FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                             OVC

FRIDAY, JUNE 29, 2001                                                                                               202/307-0703






WASHINGTON, D.C. –   Victim service professionals from across the nation received comprehensive and innovative training at the seventh annual National Victim Assistance Academy, sponsored by the Justice Department’s Office for Victims of Crime (OVC).  The Academy, which concluded today, has now trained more than 1,650 victim service professionals since it began in 1995.

“Through the Academy, we have now trained students in every state and territory, as well as seven other nations,” said  OVC Acting Director Kathryn Turman.  “Not only do they learn, but the students’ diverse experiences in victim services help inform us and their colleagues.”

The week-long academy was held simultaneously at the California State University-Fresno (CSUF); Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas; and the Medical University of South Carolina.  Other cosponsors include the Victims’ Assistance Legal Organization (VALOR) and the University of New Haven.

The 2001 class included delegates from every area of the criminal justice system, specialists in sexual assault, domestic violence and child victimization, as well as those who serve elderly victims, survivors of homicide victims and victims of juvenile offenders.  Representatives from federal, state, local and tribal victim service agencies were selected through a national application process based on geographic, cultural and professional diversity. 

Leaders in the fields of victimology, criminal justice and victims’ rights teach the program. Faculty from co-sponsoring academic institutions, speakers from national crime victims’ organizations and local, state and federal victims’ rights and criminal justice experts also participated. In addition to the opportunity to earn academic credit in criminology from CSUF, students were able to earn credit in psychology from the Medical University of South Carolina and credit in social work/criminal justice studies from Washburn University.

The 40-hour course covers over 36 different subject areas through lectures, interactive exercises, working groups, and faculty mentoring groups.  Topics included child victimization, domestic violence, sexual assault, drunk driving, campus crime, financial fraud, the link between substance abuse and victimization, communicating with victims, international issues in victim service and serving the needs of under-served victims of crime. Participants were instructed on how to go on-line to learn about victims services at OVC’s Website.

OVC funds the Academy through a grant from the Crime Victims Fund, created by the Victims of Crime Act of 1984 (VOCA).  The Crime Victims Fund receives money from the fines and penalties of convicted federal criminals -- not from taxpayer dollars.

For more information about OVC contact the OVC Resource Center at 1-800/627-6872, or visit OVC’s Website at  For more information about the National Victim Assistance Academy, contact VALOR at 8180 Greensboro Drive, Suite 1070, McLean, Virginia 22102 or telephone number 703/748-0811 or 1-877/748-NVAA (6822).

             Information about other Office of Justice Programs bureaus and program offices is


available at  Media should contact OJP’s Office of Congressional and


Public Affairs at 202/307-0703.

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