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News & Features

News Archive 2011

Welcome to OVC’s News Archive—a collection of past announcements:

  • News Archive
  • Grantee News Archive
  • Partner Message Board Archive

December 2011

Read the transcript from the OVC Web Forum discussion on responding to victims of property crimes.

OVC invites applications for State Victim Assistance Academy (SVAA) grants to develop SVAAs that meet the educational and training needs of victim service providers and allied professionals in states that have not yet received OVC funding to develop an SVAA. Up to six first-year awards of $35,000 are available for this 3-year project. The deadline for applications is February 14, 2012.

In fiscal year 2011, OVC awarded more than $23 million in discretionary grants. For information about OVC’s FY 2011 discretionary grantees, view OVC’s searchable table, where grantees are listed by their grant program, organization, award amount, grant duration, and the area that the grantee will serve.

The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS)
New Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report cites that, on average, 24 people per minute are victims of rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner in the United States. Findings from The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS) 2010 Summary Report also show that more than 1 million women reported being raped, and over 6 million women and men were a victim of stalking. NISVS documents that women are disproportionately impacted, experience higher rates of severe intimate partner violence, sexual violence, and stalking, and more long-term chronic disease and other health impacts such as PTSD symptoms. Read more about these findings by visiting the CDC Web site

On December 28, 2-3pm ET OVC will hold a Web Forum discussion on responding to victims of property crimes. Join Deborah Lamm Weisel, Ph.D., Assistant Research Professor and the Director of police research in the Department of Political Science and Public Administration at North Carolina Central University for the discussion. Submit questions now for answer during the session.

December Featured Resources now available from OVC. Anticipation of a holiday without a friend or family member can be harder than the actual holiday itself. This month’s Featured Resources includes Coping With the Holidays After the Death of a Loved One or When You Are a Victim/Crime Survivor which provides suggestions from families who have made this difficult journey to help those who may be just starting down this path. Also available are resources related to National Impaired Driving Prevention Month and highlights from the November issue of OVC News and Program Updates.

November 2011

The National Center for Victims of Crime announces the release of the OVC-funded Restitution Collection Toolkit. Learn what is working in other jurisdictions and access a wide range of practical resources designed to increase the collection of restitution.

September 11 Victim Compensation Fund Web SiteSpecial Master Sheila L. Birnbaum announces that the September 11th Victims Compensation Fund (VCF) is now accepting claims applications online. Paper-based forms will still be available, but claimants are encouraged to use the online system as it poses less of a burden on applicants. Additionally, pro bono counsel are volunteering to assist claimants with their application to the September 11th Victims Compensation Fund.

More details can be found in the Fund’s new web site at www.VCF.gov, where you can also—

  • Obtain a list of the kinds of documents and information that we will need in order to process your claim, so that you can begin collecting any necessary materials;
  • Register for the VCF online, the first step in submitting your claim;
  • Fill out an online eligibility form to determine VCF eligibility (available after registration); and
  • Submit your claim online; and
  • Review newly updated Frequently Asked Questions.

The VCF Web site will be updated in the coming months with additional information on the claims process, upcoming seminars, and news.

Participate in a free Webinar on Arrestee DNA Testing—November 9, 2011. With support from OVC, the DNA Resource Center at the National Center for Victims of Crime is hosting a free Webinar at 1:00 p.m. EST on November 9th.

Facilitated by Jayann Sepich, founder of DNAsaves.org, Arrestee DNA testing: Preventing Crime & Saving Lives Webinar will teach participants how passing state legislation can enable law enforcement to collect DNA from felony arrestees, prevent crime, solve cases, and provide protection to the innocent.

Registration is now open for two OVC-funded conferences: the 2012 Mass Violence and Emergency National Training Conference and Responding to Crime Victims With Disabilities.

2012 OVC Mass Violence & Emergency National Training Conference. Jan. 31-Feb 2, 2012.The 2012 OVC Mass Violence and Emergency National Training Conference—Improving Readiness to Assist Victims is scheduled for January 31–February 2, 2012, in Jacksonville, Florida.

The 3-day event will bring together multidisciplinary stakeholder teams to share their experiences and knowledge about how to respond to victims, survivors, and communities.

Scholarships are available for eligible stakeholder teams of 4 to 5 people from different discipline areas. Contact Vicki O’Brien, Project Coordinator, Fox Valley Technical College, at (603) 862-3846 or vicki.obrien@unh.edu for more information.

Stakeholder discipline areas include—

  • Emergency Management Personnel
  • Law Enforcement
  • Fire and Rescue
  • Federal, state, local, and tribal policymakers
  • Prosecutors
  • State VOCA and Victim Compensation Administrators
  • Faith-based organizations
  • Victim service professionals

Responding to Crime Victims with Disabilities National Training Conference. December 13-15, 2011. JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes, Orlando, FL.The OVC-funded National Conference on Responding to Crime Victims with Disabilities will be held December 13-15, 2011, at the JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes, Orlando, Florida.

Attendees will have the opportunity to enhance their knowledge, skills, and competencies to effectively serve people with disabilities who are victims of crime, abuse, and neglect.

Stakeholder discipline areas include—

  • Victim service providers;
  • Disability advocates;
  • Adult and child protective service workers;
  • Law enforcement;
  • Attorneys;
  • Faith-based practitioners;
  • Medical practitioners/forensic examiners;
  • Mental health practitioners; and
  • Educators.

This OVC-funded conference is being organized by the National Center for Victims of Crime in partnership with the Joint Center on Violence and Victim Studies, the National Council on Independent Living, the National Sheriffs’ Association, the Institute on Disabilities at Temple University, Davis Innovations, Inc., and Sharon D’Eusanio.

The Defending Childhood Task Force will study the issue of children exposed to violence, both as victims and witnesses. In a recent press release (10/13/2011), Associate Attorney General (AAG) Tom Perrelli announced the establishment of this task force, which over the course of the year will conduct four public hearings around the country to learn from practitioners, policymakers, academics, and community members about the extent and nature of the problem of children’s exposure to violence in the United States.

The Defending Childhood Task Force will also identify promising practices, programming, and community strategies used to prevent and respond to children’s exposure to violence.

Related reading: OVC’s Web page on Children Exposed Violence and a Special Feature section from NCJRS on Children Exposed to Violence.

October 2011

On October 26, OVC held a Web Forum discussion on understanding firearms laws to assist domestic violence victims with guest hosts Rob Valente, J.D., General Counsel, National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, and James P. Vann, J.D., Division Counsel, Washington Field Division, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. If you missed it, you can download a transcript of the session and return to the Web Forum to continue with the discussion.

Justice Department Awards More Than $600 Million, Help Crime Victims. The Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs (OJP) announced on October 13, 2011, more than $600 million in formula grants to support crime victims.

In commemoration of National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, join OVC on October 26th for their Web Forum Guest Host Discussion on understanding firearms laws to assist domestic violence victims. Rob Valente, J.D., General Counsel, National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, and James P. Vann, J.D., Division Counsel, Washington Field Division, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, will be available to answer your questions at 2pm EST.

President Obama recognizes October 2011 as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. In his Proclamation, President Obama states that "[D]uring Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we recognize the significant achievements we have made in reducing domestic violence in America, and we recommit ourselves to the important work still before us. Despite tremendous progress, an average of three women in America die as a result of domestic violence each day. One in four women and one in thirteen men will experience domestic violence in their lifetime. These statistics are even more sobering when we consider that domestic violence often goes unreported."

In observance of National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the OVC.gov Web site is showcasing awareness raising materials available from different sources. Visit OVC’s Featured Resources page to learn about the campaign tools and educational materials from the Domestic Violence Awareness Month Project and the National Criminal Justice Reference Service Web site.

Special Master Sheila L. Birnbaum announces the opening of September 11th Victim Compensation Fund and a new Web site with information on the claims process. The Fund’s new web site, at www.VCF.gov currently allows you to—

  • Obtain a list of the kinds of documents and information that we will need in order to process your claim, so that you can begin collecting any necessary materials;
  • Register for the VCF online, the first step in submitting your claim; and
  • Review newly updated Frequently Asked Questions.

The VCF Web site will be updated in the coming months with additional information on the claims process, upcoming seminars, and news.

Attorney General Guidelines for Victim and Witness AssistanceThe revised Attorney General Guidelines for Victim and Witness Assistance (AG Guidelines) are now available. The AG Guidelines establish policy and provide guidance to be followed by U.S. Department of Justice personnel in their interactions with crime victims and witnesses. In 1982, Congress directed the Attorney General to promulgate the first AG Guidelines, which have been revised periodically to reflect changes in the law. Effective October 1, 2011, these revised guidelines have been updated to incorporate best practices and integrate new case law.

September 2011

Announcing: Availability of 2012 NCVRW Community Awareness Project (CAP) funding! The National Association of VOCA Assistance Administrators (NAVAA) through a grant from the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) is seeking proposals for innovative and collaborative projects to raise public awareness of victims’ rights and services in local communities during National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, April 22–28, 2012. For more information and an application, visit the NCVRW CAP Web site. Application deadline is Tuesday, October 25, 2011.

On September 21, 2011, OVC held a Web Forum discussion with guest hosts Dr. Rupaleem Bhuyan and Patricia Ice on Victim Assistance for Undocumented/Temporary Immigrants. If you missed it, you can download a transcript of the session and return to the Web Forum to continue with the discussion.

OVC announces the theme, dates, and colors for the 2012 National Crime Victims’ Rights Week (NCVRW). In 2012, NCVRW will be observed April 22-28, 2012, and "Extending the Vision: Reaching Every Victim" is the theme.

2012 NATIONAL CRIME VICTIMS’ RIGHTS WEEK
APRIL 22–28, 2012

Theme colors: Blue (PMS 541C) and Black (PMS Black)

Comparable blue color: CMYK (C=100, M=58, Y=9, K=42) and Hex (HTML #13477D)

Comparable black color: CMYK (C=0, M=0, Y=0, K=100) and Hex (HTML #000000)

Join OVC on September 21, 2011, for a Web Forum discussion with guest hosts Dr. Rupaleem Bhuyan and Patricia Ice on Victim Assistance for Undocumented/Temporary Immigrants. Visit the Web Forum today to view the latest messages or submit your questions for the discussion on September 13 at 2 pm est.

Responding to Crime Victims with Disabilities National Training Conference. December 13-15, 2011. JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes, Orlando, FL.Register now for the OVC-funded National Conference on Responding to Crime Victims with Disabilities to be held December 13-15, 2011, at the JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes, Orlando, Florida. Attendees will have the opportunity to enhance their knowledge, skills, and competencies to effectively serve people with disabilities who are victims of crime, abuse, and neglect.

Stakeholder discipline areas include—

  • victim service providers;
  • disability advocates;
  • adult and child protective service workers;
  • law enforcement;
  • attorneys;
  • faith-based practitioners;
  • medical practitioners/forensic examiners;
  • mental health practitioners; and
  • educators.

For more details about the conference and registration, visit the conference Web site!

This OVC-funded conference is being organized by the National Center for Victims of Crime in partnership with the Joint Center on Violence and Victim Studies, the National Council on Independent Living, the National Sheriffs’ Association, the Institute on Disabilities at Temple University, Davis Innovations, Inc., and Sharon D’Eusanio.

On September 13, 2011, OVC held a Web Forum discussion with guest hosts Bette Stebbins, MSCP, CA, and Jennifer Wilson on Using Online Communications to Assist Crime Victims in the Military. If you missed it, you can download a transcript of the session and return to the Web Forum to continue with the discussion.

Save the date for the 2012 OVC Mass Violence and Emergency National Training Conference scheduled for January 31–February 2, 2012, in Jacksonville, Florida. The 2012 OVC Mass Violence and Emergency National Training Conference—Improving Readiness to Assist Victims—will bring together multidisciplinary stakeholder teams to share their experiences and knowledge about how to respond to victims, survivors, and communities. Stakeholder discipline areas include, but are not limited to—

2012 OVC Mass Violence & Emergency National Training Conference. Jan. 31-Feb 2, 2012.
  • Emergency Management Personnel
  • Law Enforcement
  • Fire and Rescue
  • Federal, state, local, and tribal policymakers
  • Prosecutors
  • State VOCA and Victim Compensation Administrators
  • Faith-based organizations
  • Victim service professionals

Scholarships are available for eligible stakeholder teams of 4 to 5 people from different discipline areas. Contact Vicki O’Brien, Project Coordinator, Fox Valley Technical College, at (603) 862-3846 or vicki.obrien@unh.edu for more information.

Visit the conference Web site on a regular basis for more information and updates.

On August 31, 2011, OVC held a Web Forum discussion with guest hosts Howard Fradkin, PhD, LICDC, and Ken Followell on Assisting Male Survivors of Sexual Violence. If you missed it, you can download a transcript of the session and return to the Web Forum to continue with the discussion.

August 2011

Special Master Sheila L. Birnbaum Announces Final Rule to Govern 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF). The rule is expected to be published in the Federal Register and will go into effect when the VCF opens its doors on Monday, Oct. 3, 2011. Comprehensive information about filing claims will be available at that time.

Office of Indian Alcohol and Substance Abuse Web siteOn July 29, 2011, a new approach was launched to reduce tribal alcohol and substance abuse problems. A new federal framework to assist American Indian and Alaska Native communities in achieving their goals in the prevention, intervention, and treatment of alcohol and substance abuse is described in a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Department of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, and Attorney General of the United States Eric Holder.

The MOA explains how the Office of Indian Alcohol and Substance Abuse, established in HHS’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, will coordinate tribal substance abuse programs across the federal government with a special emphasis on promoting programs geared toward reaching youth and offering alternatives to incarceration.

Join OVC on August 31, 2011, for a Web Forum discussion with guest hosts Howard Fradkin, PhD, LICDC, and Ken Followell on Assisting Male Survivors of Sexual Violence. Visit the Web Forum today to view the latest messages or submit your questions for the discussion on August 31 at 2 pm est.

On August 10, OVC held a Web Forum discussion with guest host David Uhlmann on Responding to Victims of Environmental Crime. If you missed it, you can download a transcript of the session and return to the Web Forum to continue with the discussion.

International visitors to OVC from Chilean Victims of Crimes Division share news of changes in victims’ rights in Chile: The Chilean Victims of Crimes Division is pleased to announce that the President of Chile, Sebastian Piñera, signed a Constitutional Amendment (en Español) that recognizes the right of victims to criminal defense and legal advice.

Visit OVC’s Partner Message Board to learn more about changes in victims’ rights in Chile and the Chilean Victims of Crimes Division’s efforts to support and assist victims.

Join OVC on August 10, 2011, for a Web Forum discussion with guest host David Uhlmann on Responding to Victims of Environmental Crime. Visit the Web Forum today to view the latest messages or submit your questions for Wednesday’s discussion at 2 pm est.

July 2011

Read a summary of the successful 6th National SART Training Conference held in Austin, Texas in May 2011, including comments from conference participants and highlights from the event. If you were unable to attend this year, mark your calendars for Spring 2013 to attend the 7th National SART Training Conferenc

On July 20, 2011, OVC held a Web Forum discussion with guest hosts Ben Saunders and Phelan Wyrick on Integrating Evidence-Based Practices Into Victim Services. If you missed it, you can download a transcript of the session and return to the Web Forum to continue with the discussion.

Principal Deputy Director Joye E. Frost discusses the Problem of Child Identity Theft in a recent Justice Blog titled In Kindergarten and in Debt: The Problem of Child Identity Theft.

Stolen Futures.A Free Public Forum on Child Identity Theft was held July 12 by the Federal Trade Commission and co-sponsored by OVC. This national forum titled "Stolen Futures: A Forum on Child Identity Theft" explored the nature of child identity theft, including foster care identity theft and identity theft within families, with the goal of advising parents and victims on how to prevent the crime and how to resolve child identity theft problems.

This public awareness raising effort was held in the nation’s capital—

Stolen Futures: A Forum on Child Identity Theft
Tuesday,  July 12, 2011
8:30–5:00 p.m.
Washington, D.C.
Free and open to the public.
A live webcast was held accessible via the Stolen Futures Web site.

Related Reading: A Snapshot of Child Identity Theft, brief article illustrating the key challenges in child identity theft and invitation to join public awareness raising effort. Download the Article (PDF 400 kb).

Join OVC on July 20, 2011, for a Web Forum discussion with guest hosts Ben Saunders and Phelan Wyrick on Integrating Evidence-Based Practices Into Victim Services.  Visit the Web Forum today to view the latest messages or submit your questions for Wednesday’s discussion at 2 pm est.

Outage alert: Certain features and sections of OVC.gov may be unavailable intermittently during a scheduled server upgrade on July 9–10. We regret any inconvenience.

Stolen Futures.On July 12, attend in person or via webcast a Free Public Forum on Child Identity Theft hosted by the Federal Trade Commission and co-sponsored by OVC. This national forum titled "Stolen Futures: A Forum on Child Identity Theft" will explore the nature of child identity theft, including foster care identity theft and identity theft within families, with the goal of advising parents and victims on how to prevent the crime and how to resolve child identity theft problems.

OVC invites you to join in this public awareness raising effort in person or via webcast—

Stolen Futures: A Forum on Child Identity Theft
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
8:30–5:00 p.m.
Washington, D.C.
This forum is free and open to the public.
Access the live webcast the day of the forum via the Stolen Futures Web site.

Related Reading: A Snapshot of Child Identity Theft, brief article illustrating the key challenges in child identity theft and invitation to join public awareness raising effort. Download the Article (PDF 400 kb).

A free webinar is being held July 7, 2011, at 1 p.m. eastern time on Supporting Survivors After an Exoneration. Speaker Monica L. Urbaniak, LMFT-S from the Dallas Area Rape Crisis Center will address the impact of DNA exonerations on victims and provide guidance for service providers who support them.

For more details on this OVC-funded webinar and others in the DNA Webinar Series, visit the DNA Resource Center of the National Center for Victims of Crime.

On June 29th, OVC held a Web Forum discussion with Guest Hosts Robert Dumond and Shannon May on addressing sexual violence in detention. If you missed it, you can download a transcript of the session and return to the Web Forum to continue with the discussion.

July grant application deadlines are fast approaching! Visit OVC’s Current Funding Opportunities page to view OVC’s open grants supporting—

  • Services to crime victims in Indian Country. Deadline: July 5, 2011.
  • National Field-Generated Training, Technical Assistance, and Demonstration Projects. Deadline: July 5, 2011.

June 2011

Join OVC on June 29th for a Web Forum discussion with Guest Hosts Robert Dumond and Shannon May on addressing sexual violence in detention. Visit the Web Forum today to submit your questions for Wednesday’s discussion to be held at 2 pm EST.

Special Master Sheila L. Birnbaum announces draft regulations to govern 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) and seeks public feedback on the proposals before victims can begin submitting claims to the fund later this year. The VCF was created under the James Zadroga 9/11 Health & Compensation Act to reactivate the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund that operated from 2001-2003. The Act expands the pool of claimants to include first responders and other individuals who experienced latent physical injuries associated with the attacks or with debris removal.

CrimeSolutions.gov. Reliable Research. Real ResultsOn Wednesday, June 22, 2011, the Office of Justice Programs (OJP), U.S. Department of Justice, launched CrimeSolutions.gov. The site, a resource to help practitioners and policymakers understand what works in criminal justice, juvenile justice, and crime victim services, includes information on 150 justice-related programs and assigns "evidence ratings"—effective, promising, and no effects—to indicate whether there is evidence from research that a program achieves its goals.

Nominations are being accepted for the 2012 National Crime Victims’ Service Awards. Each year, OVC recognizes extraordinary individuals, organizations, teams, and programs that demonstrate outstanding achievements in supporting victims and victim services. The recipients are announced just before National Crime Victims’ Rights Week (NCVRW) commences and honored at the National Crime Victims’ Service Awards Ceremony. In 2012, NCVRW will be observed April 22–28, 2012, and the Awards Ceremony is scheduled for April 20, 2012, in Washington, DC.

New to the 2012 nomination period are the Crime Victims’ Rights Award and Crime Victims Financial Restoration Award. The deadline to submit nominations is Wednesday, September 7, 2011.

On June 8, OVC held a Web Forum Guest Host discussion on responding to Native LGBT/Two Spirit community crime victims with Harlan Pruden. If you missed it, you can download a transcript of the session and return to the Web Forum to continue with the discussion.

Join OVC on June 8th at 2 pm for the Web Forum Guest Host discussion on responding to Native LGBT/Two Spirit community crime victims with Harlan Pruden.

May 2011

Apply now for the National Victim Assistance Academy to be held August 8–12, 2011, in Madison, Wisconsin. Continuing Education Units will be awarded to participants who complete all of the requirements of the Foundation-Level Training, Professional Skill-Building Institute, or Leadership Institute. The application deadline is July 29, 2011.

Read an op-ed by Joye E. Frost, OVC Principal Deputy Director, on sexual assault. On May 23, 2011, Yahoo News printed an op-ed by OVC Principal Deputy Director Joye E. Frost that highlights the long-standing partnerships between federal agencies and practitioners throughout the Nation that are transforming the response to sexual assault. Read OVC Principal Deputy Director Frost’s op-ed now. For more information from OVC regarding sexual assault, visit the Sexual Assault or Violence topical Web page.

June and July grant application deadlines are fast approaching! Visit OVC’s Current Funding Opportunities page to view OVC’s open grants supporting—

  • American Indian and Alaska Native SANE-SART Program. Deadline: June 14, 2011.
  • National VOCA Conference. Deadline: June 27, 2011.
  • Victim Assistance and Compensation Professional Development Fellowship Program. Deadline: June 27, 2011.
  • Services to crime victims in Indian Country. Deadline: July 5, 2011.
  • National Field-Generated Training, Technical Assistance, and Demonstration Projects. Deadline: July 5, 2011.

Transcript of the Web Forum discussion on social media to assist crime victims held on May 24 is available for download. The conversation is on-going and visitors to the Web Forum can download the session hosted by Cindy Southworth as well as participate.

OVC launches the Existe Ayuda (Help Exists) toolkit, which includes Spanish-language tools and resources to help improve accessibility of services for Spanish-speaking victims of sexual violence. Resources include the following:

  • Existe Ayuda TookitGlossaries—Spanish terms related to sexual assault and trafficking.
  • Presentations—PowerPoint slides used in presentations to promotoras (community health workers) and victim advocates.
  • Tools—a pocket card, handout, fact sheets, and scripts for public service announcements and outgoing answering machine messages.

Join OVC on May 24th for a Web Forum discussion with Guest Host Cindy Southworth on social media to assist crime victims. Visit the Web Forum today to view the latest messages or submit your questions for Wednesday’s discussion at 2 pm est.

Stolen Futures.On July 12, 2011, a national forum titled "Stolen Futures: A Forum on Child Identity Theft" will be held. The forum is hosted by the Federal Trade Commission and co-sponsored by OVC. Government, business, nonprofit, legal service providers, and victim advocates will explore the nature of child identity theft, including foster care identity theft and identity theft within families, with the goal of advising parents and victims on how to prevent the crime and how to resolve child identity theft problems.

The forum is free and open to the public. Visit the Stolen Futures Web site for more details.

Public and Private Partnerships: Building on Success To Reshape the Future Conference Poster
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On May 27, 2011, OVC will host a free public forum, Public and Private Partnerships: Building on Success To Reshape the Future, following the conclusion of the Sixth National SART Training Conference in Austin, Texas.

Join Joye E. Frost, OVC Principal Deputy Director, Lynne Rosenthal, White House Advisor on Violence Against Women, Susan B. Carbon, OVW Director, and panelists from federal government, local agencies, and victim-related organizations for a local, state, and national conversation about the tremendous strides made in addressing sexual assault in Texas and the Nation. More details can be found in the Public Forum Agenda.

Date: May 27, 2011
Time: 3:00–4:30 p.m. CDT
Location: Austin Hilton Governor’s Ballroom, Fourth Floor
500 East 4th Street
Austin, TX 78701

Even in this time of growing demands and shrinking resources, we can use innovative partnerships and leverage new ideas to continue our fight against sexual violence in this country. For more information about the Sixth National SART Training Conference, visit the Conference Web site.

One discretionary grant of $150,000 will be awarded to plan and implement the VOCA National Joint Training Conference for VOCA victim assistance and compensation administrators and staff, to be held in 2012. Apply by June 27, 2011.

Discretionary grants ranging from $150,000 to $300,000 (depending on the focus area) will be awarded to develop or enhance training, technical assistance, promising practices, models, and programs that build the capacity of victim service providers and allied practitioners to advance crime victims’ rights and services.

Discretionary grants of $200,000 to $400,000 will be awarded to support either a comprehensive array of services for trafficking victims in specific geographic areas or specialized mental health or legal services over larger geographic areas. Apply by July 5, 2011.

One fellowship of up to $135,000 will be awarded to an individual to conduct an analysis of existing data regarding services available to underserved crime victims, and to analyze the overall effectiveness of state VOCA programs. Apply by June 27, 2011.

Last week’s Web Forum discussion on using therapy dogs to respond to child victims received more than 200 posts! Get the details from the Guest Host Session transcript and visit the Forum to continue the discussion by asking a question today!

This session was co-sponsored by OVC and OJJDP in commemoration of National Child Abuse Prevention. For resources related to ensuring child safety and welfare, visit the Child Abuse section of our site and the National Criminal Justice Reference Service’s Child Abuse Special Feature.

On May 6, 2011 the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) will begin seeking applicants for the position of Project Manager–Victims of Crime, to support the multiagency SANE-SART American Indian/Alaska Native Initiative. This Project Manager will be selected to work for the FBI in coordination with OVC, Indian Health Services, Bureau of Indian Affairs, and Office on Violence Against Women. This initiative seeks to enhance the Indian Nation’s capacity to provide high-quality multidisciplinary services and support for victims of sexual assault. Beginning May 6, 2011, interested individuals should apply through USAJOBS.

President Obama remembers the families of the victims of 9/11 and calls on Americans to reflect on the unity of that tragic day. On Sunday, May 1, 2011, President Obama addressed the Nation to announce the death of Osama bin Laden, the leader of al Qaeda. Watch or read his full remarks and learn more from the transcript of the White House briefing call afterwards.

In the aftermath of this success, and with the approaching 10-year anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, victims and surviving family members will need a centralized resource to provide access to services, such as mental health counseling and support, and information on activities related to the commemoration of these tragic events. In anticipation of this need, OVC awarded a grant to the Mental Health Association (MHA) of New York City to help improve services and assistance by providing supplemental support and information-sharing resources to the victims, their families, emergency responders, and survivors of 9/11.

During the weekend of September 10–11, 2011, MHA will support commemorative events and observances in New York City, at the Shanksville, Pennsylvania Flight #93 Memorial, and at the Pentagon Memorial in Arlington, Virginia. Visit the Healing and Remembrance Program Web site for more information or call the toll-free hotline at 1-866-212-0444.

Learn about OVC’s assistance to victims of acts of terrorism occurring outside the United States by visiting the International Terrorism Victim Expense Reimbursement Program Web site.

In commemoration of National Child Abuse Prevention Month, OVC and OJJDP held a Web Forum Guest Host discussion on using therapy dogs to respond to child victims. Read the transcript of the discussion.

April 2011

Visit OVC’s Gallery of multimedia products promoting crime victims’ rights and services to view photos of the 2011 National Crime Victims’ Rights Week (NCVRW) Prelude Events. You can also view biographies and photos of this year’s award honorees on the Award Recipient Gallery.

Visit the OVC Press Room to view remarks and Justice Blog entries related to National Crime Victims’ Rights Week. Read remarks delivered by Attorney General Eric Holder and Assistant Attorney General Laurie Robinson at the National Crime Victims’ Service Awards Recognition Ceremony and Justice Blog entries from Joye E. Frost, OVC Principal Deputy Director, and Susan B. Carbon, Director, Office on Violence Against Women.

One cooperative agreement of up to $250,000 will be awarded to provide training and technical assistance to three American Indian and Alaska Native communities to enhance their capacity to respond to adult and child victims of sexual assault. Apply by May 31, 2011.

Three cooperative agreements of up to $108,000 each will be awarded to enhance American Indian and Alaska Native communities’ capacity to provide services and support for adult and child victims of sexual assault. Apply by June 14, 2011.

OVC announces funding available to coalitions serving victims of identity theft. The Maryland Crime Victims’ Resource Center, Inc., through an OVC grant, is seeking proposals for up to nine sub-awards of up to $50,000 each to create or support regional or statewide coalitions to assist identity theft victims. The project’s overarching goal is to expand the outreach and capacity of victim service programs to better address the rights and needs of victims of identity theft. Applications are due by June 15, 2011.

Presidential Proclamation—National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, April 10–16, 2011. During National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, we renew our commitment to assisting those who have been victimized by crime and supporting those who help survivors rebuild their lives. – President Barak Obama, April 8, 2011.

OVC News & Program UpdatesOVC is pleased to announce the release of the April 2011 edition of OVC News & Program Updates. The newsletter is anticipated to be a valuable tool for sharing information about OVC’s strategic planning, initiatives, events, and other items of special interest. This inaugural edition highlights outreach to underserved victims, National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, the Vision 21: Transforming Victim Services initiative, and much more. Share OVC News & Program Updates with your colleagues!

U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr., recognizes 10 individuals and programs for their service to crime victims during the April 8 National Crime Victims’ Rights Awards Recognition Ceremony, which is held each year to honor heroic and hard-working individuals for their extraordinary service to crime victims.

OVC annually recognizes individuals and organizations that demonstrate outstanding service in supporting victims and victim services. The award recipients, who are selected from public nominations in eight categories, are extraordinary individuals and programs that provide services to victims of crime. View this year’s award recipients’ photos and biographies, and pictures from the awards ceremony.

U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr., speaks at the National Crime Victims’ Rights Week National Observance and Candlelight Ceremony, an annual event paying tribute to crime victims and survivors across the Nation.

U.S. Attorney General, Eric H. Holder, Jr., is scheduled to host National Crime Victims’ Rights Week Prelude Events in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, April 7, and Friday, April 8, 2011.

Amy Fleischauer accepts the award from FBI Director Mueller.
Amy Fleischauer accepts the award from FBI Director Mueller.

The International Institute of Buffalo, Human Trafficking Victim Services Program receives a 2010 FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award (DCLA). Award recipients are selected by their area FBI field office for demonstrating outstanding contributions to their local communities through service. This OVC trafficking victim services grantee assisted the FBI and other local partners in dismantling four massage parlors acting as fronts for commercial sex operations. Amy Fleischauer accepted the award on behalf of the Human Trafficking Victim Services program.

One cooperative agreement of up to $175,000 will be awarded to assist OVC in its mission to advance technical assistance and outreach to enhance services to tribal victims of crime in remote and rural Alaska Native villages and associations. Apply by May 17, 2011.

March 2011

Read the transcript from the March 29th OVC Web Forum Guest Host discussion on transforming victim services in the 21st century.

Megan O'Bryan accepts the award from FBI Director Mueller.
Megan O’Bryan accepts the award from FBI Director Mueller.

Each year, FBI field offices select individuals or organizations to receive the Director’s Community Leadership Award (DCLA). This year FBI recognizes the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center’s CEO Megan O‘Bryan who partners with FBI and the community to provide aid to victims of sexual assault, whether in the form of counseling, clothing, a phone, or a safe haven.

Survivors, leaders, and staff affected by forensic DNA share their insights in Profiles in DNA. This new series from the DNA Resource Center is produced by the National Center for Victims of Crime to raise awareness of the importance of forensic DNA as a tool to help solve and prevent crime and bring justice to victims. Newest in the series:

  • Jennifer Pierce-Weeks, former director of the Forensic Nursing Program, Memorial Hospital, Colorado Springs, Colorado.
  • Debbie Shaw, crime victim and victim advocate.
  • Sarah Chaikin, cold case program coordinator, Denver Police Department Victim Assistance Unit.

  • Photo of Jennifer Pierce-Weeks, former director of the Forensic Nursing Program, Memorial Hospital, Colorado Springs, Colorado. Photo of Debbie Shaw, crime victim and victim advocate. Photo of Sarah Chaikin, cold case program coordinator, Denver Police Department Victim Assistance Unit.
    An Interview with Jennifer
    Pierce-Weeks
    An Interview with Debbie Shaw An Interview with Sarah Chaikin

The OVC Web Forum also offers insights from the field and transcripts of the guest host sessions such as:

Join the project directors from the OVC Vision 21: Transforming Victim Services initiative for the OVC Web Forum Guest Host discussion on March 29, 2011 at 3 pm EST. Submit your questions about this initiative for discussion during the session.

The Bureau of Justice Assistance and the Office for Victims of Crime are pleased to announce the release of a Fiscal Year 2011 competitive solicitation, Enhanced Collaborative Model to Combat Human Trafficking. Apply by May 12, 2011.

OVC announces the toolkit for Sexual Assault Response Teams (SARTs)—a  compilation of resources for communities wanting to develop or improve SARTs. OVC also offers a range of related products showcased in this month’s Featured Resources.

One cooperative agreement of $375,000 will be awarded to support and provide technical assistance to approximately 60 subgrants of up to $5,000 each to victim assistance organizations to promote 2012 National Crime Victims’ Rights Week in communities throughout the Nation. Apply by April 21, 2011.

February 2011

For quick and easy access to the most current and highlighted resources from OVC, visit the Featured Resources page under News & Features. This monthly showcase provides short descriptions and links to important resources. Whether it’s news or tools for training, education, events, and raising public awareness, the monthly showcase highlights resources to stay ahead.

One cooperative agreement of up to $600,000 will be awarded to assist OVC in planning and implementing the 13th National Indian Nations Conference: Justice for Victims of Crime, which will take place in 2012. Apply by April 12, 2011.

View OVC’s responses to grantees’ feedback from the 2009 OVC Discretionary Grantee Meeting (PDF 220 kb). In November 2010, OVC responded to the grantees’ comments from the 2009 Discretionary Grantee Meeting by providing referrals to new and existing information and resources and noted when suggestions from grantees were implemented. Read the responses now to see how grantees’ comments helped further OVC’s goals of supporting enhanced services and training and technical assistance to grantees while providing support in managing federal awards.

The 2011 National Crime Victims’ Rights Week Resource Guide is available online now. The Guide includes educational content, campaign materials, artwork, and a PSA to help communities and victim assistance providers promote awareness of crime victim issues.

On Feb. 10 OVC held a guest host Web Forum session on applying for funding and managing grants. Visit the Web Forum to take part in the after-session discussions or to download a transcript of the February 10 Web Forum session hosted by Tamara Fulwyler, Chief Financial Officer for a tribal consortium nonprofit agency.

Join OVC on February 10th at 2 pm for the Web Forum Guest Host discussion on applying for funding and managing grants. Visit the OVC Web Forum now to submit questions for Tamara Fulwyler, Chief Financial Officer for a tribal consortium nonprofit agency.

January 2011

In commemoration of National Stalking Awareness Month, join OVC and BJA on January 26th at 2 pm for the Web Forum Guest Host discussion with Karin Ho, Travis Fritsch and Trudy Gregorie.

OVC presented a Web Forum on serving child victims of sex trafficking with guest host Mollie Ring. Read the transcript from the OVC Web Forum Guest Host discussion with Mollie Ring, about serving child victims of sex trafficking.

System Alert for January 18 and 19, 2011: The OVC Web site, GMS, and OJP Web applications will be offline temporarily for planned maintenance. The Office of Justice Programs’ Web site and all Web applications will be shut down temporarily on January 18, 2011, starting at 9:00 p.m., EST. Service is expected to be restored by noon on January 19, 2011. This service disruption will include the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) Web site, Grants Management System, Grants Payment Request System, and all other applications. This action is being taken to perform critical maintenance. If you need immediate assistance during this time, please call 202-307-0627. More on OJP outage.

OVC will continue to offer its popular online tools during this time period, including:

Free, web-based training available this January and February to professionals who assist victims of drug-facilitated sexual assault (DFSA). This OVC-funded course from RTI International is free and covers terminology, drugs, consent, evidence collection, and the laboratory process in providing victim-centered care in DFSA cases. The course is open to Sexual Assault Response Teams, Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners, and Sexual Assault Forensic Examiners. Sign up today for "An Overview of DFSA SANE/SAFE/SART Protocol Part 2" available at the following dates and times—

  • January 19th 9-11 a.m. EST (8-10 a.m. CST)
  • February 1st 9-11 a.m. EST (8-10 a.m. CST)
  • February 2nd 3-5 p.m. EST (2-4 p.m. CST)

OVC launches the Vision 21: Transforming Victim Services Web site to keep the crime victims field informed about the initiative’s mission, objectives, and contributors. The initiative will expand the vision and impact of the crime victims field by designing a philosophical and strategic framework for defining the role of the field in the country’s response to crime and moving forward in the future. Bookmark this Web site and visit periodically for updated information on progress related to the initiative!

The Office for Victims of Crime and Bureau of Justice Assistance release the Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force Strategy and Operations e-Guide on January 11, 2011. This e-Guide supports the important work of multidisciplinary anti-human trafficking Task Forces around the country and provides direction and promising practices on anti-human trafficking Task Force creation, structure, and enhancement. This e-Guide also includes links to many tools, trainings, and resources for victim service providers, law enforcement agencies, and prosecutors.

President Obama proclaims January 2011 as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. On December 22, 2010, President Obama called upon the people of the United States to recognize the vital role we can play in ending modern slavery and to observe this month with appropriate programs and activities. National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month will culminate in the annual celebration of National Freedom Day on February 1. Visit OVC’s Featured Resources for more human trafficking related resources.

October 2011

Consumer Rights Screening Tool for Domestic Violence Advocates and Lawyers

Attorneys and advocates who work with domestic violence survivors must have an understanding of the common types of consumer law problems faced by survivors, as well as the skills and resources necessary to gather a complete picture of their clients’ risks, including their economic risks, to provide effective legal representation and advocacy. To meet this need, the Consumer Rights for Domestic Violence Survivors Initiative (CRDVSI) developed and recently released The Consumer Rights Screening Tool for Domestic Violence Advocates and Lawyers (PDF 1.5 mb). This screening tool aims to provide a general overview of common consumer issues with which survivors grapple and offer concrete guidance on how to identify consumer law issues in the course of one’s client work. Topics include—

  • Managing household income and expenses,
  • Credit reporting,
  • Debt collection,
  • Foreclosure and eviction,
  • Utilities access,
  • Credit cards and high cost credit,
  • Student loan debt, and
  • Auto access and ownership.

Funded by OVC, CRDVSI is a partnership of the Center for Survivor Agency and Justice, the National Consumer Law Center, the National Network to End Domestic Violence, and the National Association of Consumer Advocates.

Improving the Collection of Crime Victim Restitution

Restitution Collection Toolkit ResourcesAcross the country, professionals in the criminal justice and victim service systems are working to improve the collection of crime victim restitution. The OVC-funded Restitution Collection Toolkit was developed by the National Center for Victims of Crime as part of a project to improve the collection of crime victim restitution by capturing the knowledge and experience of those on the front lines. Many officials share responsibility for the collection of victim restitution, from prosecutors and their staff to court personnel, probation and parole officials, corrections departments, and even victims themselves. The toolkit includes resources of interest to all of them, as well as to policymakers.

The materials are organized materials into the following six categories—

  1. Setting the Framework for Restitution
  2. Promoting Early Payment
  3. Making Payment Plans Work
  4. What Happens after Default
  5. Special Circumstances
  6. Self-Help for Victims

The materials in the toolkit were gathered from speakers and participants that attended the National Center’s 2010 Restitution Roundtable; obtained through outreach to practitioners and staff research; and created as part of this project. If you have additional resources to share, contact the National Center at ncvcpolicy@ncvc.org.

Attend a Webinar on Assisting Elderly Victims of Mortgage Fraud

NAVRA Web SiteOn October 19, 2011, at 3:00-4:15 pm (eastern time), the National Crime Victim Law Institute (NCVLI), an OVC grantee, will host a webinar on Assisting Elderly Victims of Mortgage Fraud. The webinar will be presented by Theresa Ronnebaum, Identity Theft Program Specialist, Florida Attorney General’s Office, and Terry Campos, JD, NCVLI Responding to Online Fraud Attorney.

This webinar training will provide an overview of mortgage fraud perpetrated against older individuals, and best practices for attorneys and advocates in protecting this victim population’s rights in criminal prosecutions. Participants will learn about—

  • the types of mortgage fraud and scams perpetrated against older victims,
  • the physical and emotional harm it causes victims, and
  • best practices in serving older victims of mortgage fraud.

This training is only open to National Alliance of Victims’ Rights Attorneys (NAVRA) members registered with the new website. If you are not yet a registered member, you can join NAVRA for free.

Two New Guides From Justice Solutions

Media Guide for Victim Service Providers
This media guide is intended to help victim service providers advise victims in their dealings with the media and serve the entire spectrum of the victim services field, from professionals who are branded new to their role as "victim media advisor" to those with decades of experience.

A Guide for Journalists Who Report on Crime and Crime Victims
This guide is designed to advise and assist journalists who seek to cover crime and victimization in a way that is sensitive to crime victims, yet still allows them to fulfill their role and responsibilities to the public as reporters.

OVC is pleased to announce the release of Serving Survivors of Homicide Victims During Cold Case Investigations: A Guide for Developing a Law Enforcement Protocol. This publication was produced by the National Sheriffs’ Association, in partnership with Justice Solutions and the National Organization of Parents Of Murdered Children, Inc., with funding from OVC. Prior to development, the partnership’s Project Team conducted extensive research and outreach on this subject during which six key areas were identified and subsequently addressed in the Guide:

  • Definitions and Terminology
  • Staffing of Cold Case Units
  • Investigative Strategies
  • Training and Education
  • Communicating with Survivors
  • Collaborating with Other Entities

OVC and the project partners hope the Guide will be helpful to law enforcement and prompt agencies to develop protocols on serving survivors of homicide victims during cold case investigations.

NCPC's Cyberbullying Web pageThe National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC), through funding from OVC, offers resources including fact sheets and four podcasts about general cyberbullying information, taking action in schools, creating community change, and how teens feel about cyberbullying.

Visit NCPC’s Cyberbullying Web page for information and resources to curb the growing problem of cyberbullying.

May 2011

9-11 A Decade Later. Healing and Remembrance Program.
In April 2011, OVC awarded a grant to the Mental Health Association (MHA) of New York City to help improve services and assistance by providing supplemental support and information-sharing resources to the victims, their families, emergency responders, and survivors of 9/11 in conjunction with the 10th anniversary.

The Healing and Remembrance Program, to be administered by MHA-NYC, will offer the following services to victims of 9/11:

  • A toll-free help line for mental health assessment, counseling and referrals in the callers’ community;
  • Travel aid for eligible victims to anniversary events at the three sites;
  • Comfortable and private meeting areas at the three sites where victims and family members can gather.
  • On-site counseling and other supportive services.
  • Educational information about the emotional effects of anniversaries on people exposed to traumatic events.

MHA-NYC will also work with key federal and local partners to support commemorative events and observances in New York City, at the Shanksville, Pennsylvania Flight #93 Memorial, and at the Pentagon Memorial in Arlington, Virginia during the weekend of September 10-11, 2011.

Visit the Healing and Remembrance Program Web site for more information or call the toll-free hotline at 1-866-212-0444.

April 2011

In April 2011, the National Center for Victims of Crime, with the support of OVC, released Making Restitution Real: Five Case Studies on Improving Restitution Collection (PDF 4.5 mb) reporting on state and local efforts to address the problem of uncollected victim restitution. A review of the state initiatives of California, Michigan, and Vermont and two local programs of Maricopa County, Arizona, and Florida’s Eighth Judicial Circuit helps present lessons learned and the challenges that remain with uncollected criminal debt.

March 2011

FBI Recognizes Human Trafficking Victim Services program with 2010 Director’s Community Leadership Award

Amy Fleischauer accepts the award from FBI Director Mueller.
Amy Fleischauer accepts the
award from FBI Director Mueller.

The International Institute of Buffalo, Human Trafficking Victim Services Program receives a 2010 FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award (DCLA). Award recipients are selected by their area FBI field office for demonstrating outstanding contributions to their local communities through service. This OVC trafficking victim services grantee assisted the FBI and other local partners in dismantling four massage parlors acting as fronts for commercial sex operations. Amy Fleischauer accepted the award on behalf of the Human Trafficking Victim Services program.

International Institute of BuffaloThe International Institute of Buffalo was established in 1918 to support immigrants who face exploitation. In 2007, the Human Trafficking Victim Services program was created to provide services to victims of human trafficking.

FBI Recognizes Cleveland Rape Crisis Center with 2010 Director’s Community Leadership Award

Megan O'Bryan accepts the award from FBI Director Mueller.
Megan O’Bryan accepts the
award from FBI Director Mueller.

Each year, FBI field offices select individuals or organizations to receive the Director’s Community Leadership Award (DCLA). This year FBI recognizes the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center’s CEO Megan O’Bryan who partners with FBI and the community to provide aid to victims of sexual assault, whether in the form of counseling, clothing, a phone, or a safe haven.

CRCC was selected by the Cleveland FBI office for its role in Mayor Frank G. Jackson’s Special Commission on Missing Persons and Sex Crimes Investigations and subsequent implementation of changes in policy and procedure. Today, CRCC has a victim advocate stationed in Cleveland Division of Police Sex Crimes Unit to assist sexual assault survivors who make a report.

Cleveland Rape Crisis CenterCleveland Rape Crisis Center supports survivors of sexual violence, promotes healing and prevention and creates social change. The Center served more than 18,000 people in 2010. For more information, visit www.clevelandrapecrisis.org or call 216-619-6194. The Center’s 24-hour hotline is 216-619-6192.

 

February 2011

Forensic DNA as a Tool for Survivors and Bringing Justice to Victims
In partnership with OVC, the National Center for Victims of Crime has developed information and materials for its DNA Resource Center. The Resource Center features—

  • A Webinar series with victims, forensic DNA experts, and victim advocates.
  • Interviews about forensic DNA technology.
  • Materials from a training conference for victim service providers.
  • A DNA quiz.
  • News articles on forensic DNA.

Visit the DNA Resource Center now to learn about the importance of forensic DNA as a tool!

Rape Abuse Incest and National Network (RAINN)The Rape Abuse Incest and National Network (RAINN) has released a new web video about its National Sexual Assault Online Hotline. The video, produced with OVC support, illustrates how survivors can receive confidential, live one-on-one assistance through an instant messaging format by logging onto online.rainn.org.

 

January 2011

NCVLI Announces Participation in the Vision 21 Initiative
The National Crime Victim Law Institute (NCVLI), one of the five contributing projects for the Vision 21: Transforming Victim Services initiative, is seeking input from the victim services field.Visit the NCVLI site now to find out how you can get involved!

Crime Victims' Assistance NetworkThe Crime Victims’ Assistance Network (CVAN) is seeking a Director for the State Victim Assistance Academy (SVAA) in Oregon. The Oregon SVAA provides comprehensive, academic-based, fundamental education for victim service providers and allied professionals who routinely interact with victims of crime.

Key Findings From Survey on Sexual Violence, Stalking, and Intimate Partner Violence

The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS)
On December 14, 2011, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS) 2010 Summary Report. The findings show that, on average, 24 people per minute are victims of rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner in the United States. Over the course of a year, that equals more than 12 million women and men. Those numbers only tell part of the story—more than 1 million women reported being raped, and over 6 million women and men were a victim of stalking.

National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey 2010 Summary ReportVisit the CDC Web site to download the NISVS report and related materials, including:

  • Executive summary (also available in Spanish)
  • Full report
  • Fact sheet
  • State tables
  • Toolkit

A CDC press release, Sexual Violence, Stalking, and Intimate Partner Violence Widespread in the U.S., also provides highlights from the report.

He promised me work then forced me to give up my passport, my wages, my freedom. Let’s call an end to human trafficking. Call 311. 1-888-3737-888 (for callers outside NYC).
1-888-3737-888 (for callers outside NYC).

See It, Know It, Report It—An Anti-Human Trafficking Campaign in NYC

Recognizing the great cause of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, in 2011, the New York City Mayor’s Office launched part of their "Let’s Call an End to Human Trafficking" initiative at the Bronx Family Justice Center. The initiative includes—

  • A Public Service Announcement, which aired on Time Warner Cable, CNN, NY 1, CUNY TV, NYC TV, in taxis around New York City, and on the City’s anti-human trafficking website in English, Mandarin Chinese, Russian and Spanish.
  • Print media ads placed in ethnic community newspapers.
  • Palm cards distributed throughout New York City, containing information—in English, Korean, Mandarin Chinese, Spanish and Russian—about human trafficking, and how New Yorkers can help.

At the initiative’s launch, they honored survivors of crime, promoted victims’ rights, and recognized community partners for their tireless advocacy on victims’ behalf. Guests included the Honorable Corinne Dettmeijer-Vermeulen, Dutch National Rapporteur on Trafficking in Human Beings, and Dr. Michael Korzinkski, Co-founding Director of the Helen Bamber Foundation.

ASC’s Annual Meeting Will Offer Special Session on Victimization

During the American Society of Criminology Annual Meeting, November 16–19, 2011, criminal justice journalists and the Justice Research and Statistics Association are hosting the Bridging the Gap between Research and Practice program on Friday, November 18 and includes—

  • Policing: 9:30 a.m.–10:50 a.m.
  • Victimization: 11:00 a.m.–12:20 p.m.
  • Corrections: 12:30 p.m.–1:50 p.m.
  • Juvenile Justice: 2:00 p.m.–3:20 p.m.

Panelists will focus on setting research priorities and communicating results and there will be time set aside for discussion with the audience. Program details and information about other conference sessions are available in ASC’s preliminary agenda.

Representatives of practitioner groups who are coming to the conference for any of the Bridging the Gap between Research and Practice sessions may also attend ASC sessions on November 18th without paying a registration fee. However, if you want to attend any ASC sessions on any other days, you must register for ASC’s Annual Meeting.

Department of Justice seal.Victim and Witness Assistance Guidelines Now Available

The Attorney General Guidelines for Victim and Witness Assistance (AG Guidelines) establish policy and provide guidance to be followed by U.S. Department of Justice personnel in their interactions with crime victims and witnesses. In 1982, Congress directed the Attorney General to promulgate the first AG Guidelines, which have been revised periodically to reflect changes in the law. Effective October 1, 2011, these revised guidelines have been updated to incorporate best practices and integrate new case law. The guidelines are organized as follows—

  • Articles I and II deal with general policies affecting all components and victims.
  • Article III contains the basic definitions of victim under key federal victims laws, as well as sections on unique victim populations.
  • Article IV covers the Department’s mandatory obligations to provide services to victims of a crime under the Victims’ Rights and Restitution Act.
  • Article V covers the Crime Victims’ Rights Act provisions and the Department’s obligations to accord victims of a charged offense their court enforceable rights.
  • Article VI addresses witnesses only.
  • Article VII consists of the Department’s statement on non-litigability.

Download the AG Guidelines now to see how it may serve as a model for your guidelines on the fair treatment of crime victims and witnesses.

Civil Rights Conferences To Be Held in Guam and Saipan

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Districts of Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands will each be hosting a Civil Rights Conference, during which a Commemoration Ceremony of the 10th Anniversary of September 11 will be held. The conferences will include coverage of human trafficking laws and cases, among other civil rights topics.

  • Guam: The Civil Rights Conference will be held September 6-7, 2011, and the September 11 Commemoration Ceremony will be held September 6, 2011. Both events will be held at the Sheraton Laguna Guam Hotel, Tamuning.
  • Saipan: The Civil Rights Conference will be held September 8-9, 2011, and the September 11 Commemoration Ceremony will be held September 8, 2011. Both events will be held at the Saipan Grand Hotel.

This is a valuable training opportunity for members of federal and local law enforcement; victim service providers; social service providers; non-profits; faith-based community; medical, mental, and public health professionals; Consulates; and other community stakeholders.

There are no registration fees for the conference. For each conference, please RSVP to Salome Blas at salome.blas@usdoj.gov or 671-479-4144 by September 1, 2011, as seats may be limited.

Statement of Rights for Identity Theft VictimsNew Brochure Details Rights & Remedies for Identity Theft Victims

Several federal laws protect victims of identity theft. Under the Justice for All Act, additional rights are applicable when the identity thief is being prosecuted in federal court. The Federal Trade Commission brochure, Statement of Rights for Identity Theft Victims, provides detailed information about working with credit reporting companies and communicating with debt collectors, and also provides limits on financial liability.

New Approach Launched To Reduce Tribal Alcohol and Substance Abuse

Signing the Tribal Law and Order Act (source: White House photos and videos)
Signing the Tribal Law and Order Act (source: White House photos and videos)

On July 29, 2011, exactly one year after President Obama signed the Tribal Law and Order Act (TLOA) into law, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Department of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, and Attorney General of the United States Eric H. Holder, Jr., entered into a Memorandum of Understanding to combat alcohol and substance abuse among American Indian/Alaska Native Tribes.

The Office of Indian Alcohol and Substance Abuse, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), will coordinate tribal substance abuse programs across the federal government with a special emphasis on promoting programs geared toward reaching youth and offering alternatives to incarceration.

Visit the SAMHSA Web site for more information about this memorandum.

Chilean Government Passes Constitutional Amendment on Victims’ Rights
(Information links point to Web site content in Spanish)

The Chilean Victims of Crimes Division is pleased to announce that the President of Chile, Sebastian Piñera, signed a Constitutional Amendment that recognizes the right of victims to criminal defense and legal advice.

Apoyo Victimas - Visite Nuestro Sitio WebThe Chilean Victims of Crimes Division is an office of the Ministry of Home Affairs and Public Safety of Chile that provides free services to victims through its Centers for Assistance. The Division has 31 Centers for Assistance throughout the country that assist victims of violent crimes by utilizing psychologists, attorneys, and social workers to provide comprehensive, specialized, and professional services. Currently the Division is formulating a National Victim Assistance Policy for Chile.

The Head of the Chilean Victims of Crimes Division, Gonzalo Fuenzalida, visited Washington, D.C., on June 8-10, 2011, to meet with OVC staff and officials from other U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) agencies that provide victim assistance. Mr. Fuenzalida had the opportunity to learn about OVC and DOJ and exchange valuable experiences on achievements and challenges in providing support and assistance to victims.

Supreme Court of Oregon Issues Important Ruling for Victims’ Rights

On May 27, 2011, the Supreme Court of Oregon issued a ruling that an offender had to be resentenced because the court improperly sentenced the offender without notifying the victim or giving her the opportunity to be present. The victim’s case was argued by the Oregon Crime Victims Law Center, a National Crime Victim Law Institute partner clinic.

Search VictimLaw, a comprehensive, user-friendly, online database of victims’ rights statutes, tribal laws, constitutional amendments, court rules, administrative code provisions, and case summaries of related court decisions, to locate additional information related to victims’ rights.

New Blog Available on Research and Practices in Victim Services

Research to Practice Blog logoThe new Research to Practice blog from the American Society of Victimology advances the discipline of victimology by promoting evidence-based practice and by providing leadership in research and education. The blog presents digests of current research in the field in an effort to make research more accessible to practitioners. Through comments to posts, practitioners and researchers can dialogue on the subjects covered, including journal articles:

  • Baugher, S. N., Elhai, J. D., Monroe, J. R., & Gray, M. J. (2010). Rape myth acceptance, sexual trauma history, and posttraumatic stress disorder. Journal of Interpersonal Violence (25) 11, 2036-2053.
  • Diem, C. & Pizarro, M (2010). Social structure and family homicide. Journal of Family Violence (25) 5, 521-532.

Responding to elder abuse toolkitThe Safe Havens Interfaith Partnership Against Domestic Violence and the National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life (NCALL) have published Where Faith and Safety Meet: Faith Communities Respond to Elder Abuse, a toolkit to help domestic violence, sexual assault, and elder abuse service providers reach out to and collaborate with local faith communities.

Many older Americans turn to their faith communities when they are faced with the crisis of elder abuse. This toolkit, supported by a grant from the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice, is intended to help service providers and faith communities work together to respond more effectively to victims and survivors, and to increase access to community-based services.

To order a print copy, contact NCALL (608-255-0539) or Safe Havens (617-654-1820) directly.