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Victims’ Rights & Services

  • Publications (52)
  • Resources (19)
  • Forum Discussions (5)
  • FAQs (9)
  • Funding (0)
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Being a victim of crime and navigating the criminal justice system is oftentimes a frightening and unsettling experience. Because of funding authorized under the 1984 Victims of Crime Act and the dedicated efforts of advocates, lawmakers, victim service providers, and crime victims, an extensive range of services and resources is available to help victims heal and obtain justice. Additionally, today, every state and many tribes have a body of basic statutory rights and protections for victims of crime, as does the federal government. These victims' rights statutes have significantly influenced the manner in which victims are treated within the federal, state, tribal, and local criminal justice systems.

The following resources provide information on victims' rights and the services available to victims of crime.


OVC and OVC-Sponsored Publications

2018 National Crime Victims' Rights Week (NCVRW) Resource Kit (includes Theme Poster and awareness posters) (2018) OVC, PS000032KIT.
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
 
2018 National Crime Victims' Rights Week (NCVRW) Theme Poster (2018) OVC, PS000032.
The poster is available for download and a customizable version is available. The poster evokes this year’s NCVRW theme—Expand the Circle: Reach All Victims—which emphasizes the importance of inclusion in victim services. A limited number of color hardcopies can be ordered through the OVC Resource Center (www.ncjrs.gov).
HTML
 
Law Enforcement's Role in Victim Compensation (September 2018) OVC-Sponsored, Grant, 5 pages, NCJ 252192.
This suite of training resources provides law enforcement personnel with tools to communicate information about victim compensation and other services to victims of crime. These materials include training videos and companion guides customized for first responders, investigators, and law enforcement leaders; frequently asked questions about victim compensation; customizable resources to assist your agency; and more.
Abstract | HTML
 
"Physical Presence on Account of Trafficking": Eligibility Requirement for T Visa Applicants (April 2018) OVC-Sponsored, 6 pages, NCJ 251836.
This advisory breaks down the physical presence eligibility requirement and provides strategies to help you successfully demonstrate that an applicant meets the physical presence requirement.
Abstract | PDF
 
General Tips for T Visas for Victims of Severe Form of Trafficking in Persons (April 2018) OVC-Sponsored, 6 pages, NCJ 251837.
This advisory provides information to practitioners on eligibility requirements for T Visas as well as best practices for cover letters and declarations.
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
 
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
 
Legal Issues Related to Elder Abuse: A Pocket Guide for Law Enforcement (2014) BJA-Sponsored, 58 pages, NCJ 248541.
This guide provides legal concepts, documents, and tools that may be misused to commit elder abuse or used properly to remedy it. Also presented are issues and actions that justice system professionals should consider if they suspect elder abuse has occurred.
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
 
Elder Abuse Emerges From the Shadows of Public Consciousness (April 2010) NIJ, Article, NIJ Journal, 4 pages, NCJ 229883.
This article reports on two studies sponsored by the National Institute of Justice that examined the prevalence of elder abuse and its detection through the forensic examination of the difference between accidental and inflicted bruising. The article concludes with descriptions of elder abuse cases in which prosecutors and victim-witness advocates have cooperated in gaining convictions of perpetrators of elder abuse.

Part Of the NIJ Journal Series Abstract | PDF | HTML
 

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Being a victim of crime and navigating the criminal justice system is oftentimes a frightening and unsettling experience. Because of funding authorized under the 1984 Victims of Crime Act and the dedicated efforts of advocates, lawmakers, victim service providers, and crime victims, an extensive range of services and resources is available to help victims heal and obtain justice. Additionally, today, every state and many tribes have a body of basic statutory rights and protections for victims of crime, as does the federal government. These victims' rights statutes have significantly influenced the manner in which victims are treated within the federal, state, tribal, and local criminal justice systems.

The following resources provide information on victims' rights and the services available to victims of crime.


Being a victim of crime and navigating the criminal justice system is oftentimes a frightening and unsettling experience. Because of funding authorized under the 1984 Victims of Crime Act and the dedicated efforts of advocates, lawmakers, victim service providers, and crime victims, an extensive range of services and resources is available to help victims heal and obtain justice. Additionally, today, every state and many tribes have a body of basic statutory rights and protections for victims of crime, as does the federal government. These victims' rights statutes have significantly influenced the manner in which victims are treated within the federal, state, tribal, and local criminal justice systems.

The following resources provide information on victims' rights and the services available to victims of crime.


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 Aug 12 2015 at 2:00PM, Jessica Alas, J.D., attorney with Lone Star Legal Aid in Houston, and Meg Garvin, M.A., J.D., Executive Director of the National Crime Victim Law Institute, hosted a discussion on Addressing the Legal Needs of Crime Victims

On Apr 22 2015 at 2:00PM, Teresa Huizar, Executive Director of National Children's Alliance, and Rebecca Khalil, J.D., staff attorney with the National Crime Victim Law Institute, hosted a discussion on Child Victims: Providing Effective Rights Enforcement Representation

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

On Jun 5 2013 at 2:00PM, Robin Parker, Executive Director of the Beyond Diversity Resource Center, and Sharon Stapel, Executive Director of the New York City Anti-Violence Project, hosted a discussion on Incorporating LGBTQ Victims’ Needs into Mainstream Victim Services

On Mar 6 2013 at 2:00PM, Jean Bruggeman, Human Trafficking Fellow with the Office for Victims of Crime, and Robin Hassler Thompson, consultant on issues related to human trafficking and domestic and sexual violence law and policy, hosted a discussion on Meeting Legal Needs of Adult and Minor Victims of Human Trafficking

Being a victim of crime and navigating the criminal justice system is oftentimes a frightening and unsettling experience. Because of funding authorized under the 1984 Victims of Crime Act and the dedicated efforts of advocates, lawmakers, victim service providers, and crime victims, an extensive range of services and resources is available to help victims heal and obtain justice. Additionally, today, every state and many tribes have a body of basic statutory rights and protections for victims of crime, as does the federal government. These victims' rights statutes have significantly influenced the manner in which victims are treated within the federal, state, tribal, and local criminal justice systems.

The following resources provide information on victims' rights and the services available to victims of crime.


How many States have a bill of rights for victims?
A listing States with a bill of rights for crime victims is available on the National Center for Vic... Read More

What rights and services are available to crime victims?
An extensive range of services and resources is available to help crime victims obtain justice and h... Read More

Where can I conduct legal research relating to victims' rights?
If you’re interested in conducting legal research relating to crime victims, visit the VictimLaw and... Read More

When will National Crime Victims' Rights Week (NCVRW) be observed in 2019?
National Crime Victims' Rights Week (NCVRW) will be held on April 7–13, 2019 and this year's t... Read More

Where can I find information on the Federal victim notification system?
Federal victim notification information is available on the Department of Justice's Victim Notificat... Read More

More FAQs

Being a victim of crime and navigating the criminal justice system is oftentimes a frightening and unsettling experience. Because of funding authorized under the 1984 Victims of Crime Act and the dedicated efforts of advocates, lawmakers, victim service providers, and crime victims, an extensive range of services and resources is available to help victims heal and obtain justice. Additionally, today, every state and many tribes have a body of basic statutory rights and protections for victims of crime, as does the federal government. These victims' rights statutes have significantly influenced the manner in which victims are treated within the federal, state, tribal, and local criminal justice systems.

The following resources provide information on victims' rights and the services available to victims of crime.


No funding records found relevant to this topic.

More Funding Opportunities

Being a victim of crime and navigating the criminal justice system is oftentimes a frightening and unsettling experience. Because of funding authorized under the 1984 Victims of Crime Act and the dedicated efforts of advocates, lawmakers, victim service providers, and crime victims, an extensive range of services and resources is available to help victims heal and obtain justice. Additionally, today, every state and many tribes have a body of basic statutory rights and protections for victims of crime, as does the federal government. These victims' rights statutes have significantly influenced the manner in which victims are treated within the federal, state, tribal, and local criminal justice systems.

The following resources provide information on victims' rights and the services available to victims of crime.


Publications

OVC and OVC-Sponsored Publications

2018 National Crime Victims' Rights Week (NCVRW) Resource Kit (includes Theme Poster and awareness posters) (2018) OVC, PS000032KIT. 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
 
2018 National Crime Victims' Rights Week (NCVRW) Theme Poster (2018) OVC, PS000032. The poster is available for download and a customizable version is available. The poster evokes this year’s NCVRW theme—Expand the Circle: Reach All Victims—which emphasizes the importance of inclusion in victim services. A limited number of color hardcopies can be ordered through the OVC Resource Center (www.ncjrs.gov).
HTML
 
Law Enforcement's Role in Victim Compensation (September 2018) OVC-Sponsored, Grant, 5 pages, NCJ 252192. This suite of training resources provides law enforcement personnel with tools to communicate information about victim compensation and other services to victims of crime. These materials include training videos and companion guides customized for first responders, investigators, and law enforcement leaders; frequently asked questions about victim compensation; customizable resources to assist your agency; and more.
Abstract | HTML
 
"Physical Presence on Account of Trafficking": Eligibility Requirement for T Visa Applicants (April 2018) OVC-Sponsored, 6 pages, NCJ 251836. This advisory breaks down the physical presence eligibility requirement and provides strategies to help you successfully demonstrate that an applicant meets the physical presence requirement.
Abstract | PDF
 
General Tips for T Visas for Victims of Severe Form of Trafficking in Persons (April 2018) OVC-Sponsored, 6 pages, NCJ 251837. This advisory provides information to practitioners on eligibility requirements for T Visas as well as best practices for cover letters and declarations.
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
 
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
 
Legal Issues Related to Elder Abuse: A Pocket Guide for Law Enforcement (2014) BJA-Sponsored, 58 pages, NCJ 248541. This guide provides legal concepts, documents, and tools that may be misused to commit elder abuse or used properly to remedy it. Also presented are issues and actions that justice system professionals should consider if they suspect elder abuse has occurred.
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
 
Elder Abuse Emerges From the Shadows of Public Consciousness (April 2010) NIJ, Article, NIJ Journal, 4 pages, NCJ 229883. This article reports on two studies sponsored by the National Institute of Justice that examined the prevalence of elder abuse and its detection through the forensic examination of the difference between accidental and inflicted bruising. The article concludes with descriptions of elder abuse cases in which prosecutors and victim-witness advocates have cooperated in gaining convictions of perpetrators of elder abuse.
Part Of the NIJ Journal Series
Abstract | PDF | HTML
 

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Related Resources

OVC Funded Resources

American Bar Association (ABA): Survivor Reentry Project
With support from OVC, this ABA website provides national training and technical assistance for attorneys working with survivors of human trafficking who have been convicted of a crime as a result of their victimization.
 
National Crime Victim Law Institute (NCVLI): Safeguarding Child-Victims' Rights Initiative
With funding from OVC, this NCVLI Program works to ensure that the rights of child-victims through education & training, litigation, and public policy.
 
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.
 
VictimLaw
The National Center for Victims of Crime, with funding from OVC, developed and launched VictimLaw, a unique and groundbreaking resource, offering user-friendly access to more than 15,000 victims' rights statutes (state and federal), tribal laws, constitutional amendments, court rules, and administrative code provisions.
 
WomensLaw.org
A project of the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV), this Web site provides state-specific legal information and resources for survivors of domestic violence.
 

Federal Resources

Executive Office for United States Attorneys (EOUSA): Office of the Victims' Rights Ombudsman
A crime victim may file a complaint against any employee of the U.S. Department of Justice who violates or fails to provide the rights established under the Crime Victims' Rights Act of 2004, 18 U.S.C. Section 3771. The Department of Justice has established the Office of the Victims' Rights Ombudsman to receive and investigate complaints filed by crime victims against its employees, and has implemented Procedures To Promote Compliance With Crime Victims' Rights Obligations, 28 C.F.R. Section 45.10.
 
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.
 

Non-Governmental Resources

Cyber Civil Rights Initiative
This organization provides victims of nonconsensual pornography, also known as "revenge porn", and other forms of online abuse with support and referral services. The Initiative offers a tool-free, crisis hotline for victims of these crimes. The Initiative also offers information for policymakers, attorneys, and others to help them understand and combat nonconsensual pornography.
 
National Alliance of Victims' Rights Attorneys (NAVRA)
A project of the National Crime Victim Law Institute (NCVLI), NAVRA is a membership alliance of attorneys and advocates committed to the protection, enforcement, and advancement of crime victims' rights nationwide.
 
National Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Association
NCASAA provides advocacy, public education, and resources for CASA programs across the country. The association also trains CASA volunteers, who work to find safe, permanent homes for abused and neglected children.
 
National Crime Victim Bar Association (NCVBA)
NCVBA educates attorneys, victim service providers, and the general public about civil legal remedies for crime victims. It also refers crime victims to civil attorneys in their local area.
 
National Crime Victim Law Institute (NCVLI): National Clinic Network
The National Crime Victim Law Institute (NCVLI) actively promotes balance and fairness in the justice system through crime victim centered legal advocacy, education, and resource sharing. NCVLI supports pro bono legal clinics in eleven states. These clinics provide free legal counsel and support services to victims in state and federal criminal proceedings and, in some cases, tribal and juvenile courts. NCVLI provides intensive technical assistance, training, and support to the twelve clinics. NCVLI educates and conducts trainings on the enforcement of victims' rights to criminal justice professionals around the country, as do some of the clinics in the respective jurisdictions they cover.
 

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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 Aug 12 2015 at 2:00PM, Jessica Alas, J.D., attorney with Lone Star Legal Aid in Houston, and Meg Garvin, M.A., J.D., Executive Director of the National Crime Victim Law Institute, hosted a discussion on Addressing the Legal Needs of Crime Victims

On Apr 22 2015 at 2:00PM, Teresa Huizar, Executive Director of National Children's Alliance, and Rebecca Khalil, J.D., staff attorney with the National Crime Victim Law Institute, hosted a discussion on Child Victims: Providing Effective Rights Enforcement Representation

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

On Jun 5 2013 at 2:00PM, Robin Parker, Executive Director of the Beyond Diversity Resource Center, and Sharon Stapel, Executive Director of the New York City Anti-Violence Project, hosted a discussion on Incorporating LGBTQ Victims’ Needs into Mainstream Victim Services

On Mar 6 2013 at 2:00PM, Jean Bruggeman, Human Trafficking Fellow with the Office for Victims of Crime, and Robin Hassler Thompson, consultant on issues related to human trafficking and domestic and sexual violence law and policy, hosted a discussion on Meeting Legal Needs of Adult and Minor Victims of Human Trafficking


FAQs

How many States have a bill of rights for victims?
A listing States with a bill of rights for crime victims is available on the National Center for Vic... Read More

What rights and services are available to crime victims?
An extensive range of services and resources is available to help crime victims obtain justice and h... Read More

Where can I conduct legal research relating to victims' rights?
If you’re interested in conducting legal research relating to crime victims, visit the VictimLaw and... Read More

When will National Crime Victims' Rights Week (NCVRW) be observed in 2019?
National Crime Victims' Rights Week (NCVRW) will be held on April 7–13, 2019 and this year's t... Read More

Where can I find information on the Federal victim notification system?
Federal victim notification information is available on the Department of Justice's Victim Notificat... 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)

Online Directory of Crime Victims Services.