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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

2019 National Crime Victims' Rights Week (NCVRW) Poster (2019) OVC, NCJ 252740.
The poster evokes this year’s NCVRW theme—Honoring Our Past. Creating Hope for the Future.—which celebrates the progress made by those before us as we look to a future of crime victim services that is even more inclusive, accessible, and trauma-informed. The poster is available for download and a customizable version is available. A limited number of color hardcopies can be ordered through the OVC Resource Center (www.ncjrs.gov).
HTML
 
2019 National Crime Victims' Rights Week (NCVRW) Poster Kit (includes Theme Poster and awareness posters) (2019) OVC, NCJ 252741.
The poster kit contains the NCVRW Theme Poster and this year's awareness posters. These awareness materials are customizable and available to download. A limited number of color hardcopies can be ordered through the OVC Resource Center (www.ncjrs.gov).
HTML
 
2019 National Crime Victims' Rights Week (NCVRW) Resource Guide (March 2019) OVC, 3 pages, NCJ 252369.
The 2019 NCVRW Resource Guide provides materials to create your own public awareness campaigns to raise awareness about crime victims’ rights and the services available to victims of crime. The guide features campaign materials in both English and Spanish, including planning tips, artwork, and more.
Abstract | HTML
 
Labor Trafficking Protocol Guidelines: Identifying and Responding to Victims of Labor Trafficking 24 Years Old and Under (January 2019) OVC-Sponsored, 114 pages, NCJ 252705.
This guidelines are designed to help communities throughout Minnesota identify and respond to victims of labor trafficking, especially youth 24 years old and younger.
Abstract | PDF (Full Report) | PDF (Executive Summary)
 
Keys to Collaboration Between Hospital-based Violence Intervention and Cure Violence Programs (2018) OVC-Sponsored, Grant, 16 pages, NCJ 251823.
The Healing Justice Alliance, with funding support from OVC, published this report to help guide communities that are implementing, or are interested in implementing, both hospital-based violence intervention and cure violence programs to address violence impacting young males.
Abstract | PDF
 

OJP Publications

Financial Support for Victims of Crime: A Quick Guide for Corrections and Community Supervision Officers (August 2018) BJA-Sponsored, Grant, 4 pages, NCJ 252127.
Corrections, probation, and parole officers can play an important role to inform victims of services, rights, and programs. This guide outlines how to provide victims of crime with information on restitution, victim compensation, and other types of financial assistance.
Abstract | PDF
 
Questioning Bias: Validating A Bias Crime Victim Assessment Tool In California And New Jersey, Summary Overview (July 2018) NIJ-Sponsored, Grant, 29 pages, NCJ 252010.
This study investigated the experiences of hate incidents, crimes and factors affecting underreporting among youth and adults in LGBT, Hispanic, Black, Muslim communities in New Jersey and Los Angeles. Based on the research findings, the Vera Institute of Justice developed an assessment tool, the Bias Crime Assessment Tool, to improve the identification of hate crime victimization, better reflect victims’ experiences, increase confidence in the reporting process, and help to record more accurate data.
Abstract | PDF
 
Social Support Can Diminish Negative Effects of Elder Abuse (December 2017) NIJ-Sponsored, Grant, 2 pages, NCJ 251468.
This article summarizes the findings of a series of studies that have identified the critical role of social support in preventing and ameliorating the adverse effects of elder abuse. These research findings may help inform how victim service providers and allied professionals respond to victims of elder abuse.
Abstract | PDF
 
Enhancing Police Responses to Children Exposed to Violence: A Toolkit for Law Enforcement (February 2017) OJJDP-Sponsored, Report, 68 pages, NCJ 250768.
This toolkit provides practical resources to assist law enforcement agencies in building or enhancing effective operational responses to children exposed to violence (with or without a mental health partner).
Abstract | PDF
 
Examining Criminal Justice Responses to and Help-Seeking Patterns of Sexual Violence Survivors With Disabilities (June 2016) NIJ-Sponsored, Grant, 87 pages, NCJ 250196.
The goal of this study used is to better understand the criminal justice experience of persons with disabilities that report a sexual assault or rape to the authorities. Results suggest that current criminal justice structures are not sufficient to provide support for one of the highest-risk adult populations for sexual assault and victimization in the U.S.
Abstract | PDF
 

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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.


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 Nov 16 2016 at 2:00PM, Harlan Pruden, member of the Cree Nation and Managing Editor of TwoSpiritJournal.com, and Elton Naswood, of the Near to the Water People Clan and member of the Community Expert Advisory Council for the Indigenous HIV/AIDS Research Training , hosted a discussion on Serving Two-Spirit/LGBTQ Victims in Tribal Communities

On Oct 19 2016 at 2:00PM, Dana DeHart, Ph.D., Research Professor & Assistant Dean for Research at the University of South Carolina’s College of Social Work, and Angie McCown, Director, Texas Department of Criminal Justice’s Victim Services Division, hosted a discussion on Model Standards for Serving Victims and Survivors of Crime

On Sep 27 2016 at 2:00PM, Krista Flannigan, J.D., Director, Institute for Crime Victim Research & Policy at Florida State University, and Karen Thomas, President of the Connections Training Group, LLC, hosted a discussion on Serving Victims of Mass Violence

On Sep 14 2016 at 2:00PM, Donna Barry, APN, FN-CSA, DNP, has been the Director of the University Health Center at Montclair State University, and Anthony Walker, former Chief of Police for Norfolk State University, hosted a discussion on Campus Services for Victims of Sexual Assault

On Jul 20 2016 at 2:00PM, Merry O'Brien, M.S.W., the Network for Victim Recovery of DC’s Identity Theft Assistance, and Paula Pierce, J.D., former Manager of Hotline Services for Texas Legal Services Center, hosted a discussion on Serving Victims of Financial Fraud and Fraud Prevention

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.


FY 2019 VOCA Victim Compensation (PDF 356 kb)
Deadline: 07/08/2019
Under this formula grant program, OVC will award each eligible state victim compensation program an annual grant equal to 60 percent of the amount the program awarded in state-funded victim compensation payments during the fiscal year two years prior to the present fiscal year, other than amounts awarded for property damage. The primary purpose of these grants is to supplement state efforts to provide financial compensation to crime victims throughout the Nation for costs resulting from crime, and to encourage victim cooperation and participation in the criminal justice system. Funds under this program shall be used by the states for awards of compensation benefits to crime victims, with the following exception: states may retain up to 5 percent of their total grant for administrative and training purposes. Apply by 5:00 p.m. e.t. on July 8, 2019.


FY 2019 Transforming Family Justice Center Services: Creating New Pathways of Hope and Healing for Polyvictims (PDF 502 kb)
Deadline: 07/08/2019
OVC seeks to expand the work and lessons learned from OVC's FY 2016 demonstration initiative, "A Pathway to Justice, Healing, and Hope: Addressing Polyvictimization in a Family Justice Center." Purpose Area 1: OVC expects to fund up to six FJCs or similar co-located service model agencies to: implement the validated assessment tool (see Appendix A); increase partnerships with traditional and non-traditional FJC services to serve identified polyvictims more holistically; expand case management services to include a thorough understanding of the specific needs of the survivors; and build capacity within their communities to leverage existing and new resources for crime victims. Purpose Area 2: OVC anticipates funding one organization to provide comprehensive technical assistance to the Purpose Area 1 sites selected under this program. OVC will conduct a pre-application webinar on May 20, 2019, at 1:00 p.m. e.t. Register at www.ovc.gov/grants/webinars.html. Apply by July 8, 2019.


FY 2019 VOCA Victim Assistance (PDF 452 kb)
Deadline: 07/08/2019
Under this formula grant program, OVC will award each eligible state victim assistance program an annual grant to support eligible crime victim assistance programs in that state or territory. Funds under this program shall be used by states and territories to support eligible crime victim assistance programs that provide direct services to crime victims with the following exception: states and territories may retain up to 5 percent of their total grant for administrative and training purposes. Apply by 5:00 p.m. e.t. on July 8, 2019.


FY 2019 Building State Technology Capacity and Elder Abuse Hotlines (PDF 421 kb)
Deadline: 07/08/2019
This program seeks ambitious yet viable proposals from Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) Formula State Administrating Agencies. Successful applicants will implement visionary statewide technology programs to enhance victims’ access to services, foster innovation and efficiency in the provision of services, improve the quality of services, and improve the accessibility and responsiveness of victim service organizations. OVC will conduct a pre-application webinar on June 11, 2019, at 3:00 p.m. e.t. Register at www.ovc.gov/grants/webinars.html. Apply by July 8, 2019.


FY 2019 Field-Generated Innovations in Assistance to Victims of Human Trafficking (PDF 428 kb)
Deadline: 06/27/2019
To meet the needs of a rapidly evolving anti-trafficking field, and to best serve victims of human trafficking, OVC is seeking innovative ideas to enhance identification of and services for victims. Proposed projects should develop or enhance promising practices, models, and victim-centered programs, or apply them in innovative ways, to build the capacity of victim service providers to close gaps in assisting all victims of sex and labor trafficking in the United States. OVC will conduct a pre-application webinar on May 9, 2019, at 3:00 p.m. e.t. Register at www.ovc.gov/grants/webinars.html. Apply by June 27, 2019.


FY 2019 Enhancing Language and Other Access to Services Program (PDF 457 kb)
Deadline: 06/26/2019
This program seeks to enhance language access services for crime victims to break down barriers that prevent many individuals from reporting crimes and accessing the services they need after crime victimization. Funding will support the provision of direct services, the development of language access plans, and will expand the capacity of community-based organizations within linguistically specific communities to address the needs of victims of all types of crime. View a change to page 6 at www.ovc.gov/grants/pdftxt/FY19-EASP-Solicitation-Updates-508.pdf. OVC will conduct a pre-application webinar on May 14, 2019, from 1:00-2:00 p.m. e.t. Register at www.ovc.gov/grants/webinars.html. Apply by June 26, 2019.


FY 2019 Advancing the Use of Technology to Assist Victims of Crime (PDF 395 kb)
Deadline: 06/25/2019
Through this program, OVC will support national-scope initiatives and regional initiatives (that can be replicated nationally) to maximize the use of technology to improve and increase access to crime victim services. Projects could include, but are not limited to: (1) Development of new national app(s) or creation of another technology platform designed to serve victims of crime. (2) Development of regionally focused app(s) or creation of another technology platform designed to serve victims of crime. (3) Expansion or enhancement of existing services and/or hotlines on digital, online, or text platforms or an app that uses technology to provide services, referrals, tools, and information to victims of crime. Apply by June 25, 2019.


FY 2019 Vicarious Trauma Response Initiative: National Scope Training and Technical Assistance (PDF 418 kb)
Deadline: 06/04/2019
Many first responders and victim service providers are affected by vicarious trauma, defined as the exposure to the traumatic experiences of other people, because of their repeated exposure to crime victimization. The purpose of this solicitation is to build upon existing evidence-based resources and expertise (at the national, regional, tribal, state, and local levels), weave these resources together with in-depth and tailored technical assistance, based on the unique needs and resources in a particular community, and provide free and accessible support and technical assistance that results in a robust established and sustained response to vicarious trauma. OVC conducted a pre-application webinar on April 19, 2019, and a recording and transcript of this webinar are available at www.ovc.gov/grants/webinars.html. Apply by June 4, 2019.


FY 2019 Reducing Child Fatalities and Recurring Child Injuries Caused by Crime Victimization (PDF 425 kb)
Deadline: 05/30/2019
OVC will provide funding to support the development of multidisciplinary strategies and responses to effectively address children who have experienced serious or near-death injuries as a result of abuse and/or neglect, and to reduce child fatalities. OVC will fund up to five demonstration sites, and the initiative will be carried out in two phases – Phase I: Planning and Phase II: Implementation. The program will use a three-pronged approach: demonstration sites (Purpose Area 1), technical assistance (Purpose Area 2), and an implementation study (competed under a separate FY 2019 solicitation). All demonstration sites and the technical assistance provider will be required to participate in the implementation study. OVC conducted a pre-application webinar on April 10, 2019, and a recording and transcript of this webinar are available at www.ovc.gov/grants/webinars.html. Apply by May 30, 2019.


FY 2019 Guidance for Invited Applications for Antiterrorism and Emergency Assistance Program for Crime Victim Compensation and/or Assistance (PDF 473 kb)
Deadline: Open
The Antiterrorism and Emergency Assistance Program (AEAP) is a mechanism by which the Director of OVC may award supplemental crime victim compensation and assistance to respond to an act of domestic terrorism or mass criminal violence. The criminal act has to be of sufficient magnitude that the jurisdiction cannot provide needed services to victims of the incident with existing resources and it places an undue financial hardship on the jurisdiction’s ability to respond to victims of other crimes in a timely and comprehensive manner. This is not a competitive solicitation. Only after OVC has consulted with an eligible organization can an application be submitted.

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

2019 National Crime Victims' Rights Week (NCVRW) Poster (2019) OVC, NCJ 252740. The poster evokes this year’s NCVRW theme—Honoring Our Past. Creating Hope for the Future.—which celebrates the progress made by those before us as we look to a future of crime victim services that is even more inclusive, accessible, and trauma-informed. The poster is available for download and a customizable version is available. A limited number of color hardcopies can be ordered through the OVC Resource Center (www.ncjrs.gov).
HTML
 
2019 National Crime Victims' Rights Week (NCVRW) Poster Kit (includes Theme Poster and awareness posters) (2019) OVC, NCJ 252741. The poster kit contains the NCVRW Theme Poster and this year's awareness posters. These awareness materials are customizable and available to download. A limited number of color hardcopies can be ordered through the OVC Resource Center (www.ncjrs.gov).
HTML
 
2019 National Crime Victims' Rights Week (NCVRW) Resource Guide (March 2019) OVC, 3 pages, NCJ 252369. The 2019 NCVRW Resource Guide provides materials to create your own public awareness campaigns to raise awareness about crime victims’ rights and the services available to victims of crime. The guide features campaign materials in both English and Spanish, including planning tips, artwork, and more.
Abstract | HTML
 
Labor Trafficking Protocol Guidelines: Identifying and Responding to Victims of Labor Trafficking 24 Years Old and Under (January 2019) OVC-Sponsored, 114 pages, NCJ 252705. This guidelines are designed to help communities throughout Minnesota identify and respond to victims of labor trafficking, especially youth 24 years old and younger.
Abstract | PDF (Full Report) | PDF (Executive Summary)
 
Keys to Collaboration Between Hospital-based Violence Intervention and Cure Violence Programs (2018) OVC-Sponsored, Grant, 16 pages, NCJ 251823. The Healing Justice Alliance, with funding support from OVC, published this report to help guide communities that are implementing, or are interested in implementing, both hospital-based violence intervention and cure violence programs to address violence impacting young males.
Abstract | PDF
 

OJP Publications

Financial Support for Victims of Crime: A Quick Guide for Corrections and Community Supervision Officers (August 2018) BJA-Sponsored, Grant, 4 pages, NCJ 252127. Corrections, probation, and parole officers can play an important role to inform victims of services, rights, and programs. This guide outlines how to provide victims of crime with information on restitution, victim compensation, and other types of financial assistance.
Abstract | PDF
 
Questioning Bias: Validating A Bias Crime Victim Assessment Tool In California And New Jersey, Summary Overview (July 2018) NIJ-Sponsored, Grant, 29 pages, NCJ 252010. This study investigated the experiences of hate incidents, crimes and factors affecting underreporting among youth and adults in LGBT, Hispanic, Black, Muslim communities in New Jersey and Los Angeles. Based on the research findings, the Vera Institute of Justice developed an assessment tool, the Bias Crime Assessment Tool, to improve the identification of hate crime victimization, better reflect victims’ experiences, increase confidence in the reporting process, and help to record more accurate data.
Abstract | PDF
 
Social Support Can Diminish Negative Effects of Elder Abuse (December 2017) NIJ-Sponsored, Grant, 2 pages, NCJ 251468. This article summarizes the findings of a series of studies that have identified the critical role of social support in preventing and ameliorating the adverse effects of elder abuse. These research findings may help inform how victim service providers and allied professionals respond to victims of elder abuse.
Abstract | PDF
 
Enhancing Police Responses to Children Exposed to Violence: A Toolkit for Law Enforcement (February 2017) OJJDP-Sponsored, Report, 68 pages, NCJ 250768. This toolkit provides practical resources to assist law enforcement agencies in building or enhancing effective operational responses to children exposed to violence (with or without a mental health partner).
Abstract | PDF
 
Examining Criminal Justice Responses to and Help-Seeking Patterns of Sexual Violence Survivors With Disabilities (June 2016) NIJ-Sponsored, Grant, 87 pages, NCJ 250196. The goal of this study used is to better understand the criminal justice experience of persons with disabilities that report a sexual assault or rape to the authorities. Results suggest that current criminal justice structures are not sufficient to provide support for one of the highest-risk adult populations for sexual assault and victimization in the U.S.
Abstract | PDF
 

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Related Resources

OVC Funded Resources

Center for Victim Research
The OVC-funded Center for Victim Research is a tool for victim service providers and researchers to connect and share knowledge. CVR facilitates access to victim research and data while improving the utility of research and data collection to crime victim services nationwide. CVR’s library collection offers open-access research materials, special access to research for VOCA-funded organizations, and free training.
 
Linking Systems of Care for Children and Youth Project
This project is designed to reach underserved children, youth, and families in Illinois, Montana, Ohio, and Virginia who are victims of crime. This demonstration product seeks to provide immediate and long-range services for through collaboration and coordination of systems of care and inform victim service providers and other stakeholders of the most effective strategies and programs to address the needs of this population.
 
Mobile Apps Compiled by OVC
This section of the OVC site contains a list of free apps, created by government agencies and non-profit organizations, that provide information and resources about various types of victimization.
 
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.
 
Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) Administrators
This resource provides information and guidance to help improve the management of Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) funds. OVC will also periodically post notifications, updates, and resources for state VOCA administrators.
 

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.
 
International Terrorism Victim Expense Reimbursement Program (ITVERP)
If you believe that you or someone you know has been a victim of international terrorism, help may be available. ITVERP is a program authorized by Congress to reimburse eligible direct victims of acts of international terrorism that occur outside the United States for expenses associated with that victimization.
 
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

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.
 
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.
 
National Latin@ Network
A project of Casa de Esperanza, the Network provides bilingual information and resources for people working within Latin communities to prevent and eliminate domestic violence. This Web site includes a resource library, public policy updates and action alerts, informative videos, training opportunities, and a blog among other culturally-specific information.
 
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP): Safe Start
The Children Exposed to Violence (CEV) Database section of the Safe Start Center Web site highlights programs evaluated on the Department of Justice's CrimeSolutions.gov Web site. The database uses rigorous research to inform practitioners and policy makers about what works in services for children exposed to violence.
 
Prevent Child Abuse America
Prevent Child Abuse America promotes prevention strategies as well as providing advocacy, programs, resources, and answers to commonly asked questions about child abuse.
 

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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 16 2016 at 2:00PM, Harlan Pruden, member of the Cree Nation and Managing Editor of TwoSpiritJournal.com, and Elton Naswood, of the Near to the Water People Clan and member of the Community Expert Advisory Council for the Indigenous HIV/AIDS Research Training , hosted a discussion on Serving Two-Spirit/LGBTQ Victims in Tribal Communities

On Oct 19 2016 at 2:00PM, Dana DeHart, Ph.D., Research Professor & Assistant Dean for Research at the University of South Carolina’s College of Social Work, and Angie McCown, Director, Texas Department of Criminal Justice’s Victim Services Division, hosted a discussion on Model Standards for Serving Victims and Survivors of Crime

On Sep 27 2016 at 2:00PM, Krista Flannigan, J.D., Director, Institute for Crime Victim Research & Policy at Florida State University, and Karen Thomas, President of the Connections Training Group, LLC, hosted a discussion on Serving Victims of Mass Violence

On Sep 14 2016 at 2:00PM, Donna Barry, APN, FN-CSA, DNP, has been the Director of the University Health Center at Montclair State University, and Anthony Walker, former Chief of Police for Norfolk State University, hosted a discussion on Campus Services for Victims of Sexual Assault

On Jul 20 2016 at 2:00PM, Merry O'Brien, M.S.W., the Network for Victim Recovery of DC’s Identity Theft Assistance, and Paula Pierce, J.D., former Manager of Hotline Services for Texas Legal Services Center, hosted a discussion on Serving Victims of Financial Fraud and Fraud Prevention


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

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Funding

FY 2019 VOCA Victim Compensation (PDF 356 kb)
Deadline: 07/08/2019
Under this formula grant program, OVC will award each eligible state victim compensation program an annual grant equal to 60 percent of the amount the program awarded in state-funded victim compensation payments during the fiscal year two years prior to the present fiscal year, other than amounts awarded for property damage. The primary purpose of these grants is to supplement state efforts to provide financial compensation to crime victims throughout the Nation for costs resulting from crime, and to encourage victim cooperation and participation in the criminal justice system. Funds under this program shall be used by the states for awards of compensation benefits to crime victims, with the following exception: states may retain up to 5 percent of their total grant for administrative and training purposes. Apply by 5:00 p.m. e.t. on July 8, 2019.


FY 2019 Transforming Family Justice Center Services: Creating New Pathways of Hope and Healing for Polyvictims (PDF 502 kb)
Deadline: 07/08/2019
OVC seeks to expand the work and lessons learned from OVC's FY 2016 demonstration initiative, "A Pathway to Justice, Healing, and Hope: Addressing Polyvictimization in a Family Justice Center." Purpose Area 1: OVC expects to fund up to six FJCs or similar co-located service model agencies to: implement the validated assessment tool (see Appendix A); increase partnerships with traditional and non-traditional FJC services to serve identified polyvictims more holistically; expand case management services to include a thorough understanding of the specific needs of the survivors; and build capacity within their communities to leverage existing and new resources for crime victims. Purpose Area 2: OVC anticipates funding one organization to provide comprehensive technical assistance to the Purpose Area 1 sites selected under this program. OVC will conduct a pre-application webinar on May 20, 2019, at 1:00 p.m. e.t. Register at www.ovc.gov/grants/webinars.html. Apply by July 8, 2019.


FY 2019 VOCA Victim Assistance (PDF 452 kb)
Deadline: 07/08/2019
Under this formula grant program, OVC will award each eligible state victim assistance program an annual grant to support eligible crime victim assistance programs in that state or territory. Funds under this program shall be used by states and territories to support eligible crime victim assistance programs that provide direct services to crime victims with the following exception: states and territories may retain up to 5 percent of their total grant for administrative and training purposes. Apply by 5:00 p.m. e.t. on July 8, 2019.


FY 2019 Building State Technology Capacity and Elder Abuse Hotlines (PDF 421 kb)
Deadline: 07/08/2019
This program seeks ambitious yet viable proposals from Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) Formula State Administrating Agencies. Successful applicants will implement visionary statewide technology programs to enhance victims’ access to services, foster innovation and efficiency in the provision of services, improve the quality of services, and improve the accessibility and responsiveness of victim service organizations. OVC will conduct a pre-application webinar on June 11, 2019, at 3:00 p.m. e.t. Register at www.ovc.gov/grants/webinars.html. Apply by July 8, 2019.


FY 2019 Field-Generated Innovations in Assistance to Victims of Human Trafficking (PDF 428 kb)
Deadline: 06/27/2019
To meet the needs of a rapidly evolving anti-trafficking field, and to best serve victims of human trafficking, OVC is seeking innovative ideas to enhance identification of and services for victims. Proposed projects should develop or enhance promising practices, models, and victim-centered programs, or apply them in innovative ways, to build the capacity of victim service providers to close gaps in assisting all victims of sex and labor trafficking in the United States. OVC will conduct a pre-application webinar on May 9, 2019, at 3:00 p.m. e.t. Register at www.ovc.gov/grants/webinars.html. Apply by June 27, 2019.


FY 2019 Enhancing Language and Other Access to Services Program (PDF 457 kb)
Deadline: 06/26/2019
This program seeks to enhance language access services for crime victims to break down barriers that prevent many individuals from reporting crimes and accessing the services they need after crime victimization. Funding will support the provision of direct services, the development of language access plans, and will expand the capacity of community-based organizations within linguistically specific communities to address the needs of victims of all types of crime. View a change to page 6 at www.ovc.gov/grants/pdftxt/FY19-EASP-Solicitation-Updates-508.pdf. OVC will conduct a pre-application webinar on May 14, 2019, from 1:00-2:00 p.m. e.t. Register at www.ovc.gov/grants/webinars.html. Apply by June 26, 2019.


FY 2019 Advancing the Use of Technology to Assist Victims of Crime (PDF 395 kb)
Deadline: 06/25/2019
Through this program, OVC will support national-scope initiatives and regional initiatives (that can be replicated nationally) to maximize the use of technology to improve and increase access to crime victim services. Projects could include, but are not limited to: (1) Development of new national app(s) or creation of another technology platform designed to serve victims of crime. (2) Development of regionally focused app(s) or creation of another technology platform designed to serve victims of crime. (3) Expansion or enhancement of existing services and/or hotlines on digital, online, or text platforms or an app that uses technology to provide services, referrals, tools, and information to victims of crime. Apply by June 25, 2019.


FY 2019 Vicarious Trauma Response Initiative: National Scope Training and Technical Assistance (PDF 418 kb)
Deadline: 06/04/2019
Many first responders and victim service providers are affected by vicarious trauma, defined as the exposure to the traumatic experiences of other people, because of their repeated exposure to crime victimization. The purpose of this solicitation is to build upon existing evidence-based resources and expertise (at the national, regional, tribal, state, and local levels), weave these resources together with in-depth and tailored technical assistance, based on the unique needs and resources in a particular community, and provide free and accessible support and technical assistance that results in a robust established and sustained response to vicarious trauma. OVC conducted a pre-application webinar on April 19, 2019, and a recording and transcript of this webinar are available at www.ovc.gov/grants/webinars.html. Apply by June 4, 2019.


FY 2019 Reducing Child Fatalities and Recurring Child Injuries Caused by Crime Victimization (PDF 425 kb)
Deadline: 05/30/2019
OVC will provide funding to support the development of multidisciplinary strategies and responses to effectively address children who have experienced serious or near-death injuries as a result of abuse and/or neglect, and to reduce child fatalities. OVC will fund up to five demonstration sites, and the initiative will be carried out in two phases – Phase I: Planning and Phase II: Implementation. The program will use a three-pronged approach: demonstration sites (Purpose Area 1), technical assistance (Purpose Area 2), and an implementation study (competed under a separate FY 2019 solicitation). All demonstration sites and the technical assistance provider will be required to participate in the implementation study. OVC conducted a pre-application webinar on April 10, 2019, and a recording and transcript of this webinar are available at www.ovc.gov/grants/webinars.html. Apply by May 30, 2019.


FY 2019 Guidance for Invited Applications for Antiterrorism and Emergency Assistance Program for Crime Victim Compensation and/or Assistance (PDF 473 kb)
Deadline: Open
The Antiterrorism and Emergency Assistance Program (AEAP) is a mechanism by which the Director of OVC may award supplemental crime victim compensation and assistance to respond to an act of domestic terrorism or mass criminal violence. The criminal act has to be of sufficient magnitude that the jurisdiction cannot provide needed services to victims of the incident with existing resources and it places an undue financial hardship on the jurisdiction’s ability to respond to victims of other crimes in a timely and comprehensive manner. This is not a competitive solicitation. Only after OVC has consulted with an eligible organization can an application be submitted.

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National Calendar of Crime Victim Assistance-Related Events
Upcoming Event(s)
National Organization for Victim Assistance (NOVA) 45th Annual Training Event
Phoenix, AZ
07/22/2019-07/25/2019

Online Directory of Crime Victims Services.