New Resource Available for Elder Abuse Fatality Review Teams
With support from OVC, the American Bar Association (ABA) Commission on Law and Aging recently released a web page with resources to assist Elder Abuse Fatality Review Teams (EAFRTs). This new online resource is intended to improve services to elder and adult abuse victims across the country.
EAFRTs are multidisciplinary teams that examine deaths caused by or related to mistreatment to identify system gaps and improve victim services.
The web page describes EAFRT projects and products, including background information, a list of existing teams, and relevant ABA policy. Among the updated resources is the Elder Abuse Fatality Review Teams: A Replication Manual. The updates to this manual include information on the criteria and selection of cases for review, confidentiality practices, preventing "blame and shame," and a comparison of 27 categories of professionals serving as team members.
The EAFRT web page will continue to be updated with new documents and other resources.
(Posted July 12, 2019)
Register for a Webinar on Serving ID Theft Victims in Indian Country
During this webinar, representatives from the WomenSpirit Coalition will discuss their work to create an identity theft and cybercrime program to serve tribal communities.
They will also provide information on the connection between identity theft and other types of victimization, focusing on the intersectionality of identity theft and domestic violence.
The WomenSpirit Coalition is a member of the OVC-supported National Identity Theft Victims Assistance Network (NITVAN). As a NITVAN member, the WomenSpirit Coalition is working to address identity theft and build capacity to improve services for victims in native communities.
(Posted July 12, 2019)
New Tribal Resource Tool Helps Tribal Victims Find Services
The recently launched Tribal Resource Tool is a searchable directory of victim service programs for survivors of crime and abuse in Indian Country.
This tool offers information and referrals for American Indians and Alaska Natives throughout the country. Find services for all forms of victimization on and off reservation.
The National Center for Victims of Crime, National Congress of American Indians, Tribal Law and Policy Institute, and StrongHearts Native Helpline created the tool with funding support from OVC.
Funding Opportunity: Victims’ Rights Enforcement Project
Through an OVC cooperative agreement, the National Crime Victim Law Institute (NCVLI) is seeking applicants for the Victims’ Rights Enforcement Project solicitation also known as Rights In Systems Enforced Project (RISE Project).
The RISE Project is intended to provide crime victims with access to legal representation to assert and enforce their rights throughout criminal justice processes.
NCVLI anticipates funding sites that will increase awareness of victims’ rights and victim access to no-cost legal services through an expanded body of attorneys knowledgeable about victim rights’ in criminal trial and appellate courts under two purpose areas.
Purpose Area 1: Eligible applicants must demonstrate how their proposed program will expand existing direct representation services or provide services to victim groups currently underserved by the applicants.
Purpose Area 2: Eligible applicants will propose a new program to provide legal services to crime victims.
NCVLI anticipates awarding up to six subawards of up to $1,000,000 each for programs starting in spring 2019 and ending August 31, 2021.
Established in October 2017, the center seeks to improve victim and mental health services through training, technical assistance, and public policy development.
The center offers online and mobile training programs that help individuals, families, and first responders cope with the emotional aftermath of violence. Additional training and tools guide mental health professionals on evidence-based interventions.
The center also provides community leaders and the media with information about best practices for community education and recovery.
New Resources for Law Enforcement to Support Victims' Access to Compensation
Law enforcement officers play a critical role in assisting victims of crime. In many cases, law enforcement officers are the only justice system personnel with whom victims of crime interact.
It is therefore vital that officers have tools and training so they can communicate information about victim compensation and other services to victims of crime.
To assist law enforcement agencies, the International Association of Chiefs of Police created Law Enforcement's Role in Victim Compensation. This project was developed in partnership with the Police Foundation and the National Center for Victims of Crime, and with funding support from OVC.
Law Enforcement's Role in Victim Compensation offers training videos and companion guides customized for first responders, investigators, and law enforcement leaders. Materials also include frequently asked questions about victim compensation, customizable resources to assist your agency, and more.
(Posted October 9, 2018)
Funding Opportunity: Center for Victim Research Announces Fellowships
The Center for Victim Research (CVR) recently announced the availability of Researcher-and-Practitioner Fellowships of up to $15,000. The fellowship program aims to encourage collaboration between victim researchers and service providers that helps to build an evidence base for victim services.
Early stage partnerships and projects that focus on building a relationship while taking early research steps.
Existing partnerships and projects, in which partners expand an existing project or plan.
Advanced partnerships and projects, in which longtime partners further analyze or publicize findings from earlier work.
Proposals must be received by 6:00 p.m. e.t. on October 8, 2018, and contracts must be fully executed by November 30, 2018. Fellowships will last 9 months.
Visit the CVR website to learn about this tool for victim service providers and researchers to connect and share knowledge. CVR facilitates access to victim research and data while improving the utility of research and data collection to crime victim services nationwide.
(Posted September 25, 2018)
Funding Opportunity: Reaching Victims of Crime in Underserved Communities
The National Resource Center for Reaching Victims will fund up to 10 projects that serve victims from communities frequently underrepresented in healing services and avenues to justice.
The Reaching Victims of Crime Mini-Grant program will address unmet needs and close gaps that prevent survivors from accessing and benefiting from victim services. Projects funded by this program will better identify, engage, and serve survivors from underserved communities or those who face particular barriers to accessing the help they need.
Apply by October 12, 2018.
Interested applicants are strongly encouraged to send an email to email@example.com by October 5 stating an intent to apply.
Awards will be worth up to $50,000 and the projects will be funded across a 9-month period beginning in December 2018 and ending in August 2019.
Only 1 in 10 victims of violent crime report receiving victim services, according to the National Crime Victimization Survey. The National Resource Center for Reaching Victims aims to be a one-stop shop where providers, policymakers, and others will be able to obtain information to enhance their ability to serve all victims, especially those from communities that often have less access to services and justice.
(Posted September 24, 2018)
Funding Opportunity: 2018 National Identity Theft Assistance Network Expansion Program
ITRC anticipates making up to 10 additional awards to organizations that will develop and lead an identity theft and/or cybercrime coalition.
This funding opportunity builds on prior NITVAN II efforts, and will further strengthen the network previously established. Each coalition will work to expand services to better address the rights and needs of identity theft and/or cybercrime victims. Applicants may achieve this goal through various initiatives, including, but not limited to—
community outreach and public awareness campaigns,
improved interagency infrastructure, coordination, and referrals, and
education and training of service professionals within the geographic region.
Successful applicants will be awarded up to $50,000, for a period of 1 year (October 2018–September 2019).
Register to attend one of three Achieving Language Access for Crime Victims regional trainings, hosted by the OVC-sponsored Translating Justice Initiative. This training series seeks to enhance the capacity of victim services personnel to serve people with limited English proficiency and people who are deaf and hard-of-hearing.
The training will cover the following topics:
an overview of why language access matters;
the legal and ethical responsibilities of providing language access;
how to plan for language access;
how to conduct a needs assessment and where to find resources in your community;
working with interpreters;
how to manage the use of other language access devices, including the use of technology; and
how to monitor your language access plan for quality assurance.
Click on the links below for additional details about each training and to register.
Mobile App Offers Support to Victims of Sexual Assault
According to 2016 Bureau of Justice Statistics data, only 12 percent of victims of serious violence reported receiving services to assist them in a crime's aftermath. OVC is committed to reaching even more survivors and to better meeting the needs of all victims of crime.
Seek Then Speak is a multichannel platform available as a mobile app, a website, and by phone and text, which helps survivors of sexual assault gather information, make decisions, and take the action that is right for them.
Services are available in 30 different languages, and users can remain anonymous while they explore their options.
OVC is also supporting Victim Link, which operates in partnership with Seek Then Speak. If a victim decides to request advocacy services or wants to report a sexual assault to law enforcement, the Seek Then Speak tool will alert the appropriate agencies and organizations through Victim Link.
A limited number of one-year subscriptions are available for eligible law enforcement agencies and victim advocacy organizations. Learn more and apply for a Victim Link subscription.
(Posted April 23, 2018)
Expanding the Circle to Reach Young Victims of Crime
Our Nation's children and youth experience crime and victimization at alarming rates. The OVC-funded Vision 21: Linking Systems of Care for Children and Youth demonstration project brings statewide systems together to coordinate efforts that ensure a timely and seamless response for children and their families.
These articles, authored by Linking Systems of Care Steering Committee members, discuss how their field seeks to "expand the circle" and "reach all victims" in vulnerable populations and how this work ties into the goals of the project.
Evaluating Elder/Adult Abuse Fatality Review Teams
The American Bar Association Commission on Law and Aging is inventorying elder/adult abuse fatality review teams (EAFRTs) across the United States. This is a crucial step for a new project funded by OVC and conducted in collaboration with the University of Texas Health Science Center.
The goals of this project are to update and expand the initial capacity-building work and evaluate the impact of EAFRTs in identifying system gaps and improving victim services.
The Commission on Law and Aging is seeking information about multidisciplinary teams that review deaths that were or might have been related to elder abuse, domestic violence in later life, or abuse of adults with disabilities.
Reaching and Supporting Male Survivors of Violence
The Vision 21: Supporting Male Survivors of Violence initiative seeks to improve the field's capacity to provide culturally appropriate and trauma-informed services for boys and men harmed by violence. It also seeks to expand services that help normalize their lives and promote their healing.
This initiative is a collaboration between OVC, the National Institute of Justice, and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.
With OVC's support, the Healing Justice Alliance provides training and technical assistance to 12 demonstration sites implementing the program.
The Healing Justice Alliance recently released the first in a series of briefs on Reaching out to Male Survivors of Violence. Based on the work of experts in the field, this brief offers best practices for reaching and serving male victims of crime.
Strengthening Law Enforcement Response to Domestic and Sexual Violence
With support from OVC, and in collaboration with the National Crime Victim Law Institute, the International Association of Chiefs of Police recently announced funding for six law enforcement agencies to identify, address, and prevent gender bias.
Part of a national demonstration site initiative, these agencies will receive support to strengthen their response to victims and improve their investigations of sexual assault, domestic/intimate partner violence, and stalking. Agencies receiving funds are the—
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.
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.
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."
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.
The goal of the Increase Legal Access in Rural Areas Project is to encourage innovative ideas and methods to increase legal services to crime victims in rural areas. Specifically, this project is anticipated to fund sites that will leverage technology to provide holistic legal services, including enforcement of victims' rights, to crime victims in rural communities.
Under the Increase Legal Access Evaluator Solicitation, NCVLI anticipates making one subaward of $50,000 starting in August 2018 and ending September 15, 2020.
Apply by 5:00 p.m. p.t. on July 15, 2018.
Visit the Increase Legal Access Evaluator Solicitation application page to learn more and apply.
(Posted June 13, 2018)
Funding Opportunity: Increasing Legal Access to Rural Victims of Crime
The goal of this project is to encourage innovative ideas and methods to increase legal services to crime victims in rural areas. Specifically, the project is anticipated to fund sites that will leverage technology to provide holistic legal services, including enforcement of victims' rights, to crime victims in rural communities.
NCVLI anticipates awarding three subawards up to $750,000 starting in 2018 and ending August 31, 2020.
If you plan to apply, please send a non-binding letter of intent to NCVLI no later than April 11, 2018.
Funding Opportunity: Apply to Host a Crime Victims Justice Corps Fellow
Equal Justice Works invites eligible organizations to apply to participate in the Crime Victims Justice Corps Fellowship Program, an exciting new initiative—funded by the Office for Victims of Crime—to increase capacity and access to civil legal help for crime victims.
The Crime Victims Justice Corps will mobilize 62 Fellows and 34 summer law students over a two-year Fellowship period, from June 2018 to May 2020.
Fellows and law students will work at nonprofit organizations across the country:
45 Fellows will serve human trafficking survivors.
17 Fellows will serve survivors of campus sexual assault, fraud and/or identity theft, and hate crime, and immigrant victims.
34 Law students will work during the summers (17 each summer), supporting the Fellows.