News & Features
Previously Featured Resources: July–December, 2019
<< Current Featured Resources
December 2019: December is National Impaired Driving Prevention Month
November 2019: Getting Ready for National Crime Victims' Rights Week
October 2019: October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month
September 2019: Recognizing National Preparedness Month
August 2019: Model Standards Seek to Enhance Crime Victim Services
July 2019: Visit the Updated OVC TTAC Website
December is National Impaired Driving Prevention Month
In his proclamation for National Impaired Driving Prevention Month, President Trump states that during this month, we "remember the victims of impaired driving, pray for the grieving families of those whose lives have been taken, and honor the law enforcement professionals who work to keep our roads safe."
To help raise awareness, we highlight the National Sheriffs' Association video, DUI Crashes: Real Crimes, Real Victims. Created with funding support from OVC, this video urges law enforcement to respond to and interact with DUI crash victims in a victim-centered way, with all the referrals, support, and resources due to victims of a violent crime.
The video describes the importance of clearly communicating services that are available to victims of crime. This includes victim compensation available in every state through the Crime Victims Fund.
Additional Information and prevention resources are available:
Supporting Older Adults Victimized by Financial Crime
The holiday season is a time of celebration. However, during this time of the year, scams targeting older adults may be more prevalent. OVC features the following resources to help support older adults who are victims of financial exploitation—
Developing an Elder Abuse Case Review Multidisciplinary Team in Your Community
The U.S. Department of Justice, with OVC support, created this toolkit which is designed to facilitate the development and growth of multidisciplinary teams to address elder abuse cases, including financial abuse. It also provides information about team structures and functions, along with common issues that arise with developing a case review team.
U.S. Department of Justice Elder Justice Initiative
The Elder Justice Initiative offers resources to help victims of crime and the service provides who assist them. Additionally, the OVC Training and Technical Assistance Center offers an Elder Justice Initiative Webinar Series which provides critical information for prosecutors, victim specialists, law enforcement, and others working on elder abuse cases.
Elder Abuse Resource Roadmap
Financial exploitation comes in many forms and it may be difficult to identify the correct agency to report this type of abuse. This roadmap is a user-friendly tool that will help guide you to the right agency.
Federal Trade Commission (FTC): Scammers demand gift cards
Did you know that many scammer's steal money by impersonating government officials or debt collectors and demand payment through gift cards? In this FTC blog, learn about this scam and how to educate the public on spotting and reporting this type of fraud. Sign up for FTC email updates to learn about news about other scams and how to help seniors and other consumers identify and prevent fraud.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)
Access CFPB resources on protecting older adults from fraud and financial exploitation. CFPB resources include, "Money Smart for Older Adults", which is designed to help older adults, family caregivers, and others prevent, recognize, and report financial exploitation. "Money Smart for Older Adults" is available in both English and Spanish.
Visit the Elder Abuse/Mistreatment page on our site and the Elder Abuse Special Feature section of the National Criminal Justice Reference Service site for more information and resources.
Getting Ready for National Crime Victims’ Rights Week
Every year, OVC leads the nation in the observance of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week (NCVRW).
OVC is pleased to announce the 2020 NCVRW theme: Seek Justice | Ensure Victims’ Rights | Inspire Hope. NCVRW, which will be held April 19–25, 2020, brings communities together and educates the public about these rights, protections, and services.
OVC also encourages communities to apply for funding to raise public awareness of victims’ rights and services in communities during NCVRW.
The NCVRW Community Awareness Projects grants reimburse up to $5,000 in costs associated with conducting public awareness activities during NCVRW, including–
- public events (including candlelight vigils, information/resource fairs, 5k walk/runs);
- mass media advertising; and
- production, publication, and distribution of printed materials.
NCVRW Community Awareness Projects grants are administered by the National Association of VOCA Assistance Administrators, under a cooperative agreement with the Office for Victims of Crime.
Learn more and apply on the NCVRW Community Awareness Projects website. The site contains resources to assist prospective applications, including information about previously funded projects. Also view a recording of a pre-application webinar held on November 4, 2019 (registration required).
Apply by November 22, 2019.
Join the NCVRW Subscription List to receive a compliment copy of the 2020 NCVRW Theme Poster Kit and email notification about the release of the 2020 NCVRW Resource Guide.
National Native American Heritage Month
President Trump proclaimed November as National Native American Heritage Month. In his proclamation, the President states “During National Native American Heritage Month, we reaffirm our commitment to work with tribal communities to address serious issues affecting them and to help protect their rich and diverse heritage.”
OVC supports multiple efforts to enhance tribal victim services and public safety. One is the tribal set-aside program created by the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2018 (P.L. 115-141) for the U.S. Department of Justice. This program is intended to help tribes develop, expand, and improve services to victims of crime by providing funding, programming, and technical assistance. In FY 2019, OVC awarded more than $167.2 million to American Indian/Alaska Native communities under this program.
Additionally, through the FY 2019 Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation (CTAS), the U.S. Department of Justice awarded $118 million to American Indian/Alaska Native communities to enhance victim services, address violence against women, improve public safety, and support youth programs. This includes about $25.6 million from the tribal set-aside program mentioned above.
Under two CTAS purpose areas, the Comprehensive Tribal Victim Assistance Program and Children's Justice Act Partnerships for Indian Communities Program, OVC made 61 awards to tribes.
OVC has also produced Tribal Multimedia Resources which can be used throughout this commemorative month and beyond:
Visit the American Indians/Alaska Natives section of our site for additional resources.
Coping With the Holidays for Victims of Crime
For those who have recently experienced a tragedy or lost a family member or friend, the holiday season may seem too much to bear. The OVC publication, Coping With the Holidays After the Death of a Loved One or When You Are a Victim/Crime Survivor offers resources and suggestions to help support survivors.
Also view the Mothers Against Drunk Driving: Coping With the Holidays Tip Sheet for additional tips on coping during the holidays.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month
President Trump proclaimed that October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. In his proclamation, the President states "We strive to eliminate domestic violence in all its horrific forms in order to sustain the hope of a better life for victims and to foster safer homes and relationships for all Americans."
The proclamation also highlights "in fiscal years 2018 and 2019, approximately $8 billion — a historic amount — has been made available for victim services through the Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime, funding more than 3,000 domestic violence local service providers and national domestic violence hotlines."
Visit the Domestic Violence Awareness Month Project section of the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence website for customizable materials, training resources, and other tools to enhance your efforts to prevent and raise awareness of domestic violence.
Domestic violence not only causes emotional and physical harm to victims, but it is also a major cause of homelessness. During the month of October, OVC highlights the Domestic Violence and Housing Technical Assistance Consortium, which supports survivors experiencing homelessness. Submit a technical assistance request to the Consortium for assistance to address the intersection of domestic violence and homelessness in your community.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also offers a number of valuable tools and resources on their Intimate Partner Violence page, including Preventing Intimate Partner Violence Across the Lifespan: A Technical Package of Programs, Policies, and Practices and the new released Dating Matters® Toolkit.
Additional materials are available on the—
National Cyber Security Awareness Month Observed in October
October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month. In his proclamation, President Trump states "I urge all citizens to spread awareness on ways they can mitigate risks, safeguard personal and professional data, and contribute to the safety and prosperity of our Nation."
To help commemorate National Cyber Security Awareness Month, visit the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Stop.Think.Connect. campaign and the National Cyber Security Alliance websites. OVC is a federal partner in this public awareness campaign effort, which seeks to increase the understanding of cyber threats and empower the American public to be safer and more secure online.
View the Securing the Internet is Our Shared Responsibility infographic that highlights 2019 weekly themes and shares easy ways to get involved and learn about cybersecurity.
Also download the ID Theft Help App, developed by the Identity Theft Resource Center, with funding support from OVC, and the Tech Safety App, an OVC-funded app created by the National Network to End Domestic Violence.
The ID Theft Help App provides resources for identity theft victims, including direct access to victim advisors through a 24/7 call center or live chat, and offers educational tools on how to protect yourself against identity theft.
The Tech Safety App offers resources for victims of technology-facilitated stalking or abuse and walks users through how a particular technology could be misused, what they can do about it, and offers users safety tips on how to increase their safety and privacy.
Finally, visit the Computer/Internet Crimes section of our site and the Internet Safety Special Feature section of the National Criminal Justice Reference Service site for additional materials on how to stay safe online.
Last Chance to Submit Your Nominations for the 2020 National Crime Victims' Service Awards
Do you know an individual, organization, team, or program that you would like to see recognized for their work? If so, please submit nominations for the 2020 National Crime Victims' Service Awards by 11:59 p.m. eastern time on October 9, 2019.
These prestigious awards recognize extraordinary individuals, organizations, teams, and programs that demonstrate outstanding achievements in supporting victims and victim services.
New this year is the Victim Rights Legend Award increasing the award categories to twelve for the 2020 nomination period. Last year, Edwin Meese III, the 75th Attorney General of the United States, was recognized during the Awards Ceremony with the inaugural Victim Rights Legend Award in recognition of his significant role for many decades in securing vital services and funding for victims of crime, and assuring the victim's voice is heard in the criminal justice system and in public policy.
The recipients will be honored at the annual National Crime Victims' Service Awards Ceremony in Washington, D.C.
Learn more and submit a nomination today.
Recognizing National Preparedness Month
President Trump has proclaimed September as National Preparedness Month. In his proclamation, the President states that we "honor and express our immense appreciation for the brave first responders who risk their lives to help others before, during, and after emergencies."
OVC’s Helping Victims of Mass Violence & Terrorism: Planning, Response, Recovery, and Resources toolkit provides communities and emergency managers with the framework, lessons learned, strategies, and resources to—
- conduct planning and preparation before an incident occurs,
- mitigate the effects of future acts on victims, including first responders,
- respond to active incidents, and
- recover after an incident of mass violence or terrorism occurs.
The toolkit is designed to serve as a victim-centered resource for a wide range of professionals.
Contact the OVC Training and Technical Assistance Center at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1–866–682–8822 for information about free custom training or technical assistance related to the toolkit and your mass violence recovery plans.
Volunteer to Honor the Victims and Responders of 9/11
On the anniversary of the September 11 attacks, Americans will unite to participate in the National Day of Service and Remembrance.
This commemoration continues an inspiring tradition of engaging in charitable service on 9/11 in tribute to the victims, survivors, and the heroes who rose up in service in response to the attacks.
Learn how you can get involved by visiting the National Day of Service and Remembrance web page, where you can find opportunities to volunteer or register your volunteer project.
Ensuring Campus Safety for College and University Students
National Campus Safety Awareness Month raises awareness about safety on college and university campuses across the country.
Law enforcement, mental health, student affairs, school administrators, and legal professionals—charged with identifying, assessing, and managing violence risk at colleges and universities throughout the United States—provide an incredible service under unique and often challenging circumstances.
In recognition of National Campus Safety Awareness Month OVC provides the following list of federal and federally sponsored resources to promote safety on campus and serve victims of campus crime:
Commemorating National Hispanic Heritage Month
National Hispanic Heritage Month celebrates the histories, cultures, and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. This event is commemorated annually from September 15 to October 15.
During this month, OVC highlights our Existe Ayuda Toolkit. The toolkit includes 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. Resources include:
- Glossaries: Spanish terms related to sexual assault and trafficking.
- Presentations: PowerPoint presentations for promotoras (community health workers) and victim advocates.
- Tools: a pocket card, handout, fact sheets, and scripts for public service announcements and outgoing answering machine messages.
View our Recursos en Español (Spanish Resources) page for additional resources to assist Spanish-speaking victims of crime and links to other helpful Spanish language websites.
Model Standards Seek to Enhance Crime Victim Services
OVC's Achieving Excellence: Model Standards for Serving Victims & Survivors of Crime e-publication seeks to enhance victim service providers' competency and capacity to provide ethical, high-quality responses to crime victims. These model standards also seek to meet the demands facing the field today. The e-publication includes three sets of standards:
- The Program Standards recommend guidelines, policies, and procedures that victim-serving organizations should have in place, and identify ways of documenting and administering services.
- The Competency Standards describe general attitudes, knowledge, and skills that demonstrate professional competency in the crime victims field. The Competency Standards discuss how service providers can achieve these competencies.
- The Ethical Standards identify the ethical expectations of service providers based on core values for the field.
Watch a Video About 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.
OVC Partnerships With Law Enforcement is 6-minute video which discusses OVC-sponsored programs and resources to enhance the delivery of services to victims of crime by law enforcement agencies.
Serving Victims in Tribal Communities
OVC's Tribal Multimedia Resources inform and assist victim service providers and allied professionals in their efforts to help crime victims in Indian Country.
Alcohol-Facilitated Sexual Assault in Indian Country
The videos in this series seek to—
- increase awareness about the prevalence of alcohol-facilitated sexual violence,
- enhance the investigation and prosecution of sexual violence, and
- provide best practices for responding to victims.
A Circle of Healing for Native Children Endangered by Drugs
This video series and companion resource guide offer examples of successful programs and practices used to help drug-endangered Native youth heal from trauma.
A Healing Journey for Alaska Natives
This video series is designed to educate professionals who work with Alaska Native victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking.
Partners in Justice—Bureau of Indian Affairs Victim Specialists
This video, prepared by OVC and Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), identifies some of the BIA Victim Specialist Program program's successes and challenges providing services to victims of crime in Indian Country.
Visit the Updated OVC TTAC Website
OVC is excited to announce the launch of the newly updated OVC Training and Technical Assistance Center (OVC TTAC) website. Visit www.ovcttac.gov to see the new design and watch the welcome video for an overview of OVC TTAC.
Explore the OVC TTAC website to learn about the many ways OVC TTAC can help you build your capacity to serve victims, such as—
Center for Victim Research Offers Tools to Build an Evidence Base for Victim Services
The Center for Victim Research is an OVC grant-funded program that facilitates access to victim research and data. The Center seeks to improve the utility of research and data collection to crime victim services nationwide. To meet this mission, the Center for Victim Research library collection offers a public collection of more than 800 resources regarding all types of victimization and victim services.
Additionally, agencies that receive Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) funds also have complimentary access to the Center's collection subscription-based journal articles. Visit the Center for Victim Research Registration page and then click on “VOCA-Funded Agencies.” Once you are registered as a VOCA-Funded Agency, you will be able to search for both open-access and subscription resources.
Understanding the Impact of Crime
OVC's Victim Impact: Listen and Learn seeks to help offenders to become more aware of the impact that crime has on victims, family members of victims, and the community. The ultimate goal is to help offenders take responsibility for their actions and begin to make amends.
This video series features the first-person accounts of 14 men and women who share their experiences as crime victims and the ripple effect that victimization can have on family members and the community at large.
Victim Impact: Listen and Learn is available YouTube channel and each video is also available for download.
A companion online only training curriculum is also available and includes a two-part facilitator manual and a participant workbook.
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<< Current Featured Resources
Featured in 2018: January - June | July - December