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Victim and Witness Assistance

  • Publications (104)
  • Resources (42)
  • Forum Discussions (5)
  • FAQs (27)
  • Funding (8)
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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

Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) Toolkit (September 2018) OVC-Sponsored, Grant, 0 pages, 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
 
Vision 21: National Resource Center for Reaching Victims (August 2018) OVC, Fact Sheet, OVC Fact Sheets, 2 pages, NCJ 251958.
This fact sheet describes the OVC-funded National Resource Center for Reaching Victims project. The center seeks to be one-stop shop where providers, policymakers, and other professionals will be able to obtain information and expert guidance to enhance their capacity to identify, reach, and serve all victims, especially those from communities that too often have less access to healing services and avenues to justice.
Abstract | PDF
Part Of the OVC Fact Sheets Series
 
Vision 21: Center for Victim Research (August 2018) OVC, Fact Sheet, OVC Fact Sheets, 2 pages, NCJ 251959.
In response to the victim assistance field’s call for increased statistical data, evidence-based practices, and program evaluation, OVC funded the creation of the Center for Victim Research. This fact sheet describes how the Center is tool for victim service providers and researchers to connect and share knowledge, supports the field in two ways. It facilitates access to victim research and data while improving the utility of research and data collection to crime victim services nationwide.
Abstract | PDF
Part Of the OVC Fact Sheets Series
 
Research Brief: Homicide Co-Victimization (July 2018) OVC-Sponsored, Grant, 4 pages, NCJ 251953.
This fact sheet provides a comprehensive review of research and practice on homicide co-victimization. This research brief describes how the evidence base for homicide co-victimization is growing, while highlighting key areas where further research is needed.
Abstract | PDF
 
A Complete Guide to Establishing and Operating a Victim Assistance Academy (May 2018) OVC-Sponsored, Grant, 64 pages, NCJ 252064.
State Victim Assistance Academies provide fundamental, comprehensive, and academically based education and training for victim assistance providers, victim advocates, criminal justice personnel, and allied professionals who routinely deal with crime victims. This comprehensive guide seeks to assist states and territories in developing and/or refining their State Victim Assistance Academies.
Abstract | PDF
 

OJP Publications

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
 
Evaluation of Services for Domestic Minor Victims of Human Trafficking (August 2014) NIJ-Sponsored, Grant, 115 pages, NCJ 248578.
This primary goals of this evaluation were documenting program implementation of the three OVC funded programs, identify promising practices for service delivery programs, and informing delivery of current and future efforts to serve victims of sex and labor trafficking of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents under the age of 18.
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.


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 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

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

Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) Toolkit (September 2018) OVC-Sponsored, Grant, 0 pages, 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
 
Vision 21: National Resource Center for Reaching Victims (August 2018) OVC, Fact Sheet, OVC Fact Sheets, 2 pages, NCJ 251958. This fact sheet describes the OVC-funded National Resource Center for Reaching Victims project. The center seeks to be one-stop shop where providers, policymakers, and other professionals will be able to obtain information and expert guidance to enhance their capacity to identify, reach, and serve all victims, especially those from communities that too often have less access to healing services and avenues to justice.
Abstract | PDF
Part Of the OVC Fact Sheets Series
 
Vision 21: Center for Victim Research (August 2018) OVC, Fact Sheet, OVC Fact Sheets, 2 pages, NCJ 251959. In response to the victim assistance field’s call for increased statistical data, evidence-based practices, and program evaluation, OVC funded the creation of the Center for Victim Research. This fact sheet describes how the Center is tool for victim service providers and researchers to connect and share knowledge, supports the field in two ways. It facilitates access to victim research and data while improving the utility of research and data collection to crime victim services nationwide.
Abstract | PDF
Part Of the OVC Fact Sheets Series
 
Research Brief: Homicide Co-Victimization (July 2018) OVC-Sponsored, Grant, 4 pages, NCJ 251953. This fact sheet provides a comprehensive review of research and practice on homicide co-victimization. This research brief describes how the evidence base for homicide co-victimization is growing, while highlighting key areas where further research is needed.
Abstract | PDF
 
A Complete Guide to Establishing and Operating a Victim Assistance Academy (May 2018) OVC-Sponsored, Grant, 64 pages, NCJ 252064. State Victim Assistance Academies provide fundamental, comprehensive, and academically based education and training for victim assistance providers, victim advocates, criminal justice personnel, and allied professionals who routinely deal with crime victims. This comprehensive guide seeks to assist states and territories in developing and/or refining their State Victim Assistance Academies.
Abstract | PDF
 

OJP Publications

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
 
Evaluation of Services for Domestic Minor Victims of Human Trafficking (August 2014) NIJ-Sponsored, Grant, 115 pages, NCJ 248578. This primary goals of this evaluation were documenting program implementation of the three OVC funded programs, identify promising practices for service delivery programs, and informing delivery of current and future efforts to serve victims of sex and labor trafficking of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents under the age of 18.
Abstract | PDF
 

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Related Resources

OVC Funded Resources

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 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.
 
VictimConnect Resource Center - Confidential referrals for crime victims
VictimConnect serves victims of any crime in the United States. Trained specialists are available to help you locate referrals for mental health counseling, financial compensation, legal services, civil justice options, support groups, crime reporting, identity theft recovery and more.
 
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

Department of Defense (DoD): Victim and Witness Assistance Council (VWAC)
The Council's Web site offers information and links to assist victims, and witnesses to crimes on military installations. Resources include contact information for victim and witness assistance coordinators for the Coast Guard, Department of the Air Force, Department of the Army, Department of the Navy, Marine Corps, Office of the Secretary of Defense. Each branch of services has: 1) An interdisciplinary Victim and Witness Assistance Council; 2)a Family Advocacy Program designed to prevent and treat child and spouse abuse; and 3) a central repository for tracking notice of the status of offenders confined in military correctional facilities. In addition, local councils have been established at each major military installation to ensure that an interdisciplinary approach is followed by victim and witness service providers.
 
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.
 
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): Disaster Distress Helpline
The Disaster Distress Helpline is dedicated to providing year-round disaster crisis counseling. This toll free, multilingual, crisis support service is available 24/7 via telephone 800–985–5990 (for Spanish, press 2) and SMS (text 'TalkWithUs', or for Spanish, text 'Hablanos', to 66746) to residents in the U.S. and its territories who are experiencing emotional distress related to natural or man-made disasters.
 
Victims Of Immigration Crime Engagement (VOICE) Office
The VOICE Office was established to serve the needs of crime victims and their families who have been affected by crimes committed by individuals with a nexus to immigration. The website provides a variety of useful information, including a dedicated toll-free VOICE Hotline to answer questions from victims (1-855-48-VOICE) and assistance signing-up to receive automated custody status information about an individual in custody (DHS-VINE).
 
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

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.
 
Crime Victims Advocacy Council
Crime Victims Advocacy Council seeks to help crime victims cope with their suffering and pain by concentrating their energies and resources in support groups, community education, crime prevention, raising community consciousness and acting as an advocate for crime victim’s rights.
 
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 Network of Hospital-based Violence Intervention Programs
Violence is preventable, and trauma centers and emergency rooms have a golden moment of opportunity at the hospital bedside to engage with a victim of violence and to stop the cycle of violence. The Network's purpose is to strengthen existing programs and help develop similar programs in communities across the country.
 
National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV)
NNEDV works closely with domestic violence coalitions, allied organization, and individuals to understand the ongoing and emerging needs of domestic violence victims and advocacy programs.
 

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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

Back to Top


Funding

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 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.