The goal for Vision 21: Transforming Victim Services is simple yet profound: to permanently alter the way we treat victims of crime in America. OVC and many others who work in the crime victims field recognize the need for a better way to respond to crime victims. We seek a comprehensive and systemic approach, drawing from a wide range of tangible yet difficult to access resources, including legislation, funding, research, and practice, to change how we meet victims’ needs and how we address those who perpetrate crime. We have heard the call for a better way and it is our fervent hope that Vision 21 creates that path. Vision 21: Transforming Victim Services Framework discusses:
as a transformative movement would
not be content with maintaining the status quo or a less than bold
exploration of the issues.
- Major challenges to the integration of research into victim services.
- The tremendous need for crime victims to have access to legal assistance to address the wide range of legal issues that can arise following victimization.
- The impact of advances in technology, globalization, and changing demographics on the crime victims field.
- The capacity for serving victims in the 21st century and some of the infrastructure issues that must be overcome to reach that capacity.
Furthermore, the framework outlines recommendations for beginning the transformative change, which fall into the following four broad categories:
- Conducting continuous rather than episodic strategic planning in the victim assistance field to effect real change in research, policy, programming, and capacity building.
- Supporting research to build a body of evidence-based knowledge and generate, collect, and analyze quantitative and qualitative data on victimization, emerging victimization trends, services and behaviors, and enforcement efforts.
- Ensuring the statutory, policy, and programmatic flexibility to address enduring and emerging crime victim issues.
- Building and institutionalizing capacity through an infusion of technology, training, and innovation to ensure that the field is equipped to meet the demands of the 21st century.
We must take the next step: turning today’s vision into tomorrow’s reality for crime victims in this country.
Download Framework (PDF 348 kb)