pages, NCJ 246834. This online toolkit offers lessons learned and suggests strategies for replicating or establishing programs like the Helping and Lending Outreach Support (HALOS) program wherever foster families and relatives need additional support for the children in their care. It explains key components of program development, implementation, and sustainability; and includes sample forms and materials used by HALOS and the replicating organizations.
Abstract | HTML
Part Of the OVC Training Series
 
Through Our Eyes: Children, Violence, and Trauma (April 2014) OVC, 0 pages, NCJ 241394. This video series addresses the needs of children exposed to crime, abuse, and violence; highlights major issues in child victimization; identifies promising practices for service providers and others working with young victims; and shows how trauma-informed care can help child victims recover to lead healthy, productive lives. A companion resource guide accompanies each video and public awareness posters are available for download.
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
 
OJP 2014 Program Plan: Resources for the Criminal Justice and Juvenile Justice Field (May 2014) OJP, Electronic Document, 0 pages, NCJ 246682. The Office of Justice Programs (OJP) Program Plan is a searchable online document of funding opportunities and new initiatives. It features the latest and most complete information regarding grant opportunities OJP intends to fund in the coming months, divided into 10 thematically organized sections.
Abstract | HTML
 
Practical Implications of Current Intimate Partner Violence Research for Victim Advocates and Service Providers (January 2013) NIJ-Sponsored, Grant, 260 pages, NCJ 244348. This report expands and enhances the 2009 report titled "Practical Implications of Current Domestic Violence Research: For Law Enforcement, Prosecutors and Judges" to address the practical implications of current domestic violence research for victim advocates and service providers.
Abstract | PDF
 
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

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.
 
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.
 
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.
 
World Trade Center Health Program
This program monitors, screens, treats and supports responders who responded to the disaster site at the World Trade Center in New York City and who may have been affected physically or mentally by their service. The site is designed to provide information related to all aspects of the World Trade Center Health Program, to highlight new developments in the program as they occur, and to help individuals find information of particular interest for them.
 

Non-Governmental Resources

Center for Child and Family Studies
The Center for Child and Family Studies partners with public and private agencies to build, maintain, and restore families and communities.
 
Crime Victims Advocacy Council
Crime Victims Advocacy Council seeks to help crime victims cope with their suffering and pain by concentrating their energies and resources in support groups, community education, crime prevention, raising community consciousness and acting as an advocate for crime victim’s rights.
 
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.
 
Girls Educational and Mentoring Services
The mission of Girls Educational and Mentoring Services is to empower young women, ages 12–24, who have experienced commercial sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking to exit the commercial sex industry and develop to their full potential.
 
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 Nov 19 2014 at 2:00PM, Roe Bubar, J.D, Associate Professor at Colorado State University, and Leila Goldsmith, J.D., Child Advocacy Coordinator with the Tulalip Tribes of Washington, hosted a discussion on Forensic Interviewing in Tribal Communities

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

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

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

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


FAQs

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

Online Directory of Crime Victims Services.