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News & Features

News Archive 2016

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

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

December 2017

35 Years After President Reagan Changed the Treatment of Crime Victims

Today, December 20, 2017, marks the 35th anniversary of the release of the Final Report from President Ronald Reagan's Task Force on Victims of Crime. In a comprehensive assessment of how crime victims nationwide were being treated in 1982, the task force determined that the criminal justice system often treated survivors with disinterest, and services to help victims heal from their trauma were sorely lacking. This watershed report resulted in many critical actions – including the enactment of the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) of 1984, the creation of the Crime Victims Fund, and the establishment of the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC). Also, crime victims compensation systems were set up around the country to reimburse survivors for the expenses they incurred because of crime, and finally victims' RIGHTS were delineated in many state constitutions, statutes, and in federal law.


Final Report from President Ronald Reagan's Task Force on Victims of Crime

President's Task Force on Victims of Crime
Final Report
December 1982

These actions represent enduring support for victims. The Crime Victims Fund provides millions of dollars in victim compensation and direct services for millions of individuals around the country each year. And OVC champions innovative programs to support victims and build capacity of victim service organizations throughout the nation.

Thirty-five years ago, Task Force Chairman Lois Haight Herrington wrote:

"You must know what it is to have your life wrenched and broken, to realize that you will never really be the same. Then you must experience what it means to survive, only to be blamed and used and ignored by those you thought were there to help you. Only when you are willing to confront all these things will you understand what victimization means."

This moving statement still holds true today and guides my actions as Director of the Office for Victims of Crime. It is truly an honor to lead OVC as it continues to help move the field forward to serve victims everywhere, and I am so personally grateful to the trailblazers like President Reagan, Judge Herrington, and so many others who've worked diligently to get us to this stage!

Darlene Hutchinson
Director
Office for Victims of Crime

(Posted December 20, 2017)

Fewer than Half of Victims Report Violent Crimes

The Bureau of Justice Statistics recently released its latest estimates of crime from the National Crime Victimization Survey, one of two national measures of crime rates in the United States.

OVC Director Darlene Hutchinson, a survivor of violent crime herself, posted a blog recently responding to the findings from the latest victimization survey. In the blog, Director Hutchinson points out that only 42 percent of the violent crime victims report the offenses to police and she stresses that “OVC is committed to continuing to reach the unserved and meet the needs of even more survivors."

Read the Office of Justice Programs blog to learn more about why many victims of crime don't report their victimization and how OVC is committed to reaching these victims.


58% of victims of violent crimes do not report their offenses to police.

58% of victims of violent crimes do not report their offenses to police.

(Posted December 15, 2017)

Stay Informed: Join the National Crime Victims' Rights Week Mailing List

Expand the Circle: Reach All VictimsThe theme for National Crime Victims' Rights Week (NCVRW), to be observed April 8–14, 2018, is Expand the Circle: Reach All Victims.

Sign up for the NCVRW mailing list or update your preferences to receive email notification when the 2018 NCVRW Resource Guide is available online.

Join the NCVRW Mailing List.

Access to the customizable online 2018 Theme Poster is available for immediate download.

(Posted December 7, 2017)

November 2017

Deadline Approaching: NCVRW 2018 Printed Poster

Expand the Circle: Reach All VictimsThe theme for National Crime Victims' Rights Week (NCVRW), to be observed April 8–14, 2018, is Expand the Circle: Reach All Victims.

Sign up for the NCVRW mailing list or update your preferences by December 6 to ensure you receive the printed theme poster.

Join now

Additional educational materials and details about the National Crime Victims' Service Awards nomination period and ceremony will also be sent via the listserv when available. Access to the digital customizable poster is available for immediate download.

(Posted November 30, 2017)

Reports Showcase the Services OVC Grantees Provide to Human Trafficking Victims

OVC administers the largest amount of federal grant funding to enhance the quality and quantity of services available to assist victims of human trafficking in the United States.

The OVC Trafficking Information Management System (TIMS) serves as a centralized repository for grant-required performance metrics and case-specific information.

To highlight the activities and achievements of OVC grantees, OVC created four TIMS snapshot reports for the period of July 2015 through June 2016. These grantees served 5,582 clients during the period, a significant increase over previous years.

Learn more about how OVC is working to improve the services available to human trafficking victims in these TIMS snapshot reports:

Services for Victims of Human Trafficking (PDF 325 kb)

Enhanced Collaborative Model to Combat Human Trafficking Program (PDF 363 kb)

Comprehensive Services for All Victims of Human Trafficking Program (PDF 352 kb)

Specialized Services for Victims of Human Trafficking Program (PDF 323 kb)

For more information on OVC's anti-trafficking efforts and available resources, visit our human trafficking website.

(Posted November 27, 2017)

More Than $130 Million Awarded to Improve Tribal Victim Services and Public Safety

The U.S. Department of Justice recently announced more than $130 million in grant awards to American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) communities to enhance victim services, address violence against women, improve public safety, and support youth programs.

Through two purpose areas of the U.S. Department of Justice's Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation (CTAS), OVC awarded funds to more than 20 tribes.

CTAS is a consolidated tribal-specific grant program which seeks to help address the disproportionate rates of violence and victimization in AI/AN communities and significant obstacles to culturally relevant services.

(Posted November 14, 2017)

Support for Victims of the Mass Shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas

OVC staff extend our condolences to the victims of the mass shooting at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas.

The following resources may be able to help victims, families, and the community, as well as the victim service providers, law enforcement, and first responders that are assisting them during this difficult time: www.ovc.gov/news/sutherland-springs-texas.html.

(Posted November 7, 2017)

Support for Victims of the Terrorist Attack in New York City

We at OVC convey our deepest sympathies to the victims of the terrorist attack on a bike path in the West Side of Lower Manhattan, to their friends, families, and witnesses of this event.

OVC shares the following resources which may be able to help victims and their families, and victim service providers, law enforcement, and first responders that are providing support to them during this difficult time: www.ovc.gov/news/new-york-city.html.

(Posted November 3, 2017)

October 2017

Funding Awarded to Combat Human Trafficking and Support Victims

Image of human traffickingThe Office of Justice Programs (OJP) recently announced more than $25 million in funding to combat human trafficking.

A recent blog post by OJP's Acting Assistant Attorney General Alan R. Hanson demonstrates how OVC and our OJP partners are working to improve critical services to victims of human trafficking.

OJP's anti-trafficking work is led by OVC, which manages the largest amount of federal funding to assist victims of human trafficking, as well as the Bureau of Justice Assistance, which works with OVC to jointly support human trafficking task forces composed of victim service providers, law enforcement agencies, and other key partners.

For more information on OVC's anti-trafficking efforts and available resources, visit our human trafficking website.

(Posted October 12, 2017)

Giving Victims of Sexual Assault the Care They Need

Research shows that using a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) to conduct forensic examinations contributes to higher prosecution and conviction rates. But what if the victim lives hundreds of miles from the nearest hospital that employs a registered nurse who has completed specialized education and training to provide forensic examinations to sexual assault patients?

Learn how OVC's support of innovative telemedicine programs is making the best tools available to help victims of sexual assault in a recent blog post by Acting Assistant Attorney General Alan R. Hanson.

These telemedicine programs employ real-time patient care support and ongoing training through live video interface to help ensure that all victims receive compassionate, victim-centered care.

(Posted October 10, 2017)

Tribute to Christine (Chris) Edmunds

Image of Chris Edmunds

Chris Edmunds, a champion for victims' rights and the advancement of education and training for victim service professionals, passed away on September 14, 2017. She was 62.

An enthusiastic and passionate advocate for the rights of crime victims, Chris' contributions to the victims' rights field shaped how crime victims are supported today.

Chris began her career at the National Organization for Victim Assistance, where she served as chief lobbyist and helped successfully advocate for the passage of the Victims of Crime Act of 1984. Later, she served as the Director of Program Development at the National Center for Victims of Crime before working with OVC as a contractor.

At OVC, Chris assisted former OVC Director Aileen Adams to author OVC's New Directions from the Field – Victims' Rights and Services for the 21st Century, which was the guiding vision of OVC prior to its Vision 21 initiative.

Chris co-founded the National Victim Assistance Academy and was instrumental in the organization's Train-the-Trainer and the Leadership in Victim Services programs—both of which were built into the OVC Training and Technical Assistance Center's training platform.

An adjunct professor at Washburn University and California State University, Fresno, Chris taught courses on victims' rights and services. She graduated from the University of Michigan in 1979 and completed the Washington Representative Program at George Washington University in 1984.

OVC expresses its deep appreciation for all that Chris has accomplished to advance victim advocacy, rights, and services.

(Posted October 5, 2017)

Darlene Hutchinson Biehl Named OVC Director

Image of OVC Director Darlene Hutchinson Biehl with Acting Assistant Attorney General Alan Hanson

OVC Director Darlene Hutchinson
Biehl with Acting Assistant
Attorney General Alan Hanson

Darlene Hutchinson Biehl was sworn in as Director of the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) in August 2017.

With more than 20 years of experience in victim advocacy, Ms. Hutchinson has had an active role passing legislation, advancing public policy, teaching at police academies, and working directly with victims and their families.

Prior to joining OVC, Ms. Hutchinson honed her expertise as a victim advocate by volunteering for 10 years at rape crisis centers in Alabama and Texas, and served for 7 years as president of a victims' support and advocacy group in Montgomery, Ala.

For 6 years, Ms. Hutchinson played a key role in the development of Alabama's innovative victim notification system and was part of the small team responsible for the passage and ratification of Alabama's Victims' Constitutional Amendment in 1994–95.

She first became aware of the inadequacies of the justice system and the needs of crime victims after being kidnapped at gunpoint from a small-town post office when she was only 20. Blindfolded and tied, Ms. Hutchinson escaped on the second day and assisted in the apprehension and prosecution of the offender. Following a plea, the kidnapper served 20 years in prison.

Ms. Hutchinson became inspired to help other survivors navigate the complex criminal justice system and has been a champion for victims' rights.

(Posted October 4, 2017)

Support for Victims of the Shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada

OVC extends its deepest condolences to the victims of the shooting at the country music festival in Las Vegas, Nevada, and to their friends and families. OVC presents resources which may be able to help victims and their families, and victim service providers, law enforcement, and first responders that are providing support to them during this difficult time: www.ovc.gov/news/las-vegas-nevada.html.

(Posted October 3, 2017)

September 2017

Funding Opportunity: 2018 National Crime Victims' Rights Week Community Awareness Projects

The National Association of VOCA Assistance Administrators, under a cooperative agreement with OVC, is seeking proposals for projects to raise public awareness of victims' rights and services in communities during National Crime Victims' Rights Week (NCVRW), April 8-14, 2018.

At least 60 communities will receive awards up to $5,000 each in reimbursement for approved activities, including public events; mass media advertising; and production, publication, and distribution of printed materials.

Learn more and apply on the CAP website. Apply by October 16, 2017.

(Posted September 22, 2017)

Now Available: New Materials for 2018 National Crime Victims' Rights Week

Image of 2018 NCVRW Color PaletteThe 2018 National Crime Victims' Rights Week (NCVRW) color palette and a customizable copy of the 2018 NCVRW Theme Poster are now available.

Colors: Navy, pink, and teal. Download the 2018 NCVRW color palette (PDF 565 kb).

Theme Poster: Download a customizable 2018 NCVRW Theme Poster (PDF 241 kb).

NCVRW will be commemorated April 8–14, 2018, and this year's theme—Expand the Circle: Reach All Victims—emphasizes the importance of inclusion in victim services. This year's theme addresses –

  • how the crime victims field can better ensure that every crime victim has access to services and support, and
  • how professionals, organizations, and communities can work in tandem to reach all victims.

Sign up for the NCVRW mailing list to receive email updates, including the release of the 2018 Resource Guide.

(Posted September 14, 2017)

August 2017

Nominate a Colleague for the 2018 National Crime Victims' Service Awards

The 2018 National Crime Victims' Service Awards nomination period has been extended to August 14, 2017.

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.

Watch the video and submit your nomination.

Submissions close Monday, August 14, 2017.

(Posted August 1, 2017)

July 2017

Department of Justice Renews Commitment to Protecting Nation Against Hate Crimes

In a recent speech at the 2017 Hates Crimes Summit, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions states that "No person should have to fear being violently attacked because of who they are, what they believe, or how they worship."

In February, the Department of Justice (DOJ) created a Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety and this task force will accomplish its work through five subcommittees, including one on hate crimes. OVC is one of the components serving on this subcommittee, along with the DOJ Community Relations Service, Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Community Oriented Policing Office, and the DOJ Criminal Division.

Attorney General Sessions has "asked the subcommittee to explore ways to expand and improve training for federal, state, and local prosecutors and investigators on hate crimes; how we can work better with affected communities and our state and local law enforcement partners; and how we can improve our data collection on hate crimes."

(Posted July 3, 2017)

June 2017

Watch Video Explaining National Crime Victims' Service Awards Nomination Process

OVC has created a video to provide you with tips and tools for the 2018 National Crime Victims' Service Awards application.

The video includes information about submission requirements, a short demo of the online nomination form, and tips for submitting a noteworthy nomination.

Watch the video and submit your nomination today.

Nominations are due by July 31, 2017.

(Posted June 28, 2017)

Funding Opportunity: Increasing Access to Mental Health Services for Victims of Crime

The OVC FY 2017 Vision 21 Integrated Services for Victims Program: Increasing Access to Mental Health Services for Victims of Crime (PDF 537 kb) solicitation seeks to bridge the divide between crime victims, victim service providers, and mental health service providers so that communities are able to create a seamless network of services to assist crime victims.

OVC anticipates that it will make awards under five purpose areas.

  1. Purpose Area 1: Suicide Prevention Gatekeeper Training for Crime Victim Advocates—Help victim service providers properly identify crime victims who may be exhibiting signs of suicidality, refer them to appropriate mental health services, and support their access to such services.

  2. Purpose Area 2: Increasing Access to Victim Services for Victims of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Who Have a Serious Mental Illness—Increase the capacity of both victim service providers and mental health service providers to provide mental health services to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault who also have severe mental illness.
    1. Purpose Area 2A: Funding for Direct Services—Successful applicants will (a) aid domestic violence and sexual assault services providers with properly identifying victims who have a serious mental illness, referring them to mental health services treatment, and adapting their operational policies and procedures; and (b) assist mental health service providers with revising their intake/assessment procedures and referring clients to specialized domestic violence or sexual assault resources.

    2. Purpose Area 2B: Training and Technical Assistance— Provide TTA to successful applicants under Purpose Area 2A, in order to increase their capacity to meet the needs of victims of domestic violence and sexual assault who also have a severe mental illness.
  3. Purpose Area 3: Increasing Access to Mental Health Services to Traditionally Underserved Victims of Crime—For purposes of this program, traditionally underserved victims of crime include, individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing; lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT); American Indians and Alaska Natives; individuals who are limited English proficient (LEP); and individuals who reside in rural communities.
    1. Purpose Area 3A: Funding for Direct Services—Successful applicants will develop and implement projects that use technology and other innovative practices to reach these populations.

    2. Purpose Area 3B: Training and Technical Assistance (TTA)—Provide TTA to successful applicants under Purpose Area 2A in order to increase their capacity to overcome barriers to accessing mental health services for members of underserved populations.

See pp. 15-16 for updated applicant eligibility information for Purpose Areas 2A and 3A, and p. 22 for updated performance measures for Purpose Area 3A.

Download the solicitation (PDF 537 kb)

Apply by August 10, 2017

(Posted June 27, 2017; Updated July 27, 2017)

Funding Opportunity: Mass Violence and Victimization Resource Center

OVC recognizes that federal, state, local, and tribal government and organizations must become better prepared and equipped to appropriately plan for, respond to, and fully support victims and communities affected by, mass violence.

The goal of the FY 2017 Mass Violence and Victimization Resource Center (PDF 272 kb) solicitation is to establish a Mass Violence Center. Working collaboratively with OVC, the successful applicant will develop a national victim-centric framework, applicable to various jurisdictions, which addresses best practices in preparing for and responding to incidents of mass violence and domestic terrorism through training and technical assistance, identifying/creating best practices, and expanding expertise in this field.

OVC expects to make one award of up to $18,000,000 for a 36-month performance period, to begin on October 1, 2017.

Download the solicitation (PDF 272 kb).

Apply by August 9, 2017.

(Posted June 26, 2017)

Funding Opportunity: Developing Future Victim Specialists for Indian Country

Through the FY 2017 Developing Future Victim Specialists for Indian Country (PDF 216 kb) solicitation, OVC seeks to further cultivate a workforce focused on providing services to American Indian/Alaska Native victims in hard-to-staff positions and locations.

By identifying and training prospective victim service professionals in the early stages of their post-secondary education and career, tribal and Bureau of Indian Affairs' victim service programs will hopefully have an easier time filling victim service positions in remote Indian Country or Alaska Native locations.

Successful applicant(s) under this solicitation will be expected to —

  1. establish and administer a structured program that links students interested in victim service careers (and studying relevant disciplines) to internship opportunities with either a BIA or tribally run victim service program;
  2. provide any necessary guidance and training to students participating in the program; and
  3. evaluate the program.

OVC expects to make up to three awards of up to $450,000 each, with an estimated total amount awarded of up to $1.35 million.

Download the solicitation (PDF 216 kb).

Apply by August 9, 2017.

(Posted June 26, 2017)

Funding Opportunity: Increasing Legal Access to Victims of Crime: Innovations in Access to Justice Programs

Through the FY 2017 Increasing Legal Access to Victims of Crime: Innovations in Access to Justice Programs (PDF 544 kb) solicitation, OVC will provide, in total, approximately $8.15 million in funding for legal services for three distinct projects that will enhance legal access for crime victims, foster technological innovation, and provide training and technical assistance to those involved in the initiatives.

OVC anticipates that it will make awards under three distinct purpose areas.

  • Purpose Area 1 – Increase Capacity and Access to Civil Legal Help for Crime Victims Through Legal Fellows Program (Legal Fellows Program) - one award, up to $4,000,000, for a 2-year performance period.

  • Purpose Area 2 – Using Technology/Other Innovations to Increase Legal Access in Rural Areas - one award, up to $3,150,000, for a 3-year performance period.

  • Purpose Area 3 – Training and Technical Assistance (TTA) – Legal Partnerships Increasing Medical Care Advocacy to Crime Victims - one award, up to $1,000,000, for a 2-year performance period.

Note:

Purpose:

The purpose of this note is to clarify language in the OVC FY 2017 Increasing Legal Access to Victims of Crime: Innovations in Access to Justice Programs solicitation. Specifically, questions have been asked about whether the requirement in Purpose Area 1 (pages 5-6) to competitively select a TTA provider applies where the applicant identifies a TTA provider in their application to OVC, as opposed to selecting a TTA provider after the OVC award is made.

Clarification:

Applicants that identify an organization in their application to OVC as the proposed subaward TTA provider are not required to further compete that subaward, assuming that the applicant is selected as a Purpose Area 1 grant recipient by OVC. The proposed TTA subaward organization will be reviewed as part of the applicant's overall proposal in OVC's competitive award process. Applicants that receive Purpose Area 1 funding, but did not identify a TTA provider in their application, are required to select the TTA subaward organization through a competitive process post-award.

Download the solicitation (PDF 544 kb).

Apply by July 18, 2017.

(Posted June 16, 2017; Updated June 29, 2017)

Funding Webinar: Increasing Legal Access to Victims of Crime: Innovations in Access to Justice Programs

On June 29, 2017, at 1 p.m. (eastern time), join OVC for a webinar that will provide details and guidance for potential applicants to the Increasing Legal Access to Victims of Crime: Innovations in Access to Justice Programs solicitation (PDF 544 kb).

The presenters will discuss the three distinct Purpose Areas under this funding opportunity which is designed to enhance and expand legal access for crime victims. A Q&A session will conclude the webinar.

Register for the webinar

(Posted June 19, 2017)

OVC-Supported Website Helps Advocates Working to End Homelessness for Victims of Domestic and Sexual Violence

Victims of domestic and sexual violence face daunting barriers when trying to access safe and affordable housing.

The recently launched Safe Housing Partnerships website provides resources and tools that support victim advocates and providers at the critical intersection of domestic violence, sexual assault, homelessness, and housing.

Safe Housing Partnerships is supported by the Office on Violence Against Women, OVC, and other federal partners.

Visit SafeHousingPartnerships.org to learn more.

(Posted June 9, 2017)

OJP Blog Post Highlights Efforts by OVC to Support Law Enforcement

Our nation's law enforcement officers are often the first to interact with victims of crime, placing them in a critical position to meet the needs of victims. At the Office for Victims of Crime, we've developed the Enhancing Law Enforcement Response to Victims strategy, which helps law enforcement officers compassionately and effectively meet the needs of crime victims.

We recently recognized National Police Week, and this strategy was one of a few OVC programs highlighted in a blog post by Alan R. Hanson, Acting Assistant Attorney General of the Office of Justice Programs (OJP). In his blog, Acting Assistant Attorney General Hanson discusses the ongoing efforts at OJP to provide tools, technology, and grants to law enforcement agencies across the country.

Read more about OJP efforts to give our nation's law enforcement agencies the resources they need to do their jobs safely and effectively and to respond to meet the needs of crime victims.

(Posted June 1, 2017)

May 2017

Funding Opportunity: Field-Generated Innovations in Addressing Elder Abuse and Financial Exploitation

Through the FY 2017 Field-Generated Innovations in Addressing Elder Abuse and Financial Exploitation (PDF 271 kb) solicitation OVC seeks applicants to better protect older Americans by improving identification of elder abuse and enhancing response and outreach to victims in three innovation grant categories:

  • Combating Elder Abuse and Financial Exploitation Through Technology.
  • Increasing Justice for Older Americans.
  • Focusing on Victims by Identifying and Remedying Elder Abuse and Financial Exploitation.

Innovation projects should focus on improving the capacity of the crime victims' field to provide trauma-informed, culturally competent, comprehensive services to victims of elder abuse and financial exploitation.

OVC expects to make at least six total awards (at least two in each category) totaling $3,250,000 under this solicitation.

Download the solicitation (PDF 271 kb).

Apply by June 28, 2017.

(Posted May 30, 2017)

Funding Opportunity: Vision 21: Advancing the Use of Technology to Assist Victims of Crime

Through the FY 2017 Vision 21: Advancing the Use of Technology to Assist Victims of Crime (PDF 204 kb) solicitation OVC seeks to support organizations which demonstrate innovative strategies to create, expand, or enhance use of technology initiatives on a national scale to improve response, services, and access for victims of crime.

OVC seeks to address three areas, which may intersect depending on the applicant's proposed activities and project strategy. These are:

  1. Coalition building.
  2. Development of new national apps or creation of other technology platforms designed to serve victims of crime, including updates and maintenance for the length of the award.
  3. Expanding or enhancing (including updates and maintenance) existing service and hotline digital, online, text platforms and apps that use technology to provide services, referrals, tools, and information to victims of crime.

OVC expects to make up to 5 awards between $500,000–$1.4 million each.

Download the solicitation (PDF 204 kb).

Apply by June 23, 2017.

(Posted May 25, 2017)

Funding Opportunity: Action Partnerships for National Membership, Professional Affiliation, and Community Service Organizations: Post-Conviction Services to Victims of Crime

Post-conviction victim services and advocacy are critical to ensure that crime victims understand their legal rights and the process through the entire continuum of their involvement with the juvenile justice and/or criminal justice systems.

Under the OVC FY 2017 Action Partnerships for National Membership, Professional Affiliation, and Community Service Organizations: Post-Conviction Services to Victims of Crime (PDF 211 kb) solicitation applicants are asked to develop and deliver training and resources that address the crime victims' needs and gaps in services during the post-conviction period. Applicants should propose to remedy these gaps through online or in person training, technical assistance, conferences, regional forums, and/or video resources.

OVC expects to make up to 5 awards of up to $350,000 each.

Download the solicitation (PDF 211 kb).

Apply by June 22, 2017.

(Posted May 24, 2017)

Nominations Now Being Accepted for the 2018 Crime Victims' Service Awards

Submit Your Nominations for the 2018 Nomination Ad for 2018 National Crime Victims' Service Awards by July 31, 20172018 National Crime Victims' Service Awards by July 31, 2017. Every year, OVC recognizes extraordinary individuals, organizations, teams, and programs that demonstrate outstanding achievements in supporting victims and victim services.

You can read about our past honorees and, if you know a deserving individual, group, team, or program, submit a nomination by July 31, 2017.

The recipients will be honored at the National Crime Victims' Service Awards Ceremony in Washington, D.C.

Visit the National Crime Victims' Rights Week (NCVRW) website for details about the 2018 NCVRW observation, April 8-14, and the Awards Ceremony as they become available.

(Posted May 1, 2017)

April 2017

OJP Highlights Services to Victims During National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month

April is National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, an opportunity to underscore the scourge of sexual assault on our society and the trauma this violent crime imposes on its victims.

Providing services to and justice for sexual assault victims is a vital part of the mission at the Office of Justice Programs (OJP). The Office for Victims of Crime (OVC), is one of six components within OJP that works to support these victims through research, resources, and programs that help them move from victims to survivors.

In a recent blog post, Acting Director of OJP Alan R. Hanson discusses how sexual violence exacts a heavy toll on victims of crime. Yet some survivors use their experience to bring hope and healing to others walking the same path.

Acting Director Hanson discusses his participation in this year's National Crime Victims' Service Awards, hosted by OVC. During the ceremony, five of the twelve award recipients were honored specifically for their extraordinary efforts to assist victims of sexual assault.

Read more about these extraordinary individuals and the efforts currently underway at OJP to improve services for victims of sexual assault.

(Posted April 27, 2017)

Be Counted! Participate in the National Census of Victim Service Providers

The Logo for National Census of Victim Service ProvidersNational Census of Victim Service Providers (NCVSP) is the first-ever national count of all programs responding to victims and survivors of crime and abuse, providing the most comprehensive picture of the victim services field to date.

Funded by the Office for Victims of Crime and the Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Department of Justice, the NCVSP will capture basic information about the field, helping reveal gaps and opportunities. Your participation is an opportunity for the critical services you provide to be included in the “big picture” of victim response.

Thank you to those who have completed the survey. Please encourage your colleagues and peers to do the same so we have a full, accurate account of the services available to victims.

If you have not completed your NCVSP, please do so today. Log in and complete your survey.

If you have not received an invitation to complete this survey but are serving victims, please contact Angela Herrmann at NORC by phone at 877–504–1086 or email today. If you have already completed this survey and are still being contacted, please also let Ms. Herrmann know, so that she can remove the duplicate listing.

For more information, please visit the NCVSP project webpage.

(Posted April 18, 2017)

The Vicarious Trauma Toolkit Helps Organizations Address Work-Related Exposure to Trauma

VTTIt takes tremendous courage for victim service providers, emergency medical services, fire services, law enforcement, and other allied professionals to respond to tragic events. It also takes commitment to do this work despite the personal, physical, emotional, and mental impact it can have.

Research shows that vicarious trauma, when left unaddressed, can lead to staff burnout, turnover, stress, and a lesser quality of services for victims.

The newly released OVC Vicarious Trauma Toolkit can be used to:

  1. conduct an assessment of your agency's current capacity as a vicarious trauma-informed organization;
  2. review your existing capacity, identify gaps, and prioritize needs;
  3. locate resources and tools to help meet your identified needs; and
  4. develop a comprehensive plan to address exposure to single incidents of crime or violence and acts of mass violence and terrorism.

Additionally, the toolkit contains a state-of-the-art repository of nearly 500 resources tailored specifically to these fields that provides the knowledge and skills necessary for organizations to address the vicarious trauma needs of their staff and promote resiliency.

(Posted April 11, 2017)

2017 National Crime Victims' Service Award Recipients

Jesse Panuccio, Acting Associate Attorney General, Alan Hanson, Acting Assistant Attorney General, Office of Justice Programs, and Marilyn McCoy Roberts, OVC Acting Director honored 12 individuals, programs, teams, and organizations during the National Crime Victims' Service Awards Ceremony on April 7.

Learn more about the extraordinary contributions of this year's award recipients:

Stay tuned for details on the nomination period for the 2018 National Crime Victims' Service Awards, which will open later this spring.

(Posted April 7, 2017)

March 2017

OVC Awards Almost $8.5 Million to Support Victims of Pulse Nightclub Shooting

Earlier today, OVC announced an $8,466,970 Antiterrorism and Emergency Assistance Program (AEAP) grant to the Florida Office of the Attorney General, Florida Department of Legal Affairs to assist victims of the June 2016 mass shooting at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida.

OVC Acting Director Marilyn McCoy Roberts states, “This award will reimburse victim services costs for operation of the Family Assistance Center in the immediate aftermath of the shooting, and to ensure that victims, witnesses and first responders receive necessary services to help them adjust in the aftermath of violence, begin the healing process, and cope with probable re-traumatization.”

Visit the AEAP website to learn how this program supports communities responding to incidents of terrorism and mass violence.

(Posted March 14, 2017)

Watch the 2017 National Crime Victims' Service Awards Ceremony Online

The Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) invites you to watch this year's National Crime Victims' Service Awards Ceremony as part of National Crime Victims' Rights Week. The annual ceremony will take place on April 7, 2017, from 2:00-3:30 p.m. (eastern time).

Watch the live stream (webcast) of the event on OVC's YouTube channel (registration is not required).

Past awards ceremonies have been attended by crime victims and survivors, victim advocates, and allied professionals from around the Nation. Learn more about the awards and this year's categories.

(Posted March 31, 2017)

Funding Webinar: Vision 21: Linking Systems of Care for Children and Youth State Demonstration Project

On April 10, 2017, at 2 p.m. (eastern time), join OVC for a webinar that will provide details and guidance for potential applicants to the Vision 21: Linking Systems of Care for Children and Youth State Demonstration Project Solicitation (PDF 216 kb). OVC Grants Management Specialists Stacy Phillips and Lindsay Waldrop will discuss the purpose and goals of this funding opportunity and address frequently asked questions. A Q&A session will conclude the webinar.

Register to attend the webinar.

(Posted March 30, 2017)

Funding Opportunity: Vision 21: Linking Systems of Care for Children and Youth State Demonstration Project

OVC seeks applicants to address the enduring issue of child and youth victimization through state-level demonstration projects (PDF 217 kb).

We pay for child and youth victimization in many ways: health and mental health care, child welfare, special education, juvenile and criminal justice, and losses in productivity over the individual's lifespan. Although many systems exist to respond to these various issues, these systems often fail to communicate and collaborate effectively to get to the root of the problem.

The competitively awarded demonstration sites will bring all of the relevant systems and professionals together to establish a coordinated approach. This approach will ensure that every child entering these systems is assessed for victimization, that children and their families are provided comprehensive and coordinated services to fully address their needs, and that practices and policies are established to sustain this approach long term.

The project will be conducted in two phases—Phase 1: Planning (15 months) and Phase 2: Implementation (5 years).

OVC expects to make up to two awards of up to $500,000 each through this demonstration initiative.

Download the solicitation (PDF 217 kb).

Apply by May 11, 2017.

(Posted March 23, 2017)

Funding Opportunity: National Indian Nations Conference: Justice for Victims of Crime

OVC seeks applicants to plan and conduct the 16th and 17th National Indian Nations Conference: Justice for Victims of Crime (PDF 195 kb), which will take place in 2018 and 2020, respectively.

Since 1988, OVC has sponsored 15 Indian Nations: Justice for Victims of Crime Conferences (Indian Nations Conferences) that have attracted thousands of participants involved in meeting the needs of victims of crime in Indian Country.

The Indian Nations Conference provides victim advocates and allied professionals with a unique forum to share their successes, challenges, lessons learned, best practices, and visions for the future of crime victim services in American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) communities.

OVC expects to make one award of up to $499,000 for a 24-month performance period and to make a supplemental award based on performance and appropriations.

Download the solicitation (PDF 195 kb).

Apply by May 9, 2017.

(Posted March 22, 2017)

Funding Opportunity: Serving Crime Victims with Disabilities: A Seamless Approach from First Response to Healing

The goal of this solicitation is to update and expand OVC's resources to support crime victims with disabilities (PDF 522 kb), particularly the following two resources:

Since these documents were first published, expansive work has been done on disabilities and the technology landscape of victimization has rapidly changed. In addition, there is a need for guidance on making services accessible and appropriate to crime victims with disabilities throughout the process from first response and forensic interviewing to healing.

OVC expects to make up to one award of up to $1,333,333.

Apply by May 2, 2017.

(Posted March 16, 2017)

Now Available in Spanish—2017 NCVRW Resource Guide

NCVRW2017OVC is pleased to announce the release of the Spanish version of its 2017 National Crime Victims' Rights Week (NCVRW) Resource Guide (título en español: La Guía de Recursos de la Semana Nacional de los Derechos de Víctimas del Crimen 2017). NCVRW will be commemorated April 2-8, 2017, and the resource guide promotes this year's theme —Strength. Resilience. Justice. (Fuerza. Resistencia. Justicia.)

The resource guide provides all of the materials necessary to promote public awareness campaigns for NCVRW and throughout the year. Campaign materials include planning tips, artwork, crime and victimization fact sheets, and more.

Access both the English and Spanish versions of the NCVRW Resource Guide today.

(Posted March 3, 2017)

February 2017

2017 NCVRW Resource Guide is Now Available Online

NCVRW2017OVC is pleased to announce the release of its 2017 National Crime Victims' Rights Week (NCVRW) Resource Guide. NCVRW will be commemorated April 2-8, 2017, and the resource guide promotes this year's theme —Strength. Resilience. Justice.

The resource guide provides all of the materials necessary to promote public awareness campaigns for NCVRW and throughout the year. Campaign materials include planning tips, artwork, crime and victimization fact sheets, and more. A Spanish version of the resource guide will be coming soon.

Please join OVC to help communities across the country in raising awareness of crime victims' rights and services, highlighting local programs, celebrating progress achieved, and honoring victims and the professionals who serve them.

Access the Resource Guide today.


(Posted February 16, 2017)

Funding Webinar: Specialized Services for Victims of Human Trafficking

On February 15, 2017, at 2 p.m. (eastern time), join OVC for a webinar that will provide details and guidance for potential applicants to the Specialized Services for Victims of Human Trafficking solicitation (PDF 306 kb). The presenters will discuss the purpose and goals of this funding opportunity and address frequently asked questions. A Q&A session will conclude the webinar.

Register to attend the webinar.


(Posted February 10, 2017)

Funding Webinar: Specialized Human Trafficking Training and Technical Assistance for Service Providers

On Monday, February 13, 2017, at 2 p.m. (eastern time), OVC will hold a webinar on the Specialized Human Trafficking Training and Technical Assistance for Service Providers solicitation (PDF 259 kb). This webinar will provide details and guidance for potential applicants to provide intensive human trafficking training and technical assistance to service providers in one of two purpose areas: (1) housing, and (2) employment. The presenter will discuss the purpose and goals of this funding opportunity and address frequently asked questions. A Q&A session will conclude the webinar.

Register to attend the webinar.


(Posted February 9, 2017)

Be Counted! Participate in the National Census of Victim Service Providers

The Logo for National Census of Victim Service ProvidersNational Census of Victim Service Providers (NCVSP) is the first-ever national count of all programs responding to victims and survivors of crime and abuse, providing the most comprehensive picture of the victim services field to date.

Funded by the Office for Victims of Crime and the Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Department of Justice, the NCVSP will capture basic information about the field, helping reveal gaps and opportunities. Your participation is an opportunity for the critical services you provide to be included in the “big picture” of victim response.

Thank you to those who have completed the survey. Please encourage your colleagues and peers to do the same so we have a full, accurate account of the services available to victims.

If you have not completed your NCVSP, please do so today. Login and complete your survey.

If you have not received an invitation to complete this survey but are serving victims, please contact Angela Herrmann at NORC by phone at 877–504–1086 or email today.

For more information, please visit the NCVSP project webpage.


(Posted February 7, 2017)

January 2017

New Platform for Online Discussions with National Experts

OVC, through its Training and Technical Assistance Center (OVC TTAC), is excited to announce a new platform to share our best practices and standards for serving victims of crime.

The OVC TTAC Expert Q&A Online Discussion will replace the OVC Web Forum. Within this new platform, participants will have an enhanced ability to communicate with national experts and colleagues about hot topics and other issues relating to crime victim services.

Expert Q&A Online Discussions will be held each month and one or more subject matter experts will be available to answer your questions.

There is no charge to attend the Expert Q&A sessions. If you can't attend one of these interactive trainings, each event will be recorded and made available to view on the OVC TTAC website.

Although the Expert Q&A sessions replace the OVC Web Forum, you may still access transcripts from past Web Forum Guest Host sessions.


(Posted January 25, 2017)

Funding Opportunity: Specialized Human Trafficking Training and Technical Assistance for Service Providers

OVC seeks applicants to provide intensive training and technical assistance to trafficking service providers (PDF 259 kb) in one of two focus areas: (1) housing, and (2) employment, in order to assist them in developing and implementing meaningful housing and/or employment practices.

The objectives of this program are to improve quality and quantity of services in the selected purpose area offered to trafficking survivors by increasing capacity of victim service providers nationwide through training and technical assistance, and to improve victim service providers' partnerships at the national, state, and local level with relevant purpose area stakeholders.

OVC expects to make up to two awards (one per purpose area) of up to $850,000. Apply by March 16, 2017.


(Posted January 17, 2017)

Resources for National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month

Human trafficking is a horrendous crime that impacts communities throughout our Nation. With increased awareness, improved services, and effective prosecutions, we can work together to fight this crime and support the survivors. Every January, we commemorate National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month to renew our commitment to helping trafficking victims.

In an effort to help communities prepare for local events for this January, we highlight the following OVC resources —

Faces of Human Trafficking Resource GuideFaces of Human Trafficking Resource Guide
This award-winning multidisciplinary resource can be used to raise awareness of the seriousness of human trafficking, the many forms it can take, and the important role that everyone can play in identifying and serving victims.

This resource includes nine videos, a discussion guide, four fact sheets, and four posters. The guide can be viewed online or a limited quantity of physical copies may be ordered through the OVC Resource Center (shipping and handling fees will be applied.)

Human Trafficking Task Force E-GuideHuman Trafficking Task Force E-Guide
Developed in partnership with the Bureau of Justice Assistance, this Guide is a resource to support established task forces and provide guidance to agencies that are forming task forces.

Its purpose is to assist in the development and day-to-day operations of an anti-human trafficking task force and to provide fundamental guidance for effective task force operations.

Human Trafficking Weblet
This online tool contains resources and information for a variety of audiences including victims/survivors, victim service providers, law enforcement, and allied professionals.

OVC has also released multiple funding opportunities available to victim service providers to enhance the services available to victims of human trafficking. View our Current Funding Opportunities page to learn more and apply.


(Posted January 10, 2017)

Acting OVC Director

Photo of Marilyn M. Roberts, Acting Director of the Office for Victims of Crime.
Marilyn M. Roberts has been appointed to serve as OVC Acting Director effective January 3, 2017. Previously, Ms. Roberts was OVC's Deputy Director for the State Compensation and Assistance and Operations Division, where she had oversight of OVC's Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) formula grant program, and internal operations, including budget, training and technical assistance, and communications functions.

Prior to joining OVC in October 2013, Ms. Roberts spent 11 years with OJP's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), starting as a special advisor to the Administrator and becoming the Deputy Administrator for Programs in 2004. In that capacity, Ms. Roberts oversaw the three programmatic divisions of OJJDP. Before joining OJJDP, she was the director of the Drug Courts Program Office at OJP.

Prior to her government service, Ms. Roberts held several management positions during her 18-year career at the National Center for State Courts, a nonprofit organization devoted to the improvement of state court administration.


(Posted January 4, 2017)

OVC Director Joye E. Frost Retires

Photo of Joye E. Frost, Director of the Office for Victims of Crime.
After almost 20 years with OVC, Director Joye Frost retired on December 31, 2016. Ms. Frost started working at OVC as a program specialist and subsequently served as OVC Acting Director and Principal Deputy Director before being appointed as the OVC Director by President Obama on June 14, 2013.

Among her many accomplishments during her tenure at OVC, Ms. Frost launched the Vision 21: Transforming Victim Services initiative to expand the reach and impact of the victim assistance field. She forged closer ties with State Victims of Crime Act administrators and championed the integration of innovation with research in OVC's efforts to build capacity in the field. She also expanded OVC's work to assist underserved victims, including boys and young men of color, LGBTQ individuals, and American Indian/Alaska Native communities and oversaw the complex process of drafting the VOCA Assistance Rule, which the Department released this past summer.

Ms. Frost began her career as a Child Protective Services caseworker in South Texas and worked in the victim assistance, healthcare, and disability advocacy fields for more than 35 years in the United States and Europe.

On behalf of the field, OVC staff want to extend our thanks to Ms. Frost for her steadfast leadership and lifelong service to crime victims and wish her a happy retirement.


(Posted January 4, 2017)

Funding Opportunity: Specialized Services for Victims of Human Trafficking

Awards of up to $600,000 will be made to enhance the quality and quantity of specialized services available to assist all victims of human trafficking (PDF 306 kb), including services for underserved or unserved populations such as men and boys, American Indians and Alaska Natives, African Americans, Asian Americans, Latinos, Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders, and individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or questioning.

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 March 9, 2017.


(Posted January 11, 2017)

Funding Opportunity: Enhanced Collaborative Model to Combat Human Trafficking

The Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) and the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) will award between $600,000 and $900,000 to law enforcement agencies and victim service providers to work collaboratively to enhance multidisciplinary human trafficking task forces (PDF, 364 kb) that combat sex and labor trafficking of foreign nationals and U.S. citizens of all sexes and ages.

Eligible applicants are law enforcement agencies and victim service providers who submit separate but coordinated proposals that outline how the funding will be used to implement the human trafficking task force specified within the application.

Potential applicants are encouraged to register for a pre-application webinar at 2:00 p.m. eastern time on January 17, 2017. The webinar will assist potential applicants in developing strong proposals and provide guidance on the application process.

Apply by February 27, 2017.


(Posted January 4, 2017)

 

November 2017

National Identity Theft Victims Assistance Network

The Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC), a nationally recognized non-profit organization established to support victims of identity theft, recently announced six awards to lead identity theft coalitions. Each grantee will use this funding support to help expand and improve services to identity theft and cybercrime victims in their respective state or region.

These awards were made under the National Identity Theft Victims Assistance Network Expansion (NITVAN II) project, which receives its funding from OVC.

This year's grantees are:

National Identity Theft Victims Assistance Network Expansion
  • Attorney General, Massachusetts
  • Minnesota Alliance on Crime
  • Iowa Organization for Victim Assistance
  • Elder Law of Michigan, Inc.
  • The National Cybersecurity Society
  • Cybercrime Support Network

In addition, a partnership was established between the ITRC and the National Center for Victims of Crime to aid ITRC in supporting the coalition-building efforts.

Learn more about this project on the Identity Theft Resource Center website.

(Posted November 13, 2017)


September 2017

Funding Opportunity: Integrity, Action, and Justice: Strengthening Law Enforcement Response to Domestic and Sexual Violence

The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), with funding support from OVC, is seeking applications from law enforcement agencies to be part of a demonstration initiative, Integrity, Action, and Justice: Strengthening Law Enforcement Response to Domestic and Sexual Violence. Through this funding opportunity, IACP seeks to improve community trust through response to, and investigation of, domestic/intimate partner violence, sexual assault, and stalking.

Successful applicants will work closely with project staff and community partners to assess current practices and build agency-wide capacity to implement trauma-informed, victim-focused policies and procedures.

IACP expects to make up to four total awards not exceeding $225,000 per year for up to 3 years.

On September 25, 2017, at 2:00 p.m. e.t., join IACP for a webinar that will provide details and guidance for potential applicants.

Part I application submissions are due October 9, 2017.

Learn more and apply on the IACP website.

(Posted September 15, 2017)


July 2017

Learn More About OVC's Vicarious Trauma Toolkit

OVC released the Vicarious Trauma Toolkit in April 2017 to address the negative effects of exposure to the traumatic experiences of other people.

The toolkit was created through an OVC grant to Northeastern University, and in an article from News @ Northeastern, Associate Professor Beth Molnar discusses the comprehensive efforts that were involved in developing this important resource.

The process of creating the toolkit included a national survey, calls for materials from the field, a systematic review of research literature and websites, expert summits, the development of 16 new tools, a pilot study of the website that included focus groups, and interviews in seven locations around the country.

In the article, Molnar says that “talking about the impact of trauma has been considered taboo—until now. We're changing that social norm so there's a positive, promotive, preventative set of responsibilities organizations can take on to make this kind of work healthy for people dealing with what we now call an occupational challenge, rather than a hazard or a negative part of the work."

(Posted July 31, 2017)


Roadmap to Assist Trafficking Survivors with Post-Conviction Legal Support

The U.S. Department of State notes that “authorities often fail to properly screen and identify victims of human trafficking when they detain or arrest criminal suspects. This can result in a second victimization when victims are punished for their engagement in the crimes their traffickers forced them to commit."

To address this issue, the American Bar Association, with funding support from OVC, published, Post-Conviction Advocacy for Survivors of Human Trafficking: A Guide for Attorneys (PDF 844 kb).

This guide serves as a roadmap for practitioners who represent trafficking survivors in post-conviction efforts to clear, vacate, expunge, or seal criminal records. It contains important filing considerations for motion practice, best practices for employing a trauma-informed approach to client interviewing and representation, and other best practices for advocates.

(Posted July 5, 2017)


March 2017

National Identity Theft Victims Assistance Network Funds Awarded to Support Victims

The Identity Theft Resource Center, a nationally recognized non-profit organization established to support victims of identity theft, will make 10 awards under the National Identity Theft Victims Assistance Network (NITVAN II) solicitation.

NITVAN II, with funding support from OVC, seeks to enhance and expand the capabilities of service providers helping victims of identity theft and cybercrime to expand and improve their outreach through coalition building efforts nationwide.

Ten successful applicants will be selected to establish and lead a coalition in their designated service area. These coalitions will be awarded up to $50,000 each for allowable activities.

Each coalition will develop a sustainable support system of victim service providers, fostering member collaboration and increasing the availability of services to address the needs and rights of victims of identity theft and cybercrime.

Applicants are limited to public or private victim serving entities. This includes nonprofit organizations (including American Indian Nation nonprofit organizations), faith-based and community organizations, federally recognized American Indian Nation governments (as determined by the Secretary of the Interior), as well as local and state government entities.

Apply by June 9, 2017.

(Posted March 3, 2017, Updated May 3, 2017)


 

 

December 2017

42 Percent of Violent Victimizations Reported to Police in 2016

The Bureau of Justice Statistics released estimates of crime from the Image of 2016 National Crime Victimization Survey2016 National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS).

In 2016, U.S. residents age 12 or older experienced 5.7 million violent victimizations, including rape or sexual assault, robbery, and aggravated and simple assault. This was a rate of 21.1 violent victimizations per 1,000 persons. An estimated 1.3 percent of U.S. residents experienced one or more violent victimizations in 2016.

The NCVS collects data from residents on crimes both reported and not reported to the police. Fewer than half (42 percent) of the violent victimizations committed in 2016 were reported to police. Aggravated assault (58 percent) and robbery (54 percent) were more likely to be reported to police than simple assault (38 percent) and rape or sexual assault (23 percent). Sixty percent of the 480,940 nonfatal firearm victimizations were reported to police in 2016.

Additionally, in 2016, BJS introduced new areas to the NCVS sample to reflect population changes based on the 2010 Decennial Census and to produce state- and local-level victimization estimates, which will be released in early 2018.


October 2017

Recorded Webinars Available to Help Health Providers Serve Victims

SOAR logoThe U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has released recorded training webinars for health providers who may come into contact with human trafficking victims. The recorded webinars are part of the HHS SOAR to Health and Wellness training that educates professionals on how to identify, treat, and respond appropriately to potential victims of human trafficking.


September 2017

New Resource Helps Child Welfare Caseworkers Identify and Prevent Human Trafficking

The Children's Bureau, a federal agency under the Department of Health and Human Services, recently released the bulletin, Image of PDF guideHuman Trafficking and Child Welfare: A Guide for Caseworkers.

Children involved with child welfare are at risk for being targeted by traffickers. Therefore, child welfare caseworkers can be an invaluable resource in helping communities respond to the human trafficking of children.

This bulletin explores how child welfare professionals can identify and support children who have been victimized and prevent the most vulnerable youth from becoming future victims. It provides background information for caseworkers, specific strategies they can use in identifying and supporting victims, and tools and resources that will help them in this work.


Webinar Series To Discuss Commercial Sex Trafficking Research

The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, in collaboration with the National Criminal Justice Training Center of Fox Valley Technical College, will present the three-part webinar series "Commercial Sex Trafficking—Using Research Findings To Support Investigations" on September 13, 19, and 26, 2017, from 2:00 to 3:30 p.m. e.t.

This series will explore research related to commercial sex trafficking of minors and how to improve system responses to victims. The presenter will share findings regarding traffickers and buyers, as well as issues specific to American Indian youth. The first webinar will examine research about perpetrators, including common characteristics and grooming methods. The second and third webinars will explore findings related to factors that put youth at risk for sex trafficking.

Learn more about each free webinar and register:


August 2017

New Tools for Financial Caregivers

Millions of Americans are managing money or property for a loved one who is unable to pay bills or make financial decisions. These financial caregivers may be agents under a power of attorney, guardians of property, or other fiduciaries.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Office for Older Americans website provides easy-to-understand guides on managing someone else's money. The website also offers state-specific guides which provide detailed information on serving older adults and adults with disabilities and protecting these vulnerable populations from fraud and other types of financial abuse.

To help financial caregivers in Georgia, CFPB recently launched a guide with information and resources specific to the State.

Register online for a free webinar on August 22, 2017 to learn more.


New Report Offers Best Practices for Sexual Assault Kits

National Best Practices for Sexual Assault Kits: A Multidisciplinary ApproachThe National Institute of Justice recently released the report, National Best Practices for Sexual Assault Kits: A Multidisciplinary Approach.

These best practices were developed by more than 50 national experts. They include 35 recommendations that help provide a roadmap for agencies to develop or advance their policies and protocols for untested sexual assault kits.

The recommendations are rooted in a victim-centric, multidisciplinary approach that encourages victim engagement and increases the potential for legal resolutions.

These best practices provide a roadmap for collecting, transferring, preserving, storing, and analyzing sexual assault kits in order to help improve practices and protocols related to evidence inventory, tracking and audits, and communication systems.


July 2017

Majority of Hate Crime Victimizations Go Unreported to Police

U.S. residents experienced an average of 250,000 hate crime victimizations each year from 2004 to 2015 and the majority of these were not reported to police.

During 2011-15, about a third of hate crime victims believed they were targeted because of their ethnicity (35 percent) or gender (29 percent). More than a fifth of victims believed the hate crime was motivated by bias against persons or groups with which they were associated (23 percent) or their sexual orientation (22 percent). Seventeen percent of victims perceived the hate crime was motivated by religious bias and 16 percent thought the bias against them was because of a disability.

Findings are from the Bureau of Justice Statistics' (BJS) National Crime Victimization Survey, which collects data on nonfatal crimes both reported and not reported to police. Read more in the BJS report, Hate Crime Victimization, 2004-2015.

You may also learn more about efforts underway at the U.S. Department of Justice to combat hate crime in a recent Speech at the 2017 Hate Crimes Summit by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions.


May 2017

New Toolkit to Support Law Enforcement Responses to Children Exposed to Violence

Released in conjunction with National Police Week, the Enhancing Police Responses to Children Exposed to Violence toolkit is designed to equip law enforcement professionals with trauma-informed, developmentally-appropriate tools to:

  • Identify and minimize threats to child safety;
  • Foster closer engagement between law enforcement and youth; and
  • Maximize both officer safety and positive outcomes for children and families.

Developed with support from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention by the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the Yale Child Study Center, the toolkit contains protocols, checklists, and other field-tested and research-informed resources.

View this toolkit online and visit our featured resources page to find additional information designed to help your agency improve its services to victims of crime.


Advanced Certificate for Collaborative Response to Family Violence

SJSUSan José State University is launching a new certificate program that will educate professionals across disciplines to more effectively address the complex dynamics and effects of family violence through interdisciplinary collaboration.

The Advanced Certificate for Collaborative Response to Family Violence program is intended to help students develop the capacity to work and lead effectively across disciplines. The certificate program culminates with a seminar series that includes field, dialogue, and project seminars. Students will engage with others to develop a capstone project that demonstrates an improved approach to family violence through interdisciplinary collaboration.

Previously, OVC supported San José State in creating the Institute for Collaborative Response for Victims of Family Violence (ICR). Since its founding in 2009, ICR has provided a new model of education and training to inspire students to work collaboratively among related disciplines to provide a more effective response for victims of family violence. Students who participate in ICR courses receive specialized training in areas of victimization, awareness of victims' rights, and models for collaborative practice and service delivery.


May 2017

Preparing for World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, June 15

Research has shown that 1 out of every 10 older adults are victims of elder abuse and these crimes often go underreported. Only 1 out of every 23 cases of elder abuse are reported to the appropriate protective services.

June 15 is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, an annual call to action for individuals, organizations, and communities to raise awareness about elder abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation.

In commemoration of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, OVC Training and Technical Assistance Center (OVC TTAC) resources highlight strategies to support victims of elder abuse and reduce the instances of these crimes moving forward. These resources include:

Additionally, the Department of Justice, with OVC support, recently launched an elder abuse case review toolkit. This resource facilitates the development and growth of multidisciplinary teams to address elder abuse cases. It also provides information about team structures and functions, along with common issues that arise with developing a case review team.

For more information on the resources available regarding elder abuse, visit the Elder Abuse/Mistreatment section of our site and the Elder Abuse Special Feature at the National Criminal Justice Reference Service.


April 2017

Trauma Training Available for Criminal Justice Professionals

Trauma-informed criminal justice responses can help to avoid re-traumatizing individuals. These responses recognize the presence of trauma symptoms and acknowledges the role that trauma can play in people's lives. This increases safety for everyone involved, decreases the chance of an individual returning to criminal behavior, and supports the recovery of justice-involved men and women with serious mental illness.

The GAINS Center, a program of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), offers training that helps educate criminal justice professionals about the impact of trauma and how to develop trauma-informed responses.

The interactive, one-day training is specifically tailored to community-based criminal justice professionals, including law enforcement, community corrections, and court personnel.

To locate a trauma-informed trainer in your area, use the SAMHSA's GAINS Center Trauma-Informed Response Trainer database or contact the GAINS Center directly about holding a training.


January 2017

The Crime Victims Fund: A Primer for Youth Justice Advocates

The National Juvenile Justice Network (NJJN) has compiled a collection of resources related to the Crime Victims Fund, specifically in regards to how the fund can support children.

The recently released NJJN fact sheet (PDF 726 kb) is geared toward youth justice advocates who need a basic primer on how the federal Victims of Crime Fund operates. It includes strategies to move some of these increased resources to the communities that have historically lacked these services, but have had the greatest need for them.

The Crime Victims Fund was established by the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) of 1984. It's financed by annual deposits of fines and penalties paid by those convicted of federal offenses. Through the Fund, VOCA provides states with several streams of support for victims of crime, including crime victims' compensation and victims' services.

NJJN leads a movement of state-based juvenile justice reform organizations to fight for a fairer youth justice system that's appropriate for youth and their families.


Money Management for Financial Caregivers

Millions of Americans are managing money or property for a loved one who is unable to pay bills or make financial decisions. These financial caregivers may be agents under a power of attorney, guardians of property, or other fiduciaries.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Office for Older Americans website provides easy-to-understand guides on managing someone else's money. View these state-specific guides which provide detailed information on serving older adults and adults with disabilities and protecting these vulnerable populations from fraud and other types of financial abuse.

To help financial caregivers in Illinois, CFPB is launching a guide with information and resources specific to Illinois in January 2017.

Register online for a free webinar on January 12, 2017, to learn more about this guide and how you can help people acting as financial fiduciaries for older adults and adults with disabilities.