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News from Grantees

New Mobile App Offers Help to Identity Theft Victims

The Identity Theft Resource Center has released a free mobile app now available for download on Apple and Android devices. The ID Theft Help App, funded by a grant from OVC, provides resources for identity theft victims, including direct access to victim advisors through a 24/7 call center or live chat.

This app can help users address identity theft issues, such as a stolen wallet or unauthorized credit card purchases. The app also offers educational tools on how to protect yourself against identity theft, including best practices for public WiFi protection. Visit the Identity Theft Resource Center to learn more and download the app. (Posted September 25, 2015)

Spanish-language Hotline Launches for Sexual Assault Survivors

With support from an OVC Vision 21 grant, RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) recently launched services to provide free, confidential support for Spanish-speaking survivors of sexual assault through the RAINN operated 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 1–800–656–HOPE (4673).

OVC Director Joye E. Frost states that “This RAINN initiative embodies the kind of work the field must undertake to ensure that all crime victims have access not only to services, but access that is linguistically accessible and culturally competent. The hotline’s new Spanish-language service exemplifies our shared commitment to reaching under-served victims through appropriate and victim-centered services.”

Access the hotline at: (Posted May 12, 2015)

Safe Use of Technology: Helping Providers and Victims

When using technology, both victim advocates and survivors need to consider safety, privacy, and security. The National Network to End Domestic Violence's Safety Net Project develops resources and information on the use of technology for survivors of survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and trafficking and the agencies that support them. With support from OVC, the Safety Net Project created the following resources –

View these and other Safety Net Project materials online. (Posted May 1, 2015)

Human Trafficking: New Resources for Combatting Crime and Serving Victims

On January 5, 2015, Jean Bruggeman, OVC's Human Trafficking Fellow, wrote a blog post for the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) Diagnostic Center on the need for a multi-pronged approach to combatting human trafficking. Because traffickers can be part of a violent gang, international network, or even the victims' families, a variety of techniques are needed to hold traffickers accountable, stop victimization, and support the survivors. Read the blog post now to discover new resources for law enforcement, service providers, survivors, and allied professionals. Learn more about the OJP Diagnostic Center. (Posted January 8, 2015)

Protecting Victim Privacy—"After-the-Fact"

Through OVC’s Legal Assistance for Crime Victims Training and Technical Assistance Initiative, OVC’s Training and Technical Assistance Center (OVC TTAC) and the National Crime Victim Law Institute (NCVLI) are presenting a free webinar featuring pro bono attorneys who stepped out of their comfort zone to tackle cutting edge victims’ rights issues. The goal of the Legal Assistance for Crime Victims Training and Technical Assistance Initiative is to expand the availability of pro bono and no-cost legal assistance for victims of crime nationally.

Webinar: Lessons From the Field: Pro Bono Spotlights
Date: August 13th
Time: 12:00 PM PDT, 3:00 PM EST

Attorneys will discuss how they got involved in victims’ rights and how they litigated key issues. The training will feature:

  • A civil practitioner who specializes in insurance defense discussing his work protecting a minor sexual assault victim’s privacy when a juvenile defendant subpoenaed her Facebook page;
  • An immigration lawyer discussing her efforts to stop discovery of her client’s U-visa application in a parallel criminal case; and
  • A civil tort lawyer discussing his work as local counsel on a victims’ rights appeal involving the doctrine of abatement ab initio.

This webinar is one in the series. Visit OVC’s Training and Technical Assistance Center Web site to learn more.

What Survivors Say About How Abusers Use Technology To Stalk and Harass Them

Technology Safety Strategies & Education and Technology Abuse in Partner Violence infographicNew graphics from the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) illustrate current concerns by victim services agencies and survivors on the use of technology, as reported in a 2012 survey of more than 750 victim service organizations. The Technology Safety Strategies & Education and Technology Abuse in Partner Violence infographics highlight that—

  • Victims are asking for help on how to manage their technology and stay safe while using them. Top requests are for help with cell phones and managing location privacy.
  • Victim service agencies worry that that their confidential shelter and crisis center location will be revealed.
  • 90% of programs report that survivors come to them for help after abusers intimidated and made threats via cell phone, text messages and email.
  • 75% of programs noted that abusers accessed victim’s accounts (email, social media, etc.) without the victim’s consent and oftentimes without their knowledge.

More insights from the survey results are available in NNDEV’s blog post, Technology Abuse: Experiences of Survivors and Victim Service Agencies, published April 29, 2014.

In response to the survey findings, NNEDV’s Safety Net project developed a series of webinars on technology use and survivor safety and in the spring of 2013 hosted "From Cell Phones to Facebook: Technology Safety in a Digital World, a Webinar Series for Victim Service Agencies." The survey, webinars, and illustrations were made possible through a grant from OVC to NNEDV.

Visit NNEDV’s Safety Net Project for more information and updates about resources in development.


Past News from Grantees

November 2013

OVC Fellow Publishes Blog Post on Responding to Elder Abuse

On October 30, 2013, Shelly Jackson, PhD, OVC’s Financial Fraud and Abuse Visiting Fellow, and Carrie F. Mulford, PhD, a Social Science Analyst at the National Institute of Justice, wrote a blog post for the National Council on Crime and Delinquency on the use of multidisciplinary teams (MDT) in responding to elder abuse. Elder abuse cases are typically complex and because of that complexity and that "no one agency possesses all the skills necessary for investigating and responding to elder abuse, communities are increasingly turning to multidisciplinary teams." Read the blog post now to learn how an MDT response to elder abuse cases offer multiple benefits for both victims and the MDT members.

Participate in Webinar on Recovering After Foreclosure

National Crime Prevention CouncilOn November 21, 2013, at 2–3 pm (EST), the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) will host Life After Foreclosure: Road to Recovery. This OVC-funded webinar will provide best practices and highlight the areas that will assist mortgage fraud victims with their credit rating and help in their overall recovery efforts. Information will also be shared on the best ways to manage, track, and protect their credit.

The featured speaker will be Todd Mark, Vice President of Education, at Consumer Credit Counseling Services in Dallas, Texas.

Registration is required. Victim service providers, allied professionals, attorneys, and homeowners are encouraged to participate to enhance their knowledge of this complex issue.

September 2013

New Video and Online Training from the SANE-SART Resource Service

Awareness Video

Break the Silence: Sexual Assault and the SART SolutionWith funding from OVC, the SANE-SART Resource Service released a video titled, Break the Silence: Sexual Assault and the SART Solution. The 20-minute video is designed to help in the creation a Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) and can be used to educate other potential members, management, and the community on how SARTs can provide improved response to victims of sexual assault and increased offender conviction rates. Special attention is given to benefits of SARTs in tribal and rural areas.

Online Learning Program

Through funding from OVC, the SANE-SART Resource Service’s SANE-SART Online Learning Program has expanded to include special tracks for victim advocates, law enforcement officers, and legal representatives beginning this September.SANE-SART Online Learning Program

After completing 32 hours of self-directed online learning about adult and adolescent SANE didactic, students will attend an 8-hour webinar that will augment the information provided online and allow learners to ask questions of a subject matter expert, which will complete the training at a total of 40 hours. The webinars will also be taped and stored online for others to review at a later date.

OVC also offers online resources and information on this topic, including:

Attend Webinars on Legal Assistance for Crime Victims

Through the "Legal Assistance for Crime Victims: An OVC Capacity Building Initiative," OVC is working to expand the availability of pro bono and no-cost legal assistance for victims of crime nationally. Part of that effort includes support for a series of free webinar trainings on victims’ rights issues developed and delivered by the National Crime Victim Law Institute in collaboration with the OVC Training and Technical Assistance Center.

More details are available under the Legal Assistance for Crime Victims section of OVC’s Training & Technical Assistance page.


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