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Child sexual abuse Web Ad from the 2013 NCVRW Resource Guide.


This page provides definitions for the purposes of searching or posting programs in the Online Directory of Crime Victim Services.

Type of Victim/Victimization
Type of Service Provided

Type of Victim/Victimization

Adult molested as child
Adult age 18 or older who was sexually abused as a child (see definition below).

Adult sexual assault
Sexual offense—including rape, incest, fondling, exhibitionism, or pornography—of an adult age 18 or older.

Aggravated assault
Unlawful, intentional causing of serious bodily injury with or without a deadly weapon, or unlawful, intentional attempting or threatening of serious bodily injury or death with a deadly or dangerous weapon.

Any willful or malicious burning or attempt to burn, with or without intent to defraud, a dwelling, house, public building, motor vehicle or aircraft, or personal property of another.

An unlawful attack by one person on another, with or without a weapon, that inflicts, or attempts or threatens to inflict, physical injury.

A person under the age of 18 or as otherwise defined by state law.

Child physical abuse
Nonaccidental injury to a child by a parent or other adult that may include severe beatings, burns, strangulation, or human bites.

Child sexual abuse
Sexual offense (see definition below) against a child by a parent or other adult.

Domestic violence
Violent acts involving a current or former spouse or domestic partner.

DUI/DWI crash
Accident involving one or more motor vehicles in which at least one driver was under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs (DUI) or was legally intoxicated (DWI) at the time of the crash.

Elder abuse
Abuse perpetrated by a caretaker on an elderly individual who depends on others for support and assistance.

A deliberate deception perpetrated for unlawful or unfair gain.

Gang violence
Criminal acts committed by a group of three or more individuals who regularly engage in criminal activity and identify themselves with a common name or sign.

Human trafficking
Sex trafficking in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such act has not attained 18 years of age; or the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud, or coercion, for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery.

Identity theft
A crime in which an imposter obtains key pieces of personal information, such as Social Security or driver's license numbers, to impersonate someone else.

Other, referring to types of victim served
Victims of nonviolent crime, such as burglary and white-collar crime.

Other violent crimes
Other crimes not listed, not including property crimes (which is the taking of money or property without force or threat of force).

Taking or attempting to take anything of value from the care, custody, or control of a person or persons by force or threat of force or violence.

Sexual offense
Forcible rape, attempted rape, statutory rape, sexual harassment, prostitution, or other unlawful sexual contact and other unlawful behavior intended to result in sexual gratification or profit from sexual activity.

Any unwanted contact between two people that directly or indirectly communicates a threat or places the victim in fear.

Survivor of homicide victim
Family member or loved one of a murder victim.

Use of violence or intimidation to coerce a government or civilian population to further political or social objectives.

Victims with disabilities
Victims of crime who have a physical or mental disability.

White-collar crime
Nonviolent crime for financial gain committed by means of deception by persons with special technical and professional knowledge of business or government.

Type of Service Provided

Assistance in filing compensation claims
Making victims aware of the availability of crime victim compensation (see definition below), helping victims complete required forms, and gathering needed documentation. May also include followup contact with the victim compensation agency on behalf of the victim.

Criminal justice support/advocacy
Support, assistance, and advocacy provided to victims at any stage of the criminal justice process, including postsentencing services and support.

Crisis counseling
In-person crisis intervention, emotional support, and guidance and counseling provided by advocates, counselors, mental health professionals, or peers. Such counseling may occur at the scene of a crime or immediately after a crime or be provided on an ongoing basis.

Crisis hotline counseling
Operation of a 24-hour telephone service, 7 days a week, which provides counseling, guidance, emotional support, and information and referral.

Emergency financial assistance
Cash outlays for such needs as transportation, food, clothing, and emergency housing.

Emergency legal advocacy
Filing of temporary restraining orders, injunctions, and other protective orders, elder abuse (see definition above) petitions, and child abuse (see definition above) petitions. Does not include criminal prosecution or the employment of attorneys for such nonemergency purposes as custody disputes and civil suits.

Followup contact
In-person contacts, telephone contacts, and written communications with victims to offer emotional support, provide empathetic listening, and check on a victim's progress.

Group treatment
Coordination and provision of supportive group activities, which include self-help, peer, and social support.

Information and referral (in-person)
In-person contact with crime victim to identify available services and support.

Information and referral (telephone)
Telephone contact with crime victim to identify available services and support.

Other, referring to services provided
Other services and activities allowed under the 1984 Victims of Crime Act (VOCA).

Personal advocacy
Assisting victims in securing rights, remedies, and services from other agencies; locating emergency financial assistance and intervening with employers, creditors, and others on behalf of the victim; assisting in filing for losses covered by public and private insurer programs, including workers' compensation, unemployment benefits, and public assistance; and accompanying the victim to the hospital.

Safety plan
Guidelines for stalking victims that, if implemented, may reduce the odds of physical or emotional harm from a stalker.

Shelter/safe house
Short- and long-term housing and related support services for victims and families following a victimization.

Supervised visitation
Contact between a noncustodial party and one or more children in the presence of a third person, either paid or unpaid, who is responsible for observing and, to the greatest extent possible, providing a safe environment for those involved.

Intensive professional, psychological, psychiatric, or other counseling-related treatment for individuals, couples, and family members to provide emotional support in crisis arising from the occurrence of crime. Includes the evaluation of mental health needs and the delivery of psychotherapy.

Transport service either to or from a victim service agency.

Victim compensation
Payment or reparations made to a crime victim.


The American HeritageŽ Dictionary of the English Language. 4th ed. 2000. Boston, New York: Houghton Mifflin Company.

Comer, R. 1998. Abnormal Psychology. 3d ed. New York: W.H. Freeman and Company.

Criminal Justice Today Glossary. Retrieved July 11, 2003.

Criminal Law Glossary. Retrieved July 11, 2003.

Criminology Today Glossary. Retrieved July 11, 2003.

Federal Bureau of Investigation. Crime in the United States—2001. Uniform Crime Reports. Retrieved July 11, 2003.

The National Center for Victims of Crime. Stalking Resource Center. Safety Plan Guidelines. Retrieved July 11, 2003.

National Criminal Justice Reference Service. In the Spotlight: Gangs: Related Resources. Retrieved July 11, 2003.

Sacramento Court Appointed Special Advocate Program. Access to Visitation Program Overview. Retrieved July 11, 2003.

Subgrant Award Report Form, OJP ADMIN FORM 7980/2A (REV. 11–95). Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office for Victims of Crime.

U.S. Department of State. Trafficking in Persons Report. Retrieved July 11, 2003.

Webster’s II New Riverside Dictionary. Revised edition. 1996. Boston, New York: Houghton Mifflin Company.

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The Office for Victims of Crime is a component of the Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice.