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News & Features

News Archive 2014

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

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

December 2014

A Circle of Healing for Native Children Endangered by Drugs

On December 11th, 2014 at the 14th National Indian Nations Conference, the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) released a new seven-part video series and companion resource guide, A Circle of Healing for Native Children Endangered by Drugs.

This enlightening video series, produced in collaboration with tribal and federal partners, details first-person stories and cultural practices from across the Nation to show many of the ways children, families, and communities are healing from drug endangerment.

Tribal leaders, service providers, and survivors share testimonials and practices to inform, teach, and inspire tribal communities as they work to help traumatized children on their path to healing.

While each community must determine the best culturally relevant response for helping victims, these videos offer examples of successful programs and approaches used throughout the Nation. Preview the first video of the series online. Order the full DVD set and resource guide online or by calling 800-851-3420 or 301-240-6310 (TTY). (Posted December 10, 2014).


 

OVC and SANE-SART Report on Improving Federal Agency Response to Sexual Violence in Indian Country

A new report from the National Coordination Committee on the American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner-Sexual Assault Response Team (SANE-SART) Initiative examines federal response to adult and child victims of sexual violence in tribal nations and reports recommendations for improvement.

Established in 2010, the AI/AN SANE-SART Initiative was tasked to address the comprehensive needs of tribal victims of sexual violence, with the ultimate goal of institutionalizing sustainable and evidence-based practices that meet the needs of tribal communities. The newly released report, Report to the U.S. Attorney General on Improving Federal Agency Response to Sexual Violence in Tribal Nations: Issues and Recommendations, details those findings.

The Committee, which is comprised of representatives from six national tribal organizations, five federal agencies, and experts in Alaska Native issues and medical forensics exams, provides the following recommendations to the Attorney General to improve federal response:

  • improving federal agency coordination and collaboration at the local level by establishing District-specific guidelines;
  • making DOJ personnel policy changes involving hiring, training, and assessing federal employees to increase accountability;
  • improving DOJ grant solicitations and funding to secure sustainable funding for tribal victim assistance programs; and
  • improving public safety and public health by making sexual violence response a priority.

Sexual violence in Indian Country remains at epidemic proportions. By implementing the recommendations for funding, training, and policies developed through this report, the government can begin to better serve victims of sexual violence throughout the Nation. Read the full report online. (Posted December 5, 2014)


 

Innovative Practices for Victim Services: Report from the Field e-Bulletin

The Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) is pleased to announce the release of a new online resource, Innovative Practices for Victim Services: Report from the Field.

This e-bulletin provides brief descriptions of the innovative practices currently used by VOCA victim assistance and compensation programs throughout the country.

Drawing on firsthand experiences of state administrators and program staff from 25 states, the report focuses on six key program areas: needs assessment, systems advocacy and coordination, compensation, underserved populations, victims’ rights and services, and technology.

VOCA funding supports many innovative programs and protocols to serve victims more effectively. This e-bulletin encourages dialogue within the field to implement best practices and promotes replication of such innovative programs in states around the country. Access the e-bulletin online. (Posted December 3, 2014)


 

FY 2015 Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation (CTAS)

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is seeking applicants for the Fiscal Year 2015 Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation (CTAS) solicitation. This streamlined grant provides comprehensive funding to support public safety, victim services and crime prevention improvements in American Indian and Alaska Native communities. OVC supports the following two purpose areas within DOJ’s CTAS program:

  • Comprehensive Tribal Victim Assistance Program (CTVA): CTVA supports tribal programs to respond to victims of crime, their families, and communities and to provide trauma-informed, culturally competent holistic services.
  • Children’s Justice Act Partnerships for Indian Communities Program (CJA): The goal of the CJA program is to provide comprehensive and coordinated multidisciplinary responses to child abuse victims and their families in ways that are trauma-informed and culturally competent. Funds support tribal efforts to develop, enhance, and operate programs to improve the investigation, prosecution, and overall handling of child abuse.

Visit the CTAS solicitation Web site to learn more and apply by 9:00 p.m. Eastern Time, February 24, 2015. (Posted December 1, 2014)


 

November 2014

Eight Benefits of NIBRS to Victim Service Providers

The Office for Victims of Crime has released the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) e-bulletin, Eight Benefits of NIBRS to Victim Service Providers, a new online resource to aid victim service organizations in understanding the importance of crime data in their work.

The National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) is a system for reporting crimes known to the police. NIBRS offers comprehensive information and nation-wide data about crime incidents that might be of key interest to victim service providers, policymakers, and law enforcement.

The newly released e-bulletin describes how victim service providers can use NIBRS to:

  • gain a better understanding of specific types of victimization,
  • determine disparities between victims known to law enforcement and those receiving victim services, and
  • identify underserved groups of crime victims.

OVC encourages victim service providers to read the e-bulletin, share the information within the field, and use NIBRS to develop effective practices and solutions for victims as they rebuild their lives. (Posted November 6, 2014)


 

October 2014

OVC is pleased to announce new resources available to assist those who serve victims of human trafficking.

OVC is excited to announce the launch of new resources available to assist those who serve victims of human trafficking. In his remarks at the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) annual conference on October 27, 2014, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that OVC and the Bureau of Justice Assistance have released a newly expanded and enhanced Human Trafficking Task Force e-Guide. The expanded e-Guide, redesigned to help navigate content more easily and locate information faster, provides practical information on the creation and day-to-day operations of human trafficking task forces.

Access the e-Guide to view new sections and strategies to –

  • strengthen multidisciplinary collaboration,
  • increase victim identification,
  • enhance victim-centered investigation, and
  • build stronger prosecution strategies.

OVC is also pleased to announce the launch of a new mobile friendly human trafficking Web site, which contains a wide range of information including resources and research from the Federal Government, publications and products from OVC, local and national direct assistance information, and related funding opportunities for victims and survivors of human trafficking, victim service providers, law enforcement, and allied professionals. Visit the Web site to –

  • learn about human trafficking,
  • find resources based on the type of services you provide,
  • watch, download, and share public service announcements,
  • read about OVC's efforts to combat human trafficking.

Both resources have been prepared to help strengthen the knowledge and skills needed to assist victims of human trafficking. Take advantage of both today! (Posted 10/27/14)


 

Tribute to William Sherman

It is with tremendous sadness that we announce the sudden passing of William Sherman. William worked onsite at OVC for 12 years as part of the OVC Training and Technical Assistance Center (OVC TTAC) through a contract with ICF International. All who had the good fortune to know him will miss his warmth, good humor, and eagerness to help. From his desk right by the front door of OVC, William always had a smile to share and a joke for the asking.

William began his career with OVC TTAC as an administrative assistant, moved up to research assistant, and found his real calling as the technical liaison. William was a whiz with database development and management, and organized information in ways that were effective and technically efficient for the whole team. His knowledge of Microsoft Access made him the go-to guy for people all over the Department. William's warmth, humor, and dedication will be fondly remembered and greatly missed by everyone at OVC and OVC TTAC.

Our thoughts are with William’s surviving family and friends. (Posted October 16, 2014)


 

September 2014

OVC will hold the 2nd of a series of forums to address OVC’s Vision 21 initiative on Friday, November 14, 2014, at 9:30 a.m. ET. OVC invites all local domestic violence and sexual assault providers, including those working on these issues at a state level, to attend the forum at the Office of Justice Programs in Washington, DC. It will address research and programming issues related to the Vision 21 initiative and is specific to your work.

Attendees will have an opportunity to hear from Iowa Victim of Crime Act Administrators, Janelle Melohn and Donna Phillips, regarding the groundbreaking work they’ve implemented to realign funding and expand services for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in Iowa. Administrators Melohn and Phillips will discuss their evaluation, funding strategy, and implementation plan, including how they obtained stakeholder buy-in for this new way of organizing Iowa services.

For more information about the forum, or to RSVP, contact Heidi Fam at heidi.fam@usdoj.gov no later than Monday, November 10, 2014. Please include your name, title, organization and state in your response.

 

Vicarious Trauma Toolkit

OVC grantee, Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, is seeking victim assistance providers and their first responder partners to pilot test the Vicarious Trauma Toolkit (VTT).

The VTT will be an online repository of resources for victim assistance providers, law enforcement officers, firefighters, emergency medical services (EMS) providers, and other first responders to learn about and respond to vicarious trauma.

Four pilot sites will be selected from around the country to test the VTT. Each pilot site will have an eight-member team, with two representatives from each of these disciplines:

  • Law enforcement.
  • Firefighters.
  • Victim assistance.
  • Emergency medical services providers.

Tasks for selected pilot sites include—

  • conducting an organizational assessment of agency’s readiness to address vicarious trauma,
  • identifying gaps and challenges in current policies, procedures, practices, and programs,
  • developing an action plan that outlines the steps needed to implement the VTT to address gaps and build on existing efforts, and
  • evaluating the VTT and its usefulness in addressing vicarious trauma.

An informational conference call about the pilot will be held September 15, at 1 p.m. ET. Visit the Vicarious Trauma Toolkit Web page for more information and instructions on how to apply. The deadline for applying to be a pilot site is October 22, 2014, by 11:59 ET.


OVC is pleased to announce the 2015 theme and colors for National Crime Victims’ Rights Week (NCVRW)—Engaging Communities. Empowering Victims.—to be observed Sunday, April 19, through Saturday, April 25, 2015.

2015 NCVRW Highlights:
  • Date: April 19–25, 2015
  • Theme: Engaging Communities. Empowering Victims.
  • Colors: Royal Blue, Blue, Dark Blue, Gold, and Red.

Download the 2015 color palette and check out the artwork for the Theme Poster.

For a free copy of the 2015 NCVRW Resource Guide and the Theme Poster, join the NCVRW mailing list.
Image of 2015 NCVRW Color Palette
Download the Color Guide
(includes imagery for the 2015 theme poster)

Download the 2015 NCVRW Theme Poster from OVC’s Gallery now or join NCVRW’s mailing list to receive a free copy of the 2015 NCVRW Resource Guide and Theme Poster.

OVC releases Financial Exploitation module, the fourth in a free online elder abuse curriculum for legal service providers. Developed in collaboration with the Access to Justice Initiative and the Elder Justice Initiative, this interactive, online curriculum provides basic information and tools to identify and address the needs of elders who may be experiencing abuse. The Financial Exploitation module will help strengthen providers’ knowledge and skills in—

  • Identifying and responding to financial exploitation being experienced by older clients.
  • Helping older clients avoid financial exploitation by identifying their risk factors and providing information about how they can protect themselves.
  • Determining the extent of financial exploitation that has occurred or is occurring.
  • Taking legal action to try to recover client’s funds or other assets.
  • Addressing collateral effects of financial exploitation.

The training includes a variety of information, tools, and resources, from interactive client scenarios to printable materials.

Learn about the Legal Assistance for Crime Victims Initiative and the first three modules in this series —What Every Legal Services Lawyer Needs to Know About Elder Abuse, Practical and Ethical Strategies, and Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault.

Read more about OVC’s support of service providers who work with elder abuse victims and survivors.


 

July 2014

OVC and the Department of Defense (DoD) Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office (SAPRO) launch the Advanced Military Sexual Assault Advocate Training (AMSAAT) for DoD certified Sexual Assault Response Coordinators (SARC) and Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) Victim Advocates (VA).

The result of this groundbreaking partnership, AMSAAT combines expertise in learning development from the OVC Training and Technical Assistance Center (OVC TTAC) with DoD’s broad range of SAPR advocacy capabilities and initiatives. This combination promises a dynamic learning experience that focuses on providing appropriate support for military victims of sexual assault.

The training incorporates a victim-centered approach in implementing sexual assault policy and builds a framework that improves the quality of response to sexual assault victims and encourages victims to report an incident.

On July 17, 2014, the American Forces Press Service, released a statement about the joint project and Army Maj. Gen. Jeffrey J. Snow, director of DoD’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office, was quoted as saying, "It was important to collaborate with the Office for Victims of Crime and tailor an advanced training to meet the needs of advocates supporting military victims."

Joye E. Frost, OVC Director, stated "As the Department of Defense moves forward with policy changes that affect victims of sexual assault in the military services, we believe this accessible and cost-effective online training will play an important role in changing the landscape of the military response to victims."

For more information about this course, please contact OVC TTAC at TTAC@ovcttac.org.


The Elder Justice Roadmap Project ReportNow online: The Elder Justice Roadmap Project Report—a strategic planning resource by the field, for the field—identifies and prioritizes actions that direct service providers, educators, and researchers can take to advance our collective efforts to assist older adults facing abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation.

The importance of this Roadmap Project and the steps it outlines for local communities and families to take to prevent and combat elder abuse are described in a July 9, 2014, press release—". . . Call for Action to Address Abuse of Older Americans." The release also identifies steps DOJ and HHS are taking to support the mission of elder abuse prevention and prosecution, including—

  • developing an interactive, online elder abuse curriculum to teach legal aid and other civil attorneys to identify and respond to elder abuse. The first three modules were released in June 2014 and are available from OVC’s Training and Technical Assistance Center.
  • developing a voluntary national adult protective services (APS) data system, funded by the Administration on Aging.

Learn more about OVC’s support of service providers in the Justice Blog post, Helping Civil Legal Aid Attorneys Identify and Respond to Elder Abuse.

The OVC Guest Host Session on July 16 at 2 p.m. ET will feature hosts Amanda Pyron and Carl Wicklund discussing best practices for crime victim considerations for parole professionals.

Submit your questions for Amanda Pyron, Supervisory Victims Coordinator at the United States Parole Commission, and Carl Wicklund, Executive Director of the American Probation and Parole Association to answer during the session.

OVC will award each eligible state victim compensation program an annual VOCA Victim Compensation Formula grant equal to 60 percent of what the state spent in state-funded benefits 2 years previously, other than amounts awarded for property damage. Funds under this program shall be used by the states and territories for awards of compensation benefits to crime victims, with the following exception: states may retain up to 5 percent of their total grant for administrative and training purposes. Deadline: July 23, 2014.

OVC will award each eligible state victim assistance program an annual VOCA Victim Assistance Formula grant to support eligible crime victim assistance programs in that state or territory. Funds under this program shall be used by the states and territories to support eligible crime victim assistance programs that provide direct services to crime victims with the following exception: states may retain up to 5 percent of their total grant for administrative and training purposes. Deadline: July 23, 2014.

On May 28, 2014, OVC held an online web forum on creating an effective identity theft coalition. Featured guest hosts Hazel Heckers and Merry O’Brien discussed best practices and resources for starting up a coalition.


 

June 2014

Now available: Frequently Asked Questions for the OVC FY 2014 Vision 21 Tribal Community Wellness Centers: Serving Crime Victims Needs Solicitation, which has a fast-approaching deadline of July 15, 2014.

Read the FAQs and supporting documents and find answers to questions regarding eligibility, allowable costs, deadlines, and more. The FAQ’s are based on two pre-application conferences calls that were conducted by OVC staff and open to anyone interested in submitting an application for the Tribal Wellness Centers initiative.

OVC releases the first three modules of a free online elder abuse curriculum for legal service providers. Developed in collaboration with the Access to Justice Initiative and the Elder Justice Initiative, the first three modules in this six-part series, What Every Legal Services Lawyer Needs to Know About Elder Abuse, Practical and Ethical Strategies, and Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, offer an interactive online approach providing basic information and tools to identify and address the needs of elders who may be experiencing abuse. The training includes a variety of information, tools, and resources, from interactive client scenarios to printable materials.

Three additional modules will be released in August 2014.

Learn about the Legal Assistance for Crime Victims Initiative and enroll for the training.

Read more about OVC’s support of service providers who work with elder abuse victims and survivors.

OVC releases Responding to Transgender Victims of Sexual Assault, an online guide that offers practical tools to promote understanding and support of transgender victims of sexual assault, whether you are a health care provider, law enforcement officer, emergency medical personnel, advocate, therapist, or support group facilitator. Read “Transgender 101” first for a basic understanding of what it means to be transgender and then explore the rest of the guide to learn how you can be a source of support and care for individuals in this high-risk population.

OVC is accepting nominations for the 2015 National Crime Victims’ Service Awards until August 6, 2014. Each year, OVC recognizes extraordinary individuals, organizations, teams, and programs that demonstrate outstanding achievements in supporting victims and victim services. The recipients are honored at the National Crime Victims’ Service Awards Ceremony in Washington, D.C., in April.

This year, OVC announces a new award category, the Vision 21 Crime Victims Research Award. This award recognizes individual researchers or research teams that are making a significant contribution to the Nation’s understanding of crime victims’ issues. Learn more.

View past recipients and, if you know a similarly deserving individual, group, team, or program, submit a nomination by Wednesday, August 6, 2014.

Visit the National Crime Victims’ Rights Week (NCVRW) Web site for details about the 2015 NCVRW observation, April 19-25, 2015, and the Awards Ceremony as they become available.


May 2014

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and Homeland Security Investigations want to hear from customers who believe they have been defrauded by TelexFree. If you are a customer of TelexFree and you believe you have been defrauded, you are encouraged to visit http://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/victim_assistance/seeking-victim-information/telexfree-inc.-case and complete the secure questionnaire.

The OVC Guest Host Session on May 28 at 2 p.m. ET will feature hosts Merry O’Brien and Hazel Heckers discussing best practices for creating an effective identity theft coalition. Submit your questions for Hazel Heckers, Victim Advocate, Colorado Bureau of Investigation, and founder of the Identify Theft Advocacy Network of Colorado (ITAN), and Merry O’Brien, Project Director, National Identity Theft Victims Assistance Network Project, Director of Special Grants, Maryland Crime Victims’ Resource Center, Inc., to answer during the session.

OVC releases The HALOS Strategy: Community Collaborations for Children, an online toolkit for communities wanting to replicate the Helping and Lending Outreach Support (HALOS) program. This toolkit offers lessons learned and suggests strategies for establishing programs like HALOS wherever foster families and relatives need additional support for the children in their care. It explains key components of program development, implementation, and sustainability, and includes sample forms and materials used by HALOS and the replicating organizations.

OVC will make up to three awards of up to $660,000 each to tribes or tribal nonprofit organizations to develop and implement a community wellness, victim-centered strategy that includes a Community Wellness Center as a central organizing force within the tribal jurisdiction. The goal of this solicitation is to meet the holistic needs of crime victims and survivors through the development of a victim-centered Community Wellness framework that extends beyond crisis victim assistance to meet the longer-term, complex needs of victims, survivors, and their families. Deadline: July 15, 2014.

The May 6, 2014, deadline is fast approaching for rural communities to submit concept papers to participate in the National Sexual Assault TeleNursing Center pilot project. Read the Concept Paper requirements first announced on March 8, 2014, and the newly published questions and answers document, and consider submitting a Concept Paper if your facility qualifies!

OVC will make two awards of up to $250,000 each to support the development of two distinct mobile applications (apps)—one with a national focus and another with a specific state, tribal, or local jurisdictional focus—to serve crime victims, their families, victim service providers, and allied professionals. The apps will enable users to efficiently navigate the criminal justice system and connect with victim-centered resources and services. Deadline: May 21, 2014.

OVC will make up to three awards of up to $500,000 each to address the enduring issue of child and youth victimization. Up to two awards will be made to state-level demonstration sites to establish a consistent, coordinated response to child and youth victims and their families and caregivers that addresses the presenting issues and full range of victim needs. One award will be made to provide training and technical assistance to the demonstration project(s). Deadline: May 21, 2014.

April 2014

OVC will make three awards of up to $100,000 each to participate in a demonstration project to implement the Enhancing Law Enforcement Response to Victims Strategy. The goal of this project is to improve agencies' response to victims of crime, with a strong focus on reaching and serving underserved and unserved victims identified in the community. Eligible applicants are limited to state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies serving populations of 50,000 to 500,000. Deadline: June 9, 2014.

OVC will make one award of up to $300,000 to update the SART Toolkit: Resources for Sexual Assault Response Team (SART Toolkit). The purpose of this competitive program is to examine the current SART Toolkit; identify, collect, assess, and vet new materials and resources; and develop the most recent, relevant, and evidence-based information and practices available to the field into a new Toolkit. Deadline: June 9, 2014.

In commemoration of National Sexual Assault Awareness Month, OVC presented a Web Forum discussion with Sally Laskey and Chris Newlin, M.S., L.P.C., on best practices for CACs and SARTs partnering for sexual violence victims. Read the Guest Hosts responses to the questions.

In commemoration of National Child Abuse Prevention Month, OVC and OJJDP will cosponsor a Web Forum discussion with David Corwin, M.D., and James Henry, MSW, Ph.D., on the implications of adverse childhood experiences for practitioners. Submit questions now on the OVC Web Forum and return on April 23 at 2 p.m. ET for the live discussion.

In commemoration of National Child Abuse Prevention Month, OVC and OJJDP cosponsored a Web Forum discussion with David Corwin, M.D., and James Henry, MSW, Ph.D., on the implications of adverse childhood experiences for practitioners.

OVC will award one fellowship of $200,000 to close gaps in services to, and meet the needs of, American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) victims. The individual awarded funding under this solicitation will undertake activities on issues emanating from the Vision 21: Transforming Victim Services Final Report that relate to the need for reaching and serving AI/AN victim populations. Deadline: June 2, 2014.

OVC seeks rural community to submit Concept Papers by Tuesday, May 6, 2014, to participate in the National Sexual Assault TeleNursing Center pilot project. In 2013, the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC), in collaboration with the National Institute of Justice, funded the development of a National Sexual Assault TeleNursing Center (NTC) through the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. The NTC is seeking rural communities to participate in this innovative pilot project. If your community fits the rural eligibility criteria below, we encourage you to submit a Concept Paper that outlines your community’s need and capacity for this type of service.

The goal of this project is to provide a community of support for clinicians who may conduct sexual assault examinations in rural facilities to increase their confidence, competence, and retention and to support quality care for adult and adolescent SA patients. The NTC will use telemedicine technology to provide 24/7 remote clinician to clinician assistance from the Massachusetts Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANEs).

Selected sites will receive a computer with video conferencing capabilities, an Information Technology (IT) site assessment, and installation assistance. The computer will be used for audio and video consultation with SANEs in Massachusetts before, during, and/or after performing a forensic examination. Funds will also be provided to selected sites for a part-time (.2 full-time equivalent) site-based IT Liaison and a part-time (.5 full-time equivalent) site-based Clinical Liaison. Both liaisons will work with staff in the NTC for the duration of the project. Funding assistance from the NTC is limited to these 2 positions and purposes, and no further financial support will be provided for participation in the program at this time. To be eligible to participate in this project, your facility(ies) must serve one or more rural communities (visit http://datawarehouse.hrsa.gov/RuralAdvisor/ruralhealthadvisor.aspx?ruralByAddr=1 for rural site eligibility) and meet the following criteria:

  • be a single medical facility that provides 24/7 care and forensic examinations to SA patients or two collaborating facilities within two (2) hours distance,
  • have Internet connectivity via local area network (LAN), wireless or cellular service,
  • have policies and/or protocols in place that are specific for the care of sexual assault victims,
  • demonstrate support from each facility's administration, and
  • collaborate with NTC staff and managers, and the Project Evaluation Team (PET) to collect data on patients that receive TeleNursing consultation.

In your Concept Paper, describe your need for assistance in caring for SA patients, including collection of evidence. The Concept Paper should be no more than seven (7) pages in length, double-spaced, and should address the following for each facility:

  • identify the lead facility, and the partnering facility if applicable, and briefly describe your organization(s) and mission(s),
  • reasons you are requesting assistance to care for and perform evidence collection examinations for SA victims,
  • number of SA victims cared for in your facility(ies) in 2013 who were under 12 years of age, the number who were 12 years and older, and a
  • description of the population served by your facility(ies),
  • description of the type and extent of care you provide to victims of SA,
  • number and title of staff responsible for the care of victims of SA,
  • type and extent of training your staff has received specifically for the care of victims of SA, and their experience in using a rape kit,
  • description of your relationship with law enforcement and the rape crisis program in your area (if any); and
  • description of victim advocate(s) or other supports available to victims of SA, and your relationship to these supports (if any).

Finalists will be notified by email no later than May 20, 2014, and invited to submit a full application.

Email your Concept Paper to askovc@ncjrs.gov by Tuesday, May 6, 2014, and include the name and address of the lead facility and the contact person’s name, address, phone number and email address.

Contact Dr. Christine Murphy at christine.murphy@state.ma.us with questions about the Concept Paper process or preparation. Questions and answers will be made available to all potential respondents.

In commemoration of National Sexual Assault Awareness Month, OVC will present a Web Forum discussion with Sally Laskey and Chris Newlin, M.S., L.P.C., on best practices for CACs and SARTs partnering for sexual violence victims. Join the Guest Hosts on April 15 at 2 p.m. ET for the live discussion. Visit the OVC Web Forum now to submit your questions.

Deputy Attorney General James Cole honored ten individuals, programs, teams, and organizations for service to crime victims during the April 9th National Crime Victims’ Service Awards Ceremony. Tony West, Associate Attorney General, Karol Mason, Assistant Attorney General, Office of Justice Programs, and Joye Frost, OVC Director, also addressed attendees at this annual event that honors extraordinary service to crime victims. If you missed the event and would like to learn more, visit the following:


March 2014

OVC will make awards ranging from $200,000 to $500,000 to organizations with a demonstrated history of providing either comprehensive or specialized services for victims of human trafficking within the United States (PDF 275 kb). Funding also will support efforts to increase interagency collaboration and the coordinated community response to victims of human trafficking. OVC intends to dedicate a portion of the funding for specialized services for American Indian and/or Alaskan Native victims of human trafficking. Deadline: May 15, 2014.

OVC anticipates awarding approximately $2,250,000 to an unspecified number of Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) Formula State Administrating Agencies to enhance the state’s access to technology (PDF 230 kb), increase victims’ access to resources, and improve the accuracy and timeliness of administrative reporting. Deadline: May 15, 2014.

Up to ten awards of $150,000 to $750,000 each are available to support organizations that use technology creatively to provide outreach and direct assistance to victims (PDF 260 kb), particularly those who have never been served or for whom services are not readily available, nationally and/or internationally (for Americans abroad). OVC plans to fund three categories of projects: National-Scope Victim Service Initiatives, National Scope Victim Service Initiatives Proposing To Serve Underserved Victims Identified by the Applicant, and Victim Service Initiatives for American Victims of Domestic Violence and/or Sexual Assault Abroad. Deadline: May 15, 2014.

On March 26, OVC held an online discussion on best practices for helping victims of financial fraud with featured hosts Joshua Bailes, Esq. and Christine Kieffer. If you missed the discussion, you can visit the OVC Web Forum today and browse through the questions and answers or download a transcript of the March 26 Web Forum session.

OVC will award one Vision 21 Legal Assistance Fellowship of up to $140,000 to assist OVC’s efforts to build capacity for the provision of free legal assistance to victims of crime. The selected fellow will undertake activities on issues emanating from the Vision 21: Transforming Victim Services Final Report—specifically, the findings and recommendations related to the need for legal services for victims of crime. Deadline: May 8, 2014.

On March 12, 2014, OVC held a web forum on addressing the holistic needs of crime victims hosted by Dr. Steve Dakai and Lydia Watts, Esq. Visit the Web Forum to read the questions and answers from the session or post your own message. A transcript is also available for download.

Register to attend awards ceremony on April 9, 2014; Deadline - April 4, 2014Register to attend the National Crime Victims’ Service Awards Ceremony by April 4, 2014. The Awards Ceremony is free and open to the public and will be held on April 9, 2014, in Washington, D.C.

Time: 2:00–3:30 pm (eastern time)
Where: Robert F. Kennedy Department of Justice Building — The Great Hall
Attendee Entrance: Corner of 10th & Constitution Avenue, NW

Register to attend the NCVRW event (http://www.ncvrw.org).

OVC and OJJDP cosponsored a Web forum on teen victimization in the digital age. In commemoration of Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, guest hosts Parry Aftab and Laurel Broten answered questions during the live discussion.

The OVC Guest Host Session on March 26 at 2 p.m. ET will feature hosts Joshua Bailes, Esq. and Christine Kieffer discussing best practices for helping victims of financial fraud. Submit your questions for Joshua Bailes, Esq., Program Manager and Referral Specialist for the National Center for Victims of Crime and the National Crime Victim Bar Association and Christine Kieffer, Senior Director of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc., (FINRA) Investor Education Foundation, to answer during the session.

Join Dr. Steve Dakai and Lydia Watts, Esq. for a Web forum discussion on addressing the holistic needs of crime victims, March 12, 2 p.m. ET. Submit questions now for answer during the session.

The March 7, 2014, deadline is fast approaching for tribal communities to submit concept papers to participate in the National Sexual Assault TeleNursing Center pilot project. Read the Concept Paper requirements first announced on February 12, 2014, and the newly published questions and answers document, and consider submitting a Concept Paper if your facility qualifies!

OVC presented a Web Forum discussion with Jennifer Stith and Sheri Vanino, PsyD, on best practices for serving adult survivors of child sexual abuse. Visit the OVC Web Forum today to read the questions and answers from the February 25, 2014, discussion and share your own comments.


February 2014

OVC Web Forum for Victim Service ProvidersJoin OVC and OJJDP on February 28, 2014 at 2 p.m. ET, for a Web forum on teen victimization in the digital age. In commemoration of Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, guest hosts Parry Aftab and Laurel Broten will be available to answer questions. Submit questions now and return during the live discussion.

On February 25, 2014, at 2 p.m. ET, OVC will present a Web Forum discussion with Jennifer Stith and Sheri Vanino, PsyD, on best practices for serving adult survivors of child sexual abuse. Submit your questions now and return on the day of the session.

OVC seeks tribal communities to submit Concept Papers by Friday, March 7, 2014 to participate in the National Sexual Assault TeleNursing Center pilot project. In 2013, the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC), in collaboration with the National Institute of Justice, funded the development of a National Sexual Assault TeleNursing Center (NTC) through the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. If your community fits the eligibility criteria below, we encourage you to submit a Concept Paper that outlines your community’s need and capacity for this type of service.

The goal of this project is to provide a community of support for sexual assault (SA) clinicians in tribal facilities to increase their confidence, competence, and retention, and to support quality care for adult and adolescent SA patients. The NTC will use telemedicine technology to provide 24/7 remote clinician-to-clinician assistance from Massachusetts Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE).

Selected sites will receive a computer with video conferencing capabilities, an information technology (IT) site assessment, and installation assistance. The computer will be used for audio and video consultation with SANEs in Massachusetts before, during, and/or after performing a forensic examination. Funds will be provided to selected sites for a part-time (.2 full-time equivalent), site-based IT liaison, and a part-time (.5 full-time equivalent), site-based clinical liaison. Both liaisons will work with staff in the NTC for the duration of the project. Funding assistance from the NTC is limited to these two positions and purposes, and no additional financial support will be provided for participation in the project at this time. To be eligible to participate in this project, your facility(ies) must serve one or more tribal communities and meet the following criteria:

  • be a single medical facility that provides 24/7 care and forensic examinations to SA patients or two collaborating facilities within 2 hours driving distance;
  • have Internet connectivity via local area network, wireless, or cellular service;
  • have policies and/or protocols in place that are specific for the care of SA victims;
  • demonstrate support from the administration of your facility(ies); and
  • collaborate with NTC staff and managers, and the Project Evaluation Team, to collect data on patients that receive TeleNursing consultation.

In your Concept Paper, describe your need for assistance in caring for SA patients, including collection of evidence. The Concept Paper should be no more than seven pages in length, double-spaced, and should address the following for each facility:

  • identify the lead facility and the partnering facility, if applicable;
  • reasons you are requesting assistance to care for and perform evidence collection examinations for SA victims;
  • number of SA victims cared for in your facility(ies) in 2013;
  • description of the population served by your facility(ies);
  • description of the type and extent of care you provide to victims of SA;
  • number and title of staff responsible for the care of victims of SA;
  • type and extent of training your staff received specifically for the care of victims of SA, and their experience in using a rape kit;
  • description of your relationship with law enforcement and the rape crisis program in your area (if any); and
  • description of victim advocate(s) or other supports available to victims of SA, and your relationship to these supports (if any).

Finalists will be notified by e-mail no later than March 31, 2014, and invited to submit a full application.
E-mail your Concept Paper to askovc@ncjrs.gov by Friday, March 7, 2014, and include the name and address of the lead facility and the contact person's name, address, phone number, and e-mail address.

Contact Dr. Christine Murphy (christine.murphy@state.ma.us) with questions about the Concept Paper process or preparation. Questions and answers will be made available to all potential respondents.

Register by February 7, 2014, to attend a national briefing call about the Federal Strategic Action Plan on Services for Victims of Human Trafficking on February 12, 2014, at 3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. EST. Coordination, Collaboration, Capacity: Federal Strategic Action Plan on Services for Victims of Human Trafficking in the United States, 2013-2017, released on January 14, 2014, lays out action items for victim service improvements and describes the steps that federal agencies will take to ensure that all victims of human trafficking in the United States are identified and have access to services.

Agenda

  • Background on the development of the Federal Strategic Action Plan.

  • Briefing on the content and implementation of the Plan.

  • A question and answer session.

Speakers
Join the following representatives from the Plan’s co-chairs, the Departments of Justice, Health and Human Services, and Homeland Security, for the briefing.

  • Mary Atlas-Terry and Kristina Rose, Department of Justice - Office for Victims of Crime.

  • Katherine Chon, Department of Health & Human Services - Administration for Children and Families.

  • Corey Walz, Department of Homeland Security.

To register, email Sheraud Ashton (Sheraud.Ashton@acf.hhs.gov), Department of Health and Human Services, with your name, email address, organizational affiliation, and state.

The co-chairs also encourage you to email your questions to Sheraud Ashton prior to the meeting.

Call-in information will be provided to registered participants on February 10, 2014.

Related Reading:Human Trafficking News—A compilation of events and activities held in January for National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month with highlights and links to the Federal Strategic Action Plan, Fact Sheet, and public service announcement.


January 2014

OVC held a Web Forum Guest Host Session on the implications of human trafficking federal strategic action plan with guest hosts Mary Atlas-Terry, Katherine Chon and Corey Walz. Review OVC’s Victim Justice Program Specialist, Mary Atlas-Terry, HHS’s Senior Advisor on Trafficking in Persons, Katherine Chon, and Corey Walz, Special Assistant to the Chair of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Blue Campaign, answers to the submitted questions.

On January 13, 2014, OVC announced an $8,355,648 grant to support victims, witnesses, and first responders of the Boston Marathon bombings. Through OVC’s Antiterrorism and Emergency Assistance Program, this grant will assist organizations that are providing direct support to assist the victims, witnesses and first responders involved in the events surrounding the Boston Marathon bombings in April 2013. This award will include costs, both incurred and anticipated, for organizations providing crisis intervention services and trauma-informed care, continuum of care, socioeconomic support, wrap-around legal services and other victim assistance.

OVC Director Joye Frost said "We acknowledge the hardships that all victims of crime face and recognize the enormous physical, emotional and financial toll of the Boston bombings on victims and their loved ones. Many of these bombing victims face serious and protracted medical problems as well as long-term financial loss and emotional upheaval. This award will ensure that Boston and the state of Massachusetts can provide critical support to victims and their families as they work to restore a sense of normalcy to their lives."

Read the press release for more information.


Restoring the balance of Justice. Naitonal Crime Victims' Rights Week, April 6-12. 2014.In response to increasing requests to provide the National Crime Victims’ Rights Week (NCVRW) Resource Guide earlier, OVC releases the 2014 NCVRW public awareness posters and artwork online. On January, 20, 2014, OVC posted the public awareness posters and camera-ready artwork (e.g. buttons, bookmarks, etc.) online to provide additional time for organizations to incorporate the theme artwork into their outreach materials and other observance-related products. The Resource Guide is being released in three stages:

  1. The 2014 Theme Poster was disseminated late 2013.
  2. The 2014 Resource Guide Artwork was posted online in January 2014 and will be disseminated in hard copy in early February 2014.
  3. The 2014 NCVRW Theme DVD and CD-ROM, containing all components of the 2014 NCVRW Resource Guide, will be disseminated in hard copy late February 2014.

Download the posters and camera-ready artwork now! For more information about NCVRW, visit www.ovc.gov/ncvrw.

In commemoration of National Stalking Awareness Month, OVC presented a Web Forum Guest Host Session on responding to victims of stalking on campus. Guest hosts Rebecca Dreke, Deputy Director of the Stalking Resource Center at the National Center for Victims of Crime, and Connie Kirkland, MA, NCC, Director of Student Mental Health and Behavior at Northern Virginia Community College answered questions during the discussion.


Tribute to Carol Dorris

Photo of Carol DorrisIt is with great sadness that we announce the loss of Carol Dorris, a pioneer in the victims’ rights movement and our good friend who passed away on January 8th after a short illness. She was an attorney, victim advocate, wife, and mother of three children.  Since 1991, Carol’s work has focused on analyzing victims’ rights laws. Carol was the driving force behind VictimLaw.

She was one of a small group of attorneys who collected and analyzed victims’ rights laws and built the first, comprehensive database of victims’ rights laws that served as the foundation for VictimLaw.  Over her career, Carol helped shape the landscape of victims’ rights through her work with state and federal lawmakers, victim service providers, prosecutors, victims’ rights attorneys, and crime victims and survivors. Carol will be greatly missed, but her work toward ensuring that crime victims are aware of their rights and that they are enforced will live on.

 

August 2014

Protecting Victim Privacy—"After-the-Fact"

Through OVC’s Legal Assistance for Crime Victims Training and Technical Assistance Initiative, OVC’s Training and Technical Assistance Center (OVC TTAC) and the National Crime Victim Law Institute (NCVLI) are presenting a free webinar featuring pro bono attorneys who stepped out of their comfort zone to tackle cutting edge victims’ rights issues. The goal of the Legal Assistance for Crime Victims Training and Technical Assistance Initiative is to expand the availability of pro bono and no-cost legal assistance for victims of crime nationally.

Webinar: Lessons From the Field: Pro Bono Spotlights
Date: August 13th
Time: 12:00 PM PDT, 3:00 PM EST

Attorneys will discuss how they got involved in victims’ rights and how they litigated key issues. The training will feature:

  • A civil practitioner who specializes in insurance defense discussing his work protecting a minor sexual assault victim’s privacy when a juvenile defendant subpoenaed her Facebook page;
  • An immigration lawyer discussing her efforts to stop discovery of her client’s U-visa application in a parallel criminal case; and
  • A civil tort lawyer discussing his work as local counsel on a victims’ rights appeal involving the doctrine of abatement ab initio.

This webinar is one in the series. Visit OVC’s Training and Technical Assistance Center Web site to learn more.


May 2014

What Survivors Say About How Abusers Use Technology To Stalk and Harass Them

Technology Safety Strategies & Education and Technology Abuse in Partner Violence infographicNew graphics from the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) illustrate current concerns by victim services agencies and survivors on the use of technology, as reported in a 2012 survey of more than 750 victim service organizations. The Technology Safety Strategies & Education and Technology Abuse in Partner Violence infographics highlight that—

  • Victims are asking for help on how to manage their technology and stay safe while using them. Top requests are for help with cell phones and managing location privacy.
  • Victim service agencies worry that that their confidential shelter and crisis center location will be revealed.
  • 90% of programs report that survivors come to them for help after abusers intimidated and made threats via cell phone, text messages and email.
  • 75% of programs noted that abusers accessed victim’s accounts (email, social media, etc.) without the victim’s consent and oftentimes without their knowledge.

More insights from the survey results are available in NNDEV’s blog post, Technology Abuse: Experiences of Survivors and Victim Service Agencies, published April 29, 2014.

In response to the survey findings, NNEDV’s Safety Net project developed a series of webinars on technology use and survivor safety and in the spring of 2013 hosted "From Cell Phones to Facebook: Technology Safety in a Digital World, a Webinar Series for Victim Service Agencies." The survey, webinars, and illustrations were made possible through a grant from OVC to NNEDV.

Visit NNEDV’s Safety Net Project for more information and updates about resources in development.


 

December 2014

New Online Library Features Tools on Violence Against Women

End Violence Against Women International (EVAWI) image End Violence Against Women International (EVAWI) offers service providers and allied professionals with resources to support victims and hold perpetrators accountable.

EVAWI has launched a new online Resource Library which features publications, policies, protocols, training tools and additional resources on topics including:

  • domestic violence
  • sexual assault
  • stalking
  • trauma
  • human trafficking
  • cold cases
  • elder abuse

Visit the EVWAWI Resource Library to search and view materials in this collection.

Boston Public Health Commission Web Video Series Engages Young Men in Preventing Gender Based Violence Against Women and Girls

As part of the Defending Childhood Initiative, through a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, and the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women’s Engaging Men in Preventing Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence and Stalking Grant Program, the Boston Public Health Commission has launched an innovative Web video series. The Halls follows three young men in Boston through their struggles with relationships, trauma, masculinity, and identity as rumors of a rape of a classmate surface in the halls of their high school.

Through this program, the Commission is creating a public education and community organizing campaign to engage boys and young men in ending Boston’s high prevalence of teen dating violence. The project seeks to support healthy teen relationships by changing community and gender norms. For more information about the project and Web video series, visit the Boston Public Health Commission’s Engaging Men and Boys Web site.


November 2014

Victim Rights During Federal Sentencing

The United States Sentencing Commission released a video entitled Victims' Rights and Federal Sentencing, which aims to help crime victims exercise their right to participate in the sentencing process. The video explains the court process, legal terminology and how participating in the process can benefit victims of crime. A probation officer explains how victims can affect the sentencing outcome. The personal story of a crime victim is also presented in which he shares his experience about speaking during sentencing.


October 2014

New Report from the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Provides Recommendations for Law Enforcement and Courts in Eyewitness Identification

Identifying the Culprit - Partner Message Board ImageSponsored by the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, a new study and corresponding report from the National Academy of Sciences explains the fallibility of eyewitness identification and issues science-based recommendations that will enable law enforcement and courts to improve the accuracy of eyewitness evidence.

According to the report, science has provided an increasingly clear picture of the inherent limits in human visual perception and memory that can lead to errors, as well as the ways unintentional cues during law enforcement processes can compromise eyewitness identifications.

Urging caution in handling and relying upon eyewitness identification in criminal cases, Identifying the Culprit: Assessing Eyewitness Identification examines the factors that can lead to such mistaken identifications and subsequently wrongful convictions and suggests best practices and recommendations to protect the innocent, increase public safety, and deliver justice to crime victims.


September 2014

Impact of Exonerations on Victims

Thumbnail fo The Beat Podcast Page from COPSFor 11 years, Jennifer Thompson was certain that the man who attacked her was behind bars—until she learned that DNA evidence proved his innocence. Hear her story in the Beat Podcast: Wrongful Convictions (mp3 10.9 mb) or read the transcript. OVC’s attorney advisor, Meg Morrow, also shares OVC’s plan that helps to address the needs of survivors and victims of crime in cases of wrongful conviction.

This 8-minute podcast is one of a series produced by the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) office to inform you about the latest community policing topics facing our nation. The Beat Podcasts in September touch on these topics:

  • Wrongful Convictions
  • DNA Exoneration and False Confessions
  • Police Reforms to Prevent Wrongful Convictions
  • Eyewitness Misidentification: How it Happens and the Impact on the Innocent

Access these publications, referenced in the podcast:

Pass It On Campaign from FTC Encourages Peer-to-Peer Scam Education

ftc.gov/passiton Identity Theft. Imposter Scams. Charity Fraud. Health Care Scams. Paying Too Much. "You've Won" Scams.In September 2014, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released the "Pass It On" campaign, which enlists people 65 and older to recognize and report frauds and scams. The campaign reinforces what older individuals already know about some of today’s most common scams, and it gives them a quick and straightforward way to share that knowledge with their family members, friends, and communities.

The topics in the first generation of the Pass It On campaign include—

  • Imposter scams
  • Identity theft
  • Charity fraud
  • Health care scams
  • Paying too much
  • "You’ve won" scams.

Visit the Pass It On Web site for more information about the campaign and free resources for bulk orders and downloads. All resources are also available in Spanish; Vea ¡Pásalo!

The U.S. Department of Justice Launches Elder Justice Web Site

On September 8, 2014, Associate Attorney General Tony West, Assistant Attorney General Stuart F. Delery for the Civil Division, and members of the Department’s Elder Justice Initiative met with stakeholders in the field of elder abuse and financial exploitation to launch the Elder Justice Web site in an effort to further prevent and combat elder abuse and financial exploitation.

The Elder Justice website serves as a resource for elder abuse prosecutors, researchers and practitioners and, most importantly, for victims of elder abuse and their families. This Web site will also serve as a forum for law enforcement and elder justice policy communities to share information and enhance public awareness about elder abuse. Key features of the site include—

  • Resources by State
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Common Elder Abuse Scenarios
  • Training Materials
  • Sample State and Federal Case Documents

For more information, including OVC resources, visit the Elder Justice Web site.

NIJ Report Explores Applying a Sentinel Event Review Approach to Criminal Justice System Errors

Mending Justice: Sentinel Event ReviewsErrors in our criminal justice system inflict specific harm—an individual is wrongfully convicted, a criminal goes free, and people lose trust in the justice system. Errors are potential "sentinel events" that can signal complicated, interconnected flaws in the system.

Drawing on lessons from medicine and aviation, the National Institute of Justice’s latest report, Mending Justice: Sentinel Event Reviews, takes a deeper look at how the criminal justice system could apply "organizational accident" review principles to improve the administration of justice and prevent future errors.

The primary essay—written by James Doyle, a Visiting Fellow with NIJ for 2 years—discusses how principles used by aviation and medicine to improve outcomes could be adopted in criminal justice. The report includes a message from the Attorney General and 16 commentaries from highly respected representatives of criminal justice researchers, practitioners, and other stakeholders.

Download Mending Justice: Sentinel Event Reviews (PDF 1.2 mb) from NIJ’s Web site.


July 2014

National Academies Release Victim and Support Services Guide About Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Trafficking of Children

Confronting Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking of Minors in the United States. A Guide for Providers of Victim and Support Services. How are we preventing, identifying, and responding to Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking or Minors in the U.S.? Launch Graphic.

The Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council released a guide for victim and support service providers summarizing the Confronting Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking of Minors in the United States report. The report, sponsored by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), was released in September 2013 and examines current approaches to address commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of children.

This new guide for victim and support service providers (PDF 500 kb) highlights information that is relevant for providers, and includes key terms, risk factors, emerging service strategies, challenges of providing services, and recommendations for preventing, identifying, and responding to these crimes.

Access materials from the report, including an infographic and YouTube video.


May 2014

Sign Up for Webinars on Trauma-Informed Services for Victims of Domestic Violence

National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma & Mental HealthThe National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma & Mental Health (NCDVTMH) will host a free, 10-part webinar series titled, Building Trauma-Informed Services for Children, Youth, and Parents Impacted by Domestic Violence. The goal of these webinars is to provide participants with practical strategies for supporting survivors and their children to address challenges, promote resilience, and heal from the traumatic effects of interpersonal violence.

  • Webinar 1: Children and Domestic Violence
    Wednesday, June 11, 2014, from 3:00-4:30 p.m. (Eastern)
    In addition to providing an overview of the Webinar series, this event will teach participants about the needs of child victims and their families.
  • Webinar 2: Caring for Others While Caring for Ourselves
    Wednesday, July 30, 2014, from 3:00-4:30 p.m. (Eastern)
    This training will provide guidance on self-care, managing stress, and building organizational support.

Register for these 2 webinars today and sign up for the NCDVTMH Email List to stay informed about future webinars.

Nomination Period Open for L. Anthony Sutin Civic Imagination Award

The L. Anthony Sutin Civic Imagination AwardAwarded by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office), the L. Anthony Sutin Civic Imagination Award is bestowed upon a collaborative team of law enforcement and community members whose innovative civic interactions have transformed public safety in their community.

Nominated teams of two or more individuals—at least one law enforcement officer and one community member—have to demonstrate active engagement with the community in a multifaceted manner that has been sustained over time and has resulted in positive, observable public safety outcomes.

The ideal team—

  • creates sustainable collaborations that are innovative, creative, and transformative;
  • displays civic leadership through problem solving and collaborative partnerships;
  • institutionalizes sustainable, positive, observable public safety outcomes; and
  • promotes public safety through dedication to the community policing philosophy.

Visit the COPS Office’s L. Anthony Sutin Civic Imagination Award website to learn more and nominate a team. Nominations must be sent via e-mail to SutinAward@usdoj.gov or via fax to 202-616-8658 (ATTN: Nazmia Alqadi) by Thursday, June 12 at 5:00 p.m. EST.

March 2014

The White House, WashingtonJoin Conference Call With President Obama To Thank Faith and Community Leaders for Assisting in Affordable Care Act Enrollment

At the request of the Federal Partners Committee on Women and Trauma, the Office for Victims of Crime is pleased to send you an invitation from the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships to join President Obama for a conference call on Affordable Care Act enrollment. The conference call will take place on Monday, March 10, 2014, at 1:30 p.m. ET.

President Obama wants to thank all of the faith and community leaders across the country who are working hard to help millions of Americans access affordable, quality health coverage. As you know, one of the President’s top priorities is to ensure that Americans enroll in the health insurance marketplace before the March 31 deadline, and he looks forward to discussing these issues with you.

To participate, RSVP to AT&T Executive TeleConference at http://www.att-rsvp.com or by phone at 877-471-4350. If you are outside the United States, call 402-516-0110.

When you RSVP, you will be asked to provide Conference ID # 321632 and your name, organization, and email address. Once you RSVP, you will receive a dial-in number for the call on Monday, March 10, and you will need to retain Conference ID # 321632.

This call is off the record and not for press purposes.


February 2014

Participate in Listening Sessions about Protecting Students from Sexual Assault

The White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault will be conducting a series of virtual, public listening sessions in February. The Office of Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice, in partnership with the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education, and the Civil Rights Division, U.S Department of Justice, will be hosting these sessions, and will be joined by the White House, the Office of the Vice President, and the agencies serving on the Task Force.

The Task Force is looking for concrete and creative ideas about how schools can prevent sexual assault, and how they can better respond when it happens—both in terms of supporting survivors and holding offenders accountable.

In particular, the Task Force is looking for your opinions on:

  • Institutional policies and protocols to address sexual assault
  • Responding to diverse, underserved or historically marginalized victims
  • Prevention programs
  • Crisis intervention and advocacy services
  • Complaint and grievance procedures
  • Investigation protocols
  • Adjudicatory procedures
  • Disciplinary sanctions
  • Training and orientation modules for students, staff, and faculty
  • Evaluating and measuring the success of prevention and response efforts
  • Sharing information with the public
  • Making enforcement activities transparent and accessible
  • Promoting greater coordination and consistency among federal agencies
  • Maximizing the Federal Government’s effectiveness in combating campus rape and sexual assault

To facilitate conversation, the listening sessions are organized by group. For more information about the various topical groups, the dates and times of each session, the procedure for the sessions, and how to register, visit NCJFCJ's event page for the White House listening sessions.

Participate in Free NITVAN Webinar on ID Theft Victimization Data and Informing Policy for Serving Crime Victims

On February 12, 2014, from 2 to 3 p.m. EST, the National Identity Theft Victims Assistance Network (NITVAN), an OVC-funded network project, will host "Understanding the Latest BJS Data on Identity Theft Victimization—What it Means to Criminal Justice, Policy Makers, Victim Service Professionals and Allied Professionals," a free Webinar for advocates, law enforcement, legal assistance providers, and other allied professionals.

Bureau of Justice Statistics statisticians and authors of 2012 Identity Theft Supplement to the National Crime Victimization Survey, Erika Harrell and Lynn Langton, will provide background information on the source of the data and explain key findings related to the financial, social, and emotional consequences of identity theft and the experiences of identity theft victims.

Eva Casey Velasquez, President and CEO of Identity Theft Resource Center, will offer thoughts on how the data can be used to inform policy decisions in addressing the needs and rights of identity theft victims.

Register now to learn how these data can impact your work with victims, inform policy decisions, and educate the public on the effects of victimization.


January 2014

Read the Federal Interagency Report on Women and Trauma-Informed Approaches

Trauma-Informed Approaches: Federal Activities and InitiativesTrauma-Informed Approaches: Federal Activities and Initiatives—a report of the Federal Partners Committee on Women and Trauma—demonstrates the application of trauma-informed approaches across a wide range of settings and systems to encourage other government and nongovernmental agencies to implement a cross-sector, interagency, inter-systems’ recognition and response to trauma.

This report, developed with support from the National Center for Trauma-Informed Care at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, also addresses the growing interest in this issue nationally, the work of the Committee, and the specific progress that participating agencies made in the years (2010-2013) since the Committee published its first report in 2011.

Read the report (PDF, 632kb) for further information about the projects, programs, and initiatives of more than three dozen federal agencies, departments, and offices participating on the Federal Partners Committee on Women and Trauma.