News & Features
Previously Featured Resources
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June 2018: Submit Your Nominations for the 2019 National Crime Victims' Service Awards
May 2018: Apply for Funding Opportunities
April 2018: Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month
March 2018: Are You Ready for 2018 National Crime Victims’ Rights Week (NCVRW)?
February 2018: 2018 National Crime Victims' Rights Week Resource Guide Artwork Now Available
January 2018: January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month
Submit Your Nominations for the 2019 National Crime Victims' Service Awards
The prestigious National Crime Victims' Service Awards recognize extraordinary individuals, organizations, teams, and programs that demonstrate outstanding achievements in supporting victims and victim services
Do you know an individual, team, program, or organization that you would like to see recognized? If so, submit your nominations for the 2019 National Crime Victims' Service Awards by August 1, 2018.
The recipients will be honored at the annual National Crime Victims' Service Awards Ceremony in Washington, D.C.
Sign up for the National Crime Victims' Rights Week (NCVRW) Mailing List for updates about the 2019 NCVRW observation, April 7–13, and the Awards Ceremony as they become available.
World Elder Abuse Awareness Day
World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, recognized annually on June 15, is a call-to-action for individuals, organizations, and communities to raise awareness about elder abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation.
The OVC 2018 Crimes Against Older Adults Statistical Fact Sheet provides a snapshot of current crime trends against older adults in the United States. Use this fact sheet to promote awareness about crimes against older adults, as graphics for your social media, and to inform other education efforts throughout the year.
In commemoration of World Elder Abuse Day, OVC highlights the elder abuse case review toolkit. This U.S. Department of Justice Elder Justice Initiative resource, created with support from OVC, offers help to develop and grow multidisciplinary teams to address elder abuse cases. The toolkit also provides information about team structures and functions, along with common issues that arise with developing a case review team.
The Elder Justice Initiative provides additional resources to combat elder abuse and financial exploitation and encourages victims to report abuse.
Through the OVC Training and Technical Assistance Center, we have created a series of webinars in partnership with the Elder Justice Initiative. Watch the Elder Justice Initiative recorded webinars which provide critical information for prosecutors, victim specialists, law enforcement, and others working on elder abuse cases.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) will convene a public forum in Topeka, Kansas on June 8, 2018, at 9:00 a.m. c.t. to discuss ways to prevent elder financial exploitation. Learn more and register for the Fighting Elder Financial Exploitation in Your Community event on the CFPB website.
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.
Improve Your Organization’s Response to Vicarious Trauma
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 Vicarious Trauma Toolkit is a 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.
View a recorded OVC webinar on evidence-based strategies for your organization to address vicarious trauma. This webinar will introduce you to The Vicarious Trauma Toolkit and how to use this resource to help your organization become trauma-informed.
Apply for Funding Opportunities
OVC has started releasing discretionary grant funding opportunities available to enhance the professional expertise of victim service providers and allied professionals.
OVC is seeking qualified applicants to identify and implement promising practices, models, and initiatives; address gaps and needs in training and technical assistance; and fund demonstration programs that may provide direct services. View our Current Funding Opportunities page to learn more and apply.
Are you interested in receiving email notices when OVC releases new funding opportunities? Subscribe to receive News From OVC for updates on new funding opportunities and other OVC announcements.
Honor the Fallen During National Police Week
Each year the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, Fraternal Order of Police/Fraternal Order of Police Auxiliary, and Concerns of Police Survivors lead the Nation in commemorating National Police Week, which will be observed this year from May 13–19, 2018.
Among the 2018 National Police Week events scheduled for this year, law enforcement personnel and citizens from across the country will gather for the Annual Candlelight Vigil on May 13, 2018 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.
To assist law enforcement and the communities they serve, OVC is funding the following resources—
OVC Partnerships With Law Enforcement
Law enforcement personnel are often the first contact that victims of crime have. It is therefore critical that law enforcement understand the needs of crime victims, have the skills to provide a trauma-informed response, and have resources to help address work-related exposure to trauma.
This 6-minute video discusses OVC-sponsored programs and resources to enhance the delivery of services to victims of crime by law enforcement agencies.
The Vicarious Trauma Toolkit (VTT)
VTT was developed on the premise that exposure to the traumatic experiences of other people—known as vicarious trauma—is an inevitable occupational challenge for law enforcement and other allied professionals. However, organizations can mitigate the potentially negative effects of trauma exposure by becoming vicarious trauma-informed.
This OVC toolkit offers guidance to help law enforcement agencies strengthen their ability to address work-related exposure to trauma.
National Missing Children’s Day
National Missing Children’s Day—commemorated May 25, 2018—encourages parents, guardians, caregivers, and others concerned with the well-being of children to make child safety a priority.
The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) offers the following publications to assist families of missing children and survivors—
Additional resources can be found on the Missing Children section of the OJJDP site and the Missing Children section of our site.
Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month
According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics report, Criminal Victimization, 2016, only 23% of sexual assaults are reported to police and only 12% of victims of serious violent crimes seek victim services.
During National Sexual Assault Awareness Month, held annually every April, OVC reaffirms its commitment to reaching unserved victims of sexual assault and improving services for victims.
Help raise awareness about sexual violence by visiting the National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s National Sexual Assault Awareness Month website. Download and share campaign content which is available in English and Spanish.
During this month, OVC also highlights the following initiatives which seek to improve services to victims and reach unserved victims.
National Sexual Assault Online Hotline
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.
The National Telenursing Center
An OVC-funded demonstration project, the National TeleNursing Center that is the first national 24/7 sexual assault telemedicine resource for clinicians. Through this program, six pilot sites in Arizona, California, and Massachusetts can consult with trained sexual assault nurse examiners (SANEs) to ensure quality support and care to patients.
Seek Then Speak
With funding from OVC, End Violence Against Women International is expanding and enhancing the "Seek Then Speak" mobile app that provides help to survivors of sexual assault in 30 different languages.
It allows users to remain anonymous while they gather information, make decisions, and take the action that is right for them. The app also provides resources to friends and loved ones who wish to help a survivor. Seek Then Speak is a multichannel platform that is also accessible via web, phone, and text.
Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI)
OVC’s U.S. Department of Justice partners at the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) sponsor the SAKI grant program to address the number of kits in law enforcement custody that have not been sent for testing.
In addition to providing funding opportunities, BJA also sponsors the SAKI National Training and Technical Assistance Program to assist jurisdictions with sustainable practices to collect and process forensic evidence, investigate and prosecute cases, and provide services to sexual assault survivors.
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 this month, 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–
Vision 21: Linking Systems of Care for Children and Youth
OVC’s Vision 21 Transforming Victim Services Final Report found that the systems charged with caring for young victims and their families provided fragmented and ineffective responses. Through this initiative, OVC is supporting demonstration projects in four states to learn what is needed to bring healthcare, child welfare, justice, and other systems together at a statewide level to coordinate and align efforts to ensure a timely and seamless response.
OVC HELP Brochure Series: Child Abuse
The OVC HELP Brochure Series provides a resource for victims of crime and the victim service providers that work with them every day. OVC has produced two brochures on child abuse, one for children and one for adults concerned about the welfare of a child.
The HALOS Strategy: Community Collaborations for Children
Helping and Lending Outreach Support (HALOS) is an innovative program that 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
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 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. It 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.
Fact Sheets Highlight Current Crime and Victimization Trends
OVC’s Crime and Victimization Fact Sheets are a resource for victim service providers and allied professionals to promote awareness about different types of crime throughout the year.
The Fact Sheets are a component of the 2018 National Crime Victims' Rights Week (NCVRW) Resource Guide and cover topics such as human trafficking, homicide, domestic violence, sexual violence, and many more!
Use statistics and compelling graphics from these Fact Sheets in email and social media marketing, presentations, and on your website to help raise awareness about crime victimization and to demonstrate why crime victims' rights matter.
View the Communicating Your Message section of the 2018 NCVRW Resource Guide for additional resources and ways to–
- enhance your organization's public awareness campaigns,
- increase your visibility in the community, and
- promote valuable resources for victims of crime.
Are You Ready for 2018 National Crime Victims’ Rights Week (NCVRW)?
Please join OVC to help communities and victim assistance providers promote crime victim issues and services by promoting NCVRW. Make sure your organization is ready by viewing the 2018 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.
Access the NCVRW Resource Guide today.
Stay informed. To ensure that you receive periodic email updates about this and future NCVRW commemorations, sign up for the NCVRW mailing list.
Register to Attend the National Crime Victims’ Service Awards Ceremony
Every year OVC honors the individuals, teams, programs and organizations that demonstrate outstanding service in supporting crime victims and victim services.
Join OVC at the 2018 National Crime Victims' Service Awards Ceremony in recognizing these individuals and organizations.
When: 2:00–3:30 p.m. (Eastern Time) on April 13, 2018
Where: National Archives—William G. McGowan Theater
700 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW.
Washington, DC 20408
Attendee Entrance: Constitution Avenue, between 7th and 9th Street, NW.
Learn more about the ceremony and register to attend.
Search for and Publicize Your Organization’s NCVRW Events
OVC’s National Calendar of Crime Victim Assistance-Related Events allows users to plan, promote, and locate events of interest to the victim services community in their area.
We encourage you to visit the Calendar to find NCVRW events from across the nation hosted by local service providers and allied professionals.
Are you looking for ways to promote your organization’s NCVRW event? Publicize your event by adding it to the National Calendar of Crime Victim Assistance-Related Events. Your submission will be reviewed and, if approved, posted on the web for public view.
2018 National Crime Victims’ Rights Week Resource Guide Artwork Now Available
We are pleased to present the 2018 NCVRW Resource Guide theme artwork, theme poster, awareness posters, and web artwork. This artwork is designed to help your organization promote NCVRW and this year’s NCVRW theme—Expand the Circle: Reach All Victims. Use these materials to join the nationwide effort to raise awareness about victims’ rights and services.
Available in both English and Spanish, view and download the 2018 NCVRW artwork today.
Join the NCVRW mailing list to be notified when the complete Resource Guide is available.
February Is Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month
Approximately 7 in 10 youths nationwide who were in a relationship within the past 12 months experienced some type of victimization by their dating partner, according to a National Institute of Justice funded study seeking to identify the nature and scope of teen dating violence. This same survey found that 84% of victims also perpetrated abuse.
To raise awareness, OVC highlights the following websites, which provide comprehensive information about preventing dating violence and assisting its victims:
Coming Soon: OVC Funding Opportunities
OVC will be releasing discretionary grant funding opportunities later this year to enhance the professional expertise of victim service providers and allied professionals. These grant programs seek to identify and implement promising practices, models, and initiatives; address gaps and needs in training and technical assistance; and fund demonstration programs that may provide direct services.
Are you interested in receiving email notices when OVC releases new funding opportunities? Subscribe to receive News From OVC for updates on new funding opportunities and other OVC announcements.
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 effective task force operations.
Human Trafficking Weblet
This online tool contains a wealth of resources and information for a variety of audiences including victims/survivors, victim service providers, law enforcement, and allied professionals.
National Stalking Awareness Month
January is also National Stalking Awareness Month, which seeks to educate the public about the serious crime of stalking. Visit the following online resources to find tools to help you build awareness and serve victims of crime—
Funding Opportunity: FY 2018 Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation
The U.S. Department of Justice is seeking applicants for its Fiscal Year 2018 Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation (CTAS). CTAS provides comprehensive funding to American Indian and Alaska Native tribal governments and tribal consortia to support public safety, victim services, and crime prevention.
CTAS applicants have the flexibility to submit a single application and select from any or all of the nine purpose areas, including two administered by OVC:
- Comprehensive Tribal Victim Assistance Program (CTVA): CTVA supports tribal program response to victims of crime, their families, and communities and provides funding to support trauma-informed, culturally competent holistic victim services.
- Children’s Justice Act Partnerships for Indian Communities Program (CJA): CJA supports the investigation and prosecution of child abuse, especially child sexual abuse and comprehensive and coordinated multidisciplinary responses to child abuse victims and their families in ways that are trauma-informed and culturally competent.
To learn more about this funding opportunity, visit the CTAS solicitation website. This site provides FAQs, templates, and other materials that will help guide you through the application process.
Additionally, view the OVC 2018 CTAS FAQs which help guide you through the application process and create a stronger application.
Apply by 9:00 p.m. e.t. on March 20, 2018.
Raising Awareness About Tax Refund Theft
Tax identity theft happens when someone uses your Social Security number to claim your tax refund.
Visit the Federal Trade Commission website for Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week (January 29-February 2, 2018)—
- promotional materials,
- a schedule of free webinars and other events,
- and to learn more about protecting your identity.
You may also 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.
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Featured in 2017: January - June | July - December