News & Features
Previously Featured Resources: January–June, 2017
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June 2017: Submit Nominations for 2018 National Crime Victims' Service Award
May 2017: Accepting Nominations for the National Crime Victims' Service Awards
April 2017: Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month
March 2017: 2017 National Crime Victims' Rights Week (NCVRW)
February 2017: February Is Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month
January 2017: January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month
Submit Nominations for 2018 National Crime Victims' Service Awards
Do you know an extraordinary individual, organization, team, or program that is demonstrating outstanding achievements in supporting victims and victim services? Nominate them for the 2018 National Crime Victims' Service Awards by July 31, 2017.
Recipients of this prestigious award are honored at the National Crime Victims' Service Awards Ceremony, held annually in Washington, D.C.
View past recipients and, if you know a deserving individual, group, team, or program, submit a nomination by July 31, 2017.
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.
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 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 website and making use of the following OVC Training and Technical Assistance Center (OVC TTAC) resources:
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.
Additional resources are available on the Elder Abuse/Mistreatment section of our site and the Elder Abuse Special Feature section of the National Criminal Justice Reference Service site.
Be Counted! Participate in the National Census of Victim Service Providers
The National 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.
Commemorate Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Month
Every 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.
Accepting Nominations for the 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.
Nominate a deserving individual, organization, team, or program for the 2018 awards through the Online Nomination Form today! Nominations are due July 31, 2017.
During the 2017 National Crime Victims' Service Awards Ceremony, 12 individuals and organizations for outstanding service to crime victims. Details about this April event and the award recipients can be found in these online resources:
If you missed the ceremony, view the recording online.
The Vicarious Trauma Toolkit
It 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 is 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.
This toolkit can be used to:
- conduct an assessment of your agency's current capacity as a vicarious trauma-informed organization;
- review your existing capacity, identify gaps, and prioritize needs;
- locate resources and tools to help meet your identified needs; and
- develop a comprehensive plan to address exposure to single incidents of crime or violence and acts of mass violence and terrorism.
National Police Week: May 14–20, 2017
Each year the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund leads the Nation in commemorating National Police Week, which will be observed this year from May 14–20, 2017.
Join law enforcement and citizens from across the country 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 provides death and education benefits to survivors of fallen law enforcement officers, firefighters, and other first responders, and disability benefits to officers catastrophically injured in the line of duty through the Public Safety Officers' Benefits Program. Visit the Public Safety Officers' Benefits site to learn more about this program.
In 2016, OVC awarded $7 million to help communities respond to high profile violence through a Vision 21 grant. This 3-year project by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), in collaboration with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the Yale School of Medicine, is designed to:
- Assist law enforcement in developing evidence-based and trauma-informed response strategies in the wake of law enforcement-involved shootings and other high-profile incidents of violence; and
- Develop and disseminate comprehensive, expert technical assistance resources for law enforcement on trauma-informed culture and practice.
To accomplish these objectives, project partners have initiated strategic planning for the selection of multiple demonstration sites as well as a national multi-disciplinary rapid response team.
Additionally, in 2003, OVC partnered with IACP to create Enhancing Law Enforcement Response to Victims (ELERV), a strategy to improve law enforcement agencies' response to victims of crime, with a focus on reaching and serving underserved and unserved victims. A variety of tools were developed, including a Model Policy, Concepts and Issues Paper, and Training Key on Law Enforcement Response to Victims of Crime. Since its 2009 release, the ELERV strategy has been field tested in 11 pilot sites of varying sizes.
In 2014, OVC again partnered with IACP to launch a demonstration initiative to implement and evaluate ELERV in three medium-sized police departments (Chattanooga, TN; Saginaw, MI; and Casper, WY). IACP is providing subject matter expertise throughout the strategy implementation process and assisting each department with identifying a local evaluation partner to help update the ELERV strategy and its accompanying resources. IACP will also develop a detailed plan to provide technical assistance on ELERV to interested law enforcement agencies across the country.
Visit our Law Enforcement page to view available publications, frequently asked questions, and other resources to assist law enforcement in responding to victims of crime.
National Missing Children's Day: May 25, 2017
Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month
April is National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month. Help raise awareness about sexual violence by visiting the National Sexual Violence Resource Center's National Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) website. Download and share campaign content which is available in English and Spanish.
OVC is committed to improving services for sexual assault victims. With support from two OVC Vision 21 cooperative agreements, the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) provides free, confidential support services for English and Spanish-speaking survivors of sexual assault through its National Sexual Assault Online Hotline (La Línea de Ayuda Nacional Online del Asalto Sexual).
In addition to services in English, Spanish-language survivors and their loved ones can receive support from trained support specialists through the Online Hotline or by calling RAINN at 800–656–HOPE (4673). RAINN also offers an online services help room (La Sala de Ayuda) support service which offers peer support for Spanish-speaking survivors of sexual assault.
Service providers are encouraged to visit our Sexual Abuse or Violence page which offers publications, frequently asked questions, and related resources.
National Child Abuse Prevention Month
April is also National Child Abuse Prevention Month. 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 resources that support efforts to protect and assist children and youth include:
The HALOS Strategy: Community Collaborations for Children
An innovative program based in Charleston, S.C., 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 act to protect children from crime and abuse and help them heal from trauma.
A Circle of Healing for Native Children Endangered by Drugs
This seven-video series and companion resource guide weaves Native stories and cultural practices from across the Nation to show many of the ways children, families, and communities are healing from drug endangerment. This resource highlights a range of culturally relevant approaches to inspire communities to develop, enhance, and share their own responses to these issues.
For additional resources, view the Child Abuse and Sexual Abuse section of our site and the National Criminal Justice Reference Service's Child Abuse Special Feature.
2017 National Crime Victims' Rights Week (NCVRW)
Make sure your organization is ready for NCVRW, by viewing the 2017 NCVRW Resource Guide. The guide is an extensive online resource, providing all of the materials necessary to promote NCVRW within your community.
The Guide provides a variety of campaign materials in both English and Spanish, including planning tips, a theme poster and video, artwork, and more. These materials can also be downloaded for use offline.
Please join OVC to help communities and victim assistance providers promote crime victim issues and services. Access the NCVRW Resource Guide today.
Additionally, the National Crime Victims' Service Awards Ceremony will be held on April 7, 2017, in Washington, DC. Learn more about this event and register to attend. Register by March 24, 2017.
To receive other details about the ceremony when they become available, sign up for the NCVRW Mailing List.
Fact Sheets Highlight Current Crime and Victimization Trends
OVC's Crime and Victimization Fact Sheets, available in both English and Spanish, are a resource for victim service providers and allied professionals to raise awareness of victims' issues throughout the year.
Use statistics and compelling graphics from these Fact Sheets in email and social media marketing, presentations, and on your website to help raise awareness and help demonstrate why crime victims' rights matter.
View the Communicating Your Message section of the 2017 National Crime Victims' Right Week (NCVRW) Resource Guide for additional resources and ways to enhance your organization's public awareness campaigns.
Training and Technical Assistance
OVC works to ensure that every victim has access to a well-trained and knowledgeable service provider. The OVC Training and Technical Assistance Center (OVC TTAC) offers training opportunities for providers and advocates at all levels of victim services. Learn more about opportunities to build your organization's skills and capacity through:
National Victim Assistance Academy
Self-paced online training and Web-based facilitated training.
Trainers and materials come directly to you at no cost.
Customized Technical Assistance
Specialized training and technical assistance to meet your organization's needs.
Downloadable training materials for presenters who are providing training in specialized topic areas.
Brief online training sessions or conferences for victim service providers and allied professionals.
February Is Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month
Approximately 1 in 10 teenagers nationwide who were in a relationship within the past 12 months were hit, slammed into something, or injured with an object by their dating partner, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report. This same survey found that 10.6% of students had been forced to do sexual things (counting being kissed, touched, or physically forced to have sexual intercourse) they did not want to do.
Break the Cycle and Loveisrespect.org will celebrate healthy relationships with events throughout the month, including Respect Week 2017 taking place February 13-17.
OVC highlights the following websites, which provide comprehensive information about preventing dating violence and assisting its victims:
Information on forming Healthy Relationships and working through problems in relationships is also available on the GirlsHealth.gov website.
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 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.
OVC Funding Webinar Series
Visit our Current Funding Opportunities page to learn about multiple OVC grant funding opportunities.
To assist potential applicants in developing strong proposals in response to select funding opportunities, OVC is hosting a series of educational webinars for interested stakeholders to learn more about the program objectives and submission requirements. Register and learn more about these webinars.
Be sure to stay connected with OVC to receive alerts when new funding opportunities become available and new funding webinars are announced.
January is 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 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-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.
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 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. OVC is helping the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) commemorate Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week from January 30–February 3, 2017.
Visit the FTC website 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 Emotional Recovery.
For additional information, visit our Fraud and Identity Theft page and the Taxpayer Guide to Identity Theft section of the Internal Revenue Service website.
2017 National Crime Victims' Rights Week Theme Artwork Now Available
We are pleased to present the 2017 National Crime Victims' Rights Week (NCVRW) Resource Guide theme artwork, theme posters, and web artwork, designed to help communities and victim assistance providers promote awareness of crime victim issues.
View and download the 2017 NCVRW artwork today, available in both English and Spanish.
Join the NCVRW mailing list to be notified when the complete Resource Guide is available
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Featured in 2016: January - June | July - December