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Victim and Witness Assistance

  • Publications (109)
  • Resources (42)
  • Forum Discussions (5)
  • FAQs (27)
  • Funding (16)
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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

What We Know About Identity Theft and Fraud Victims From Research- and Practice-Based Evidence (August 2019) OVC-Sponsored, 36 pages, NCJ 253627.
This report compiles research about identity theft and fraud victimization. The report covers research on topics including the prevalence of identity theft and fraud; risk and protective factors; and prevention, intervention, and victim services.
Abstract | PDF
 
Advancing the Implementation of Effective, Survivor-Driven Advocacy (May 2019) OVC-Sponsored, Grant, 38 pages, NCJ 253514.
This publication describes a project which seeks to 1) enhance the quality of advocacy for domestic violence survivors and their children provided by a domestic violence program, Courage Connection, 2) increase Courage Connection’s capacity to engage in ongoing evaluation of their service delivery efforts, and 3) generate research knowledge about the conditions in which effective survivor-centered advocacy services are implemented in a domestic violence program setting.
Abstract | PDF
 
National TeleNursing Center (NTC) Sustainability (February 2019) OVC-Sponsored, Grant, 11 pages, NCJ 253058.
This report evaluates the potential sustainability, and presents unique challenges for expansion, of the National TeleNursing Center, a program established through a multi-year OVC grant.
Abstract | PDF
 
National TeleNursing Center: Program Evaluation Final Report (October 2018) OVC-Sponsored, Grant, 76 pages, NCJ 253059.
OVC funded the National TeleNursing Center (NTC) to develop and evaluate telemedicine in providing consultation to Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) nurses conducting forensic sexual assault medical examinations in remote and/or underserved hospitals. This report provides an overview of the development of the NTC, presents data on the delivery of services, provides updated results of site clinicians’ experiences with telenursing services, and discusses lessons learned from over five years of project implementation.
Abstract | PDF
 
Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) Toolkit (September 2018) OVC-Sponsored, Grant, NCJ 252125.
This second edition of the SART Toolkit provides resources for communities wanting to develop SARTs — coordinated teams of people who serve victims of sexual assault — and for communities wanting to improve their SART responses. The toolkit reviews the basics, lays out the steps involved building a SART, outlines strategic planning for SART operations, and describes how to remain focused on serving victims of crime.
Abstract | HTML
 

OJP Publications

Victim Service Providers in the United States, 2017 (November 2019) BJS, 7 pages, NCJ 252648.
This report provides statistics from the National Census of Victim Service Providers, the first national data collection on the number and characteristics of these organizations. The report describes the types of organizations that serve victims, maps their locations, and reports on the rate of victim service providers per 100,000 U.S. residents by state. The census was conducted by the Bureau of Justice Statistics with support from OVC.
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
 
Detroit Sexual Assault Kit (SAK) Action Research Project (ARP), Final Report (February 2015) NIJ-Sponsored, Grant, 551 pages, NCJ 248680.
This report documents the Detroit Sexual Assault Action-Research Project, in which a multidisciplinary team looked at the issue of a large number of sexual assault kits (SAKs) that had not been sent to a crime lab for DNA-testing. The team identified the underlying factors that contributed to the issue; developed and evaluated a plan for testing the SAKs; and created and evaluated protocols for notifying victims of the results of the testing. The report also offers practitioner-friendly resources, including how to create victim-notification protocols.
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 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

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 is the federal government doing to combat human trafficking?
Although the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has long enforced criminal laws against involuntary se... 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 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

I would like to apply for a Professional Development Scholarship. Where can I find the application?
Visit the Professional Development Scholarship Program section of the OVC TTAC website for specific ... Read More

How do I check on the status of my scholarship application?
To check on the status of your scholarship application, contact the OVC Training and Technical Assis... 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.


OVC FY 2020 Emergency and Transitional Pet Shelter and Housing Assistance Grant Program (PDF 296 kb)
Deadline: 05/29/2020
The primary goal of this funding is to support shelter and transitional housing services to victims of domestic violence and their companion animals. Objectives are to: (1) Increase the number of shelter beds and transitional housing options to meet the needs of victims of domestic violence who need shelter or housing for them and their companion animals. (2) Provide training to local stakeholders on the link between domestic violence and the abuse and neglect of companion animals; the needs of victims of domestic violence; best practices for providing, or referring, support services to such victims; and best practices in designing and delivering services that protect victims’ confidentiality. OVC anticipates making up to 5 awards of up to $400,000 each for a 36-month period of performance, to begin on October 1, 2020. OVC will conduct a pre-application webinar on April 14, 2020, from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m. e.t. Register at www.ovc.gov/grants/webinars.html. Apply by Friday, May 29, 2020.


OVC FY 2020 Developing Future Victim Specialists to Serve American Indian/Alaska Native Victims of Crime (PDF 421 kb)
Deadline: 05/26/2020
This program will develop a workforce of direct victim service providers to American Indian and Alaska Native victims in hard-to-staff positions and locations. By identifying and training prospective victim service professionals in, or from, the communities to be served, tribal and Bureau of Indian Affairs’ victim service programs will be better able to fill direct victim service positions in remote Indian Country and Alaska Native locations, and in turn ensure that victims in these locations get the services they need. OVC anticipates that it will make awards under two purpose areas (PAs): PA 1: Recruiting Interns/Residents to Serve Tribal Victims in the Continental United States and PA 2: Recruiting Interns/Residents to Serve Tribal Victims in Alaska. OVC anticipates making up to 8 awards of up to $450,000 each for a 36-month period of performance, to begin on October 1, 2020. Apply by Tuesday, May 26, 2020.


OJP FY 2020 Enhanced Collaborative Model Task Force to Combat Human Trafficking (PDF 582 kb)
Deadline: 05/18/2020
OVC and BJA are seeking applications to develop or support multidisciplinary task forces (TFs) to combat human trafficking. This program has two purpose areas (PAs). PA 1: help TFs with critical first steps related to starting up a multidisciplinary TF. PA 2: allows TFs to compete for funding to expand their TF operations and partnerships, implement TF sustainability plans, and assist OJP in building the capacity of other TFs in the field. Each TF selected for funding will receive two separate grants: one from OVC to a victim service partner, and one from the Bureau of Justice Assistance to a state, local, or tribal law enforcement agency partner. OVC and BJA anticipate making 18 awards under PA 1 (9 TFs) of up to $1.5 million per TF and up to 10 awards under PA 2 (5 TFs) of up to $1.5 million per TF. OVC and BJA will conduct a pre-application webinar on Monday, March 30, 2020, from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. e.t. Register at www.ovc.gov/grants/webinars.html. Apply by May 18, 2020.


OVC FY 2020 Improving Outcomes for Child and Youth Victims of Human Trafficking (PDF 393 kb)
Deadline: 05/18/2020
OVC is seeking applications for states or tribes to develop, enhance, and coordinate programs and activities geared toward improving outcomes for child and youth victims of sex and labor trafficking. The overall goal of the program is to improve responses for child and youth victims of trafficking with a focus on coordination at the statewide or tribal jurisdiction level to create effective change across systems. OVC anticipates making up to four awards of up to $1.5 million each for a 36-month period of performance, to begin on October 1, 2020. OVC will conduct a pre-application webinar Friday, April 3, 2020, from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. e.t. Register at www.ovc.gov/grants/webinars.html. Apply by Monday, May 18, 2020.


OVC FY 2020 Services for Minor Victims of Labor Trafficking (PDF 444 kb)
Deadline: 05/18/2020
The purpose of this program is to develop, expand, or strengthen victim service programs for minor victims of labor trafficking, whose victimization occurred when they were under the age of 18. Organizations funded under this program will provide (directly and through partnerships) services that minor victims of labor trafficking often require to address their needs for safety, security, and healing. OVC anticipates making up to three awards of up to $666,667 each for a 36-month period of performance, to begin on October 1, 2020. OVC will conduct a pre-application webinar on Friday, April 3, 2020, from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. e.t. Register at www.ovc.gov/grants/webinars.html. Apply by Monday, May 18, 2020.


OVC FY 2020 Services for Victims of Human Trafficking (PDF 398 kb)
Deadline: 05/18/2020
The purpose of this program is to develop, expand, or strengthen victim service programs for victims of human trafficking. Apply under the following three purpose areas (PAs). PA 1: up to 10 awards of up to $350,000 each will be made to support organizations that have limited or no prior experience in serving victims of human trafficking. PA 2: up to 10 awards of up to $750,000 each will be made to victim service organizations with a demonstrated history of providing a range of services to victims of human trafficking. PA 3: up to 10 awards of up to $550,000 each will be made to victim service organizations with a demonstrated history of providing a specialized service to victims of human trafficking. OVC will conduct a pre-application webinar on April 2, 2020, from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. e.t. Register at www.ovc.gov/grants/webinars.html. View changes to page 8 that OVC made after the initial release of the solicitation at www.ovc.gov/grants/pdftxt/services-for-victims-of-ht-change.pdf.


OVC FY 2020 Specialized Training and Technical Assistance on Housing for Victims of Human Trafficking (PDF 354 kb)
Deadline: 05/14/2020
The selected applicant will work with victim service providers assisting trafficking victims, with priority support given to OVC human trafficking grantees, to identify challenges and opportunities to better meet the full range of housing needs of survivors of human trafficking. The selected applicant must be able to assist service providers on a national scale in leveraging existing federal, state, local, and private housing programs and initiatives that trafficking survivors may qualify for, and should demonstrate partnerships with relevant housing stakeholders. OVC anticipates making one award of up to $2 million for a 36-month period of performance, to begin on October 1, 2020. OVC will conduct a pre-application webinar on Monday, March 30, 2020, from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. e.t. Register at www.ovc.gov/grants/webinars.html. Apply by Thursday, May 14, 2020.


FY 2020 OVC Advancing the Use of Technology to Assist Victims of Crime (PDF 303 kb)
Deadline: 05/12/2020
Through this solicitation, OVC seeks to provide funding to organizations that demonstrate innovative strategies to create, expand, or enhance the use of technology on a national scale (or regional projects that can be replicated nationally) to improve responses, services, and access for victims of crime. OVC anticipates making up to three awards of up to $1.5 million each for a 24-month period of performance, to begin on October 1, 2020. OVC will conduct a pre-application webinar on Tuesday, March 31, 2020, from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. e.t. Register at www.ovc.gov/grants/webinars.html. Apply by May 12, 2020.


OVC FY 2020 Training for Law Enforcement to Improve Identification of and Response to Elder Fraud Victims (PDF 317 kb)
Deadline: 05/11/2020
The goal of this program is to provide training and technical assistance to law enforcement agencies to more effectively identify elder fraud victims, allowing law enforcement both to bring the fraudsters to justice and to connect those victims with available services. This program will support the provision of training and technical assistance to both large and small law enforcement agencies in both urban and rural communities. OVC anticipates making up to one award of up to $2 million for a 36-month period of performance, to begin on October 1, 2020. Apply by May 11, 2020.


OVC FY 2020 Expanding SANE Services to Victims of Sexual Assault on Campus (PDF 335 kb)
Deadline: 05/07/2020
OVC is seeking applications to establish and/or expand Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) programs that will offer medical forensic care, advocacy, and other victim services to sexual assault survivors on college campuses. OVC anticipates making up to 16 awards up to $500,000 for a 36-month period of performance, to begin on October 1, 2020. OVC will conduct a pre-application webinar on Tuesday, March 24, 2020, from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. e.t. Register at www.ovc.gov/grants/webinars.html. Apply by May 7, 2020.


OVC FY 2020 Enhancing Services for Older Victims of Abuse and Financial Exploitation (PDF 303 kb)
Deadline: 05/05/2020
OVC is seeking applications to implement projects intended to improve outcomes, minimize additional trauma, and restore safety and security to older adult victims of abuse and financial exploitation. OVC anticipates making up to 12 awards up to $500,000. OVC expects to make awards for a 36-month period of performance, to begin on October 1, 2020. OVC expects to make awards for a 36-month period of performance, to begin on October 1, 2020. OVC will conduct a pre-application webinar on Thursday, March 26, 2020, from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. e.t. Register at www.ovc.gov/grants/webinars.html. Apply by May 5, 2020.


OVC FY 2020 Enhancing Community Responses to America's Addiction Crisis: Serving Our Youngest Crime Victims (PDF 553 kb)
Deadline: 05/04/2020
This program will provide funding to support direct services to children and youth who are crime victims as a result of the nation's addiction crisis (Purpose Area 1); and training and technical assistance for the direct services grantees (Purpose Area 2). Applicants may apply under only one of the purpose areas. OVC anticipates making up to 25 awards under purpose area 1 of up to $700,000 each and 1 award under purpose 2 of up to $1.5 million. OVC expects to make awards for a 36-month period of performance, to begin on October 1, 2020. View changes to pages 8 and 21 that OVC made after the initial release of the solicitation at www.ovc.gov/grants/pdftxt/fy-2020-enhancing-community-responses-to-drug-crisis-change.pdf. OVC will conduct a pre-application webinar on Monday, March 23, 2020, from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. e.t. Register at www.ovc.gov/grants/webinars.html. Apply by May 4, 2020.


OVC FY 2020 Addressing Female Genital Mutilation and Cutting (PDF 822 kb)
Deadline: 04/30/2020
The goal of this program is to deliver programming to address and help stop the practice of female genital mutilation and cutting (FGM) under two purpose areas (PAs). PA 1: a training and technical assistance provider will educate law enforcement, public health professionals, educators, and other professionals on detecting at-risk girls and provide support to the project sites. PA 2: project sites will develop services to deliver to victims of FGM and work to increase education, detection, and local partner engagement to address and help stop victimization through FGM. OVC anticipates making one award under PA 1 of up to $1.2 million and up to eight awards under PA 2 of up to $300,000 each. OVC expects to make awards for a 36-month period of performance, to begin on October 1, 2020. Apply by April 30, 2020.


OVC FY 2020 Crime Victims' Rights Legal Clinics (PDF 737 kb)
Deadline: 04/27/2020
This initiative is intended to support or expand on federal, state, local, and tribal efforts to enforce crime victims’ rights. Applicants may apply under the following purpose areas: victims’ rights legal clinics that will provide the enforcement of crime victims’ rights in the criminal justice process (Purpose Area 1), and one training and technical assistance provider to provide support to the selected legal clinics (Purpose Area 2). OVC anticipates making up to eight awards under purpose area 1 and one award under purpose 2 of up to $1 million each. OVC expects to make awards for a 36-month period of performance, to begin on October 1, 2020. OVC conducted a pre-application webinar on Monday, March 16, 2020, and a recording and transcript of this webinar are available at www.ovc.gov/grants/webinars.html. Apply by April 27, 2020.


OVC FY 2020 Law Enforcement-Based Victim Specialist Program (PDF 503 kb)
Deadline: 04/20/2020
The goal of this program is to assist state, tribal, and local law enforcement agencies in developing or enhancing victim specialist programs that connect victims and families to much-needed services. Awards will be made under four purpose areas based on the type of law enforcement agency (small, mid-size, large, or tribal). Priority will be given to applicants that: (1) address specific challenges that rural communities face, (2) serve high-poverty areas or persistent-poverty counties, or (3) offer enhancements to public safety in economically distressed communities (Qualified Opportunity Zones). OVC conducted a pre-application webinar on March 3, 2020, and a recording and transcript of this webinar are available at www.ovc.gov/grants/webinars.html. Apply by April 20, 2020.


OVC FY 2020 State Victim Liaison Project (PDF 232 kb)
Deadline: 04/09/2020
The State Victim Liaison Project will place one or more experienced crime victim liaison(s) within selected VOCA State Administrating Agencies to act as a bridge between the state and other state-based non-governmental organizations to identify gaps in victim services and improve and increase access to resources for crime victims in rural/tribal areas, older victims, and victims of violent crime. Liaisons should possess statewide networking connections for effective interaction with community leaders, allied professionals, and community stakeholders to achieve the objectives of this project. View changes to pages 1 and 13 that OVC made after the initial release of the solicitation at www.ovc.gov/grants/pdftxt/fy-2020-state-liaison-project-change.pdf. OVC conducted a pre-application webinar on February 20, 2020, and a recording and transcript of this webinar are available at www.ovc.gov/grants/webinars.html. Apply by April 9, 2020.

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

What We Know About Identity Theft and Fraud Victims From Research- and Practice-Based Evidence (August 2019) OVC-Sponsored, 36 pages, NCJ 253627. This report compiles research about identity theft and fraud victimization. The report covers research on topics including the prevalence of identity theft and fraud; risk and protective factors; and prevention, intervention, and victim services.
Abstract | PDF
 
Advancing the Implementation of Effective, Survivor-Driven Advocacy (May 2019) OVC-Sponsored, Grant, 38 pages, NCJ 253514. This publication describes a project which seeks to 1) enhance the quality of advocacy for domestic violence survivors and their children provided by a domestic violence program, Courage Connection, 2) increase Courage Connection’s capacity to engage in ongoing evaluation of their service delivery efforts, and 3) generate research knowledge about the conditions in which effective survivor-centered advocacy services are implemented in a domestic violence program setting.
Abstract | PDF
 
National TeleNursing Center (NTC) Sustainability (February 2019) OVC-Sponsored, Grant, 11 pages, NCJ 253058. This report evaluates the potential sustainability, and presents unique challenges for expansion, of the National TeleNursing Center, a program established through a multi-year OVC grant.
Abstract | PDF
 
National TeleNursing Center: Program Evaluation Final Report (October 2018) OVC-Sponsored, Grant, 76 pages, NCJ 253059. OVC funded the National TeleNursing Center (NTC) to develop and evaluate telemedicine in providing consultation to Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) nurses conducting forensic sexual assault medical examinations in remote and/or underserved hospitals. This report provides an overview of the development of the NTC, presents data on the delivery of services, provides updated results of site clinicians’ experiences with telenursing services, and discusses lessons learned from over five years of project implementation.
Abstract | PDF
 
Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) Toolkit (September 2018) OVC-Sponsored, Grant, NCJ 252125. This second edition of the SART Toolkit provides resources for communities wanting to develop SARTs — coordinated teams of people who serve victims of sexual assault — and for communities wanting to improve their SART responses. The toolkit reviews the basics, lays out the steps involved building a SART, outlines strategic planning for SART operations, and describes how to remain focused on serving victims of crime.
Abstract | HTML
 

OJP Publications

Victim Service Providers in the United States, 2017 (November 2019) BJS, 7 pages, NCJ 252648. This report provides statistics from the National Census of Victim Service Providers, the first national data collection on the number and characteristics of these organizations. The report describes the types of organizations that serve victims, maps their locations, and reports on the rate of victim service providers per 100,000 U.S. residents by state. The census was conducted by the Bureau of Justice Statistics with support from OVC.
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
 
Detroit Sexual Assault Kit (SAK) Action Research Project (ARP), Final Report (February 2015) NIJ-Sponsored, Grant, 551 pages, NCJ 248680. This report documents the Detroit Sexual Assault Action-Research Project, in which a multidisciplinary team looked at the issue of a large number of sexual assault kits (SAKs) that had not been sent to a crime lab for DNA-testing. The team identified the underlying factors that contributed to the issue; developed and evaluated a plan for testing the SAKs; and created and evaluated protocols for notifying victims of the results of the testing. The report also offers practitioner-friendly resources, including how to create victim-notification protocols.
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.
 
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.
 
National Elder Fraud Hotline
If you or someone you know is a victim of elder fraud, we encourage you to call the National Elder Fraud Hotline at 833–FRAUD–11 (833–372–8311). Professional case managers will assist you with reporting the crime and connect you with other resources as needed. The hotline is open daily from 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. eastern time. Services are available for speakers of English, Spanish, and other languages.
 
National Mass Violence Victimization Resource Center
This OVC-funded initiative provides evidence-based information, training, and other resources for communities so they can effectively prepare for and respond to mass violence incidents.
 
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

CrimeSolutions.gov
CrimeSolutions.gov is a searchable online database of evidence-based programs covering a range of justice-related topics, including victim assistance programs; corrections; courts; crime prevention; substance abuse; juveniles; law enforcement; and technology and forensics. The site is a tool to understand, access and integrate scientific evidence about programs into programmatic and policy decisions.
 
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.
 
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.
 
U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ): 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.
 
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

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.
 
Helping And Lending Outreach Support (HALOS)
HALOS's mission is to provide resources and special opportunities to abused and neglected children and their caregivers through partnerships with faith-based and other community organizations. HALOS matches community donations to the needs of foster children and children cared for in the homes of family members other than their parents. OVC produced a toolkit available at www.ovc.gov/halos which offers lessons learned and suggests strategies for establishing programs like HALOS wherever foster families and relatives need additional support for the children in their care.
 
International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW)
IFSW is a global organization striving for social justice, human rights and social development through social work, best practices and international cooperation between social workers and their professional organizations.
 
National Organization for Victims Assistance (NOVA)
NOVA advocates for victims’ rights, assists service providers, provides direct victim assistance, offers training, and coordinates a National Crisis Response Team and the National Crime Victim Information and Referral Hotline.
 
Trauma Intervention Programs Inc. (TIP)
TIP assists citizen volunteers who respond to traumatic incidents at the request of police, fire and hospital personnel to support those who are emotionally traumatized.
 

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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 federal government doing to combat human trafficking?
Although the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has long enforced criminal laws against involuntary se... 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 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

I would like to apply for a Professional Development Scholarship. Where can I find the application?
Visit the Professional Development Scholarship Program section of the OVC TTAC website for specific ... Read More

How do I check on the status of my scholarship application?
To check on the status of your scholarship application, contact the OVC Training and Technical Assis... Read More

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Funding

OVC FY 2020 Emergency and Transitional Pet Shelter and Housing Assistance Grant Program (PDF 296 kb)
Deadline: 05/29/2020
The primary goal of this funding is to support shelter and transitional housing services to victims of domestic violence and their companion animals. Objectives are to: (1) Increase the number of shelter beds and transitional housing options to meet the needs of victims of domestic violence who need shelter or housing for them and their companion animals. (2) Provide training to local stakeholders on the link between domestic violence and the abuse and neglect of companion animals; the needs of victims of domestic violence; best practices for providing, or referring, support services to such victims; and best practices in designing and delivering services that protect victims’ confidentiality. OVC anticipates making up to 5 awards of up to $400,000 each for a 36-month period of performance, to begin on October 1, 2020. OVC will conduct a pre-application webinar on April 14, 2020, from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m. e.t. Register at www.ovc.gov/grants/webinars.html. Apply by Friday, May 29, 2020.


OVC FY 2020 Developing Future Victim Specialists to Serve American Indian/Alaska Native Victims of Crime (PDF 421 kb)
Deadline: 05/26/2020
This program will develop a workforce of direct victim service providers to American Indian and Alaska Native victims in hard-to-staff positions and locations. By identifying and training prospective victim service professionals in, or from, the communities to be served, tribal and Bureau of Indian Affairs’ victim service programs will be better able to fill direct victim service positions in remote Indian Country and Alaska Native locations, and in turn ensure that victims in these locations get the services they need. OVC anticipates that it will make awards under two purpose areas (PAs): PA 1: Recruiting Interns/Residents to Serve Tribal Victims in the Continental United States and PA 2: Recruiting Interns/Residents to Serve Tribal Victims in Alaska. OVC anticipates making up to 8 awards of up to $450,000 each for a 36-month period of performance, to begin on October 1, 2020. Apply by Tuesday, May 26, 2020.


OJP FY 2020 Enhanced Collaborative Model Task Force to Combat Human Trafficking (PDF 582 kb)
Deadline: 05/18/2020
OVC and BJA are seeking applications to develop or support multidisciplinary task forces (TFs) to combat human trafficking. This program has two purpose areas (PAs). PA 1: help TFs with critical first steps related to starting up a multidisciplinary TF. PA 2: allows TFs to compete for funding to expand their TF operations and partnerships, implement TF sustainability plans, and assist OJP in building the capacity of other TFs in the field. Each TF selected for funding will receive two separate grants: one from OVC to a victim service partner, and one from the Bureau of Justice Assistance to a state, local, or tribal law enforcement agency partner. OVC and BJA anticipate making 18 awards under PA 1 (9 TFs) of up to $1.5 million per TF and up to 10 awards under PA 2 (5 TFs) of up to $1.5 million per TF. OVC and BJA will conduct a pre-application webinar on Monday, March 30, 2020, from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. e.t. Register at www.ovc.gov/grants/webinars.html. Apply by May 18, 2020.


OVC FY 2020 Improving Outcomes for Child and Youth Victims of Human Trafficking (PDF 393 kb)
Deadline: 05/18/2020
OVC is seeking applications for states or tribes to develop, enhance, and coordinate programs and activities geared toward improving outcomes for child and youth victims of sex and labor trafficking. The overall goal of the program is to improve responses for child and youth victims of trafficking with a focus on coordination at the statewide or tribal jurisdiction level to create effective change across systems. OVC anticipates making up to four awards of up to $1.5 million each for a 36-month period of performance, to begin on October 1, 2020. OVC will conduct a pre-application webinar Friday, April 3, 2020, from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. e.t. Register at www.ovc.gov/grants/webinars.html. Apply by Monday, May 18, 2020.


OVC FY 2020 Services for Minor Victims of Labor Trafficking (PDF 444 kb)
Deadline: 05/18/2020
The purpose of this program is to develop, expand, or strengthen victim service programs for minor victims of labor trafficking, whose victimization occurred when they were under the age of 18. Organizations funded under this program will provide (directly and through partnerships) services that minor victims of labor trafficking often require to address their needs for safety, security, and healing. OVC anticipates making up to three awards of up to $666,667 each for a 36-month period of performance, to begin on October 1, 2020. OVC will conduct a pre-application webinar on Friday, April 3, 2020, from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. e.t. Register at www.ovc.gov/grants/webinars.html. Apply by Monday, May 18, 2020.


OVC FY 2020 Services for Victims of Human Trafficking (PDF 398 kb)
Deadline: 05/18/2020
The purpose of this program is to develop, expand, or strengthen victim service programs for victims of human trafficking. Apply under the following three purpose areas (PAs). PA 1: up to 10 awards of up to $350,000 each will be made to support organizations that have limited or no prior experience in serving victims of human trafficking. PA 2: up to 10 awards of up to $750,000 each will be made to victim service organizations with a demonstrated history of providing a range of services to victims of human trafficking. PA 3: up to 10 awards of up to $550,000 each will be made to victim service organizations with a demonstrated history of providing a specialized service to victims of human trafficking. OVC will conduct a pre-application webinar on April 2, 2020, from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. e.t. Register at www.ovc.gov/grants/webinars.html. View changes to page 8 that OVC made after the initial release of the solicitation at www.ovc.gov/grants/pdftxt/services-for-victims-of-ht-change.pdf.


OVC FY 2020 Specialized Training and Technical Assistance on Housing for Victims of Human Trafficking (PDF 354 kb)
Deadline: 05/14/2020
The selected applicant will work with victim service providers assisting trafficking victims, with priority support given to OVC human trafficking grantees, to identify challenges and opportunities to better meet the full range of housing needs of survivors of human trafficking. The selected applicant must be able to assist service providers on a national scale in leveraging existing federal, state, local, and private housing programs and initiatives that trafficking survivors may qualify for, and should demonstrate partnerships with relevant housing stakeholders. OVC anticipates making one award of up to $2 million for a 36-month period of performance, to begin on October 1, 2020. OVC will conduct a pre-application webinar on Monday, March 30, 2020, from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. e.t. Register at www.ovc.gov/grants/webinars.html. Apply by Thursday, May 14, 2020.


FY 2020 OVC Advancing the Use of Technology to Assist Victims of Crime (PDF 303 kb)
Deadline: 05/12/2020
Through this solicitation, OVC seeks to provide funding to organizations that demonstrate innovative strategies to create, expand, or enhance the use of technology on a national scale (or regional projects that can be replicated nationally) to improve responses, services, and access for victims of crime. OVC anticipates making up to three awards of up to $1.5 million each for a 24-month period of performance, to begin on October 1, 2020. OVC will conduct a pre-application webinar on Tuesday, March 31, 2020, from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. e.t. Register at www.ovc.gov/grants/webinars.html. Apply by May 12, 2020.


OVC FY 2020 Training for Law Enforcement to Improve Identification of and Response to Elder Fraud Victims (PDF 317 kb)
Deadline: 05/11/2020
The goal of this program is to provide training and technical assistance to law enforcement agencies to more effectively identify elder fraud victims, allowing law enforcement both to bring the fraudsters to justice and to connect those victims with available services. This program will support the provision of training and technical assistance to both large and small law enforcement agencies in both urban and rural communities. OVC anticipates making up to one award of up to $2 million for a 36-month period of performance, to begin on October 1, 2020. Apply by May 11, 2020.


OVC FY 2020 Expanding SANE Services to Victims of Sexual Assault on Campus (PDF 335 kb)
Deadline: 05/07/2020
OVC is seeking applications to establish and/or expand Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) programs that will offer medical forensic care, advocacy, and other victim services to sexual assault survivors on college campuses. OVC anticipates making up to 16 awards up to $500,000 for a 36-month period of performance, to begin on October 1, 2020. OVC will conduct a pre-application webinar on Tuesday, March 24, 2020, from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. e.t. Register at www.ovc.gov/grants/webinars.html. Apply by May 7, 2020.


OVC FY 2020 Enhancing Services for Older Victims of Abuse and Financial Exploitation (PDF 303 kb)
Deadline: 05/05/2020
OVC is seeking applications to implement projects intended to improve outcomes, minimize additional trauma, and restore safety and security to older adult victims of abuse and financial exploitation. OVC anticipates making up to 12 awards up to $500,000. OVC expects to make awards for a 36-month period of performance, to begin on October 1, 2020. OVC expects to make awards for a 36-month period of performance, to begin on October 1, 2020. OVC will conduct a pre-application webinar on Thursday, March 26, 2020, from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. e.t. Register at www.ovc.gov/grants/webinars.html. Apply by May 5, 2020.


OVC FY 2020 Enhancing Community Responses to America's Addiction Crisis: Serving Our Youngest Crime Victims (PDF 553 kb)
Deadline: 05/04/2020
This program will provide funding to support direct services to children and youth who are crime victims as a result of the nation's addiction crisis (Purpose Area 1); and training and technical assistance for the direct services grantees (Purpose Area 2). Applicants may apply under only one of the purpose areas. OVC anticipates making up to 25 awards under purpose area 1 of up to $700,000 each and 1 award under purpose 2 of up to $1.5 million. OVC expects to make awards for a 36-month period of performance, to begin on October 1, 2020. View changes to pages 8 and 21 that OVC made after the initial release of the solicitation at www.ovc.gov/grants/pdftxt/fy-2020-enhancing-community-responses-to-drug-crisis-change.pdf. OVC will conduct a pre-application webinar on Monday, March 23, 2020, from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. e.t. Register at www.ovc.gov/grants/webinars.html. Apply by May 4, 2020.


OVC FY 2020 Addressing Female Genital Mutilation and Cutting (PDF 822 kb)
Deadline: 04/30/2020
The goal of this program is to deliver programming to address and help stop the practice of female genital mutilation and cutting (FGM) under two purpose areas (PAs). PA 1: a training and technical assistance provider will educate law enforcement, public health professionals, educators, and other professionals on detecting at-risk girls and provide support to the project sites. PA 2: project sites will develop services to deliver to victims of FGM and work to increase education, detection, and local partner engagement to address and help stop victimization through FGM. OVC anticipates making one award under PA 1 of up to $1.2 million and up to eight awards under PA 2 of up to $300,000 each. OVC expects to make awards for a 36-month period of performance, to begin on October 1, 2020. Apply by April 30, 2020.


OVC FY 2020 Crime Victims' Rights Legal Clinics (PDF 737 kb)
Deadline: 04/27/2020
This initiative is intended to support or expand on federal, state, local, and tribal efforts to enforce crime victims’ rights. Applicants may apply under the following purpose areas: victims’ rights legal clinics that will provide the enforcement of crime victims’ rights in the criminal justice process (Purpose Area 1), and one training and technical assistance provider to provide support to the selected legal clinics (Purpose Area 2). OVC anticipates making up to eight awards under purpose area 1 and one award under purpose 2 of up to $1 million each. OVC expects to make awards for a 36-month period of performance, to begin on October 1, 2020. OVC conducted a pre-application webinar on Monday, March 16, 2020, and a recording and transcript of this webinar are available at www.ovc.gov/grants/webinars.html. Apply by April 27, 2020.


OVC FY 2020 Law Enforcement-Based Victim Specialist Program (PDF 503 kb)
Deadline: 04/20/2020
The goal of this program is to assist state, tribal, and local law enforcement agencies in developing or enhancing victim specialist programs that connect victims and families to much-needed services. Awards will be made under four purpose areas based on the type of law enforcement agency (small, mid-size, large, or tribal). Priority will be given to applicants that: (1) address specific challenges that rural communities face, (2) serve high-poverty areas or persistent-poverty counties, or (3) offer enhancements to public safety in economically distressed communities (Qualified Opportunity Zones). OVC conducted a pre-application webinar on March 3, 2020, and a recording and transcript of this webinar are available at www.ovc.gov/grants/webinars.html. Apply by April 20, 2020.


OVC FY 2020 State Victim Liaison Project (PDF 232 kb)
Deadline: 04/09/2020
The State Victim Liaison Project will place one or more experienced crime victim liaison(s) within selected VOCA State Administrating Agencies to act as a bridge between the state and other state-based non-governmental organizations to identify gaps in victim services and improve and increase access to resources for crime victims in rural/tribal areas, older victims, and victims of violent crime. Liaisons should possess statewide networking connections for effective interaction with community leaders, allied professionals, and community stakeholders to achieve the objectives of this project. View changes to pages 1 and 13 that OVC made after the initial release of the solicitation at www.ovc.gov/grants/pdftxt/fy-2020-state-liaison-project-change.pdf. OVC conducted a pre-application webinar on February 20, 2020, and a recording and transcript of this webinar are available at www.ovc.gov/grants/webinars.html. Apply by April 9, 2020.

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National Calendar of Crime Victim Assistance-Related Events
Upcoming Event(s)

Online Directory of Crime Victims Services.