This year’s NCVRW Theme Video highlights how serving victims and building trust restores hope and strengthens communities. Theme artwork is also available for organizations to incorporate into their outreach materials, such as:
Facebook and Twitter profile imagery
Artwork for buttons, bookmarks, ribbon cards, and more.
The full 2016 NCVRW Resource Guide is anticipated to be online in February 2016 and will include promotional items and outreach products, how-to’s, sample communication tools, fact sheets, and more. Update or add your information to the NCVRW Mailing List to stay informed about NCVRW.
(Posted December 17, 2015)
OVC Releases December News & Program Updates
The new edition of OVC News & Program Updates is now available online. Read about OVC’s efforts to help children exposed to violence, learn how violence interrupter programs are working to address the cycle of trauma and violence among young men of color, and follow one survivor’s pathway to healing from childhood trauma and violence.
(Posted December 16, 2015)
Coping With the Holidays as a Crime Survivor
The holiday season is meant to be a cheerful time spent with loved ones. But this time of year is not joyful for everyone. Trauma and anxiety can return for crime victims, especially at this time of year. OVC Deputy Director Marilyn McCoy Roberts’ blog post on coping with the holidays offers resources to help support those who have been victims of crime.
The U.S. Department of Justice is seeking applicants for its Fiscal Year 2016 Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation (CTAS). CTAS provides comprehensive funding to American Indian and Alaska Native tribal governments and tribal consortia to support public safety, victim services, and crime prevention improvements.
Applicants can submit a single application and select from any or all of the nine purpose areas, including two administered by OVC:
Comprehensive Tribal Victim Assistance Program (CTVA): CTVA supports tribal program response to victims of crime, their families, and communities and provides trauma-informed, culturally competent holistic services.
Children’s Justice Act Partnerships for Indian Communities Program (CJA): CJA supports comprehensive and coordinated multidisciplinary responses to child abuse victims and their families in ways that are trauma-informed and culturally competent.
In an effort to provide guidance on CTAS, the Department of Justice is sponsoring a webinar series that will focus on educating applicants about CTAS application requirements and purpose areas. View the CTAS applicant webinar series schedule for detailed information and to register
To learn more about this funding opportunity, visit the CTAS solicitation website. Applications are due by February 23, 2016, at 9 p.m. EST.
(Posted December 9, 2015)
Assisting Victims in San Bernardino and Throughout the Nation
OVC expresses our condolences to the victims of the San Bernardino shootings, their families and friends, the people of California, and those in mourning throughout the Nation. We present the following resources which may be able to help victims and their families, and victim service providers that are providing support to them during this difficult time: http://ovc.gov/news/San_Bernardino.html.
(Posted December 4, 2015)
Helping Victims in Colorado Springs and Throughout the Nation
OVC conveys its condolences to the victims of the shootings at the Planned Parenthood facility in Colorado Springs, their families, the people of Colorado, and everyone across the Nation who joins in the grief felt by this community. We share the following resources that may be able to help victims and their families, as well as the victim service providers that are assisting them: http://ovc.gov/news/colorado_springs.html.
(Posted November 30, 2015)
Victim-Centered Toolkit Focused on Mass Violence and Terrorism
This victim-centered toolkit—developed in collaboration with law enforcement officials, emergency planning managers, prosecutors, victim service providers, and many others—provides the field with a framework, strategies, and resources to:
prepare and establish partnerships before an incident;
respond to victims needs in the immediate aftermath of an incident; and
provide recovery strategies for longer-term victim healing.
The toolkit’s Partnerships & Planning section discusses how to establish and maintain partnerships, address resource gaps, and develop victim assistance protocols. The Response & Recovery section covers how to use the protocols after an incident of mass violence or terrorism. The Tools section provides checklists, samples, a glossary, and a compendium of victim assistance resources. This toolkit is designed to complement, not replace, existing community emergency response protocols.
OVC hopes that law enforcement officials, agencies, and officers can use this toolkit to enhance efforts to prepare, respond to, and recover from these devastating incidents.
(Posted November 19, 2015)
Funding Opportunity for Intermediary Organizations: Grant Program to Provide Legal Assistance to Victims of Elder Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation
OVC is pleased to announce the availability of a new grant program, Elder Justice AmeriCorps, which will provide comprehensive legal assistance and support services to victims of elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation and promote pro bono capacity building in the field. This program is a collaboration between OVC, The Department of Justice’s Elder Justice Initiative, and the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS).
This funding opportunity complements existing OVC grants to support the development of legal assistance networks providing comprehensive and pro bono legal services for victims of crime.
December 9, 2015 at 5:00 p.m. (Eastern Time), all interested applicants must submit a notification of intent to apply
January 20, 2016 at 5:00 p.m. (Eastern Time), deadline to submit applications
(Posted November 13, 2015)
National Crime Victims’ Service Awards Ceremony
Each year during National Crime Victims’ Rights Week (NCVRW), OVC honors individuals and organizations who demonstrate outstanding service in supporting victims and victim services through the National Crime Victims’ Service Awards.
On April 12, 2016, OVC will honor these exceptional individuals, organizations, teams, and programs at an awards ceremony in Washington, DC. To receive information about registration and other details about the ceremony when they become available, sign up for the NCVRW Mailing List.
(Posted November 12, 2015)
Federal Domestic Violence and Housing Technical Assistance Initiative Launched to Provide Training, Technical Assistance, and Resource Development
Domestic violence is a major cause of homelessness, particularly for families with children. To help address this critical issue, OVC has partnered with the Office on Violence Against Women, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to launch a federal Domestic Violence and Housing Technical Assistance Consortium.
This interagency consortium will provide national training, technical assistance, and resource development on domestic violence and housing. The federal agencies have awarded $2.3 million in grant funding in order to develop more comprehensive resources and foster increased collaboration among domestic violence and homeless services providers. Organizations receiving grant funds include:
District Alliance to End Safe Housing (Washington, DC)
National Network to End Domestic Violence (Washington, DC)
National Resource Center for Domestic Violence (Harrisburg, PA)
Training Development Associates (Laurinburg, NC)/Collaborative Solutions (Birmingham, AL)
Funding Opportunity: 2016 NCVRW Community Awareness Projects
OVC is pleased to announce funding for National Crime Victims’ Rights Week (NCVRW) public awareness activities through the 2016 NCVRW Community Awareness Projects (CAP) program. The National Association of VOCA Assistance Administrators, with support from OVC, will award at least 60 communities with up to $5,000 each in reimbursement for approved activities. Types of activities supported with CAP funds include:
Public events (including candlelight vigils, information/resource fairs, 5k walk/runs, etc.)
Mass media advertising
Production, publication and distribution of printed materials
Public agencies, nonprofit organizations, community-based victim service organizations, faith-based organizations, tribal organizations, and community coalitions committed to advocating for the rights and services of crime victims are among those encouraged to apply.
Partnership for Freedom Seeks Innovative Solutions to Fight Labor Trafficking
On October 28, 2015, The Partnership for Freedom, a public-private partnership that aims to spur innovative solutions to human trafficking challenges, led by Humanity United in collaboration with the Department of Justice, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of State, and the Department of Labor, launched the second of three competitions dedicated to spurring innovative solutions to end human trafficking. Rethink Supply Chains: The Tech Challenge to Fight Labor Trafficking calls for technological solutions that identify and address labor trafficking in global supply chains for goods and services. We invite you to participate in this competition by putting together your team, formulating your idea and submitting your application. Applications are due by December 13, 2015. Find out more about the challenge and how to submit an application at partnershipforfreedom.org/rethinksupplychains/. (Posted October 28, 2015)
2016 National Crime Victims’ Rights Week
The Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) is pleased to announce the 2016 theme for National Crime Victims' Rights Week (NCVRW). Serving Victims. Building Trust. Restoring Hope. underscores the importance of early intervention and victim services in establishing trust with victims, which in turn begins to restore their hope for healing and recovery. NCVRW will be observed from April 10 - 16, 2016.
2016 NCVRW Highlights:
Dates: April 10 - 16, 2016
Theme:Serving Victims. Building Trust. Restoring Hope.
Colors: Medium Blue and Dark Gold. Download the 2016 color palette.
Download a customizable copy of the 2016 NCVRW Theme Poster.
Update or add your information to the NCVRW Mailing List by November 17, 2015 to receive a complimentary copy of this year’s theme poster. You will also receive notification when the 2016 Resource Guide is available online, details about the NCVRW awards ceremony, and other NCVRW announcements.
During NCVRW, communities across the country hold events that honor crime victims and promote public awareness of crime victims’ rights. With the support of OVC, communities are eligible to apply for the Community Awareness Project (CAP) grant to support NCVRW events. Learn more and apply for funding today.
(Posted October 26, 2015)
Helping Victims in Roseburg and Throughout the Nation
OVC conveys its condolences to the victims of the shootings at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, their families, the people of Oregon, and everyone across the Nation who joins in the grief felt by this community. We share the following resources that may be able to help victims and their families, as well as the victim service providers that are assisting them: http://ovc.gov/news/umpqua_community_college.html(Posted October 2, 2015)
Attend OVC’s Vision 21 Forum Addressing Strangulation in Domestic Violence Cases: Maricopa County’s Multidisciplinary Approach in Washington, D.C. on Monday, September 21, 2015
Join us as OVC holds the next in a series of forums addressing the Vision 21 initiative on Monday, September 21, 2015 from 10:00-11:30 a.m. eastern time, at the Office of Justice Programs, 810 7th Street, NW, (third floor video conference room) in Washington, D.C. Victim-focused service providers, researchers, and policy makers are encouraged to attend. This forum, Addressing Strangulation in Domestic Violence Cases: Maricopa County’s Multidisciplinary Approach, will feature Karyn Rasile, M.A.Ed., B.S.N., R.N., A.F.N.–B.C., a forensic Nurse Specialist and Consultant, who will discuss the partnerships and steps taken to implement this innovative program. Maricopa County, Arizona, recognized a need to change their approach to addressing strangulation in domestic violence cases and collaborated with the Scottsdale Forensic Nurse Examiner to create a 24/7 multidisciplinary team response to victims of domestic violence strangulation.
For more information, or to RSVP, contact Heidi Fam at email@example.com no later than Friday, September 18, 2015. Please include your name, title, and organization in your response.
(Posted September 3, 2015)
New Toolkit to Help Victims of Mass Violence and Terrorism
The 2015 OVC Report to the Nation is now available online. View the full report to learn more about OVC's evidence-based practices, dynamic multi-disciplinary partnerships, and effective strategies for building capacity through research, innovation, technology, and training.
(Posted August 19, 2015)
Social Media Now Featured on OVC Homepage
View the OVC social media feed, now available on our homepage, to read OVC’s social media posts on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. OVC is making it easier for you to connect with us through social media.
(Posted August 18, 2015)
Helping Victims in Lafayette and Throughout the Nation
OVC conveys its condolences to the victims of the shootings at the movie theater in Lafayette, their families, the people of Louisiana, and everyone across the Nation who joins in the grief felt by this community. We share the following resources that may be able to help victims and their families, as well as the victim service providers that are assisting them: http://ovc.gov/news/lafayette.html(Posted July 24, 2015)
Helping Chattanooga and the Nation Heal
OVC conveys its condolences to the victims of the shootings at two military sites in Chattanooga, their families, the people of Tennessee, and the many U.S. citizens grieving nationwide. The following resources may be able to help victims and their families, as well as the victim service providers that are assisting them: http://ovc.gov/news/chattanooga.html(Posted July 20, 2015)
Working to Improve Services to Victims of Human Trafficking
The summer edition of OVC News & Program Updates is now available online. Read a message from Director Joye Frost, review the Vision 21 grant awardees, and learn more about the impactful work OVC is doing on behalf of victims and victim service providers.
(Posted June 22, 2015)
Helping Charleston and the Nation Heal
We at OVC convey our deepest sympathies to the victims of the Charleston shootings, their families and friends, the people of South Carolina, and those in mourning throughout the nation. The following resources may be able to help victims and their families, as well as the victim service providers that are assisting them: http://ovc.gov/news/charleston_church_tragedy.html(Posted June 18, 2015)
OVC will award each eligible state victim assistance program a noncompetitive discretionary grant to support training and technical assistance to VOCA victim assistance service providers and others who work with crime victims. Uses for these additional funds include, but are not limited to, enhancing existing State Victim Assistance Academies (SVAAs) or establishing new SVAAs; and supporting statewide training initiatives, crime victim related conferences, basic training for new programs for underserved victims, and scholarships to service providers and others who work with crime victims. Apply by July 1, 2015. (Posted June 4, 2015)
Nominations Now Being Accepted for the 2016 Crime Victims’ Service Awards
Submit Your Nominations for the 2016 National Crime Victims’ Service Awards by July 30, 2015. 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.
This year, OVC announces a new award category, the Tomorrow’s Leaders Award. This award seeks to honor and highlight youth up to age 24 years who have dedicated their efforts to supporting victims of crime. Learn more.
View past recipients and, if you know a similarly deserving individual, group, team, or program, submit a nomination by July 30, 2015.
One discretionary grant in the amount of $175,000 will be awarded to plan and administer the National Joint Training Conference for VOCA Victim Assistance and Victim Compensation Administrators, to be held in 2016. This 2.5-day conference will provide training and technical assistance for Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) administrators, staff, and board members; and facilitate a forum for the presentation of state issues and practices. The conference will employ lectures, panels, workshops, and forums to explore ways to improve the delivery of crime victim services; provide an opportunity for VOCA administrators to exchange information, views, and experiences; and provide training and technical assistance on effective program operations. Apply by July 13, 2015.
(Posted May 28, 2015)
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. Apply by July 1, 2015.
(Posted May 22, 2015)
OVC will award each eligible state victim compensation 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. Apply by July 2, 2015.
(Posted May 22, 2015)
OVC will make up to one award of up to $150,000 for a fellowship that will focus on the issues of victims of elder abuse and elder financial exploitation. The fellowship recipient will work in the Elder Justice Initiative (EJI) of the Department of Justice Civil Division, in Washington, D.C. EJI provides resources to victims of elder abuse and financial exploitation and their families; practitioners who serve those victims; law enforcement agencies and prosecutors who respond to victims of elder abuse and financial exploitation; and researchers seeking to understand and address elder abuse and financial exploitation. Visit the Jobs & Fellowships section of the OVC Web site for general information about OVC's fellowship program. Apply by July 2, 2015.
(Posted May 18, 2015)
Loretta E. Lynch, 83rd Attorney General of the United States
On April 29, 2015, Loretta E. Lynch was sworn in by Vice President Joe Biden as the 83rd Attorney General of the United States. In her remarks, Attorney General Lynch stated that we “can imbue our criminal justice system with both strength and fairness, for the protection of both the needs of victims and the rights of all. We can restore trust and faith both in our laws and in those of us who enforce them. We can protect the most vulnerable among us from the scourge of modern-day slavery – so antithetical to the values forged in blood in this country."
OVC will make one award of up to $1,000,000 to a national-scope organization to enhance training, technical assistance, public awareness, and capacity-building resources on language access for victim service providers and allied professionals. The objectives of this program are to improve access to services for crime victims who are deaf or hard-of-hearing, or who have limited English proficiency; increase victim service providers' and allied professionals' understanding of their legal and ethical obligations related to language access; and produce high-quality training, technical assistance, online resources, tools, and products to improve language access. Apply by June 24, 2015. (Posted May 8, 2015)
OVC will make several awards of up to $60,000 each to state VOCA compensation programs to enhance data collection efforts to increase the accuracy of administrative reporting through the OVC Performance Management Tool. Proposals must demonstrate how the funding would improve the state’s data collection capacity to satisfy the new OVC reporting requirements. Apply by June 17, 2015. (Posted May 4, 2015)
OVC will make up to one award of up to $500,000 for a joint fellowship program with BJS focused on the translation and dissemination of statistical data used by the victim service field. The individual awarded funding under this fellowship program will work with both OVC and BJS to improve the synthesis and translation of social science research and statistical findings to inform practice and policies in the victim services field. Visit the Jobs & Fellowships section of the OVC Web site for general information about OVC's fellowship program. Apply by June 15, 2015. (Posted May 1, 2015)
OVC will make several awards of up to $1,000,000 each to improve responses to male survivors of violence, particularly boys and young men of color, and their families, and to dedicate technical assistance to support these efforts. OVC is particularly interested in strengthening victim service providers’ knowledge and skills, resulting in innovative programs and practices that foster a better understanding among criminal and juvenile justice systems and inform service providers about the needs and rights of these victims. Both OVC and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention will provide oversight for all of the projects funded through this solicitation. Apply by June 17, 2015. (Posted May 1, 2015)
OVC will award up to $375,000 to provide financial and technical assistance to approximately 60 communities nationwide to conduct 2016 National Crime Victims' Rights Week (NCVRW) Community Awareness Projects (CAP) on crime victims' rights and services in their jurisdictions during 2016 NCVRW. The selected applicant must be positioned to undertake a nationwide solicitation for proposals and the delivery of technical assistance to recipient organizations; capable of marketing the project so that it meets the goal of funding a project in every state; and able to assemble a group of expert reviewers who are familiar with NCVRW and the victim assistance field, and who are willing to volunteer their services to review every application received and be a part of the selection process. Apply by June 15, 2015. (Posted April 30, 2015)
OVC will make one award of up to $700,000 to update the SART Toolkit: Resources for Sexual Assault Response Teams (SART Toolkit) to ensure that it contains the most current research, practices, and information to support sexual assault victims—particularly underserved populations. The SART Toolkit is an online resource for information and tools to establish, strengthen, and sustain sexual assault response teams in a variety of settings. Eligible applicants are limited to organizations with national-scope expertise on sexual assault and a track record of developing national-scope technical assistance resources, and that have existing strong relationships with a range of victim-serving organizations at the local, tribal, state, and federal levels. Apply by June 8, 2015. (Posted April 22, 2015)
Learn More about the Individuals and Organizations Recognized at the 2015 National Crime Victims’ Service Awards Ceremony
Attorney General Eric Holder honored 12 individuals, programs, teams, and organizations during the April 21st National Crime Victims’ Service Awards Ceremony. 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 or would like to learn more, visit:
Awards of up to $600,000 will be made to enhance the quality and quantity of specialized services available to assist victims of human trafficking including services for underserved victims of human trafficking. Funding will also support efforts to increase the capacity of communities to respond to human trafficking victims through the development of interagency partnerships, professional training, and public awareness activities. Apply by June 1, 2015. (Posted April 16, 2015)
Awards of up to $750,000 will be made to enhance the quality and quantity of services available to assist all victims of human trafficking in achieving their goals. Funding will support interagency collaboration and the coordinated community response to victims of human trafficking and the provision of high-quality services that address the individualized needs of trafficking victims. Apply by June 1, 2015. (Posted April 16, 2015)
One cooperative agreement of up to $450,000 will be awarded to plan and conduct, in cooperation with OVC, the 15th National Indian Nations Conference: Justice for Victims of Crime, which will take place in 2016. The goal of this project is to provide timely training, information about best practices, and resources to increase and enhance the skills of victim service providers, criminal justice professionals, and other allied professionals in order to improve their ability to respond to the needs of American Indian and Alaska Native crime victims. Apply by June 1, 2015. (Posted April 14, 2015)
OVC will make two awards of up to $1,500,000 each to support the training and technical assistance needs of American Indian and Alaska Native communities that receive grant funds from OVC under Purpose Area 6 (Children's Justice Act Partnerships for Indian Communities) and Purpose Area 7 (Comprehensive Tribal Victim Assistance Program) of the Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation, as well as Vision 21 Community Wellness Centers. Deadline: June 1, 2015. (Posted April 14, 2015)
Listen Now: Interview with OVC Director Joye Frost on NCVRW 2015 and OVC’s work to Support Crime Victims
On March 26, 2015, OVC Director Joye Frost participated in an interview for The Social Network Show, an online radio series sponsored by the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) which promotes best practices in cyber safety, crime prevention, and social justice issues.
In this interview, Director Frost provides information on the ways OVC enhances the work of national, state, and local agencies and organizations to assist crime victims and how the Crime Victims Fund further supports these efforts.
Director Frost highlights that everyone has a role in supporting crime victims, and that support can come from service providers, friends, family, and neighbors. This is also reflected in the 2015 NCVRW theme—Engaging Communities. Empowering Victims.—which emphasizes the role of the entire community—individually and collectively—to support victims of crime and empower them to begin their healing from their victimization. This year’s National Crime Victims’ Rights Week (NCVRW) will be held April 19 - 25, and more information can be found at ovc.ncjrs.gov/NCVRW.
Now Available in Spanish—The 2015 National Crime Victims’ Rights Week (NCVRW) Resource Guide
The Office for Victims of Crime (OVC), Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice, in partnership with the National Center for Victims of Crime (NCVC), is pleased to announce the availability of the entire National Crime Victims’ Rights Week Resource Guide EN ESPAÑOL (in Spanish) online. For the first time in the history of the Resource Guide the Statistical Overviews have been translated into Spanish.
This user-friendly package contains everything you need to host and promote NCVRW in your community and to promote victims’ rights throughout the year. This year’s theme—Engaging Communities. Empowering Victims.—emphasizes the role of the entire community, individually and collectively, as we support victims of crime and empower them to direct their own recovery. Included in the Resource Guide are campaign materials such as artwork, educational content, helpful hints, and a Theme Video that highlights the importance of building partnerships with community leaders and organizations.
OVC will make one award of up to $300,000 to develop the 2016 National Crime Victims’ Rights Week (NCVRW) Resource Guide. The comprehensive Resource Guide will support victim service providers, victim advocates, allied professionals, and the general public in their efforts to heighten awareness of crime victim issues nationwide during NCVRW in April 2016, and throughout the year. Deadline: April 29, 2015. (Posted March 13, 2015)
Register to attend the National Crime Victims' Service Awards Ceremony
The National Crime Victims' Service Awards Ceremony will be held April 21, 2015, in Washington, D.C. During the ceremony, OVC will recognize individuals and organizations that have demonstrated outstanding service in supporting crime victims and victim services. The event is free and open to the public; however, registration is required.
When: 2-3:30 p.m.(Eastern Time) on April 21, 2015
Where: National Archives - William G. McGowan Theater
700 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW.
Washington, DC 20408
Attendee Entrance: Constitution Avenue, between 7th and 9th Street, NW.
For more information about this event and to register, visit www.ncvrw.org by Friday, April 17, 2015. (Posted February 10, 2015)
Attend OVC's Vision 21 Third Forum: A Data-Driven Approach to Victim Services in Washington, DC on Thursday, February 19, 2015
Join us, as OVC holds the third in a series of forums addressing OVC's Vision 21 initiative on Thursday, February 19, 2015, from 10:00-11:30 a.m. eastern time, at the Office of Justice Programs (third floor main ballroom) in Washington, DC. We encourage all victim-focused services providers, researchers, and policymakers to attend, A Data-Driven Approach to Victim Services, which underscores the importance of researcher-practitioner partnerships and a data-driven approach to policy decisions impacting victims of crime.
Come hear Heather Warnken, Esq., LL.M., Legal Policy Associate at the Chief Earl Warren Institute on Law and Social Policy at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law, as she presents her statewide research findings on:
the role of criminal justice system-based programs responding to violence against women,
a poll on crime victims' unmet needs,
victims' attitudes towards offenders and services for them,
research on repeat victimization and rebuilding lives, and
the implications of recent legislative developments.
For more information, or to RSVP, contact Heidi Fam at firstname.lastname@example.org no later than Tuesday, February 17, 2015. Please include your name, title, organization and state in your response. (Posted February 3, 2015)
The 2015 NCVRW Resource Guide is Now Available Online
OVC is pleased to announce that the 2015 National Crime Victims’ Rights Week (NCVRW) Resource Guide is now available online. This user-friendly package contains everything you need to host and promote NCVRW in your community. This year’s theme—Engaging Communities. Empowering Victims.—emphasizes the role of the entire community, individually and collectively, as we support victims of crime and empower them to direct their own recovery.
Included in the Resource Guide are campaign materials including artwork and the theme video, educational content, helpful hints, and for the first time ever, a new statistical overview. These materials can also be downloaded for use offline.
In October 2014, OVC and the Bureau of Justice Assistance released the newly expanded and enhanced Human Trafficking Task Force e-Guide and launched a new, mobile-friendly Human Trafficking Web site that provides human trafficking information for victims and survivors, victim service providers, law enforcement, and allied professionals.
The e-Guide 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:
find resources based on the type of services you provide,
watch, download, and share public service announcements, and
read about OVC's efforts to combat human trafficking.
These resources have been prepared to help strengthen the knowledge and skills needed to assist victims of human trafficking. Take advantage of both today! (Posted January 8, 2015)
New Video Explores How the International Terrorism Victim Expense Reimbursement Program (ITVERP) May Help Victims and Their Families
A newly released video from the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) explores how the International Terrorism Victim Expense Reimbursement Program (ITVERP) may provide financial assistance to victims of international terrorism and their families.
Administered by OVC, ITVERP is the only federal, direct-service program that provides reimbursement for qualifying expenses to qualified U.S. citizens and U.S. government employees who suffered direct physical or emotional injury from an act of international terrorism while outside the United States.
This brief video from OVC highlights key program features and includes testimonials from individuals who have received ITVERP benefits. You can view the video online and access further information about the program on the OVC ITVERP Web site. (Posted January 5, 2015)
Join the National Campaign to Protect Consumers from Financial Fraud
Between 2010 and 2013, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) took action on fraudulent schemes that affected nearly 30,000 investors, with losses totaling more than $1 billion. To help arm every day consumers with the tools to reduce the risk of falling victim to fraud, the CFTC has launched SmartCheck.CFTC.gov.
The SmartCheck Web site provides educational tools to reduce financial and investment fraud. In addition to background check tools, the newly launched Web site contains a variety of resources, including interactive videos that allow users to take part in a fictional financial scenario to help investors identify potential fraudulent schemes and make the best financial decision.
OVC works to address the needs of fraud victims, and encourages consumers to take advantage of these new tools. Visit the SmartCheck Web site to access effective tools to check backgrounds of financial professionals and access the full range of resources. (Posted January 2, 2015).
New Trainings Available for Adult Protective Services Caseworkers
The National Adult Protective Service (APS) Training Project was created to strengthen the capacity of APS workers and their partners to serve victims of elder abuse. With funding from OVC, the Academy for Professional Excellence of the School of Social Work at San Diego State University developed curricula for the following APS trainings:
New Online Toolkit For Assisting Victims of Mortgage Fraud
The National Crime Prevention Council, with support from OVC grant funds, released the Mortgage Fraud Online Toolkit. The toolkit offers information, tip sheets, and training resources for victim service providers and allied professionals to build understanding about different types of mortgage fraud, how to best serve victims, and ways to raise awareness in the community. Victims of mortgage fraud can also use this toolkit to help document and report the crime, communicate with creditors, and limit the damage to their future financial health. (Posted November 3, 2015)
New Mobile App Offers Help to Identity Theft Victims
The Identity Theft Resource Center has released a free mobile app now available for download on Apple and Android devices. The ID Theft Help App, funded by a grant from OVC, provides resources for identity theft victims, including direct access to victim advisors through a 24/7 call center or live chat.
This app can help users address identity theft issues, such as a stolen wallet or unauthorized credit card purchases. The app also offers educational tools on how to protect yourself against identity theft, including best practices for public WiFi protection. Visit the Identity Theft Resource Center to learn more and download the app. (Posted September 25, 2015)
Spanish-language Hotline Launches for Sexual Assault Survivors
With support from an OVC Vision 21 grant, RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) recently launched services to provide free, confidential support for Spanish-speaking survivors of sexual assault through the RAINN operated National Sexual Assault Online Hotline (La Línea de Ayuda Nacional Online del Asalto Sexual). In addition to services in English, Spanish-language survivors and their loved ones can receive support from trained support specialists through the Online Hotline or by calling RAINN at 1–800–656–HOPE (4673).
OVC Director Joye E. Frost states that “This RAINN initiative embodies the kind of work the field must undertake to ensure that all crime victims have access not only to services, but access that is linguistically accessible and culturally competent. The hotline’s new Spanish-language service exemplifies our shared commitment to reaching under-served victims through appropriate and victim-centered services.”
Safe Use of Technology: Helping Providers and Victims
When using technology, both victim advocates and survivors need to consider safety, privacy, and security. The National Network to End Domestic Violence's Safety Net Project develops resources and information on the use of technology for survivors of survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and trafficking and the agencies that support them. With support from OVC, the Safety Net Project created the following resources –
Human Trafficking: New Resources for Combating Crime and Serving Victims
On January 5, 2015, Jean Bruggeman, OVC's Human Trafficking Fellow, wrote a blog post for the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) Diagnostic Center on the need for a multi-pronged approach to combating human trafficking. Because traffickers can be part of a violent gang, international network, or even the victims' families, a variety of techniques are needed to hold traffickers accountable, stop victimization, and support the survivors. Read the blog post now to discover new resources for law enforcement, service providers, survivors, and allied professionals. Learn more about the OJP Diagnostic Center. (Posted January 8, 2015)
Office on Violence Against Women Launches Campus Safety Website
The Office on Violence Against Women has launched the Center for Changing Our Campus Culture, an online resource clearinghouse for colleges and universities for preventing and responding to sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking on campus. The Center includes the latest research, sample campus policies, protocols, best practices, and information on training opportunities and technical assistance.
White House Accepting Nominations To Honor Youth and Law Enforcement Champions of Change
The White House Champions of Change program invites youth and law enforcement who are working together in their communities to the White House to share their accomplishments. The White House is now accepting nominations to recognize pairs of individuals—one young person (up to and including age 25) and one law enforcement officer—who help to build bridges between young people and law enforcement and improve public safety.
Nominees may include law enforcement officers who work with community partners to provide youth services, young people who have led programs and initiatives between law enforcement and youth, and police officers and youth who are using technology, including social media, to increase communication between law enforcement and young adults. Nominations must be received by noon on August 7, 2015.
View the White House page to read more, and nominate a Champion of Change. (Choose “Building Bridges Between Youth and Law Enforcement” in the Theme of Service field.)
(Posted August 6, 2015)
White House Commemorates World Elder Abuse Awareness Day
World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) was commemorated on June 15, 2015. WEAAD is an international observance to raise awareness about the abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation of elderly persons, provide services to victims, and promote ways to prevent elder abuse. Earlier this month, the Office of the Vice President and the White House Council on Women and Girls met with advocates to discuss ways to address solutions to serving elderly female victims of crime.
The discussion “featured an overview of the nexus between domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and elder abuse; explored how service providers can address age as a part of ongoing efforts to develop more comprehensive and victim-centered services; and identified remaining gaps and barriers for our field to build awareness and responsiveness to the needs of older survivors.” The Administration is working to support elder justice as a part of the 2015 White House Conference on Aging.
New Checklists to Help Victims Recover from Financial Fraud, Identity Theft
In January 2014, OVC, the FINRA Investor Education Foundation and the National Center for Victims of Crime (NCVC) sent out to the field the new Taking Action: An Advocate’s Guide to Assisting Victims of Financial Fraud which included strategies for addressing the major types of financial crime. FINRA and NCVC have just released four new checklists to assist victims of identity theft, investment fraud, mortgage and lending fraud, and mass marketing and other fraud.
On February 23, 2015, The Ford Foundation gathered a panel to discuss the issues raised in this publication, including the prevalence and impact of violence, victimization and trauma on young men of color. Moderated by The Ford Foundation's Kirsten Levingston, members of the panel included ‐
Representative Hakeem Jeffries, 8th District, New York (D)
Kenneth Thompson, District Attorney, Brooklyn, New York
Dr. Richard Dudley, forensic psychiatrist
Reverend Dr. Harold Trulear, Howard University School of Divinity
Serving Deaf Survivors of Domestic and Sexual Violence
Recent research indicates that as many as 25% of Deaf women will experience domestic and sexual abuse in their lifetime. Despite the overwhelming need, many of the resources available to help victims – from phone-based crisis hotlines to shelters without American Sign Language interpreters – remain inaccessible to the Deaf community.
The Vera Institute of Justice, along with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women, studied the unique needs of Deaf victims and how to better meet them to new and existing services. The full report, “Culture, Language, and Access: Key Considerations for Serving Deaf Survivors of Domestic and Sexual Violence,” is available at vera.org.
For additional information on serving the Deaf community, view the following resources from OVC:
What happens to crime victims when an individual is wrongfully convicted and exonerated?
What happens to crime victims when an individual is wrongfully convicted and exonerated? This issue is explored in an article from the latest edition of the NIJ Journal. The authors of the NIJ Journal article, Addressing the Impact of Wrongful Convictions on Crime Victims, demonstrate that for some victims, the impact of the wrongful conviction may be comparable to — or even worse than — that of their original victimization. Crime victims may experience feelings of guilt, fear, helplessness, devastation, and depression. The authors also found a lack of available services to support crime victims who have been notified of a potential wrongful conviction.
In September 2014 the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) office also released an 8-minute podcast in which Meg Morrow, former OVC attorney advisor, shares OVC’s plan to help address the needs of survivors and victims of crime in cases of wrongful conviction.
The guidance details how gender bias can influence and undermine law enforcement agencies’ response to sexual assault and domestic violence. It offers eight principles for law enforcement to incorporate into policies and training to ensure that neither implicit nor explicit gender bias will undermine their efforts to keep victims safe and hold offenders accountable. The guidance reminds law enforcement to uphold victims’ civil rights, treat all victims with respect and dignity, and encourage victims to participate in investigations.