TUESDAY, AUGUST 25, 1998 12:00 P.M. EDT202/307-0703



ORLANDO, FL -- The Justice Department today announced the inauguration of a new Training and Technical Assistance Center (TTAC) to improve the assistance given to crime victims. TTAC will centralize information about the Justice Department's Office for Victims of Crime's (OVC) training and technical assistance resources available to federal, state, tribal and local agencies involved in providing services to crime victims.

The announcement was made by OVC Acting Director Kathryn Turman at the National Organization for Victim Assistance's (NOVA) 24th Annual North American Victim Assistance Conference being held this week in Orlando.

"This center will provide one-stop shopping for both experienced victim professionals and those who may need more assistance or training," said Turman. "For example, if a group wants to start a program to assist victims of domestic violence or child abuse, but is not sure how to go about it, they can call upon our pool of consultants to show them how." In addition to on-site technical assistance, victim service, criminal justice and allied professionals, such as mental health or medical personnel and clergy, can receive mentoring in program development and administration and outreach to underserved victim populations. Other technical assistance requests may include improving standards for direct service delivery, forming multi-disciplinary community crisis response teams or setting up victim notification systems.

TTAC's Speaker's Bureau will supply presenters for conferences, workshops, focus groups and other meetings. Training experts can provide instruction on a variety of victim-related topics, as well as teach victim service providers to become trainers. Some of the training curricula include working with grieving children, death notification and cultural considerations in assisting crime victims. OVC's Community Crisis Response and Mentoring programs are also supported by TTAC.

Victim professionals attending the NOVA conference will learn more about TTAC at a special workshop. Other conference topics include responding to workplace violence and violence in schools, assisting victims with disabilities and victims of hate crimes, as well as technological approaches to victim services.

Interested parties can contact the Training and Technical Assistance Center by calling toll-free on 1-800/627-6872 or via e-mail at TTAC@ovcttac.org. For more information about OVC and its programs, call the OVC Resource Center on the same number or visit OVC's web site at www.ojp.usdoj.gov/ovc.



After hours contact: Linda Mansour on 202/616-3534 or page on 888/582-6750