News & Features
Previously Featured Resources: January–June, 2015
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June 2015: Commemorate Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Month
May 2015: 2015 National Crime Victims' Service Award Recipients
April 2015: National Crime Victims' Rights Week: April 19–25, 2015
March 2015: 2015 National Crime Victims' Rights Week Fast Approaching!
February 2015: February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month
January 2015: January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month
Commemorate Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Month
Each year, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Month is commemorated in June. OVC encourages victim service providers to rededicate themselves to serving LGBTQ victims, who often do not have consistent access to informed services to help them recover in the aftermath of a crime. As a result, LGBTQ victims suffer disproportionately from violence and its effects.
In recognition of LGBT Pride Month, OVC features the online guide, Responding to Transgender Victims of Sexual Assault, to help educate those working in the field. Supported by the experiences of transgender survivors, and addressing specific challenges that victim service providers, first responders, and health care providers may encounter, this guide provides practical tools to promote understanding and support for transgender victims.
June 15th Is World Elder Abuse Day
World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, recognized annually on June 15th, is a call-to-action for individuals, organizations, and communities to raise awareness about elder abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation. In commemoration of the 10th annual World Elder Abuse Day, learn how you can take a stand in the fight against elder abuse by visiting the National Center on Elder Abuse Web site and making use of the following OVC Resources:
- In Their Own Words: Domestic Abuse in Later Life: This two-part DVD and Resource Guide cover what victim services providers and other professionals need to know about the dynamics of domestic abuse in later life, the barriers these victims have to overcome, and the justifications that abusers use to excuse such abuse.
- Responding to Elder Abuse Video DVD Series: These three DVDs address what community corrections, judges and court personnel, and law enforcement should know about elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation.
More information can be found in our Elder Abuse/Mistreatment section on OVC.gov and in the Elder Abuse Special Feature section of the National Criminal Justice Reference Service site (NCJRS).
2016 National Crime Victims' Service Awards
OVC annually recognizes individuals, teams, programs, and organizations that demonstrate outstanding service in supporting victims and victim services. The award recipients are selected from public nominations in 11 categories and 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 24 years of age who have dedicated their efforts to supporting victims of crime.
Nominate a deserving individual, organization, team, or program through the Online Nomination Form today! Nominations are due July 30, 2015.
For information about past recipients, visit the NCVRW Web site and the Gallery of Award Recipients.
2015 National Crime Victims' Service Award Recipients
Attorney General Eric Holder honored 12 individuals and organizations for outstanding service to crime victims during the April 21st National Crime Victims' Service Awards Ceremony. Karol V. Mason, Assistant Attorney General, Office of Justice Programs, and Joye E. Frost, Director, OVC, also addressed attendees at this annual event that honors extraordinary service to crime victims.
Details about this event, the awardees, and National Crime Victims' Rights Week can be found in these online resources:
If you missed the ceremony, view the recording online.
Do you wish to recognize outstanding achievements in supporting victims and victim services? Sign up for the NCVRW mailing list to receive notification when the 2016 Award nomination period opens.
National Police Week
Each year the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF) leads the Nation in commemorating National Police Week, which will be observed this year from May 10–16, 2015. Join NLEOMF on May 13th for the Annual Candlelight Vigil in Washington, D.C. to honor the sacrifices made by our Nation's law enforcement officers. All are welcome to attend and no tickets are required. If you unable to attend in person, you can view a live webcast of the vigil.
The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) offers assistance to provide death and education benefits to survivors of fallen law enforcement officers, as well as firefighters and other first responders, and disability benefits to officers catastrophically injured in the line of duty through the Public Safety Officers' Benefits (PSOB) Program. Visit the PSOB site to learn more about this program.
OVC recognizes the critical role of law enforcement in responding to victims of crime and encourages you to visit our Law Enforcement page to view available publications, FAQs, and additional resources.
Apply Now for OVC Grant Funding!
Visit our Current Funding Opportunities page to learn about multiple OVC grant funding opportunities and how to apply.
Be sure to stay connected with OVC to receive alerts as new grant opportunities become available.
Commemorate National Missing Children's Day on May 25th
Every year on May 25th, we commemorate National Missing Children's Day in order to strengthen our determination to find the nation's missing children, celebrate heartwarming stories of recovery, and honor those who can only be present in their hearts and memories. The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) has created multiple publications to assist missing children and their families, including –
This May, OVC highlights our Through Our Eyes: Children, Violence, and Trauma video series which addresses the needs of children exposed to crime, abuse, and violence and shows how trauma-informed care can help child victims recover to lead healthy, productive lives. Everyone has a role in protecting children and working to alleviate the harm caused by victimization during childhood.
Additional resources can be found on the Missing Children section of the OJJDP site and the Missing Children section of our site.
National Crime Victims' Rights Week: April 19–25, 2015
National Crime Victims' Rights Week (NCVRW) will be observed April 19–25, 2015. 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.
The 2015 NCVRW Resource Guide provides content, campaign materials, artwork, and a theme video to help you promote awareness of crime victim issues both during NCVRW and throughout the year.
On Tuesday, April 21, 2015, OVC will host the annual National Crime Victims' Service Awards Ceremony in Washington, D.C. During this annual ceremony, OVC will recognize individuals, teams, programs, and organizations that demonstrated outstanding service in supporting victims and victim services. Register to attend by April 17, 2015.
Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month April
President Obama proclaimed that April 2015 is National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month. In his proclamation, the President states that “[w]hen an individual's possibilities are limited by the scars of violence and abuse, our country is deprived of enormous potential. Sexual assault takes a collective toll on all of us, and it is everyone's responsibility not only to speak out, but also to take action against this injustice.” Help raise awareness about sexual violence by visiting the National Sexual Violence Resource Center's 2015 National Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM)Web site. This year's campaign centers on healthy adolescent sexuality and engaging youth. Content is available in English and Spanish.
OVC remains committed to improving services for sexual assault victims. You may be interested to learn more about the following resources from OVC:
- Responding to Transgender Victims of Sexual Assault
This user-friendly guide offers practical tools to promote understanding and support of transgender victims, whether you are a health care provider, law enforcement officer, emergency medical personnel, advocate, therapist, or support group facilitator.
- SART Toolkit
The SART (Sexual Assault Response Team) Toolkit includes a collection of resources for communities that are considering developing a SART or that want to improve their existing coordinated response to victims of sexual assault.
- Existe Ayuda
Existe Ayuda provides replicable Spanish-language tools and resources to help improve the cultural competence of service providers and the accessibility of services for Spanish-speaking victims of sexual violence.
- American Indian/Alaska Native SANE-SART Initiative
This Initiative focuses on enhancing existing SANE-SART efforts to improve federal, state, local, and tribal response to victims of sexual violence in those communities. Also read the Report to the U.S. Attorney General on Improving Federal Agency Response to Sexual Violence in Tribal Nations: Issues and Recommendations.
- Advanced Military Sexual Assault Advocate Training
OVC and the Department of Defense (DoD) collaborated to create a training which incorporates a victim-centered approach in implementing sexual assault policy and builds a framework that improves the quality of response to sexual assault victims and encourages victims to report an incident. Note: This training is only open to authorized DoD personnel. To learn more about this curriculum, contact the OVC Training and Technical Assistance Center at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Strengthening Military-Civilian Community Partnerships to Respond to Sexual Assault
This interactive two-day training helps participants establish partnerships with local military installations in order to effectively respond to the needs of sexual assault victims in the military.
The OVC Web site also features a topical page on Sexual Abuse or Violence, which provides additional materials for service providers.
April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month
President Obama has also proclaimed April as National Child Abuse Prevention Month. The President states that it “is important for all people to recognize the signs of child neglect and physical, sexual, and emotional abuse, including sudden changes in behavior or school performance and untreated physical or medical issues. Reporting any concerns could protect a child and connect a family with the help they need.” During the month of April and throughout the year, communities are encouraged to raise awareness and promote strategies that address the risk factors surrounding child abuse.
OVC recently released resources that support efforts to protect and assist children and youth including:
- The HALOS Strategy: Community Collaborations for Children,
An innovative program based in Charleston, SC, Helping and Lending Outreach Support (HALOS) provides resources and special opportunities to abused and neglected children and their caregivers through partnerships with faith-based and other community organizations. This toolkit offers lessons learned and suggests strategies for establishing programs like HALOS wherever foster families and relatives need additional support for the children in their care.
- Through Our Eyes: Children, Violence, and Trauma
Too many of our Nation's children experience violence and trauma every day—in their homes, schools, and communities. Trauma left unaddressed can have serious consequences for children and youth as they grow up. “Through Our Eyes” encourages everyone to action to protect children from crime and abuse and help them heal from trauma.
For additional resources, view the:
2015 National Crime Victims' Rights Week Fast Approaching
OVC helps lead communities throughout nation in promoting victims' rights during National Crime Victims' Rights Week (NCVRW) which will be observed April 19-25, 2015. Access the full version of the 2015 NCVRW Resource Guide which provides an array of how-to's, sample outreach products, promotional items, and updated statistics.
During NCVRW, OVC will recognize individuals and organizations that demonstrate outstanding service in supporting victims and victim services at the National Crime Victims' Service Awards Ceremony in Washington, DC on April 21, 2015. This year's ceremony will be held at The National Archives' William G. McGowan Theater, 700 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., Washington DC.
This year, OVC announces a new award category, the Vision 21 Crime Victims Research Award. This award recognizes individual researchers or research teams that are making a significant contribution to the Nation's understanding of crime victims' issues. Learn more about this annual event.
For additional information pertaining to NCVRW, visit our NCVRW Web site.
New OVC Online Training Modules Now Available
OVC's Victim Assistance Training Online (VAT Online) is a foundational Web-based victim assistance training program that offers victim service providers and allied professionals the opportunity to acquire the essential skills and knowledge they need to more effectively assist victims of crime. OVC recently launched five new training modules which cover ‐
- Sexual Assault
- LGBTQ Populations
- Victims With Substance Abuse Issues
- Financial Crimes
- Identity Theft
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Keep up to date with the latest OVC publication and product announcements, new program initiatives and other important information. Visit our Connected Page to sign up for OVC social media and email updates.
February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month
According to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report approximately 10.3% of students nationwide who dated or went out with someone, had been hit, slammed into something, or injured with an object or weapon by a dating partner within the last 12 months. To raise awareness of and solutions to teen dating violence, President Obama has proclaimed that February is National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month.
As we observe this month, visit the following Web sites, which provide comprehensive information about preventing dating violence and assisting victims:
Information on forming Healthy Relationships and working through problems in relationships is also available on the GirlsHealth.gov Web site.
2015 National Crime Victims' Rights Week (NCVRW)
Designed to help communities and victim assistance providers promote awareness of crime victim issues, the full version of the 2015 NCVRW Resource Guide is available online. The Guide provides a practical and visually striking array of how-to's, sample outreach products, promotional items, and updated statistics. Press-ready versions of camera-ready artwork from the camera ready artwork from the 2015 NCVRW Resource Guide are also available for use in your public awareness campaigns to help inform, brand, and promote your outreach efforts.
Promote your organization's NCVRW events by adding them to the OVC National Calendar of Crime Victim Assistance-Related Events.
For additional information pertaining to NCVRW, visit our NCVRW Web site.
Celebrating African American History Month
First celebrated as Negro History Week in 1926, this event was expanded to African American History Month in 1976, the nation's bicentennial. Then President Gerald R. Ford urged Americans to "seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history."
As we celebrate the accomplishments of African Americans, OVC recognizes the need to provide culturally relevant services and tools to the African American community. Learn about how OVC is working to reach out to undeserved African American communities through the following innovative programs which have received OVC grant funding:
- National Network of Hospital-based Violence Intervention Programs (NNHVIP) is a collaborative effort among member programs throughout the country dedicated to engaging patients during the window of opportunity when they are recovering in the hospital after a violent injury in order to reduce the chance of retaliation and recurrence.
- The Crown Heights Community Mediation Center operates the Save Our Streets Crown Heights (S.O.S.) project in Brooklyn, NY, which is a community-based effort to end gun violence in the neighborhood. The project creates better access to traditional victim service agencies and develop on-site victim programming for young men of color who are experiencing community violence.
OVC's Vision 21: Transforming Victim Services Final Report highlights the need for more information about the prevalence of crime victimization among boys and young men of color, along with the barriers they face in asserting their rights as victims and gaining access to services. A report from the Vera Institute of Justice titled Young Men of Color and the Other Side of Harm: Addressing Disparities in our Responses to Violence provides further information about this issue in an effort to raise awareness.
As we observe this month, visit the following Web sites, which provide additional information about victim services in the African American community:
January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month
"Today, millions of men, women, and children are victims of human trafficking. This modern-day slavery occurs in countries throughout the world and in communities across our Nation. These victims face a cruelty that has no place in a civilized world..." - President Obama (Presidential Proclamation -- National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, 2015).
As we commemorate this month, OVC encourages you to learn how to identify victims of human trafficking and where they can go for help by reviewing the following OVC resources:
View the following resources for additional information about efforts to combat human trafficking:
National Stalking Awareness Month
January is also National Stalking Awareness Month which seeks to educate the public about the
serious and at times deadly crime of stalking. Throughout January, communities
help build awareness by sharing and information and holding special events. To
learn more, we encourage you to visit-
Raising Awareness About Tax Refund Theft
Tax identity theft happens when someone uses your Social Security number to claim your tax refund.
To raise awareness, OVC is helping the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
commemorate Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week on January 26-30, 2015.
Visit the FTC Web site for promotional materials and to learn more about protecting your identity. Participate
in OVC's free online training,
Identity Theft Victim Assistance Online Training: Supporting Victims' Financial and
For additional information, visit our Fraud and Identity Theft page and the Taxpayer Guide to Identity Theft section of the Internal Revenue Service Web site.
Recapping OVC Online Publications and Videos Released in 2014
Among our many accomplishments during 2014, OVC was proud to release to following online resources to assist providers and community leaders:
Eight Benefits of NIBRS to Victim Service Providers
This e-bulletin describes how victim service providers can use National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) to gain a better understanding of specific types victimization, determine disparities between victims known to law enforcement and those receiving victim services, and identify underserved groups of crime victims.
Human Trafficking Task Force e-Guide
OVC and the Bureau of Justice Assistance released a newly expanded and enhanced Human Trafficking Task Force e- Guide. The e-Guide provides practical information on the creation and day-to-day operations of human trafficking task forces. View new sections and strategies to: strengthen multidisciplinary collaboration, increase victim identification, enhance victim-centered investigation, and build stronger prosecution strategies.
Responding to Transgender Victims of Sexual Assault
Transgender victims of sexual assault, like all crime victims, want and deserve to be respected, heard, believed, served, and supported. This user-friendly guide offers practical tools to promote understanding and support of transgender victims, whether you are a health care provider, law enforcement officer, emergency medical personnel, advocate, therapist, or support group facilitator. Learn how you can be a source of support and care for individuals in this high-risk population.
The HALOS Strategy: Community Collaborations for Children
The Helping and Lending Outreach Support (HALOS) program provide resources and special opportunities to abused and neglected children and their caregivers through partnerships with faith-based and other community organizations. This online toolkit offers lessons learned and suggests strategies for establishing programs like HALOS wherever foster families and relatives need additional support for the children in their care.
Through Our Eyes: Children, Violence, and Trauma
This video series addresses the needs of children exposed to crime, abuse, and violence; highlights major issues in child victimization; identifies promising practices for service providers and others working with young victims; and shows how trauma-informed care can help child victims recover to lead healthy, productive lives. In 2014 OVC added four new videos that address violence in the home, interventions in schools, innovations in juvenile justice, and the role that every person in a child's life can play in helping to protect them. A companion resource guide accompanies each video. The updated series also features a new Poster Gallery of public awareness posters.
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Featured in 2014: January - June | July - December