December 2014: December Commermorates National Impaired Driving Prevention Month
November 2014: National Native American Heritage Month
October 2014: Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM) Observed in October
September 2014: Online Training To Assist Elder Abuse Victims
August 2014: Help Is Just a Phone Call Away
July 2014: OVC Now Accepting Nominations for the Crime Victim Service Awards
June 2014: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Month
May 2014: New Release: Integrating Crime Victims’ Issues Into College and University Curricula
April 2014: National Crime Victims’ Rights Week: April 6–April 12, 2014
March 2014: 2014 National Crime Victims’ Rights Week Fast Approaching!
February 2014: February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month
January 2014: January Is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month
In his proclamation for National Impaired Driving Prevention Month, President Obama states that "throughout our Nation, too many lives are tragically cut short in traffic crashes involving drunk, drugged, or distracted driving. … To help save lives, States and local communities across our Nation will participate in the national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign from December 12 to January 1, reminding all Americans of their important responsibility." To help raise awareness, OVC features the following resources:
President Obama proclaimed November as National Native American Heritage Month. In his proclamation, the President states that “[t]his month, we recognize the limitless potential of our tribal nations, and we continue our work to build a world where all people are valued and no child ever has to wonder if he or she has a place in our society.” The President goes on to say “[we] have taken unprecedented steps to strengthen tribal courts, especially when it comes to criminal sentencing and prosecuting individuals who commit violence against Native American women.”
OVC presents the following information for tribal communities in recognition of National Native American Heritage Month:
Attend the 14th National Indian Nations Conference
The 14th National Indian Nations Conference, to be held December 11-13, 2014, in Palm Springs, California, will bring together Native American victims, providers, and tribal leaders to share their knowledge, experiences, and ideas for developing programs that serve the unique needs of crime victims in Indian Country. Registration closes November 21, 2014.
OVC Builds Capacity to Serve Crime Victims in Indian Country
This OVC fact sheet provides an overview of the funding provided to support victim-centered services in Indian Country. Poverty, isolation, high crime rates, and a chronic lack of services for victims of crime in Indian Country all contribute to making American Indian/Alaska Native communities a high priority for enhanced programs and services.
Using Federal Law To Prosecute Domestic Violence Crimes in Indian Country
OVC's Using Federal Law To Prosecute Domestic Violence Crimes in Indian Country is a resource that contains a DVD and companion facilitator’s guide intended to educate federal, state, local, and tribal criminal justice and social service professionals about using federal law more effectively to combat intimate partner violence offenses committed in Indian Country. The video incorporates case studies of actual prosecutions, while the guide provides an overview of relevant legal principles and key points for discussion.
OVC’s Efforts to Combat Sexual Violence Against American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) Women and Children
OVC is partnering with the FBI’s Office of Victim Assistance and the Indian Health Service to enhance the response to tribal victims of sexual violence. The AI/AN Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner-Sexual Assault Response Team (SANE-SART) Initiative addresses the comprehensive needs of these victims by building the capacity of tribal communities to provide coordinated, community-based, victim-centered responses to sexual violence.
Please visit the OVC AI/AN SANE-SART weblet for additional information on this topic. The weblet covers the—
Justice Department Awards $87 Million to Enhance, Support Tribal Justice and Safety
The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced awards of approximately $87 million to American Indian/Alaska Native communities to enhance law enforcement practices and sustain crime prevention and intervention efforts including public safety and community policing; justice systems planning; alcohol and substance abuse; corrections and correctional alternatives; violence against women; juvenile justice; and tribal youth programs.
The awards are made under the Department’s Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation (CTAS), a consolidated tribal-specific grant program. Working with other DOJ bureaus and offices, OVC provided awarded funds to 15 tribal programs. Learn about program awards made by OVC and partner bureaus and offices on the CTAS 2014 Award List.
On October 27, 2014, OVC and the Bureau of Justice Assistance released an expanded and enhanced Human Trafficking Task Force e-Guide and launched a new, mobile-friendly Web site that provides human trafficking information for victims and survivors, victim service providers, law enforcement, and allied professionals.
The Human Trafficking Task Force e-Guide, redesigned to help navigate content more easily and locate information faster, provides practical information on the creation and day-to-day operations of human trafficking task forces. Access the e-Guide to view new sections and strategies to–
Visit the human trafficking Web site to–
Both resources have been prepared to help strengthen the knowledge and skills needed to assist victims of human trafficking. Take advantage of both today!
Anticipation of a holiday without a friend or family member can be harder than the actual holiday itself. View the OVC resource Coping With the Holidays After the Death of a Loved One or When You Are a Victim/Crime Survivor, which has suggestions from survivors for getting through the holidays.
President Obama proclaimed that October 2014 is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. In his proclamation, the President states that “Domestic violence affects every American ... During National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we acknowledge the progress made in reducing these shameful crimes, embrace the basic human right to be free from violence and abuse, and recognize that more work remains until every individual is able to live free from fear."
The Domestic Violence Awareness Month Project Web site by the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence provides customizable materials, training resources, and other tools designed to enhance your efforts to prevent and raise awareness of domestic violence during DVAM.
Additionally, the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) developed a series of fact sheets which provide insight into the experience and needs children impacted by domestic violence and provide guidance to support their resilience and recovery.
Obtain additional material off their NCTSN resources page.
The Domestic and Family Violence section of our site and the Family Violence Spotlight section of the National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS) Web site are also great places to obtain additional information and resources.
Computer interconnectivity has produced enormous benefits but has also enabled criminal activity that exploits this interconnectivity for financial gain and other malicious purposes, such as Internet fraud, child exploitation, and identity theft. To help raise awareness, President Obama announced that October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM).
Visit the StaySafeOnline Web site which features information about NCSAM, promotional materials, and ways to get involved. Whether you are trying to protect yourself at home or looking to protect your business, organization, agency or school, the site contains resources designed to fit your needs. Also visit the Computer/Internet Crimes section of our site and the Internet Safety Special Feature of the National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS) Web site for additional materials on how to stay safe online.
In June 2014, OVC released the first three modules in the Online Elder Abuse Training for Legal Service Providers and the fourth was released in August 2014. Developed in collaboration with the Access to Justice Initiative and the Elder Justice Initiative, the first four modules in this series are:
The Financial Exploitation module will help strengthen providers’ knowledge and skills in—
The training includes a variety of information, tools, and resources, from interactive client scenarios to printable materials.
Learn about the Legal Assistance for Crime Victims Initiative and enroll now for the training.
Read more about OVC’s support of service providers who work with elder abuse victims and survivors.
Every year college students throughout the country become victims of stalking, sexual assault, robbery, homicide, and other crimes. The 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 order to bring attention to this issue, colleges and universities across the United States have recognized September as National Campus Safety Awareness Month.
For resources on promoting safety on campus and serving victims of campus crime, visit the Campus Crime section of our site and the National Criminal Justice Reference Service’s Campus Safety Awareness Special Feature.
Another resource specific to sexual assault on college and university campuses and in our schools is the NotAlone.gov Web site. Launched in May 2014 by the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault, explore this site to find a crisis service, learn more about your rights and how to file a complaint, and view a map of resolved school-level enforcement activities.
On the anniversary of the September 11th attacks, Americans will unite to participate in the National Day of Service & Remembrance. This effort continues an inspiring tradition of engaging in charitable service on 9/11 as an annual and forward-looking tribute to the 9/11 victims, survivors, and those who rose up in service in response to the attacks. Learn how you and your organization can pay tribute by visiting the National Day of Service & Remembrance Web site where you can register a volunteer project, find volunteer opportunities, and browse marketing resources, toolkits and more.
OVC and the President remind individuals of the importance of being prepared for disaster emergencies. President Obama has proclaimed September as National Preparedness Month and this year’s theme is "Be Disaster Aware, Take Action to Prepare." The President states in his proclamation "Let us resolve to be ready for any crisis and work to inspire a new generation of Americans, vested with the knowledge and experience to protect themselves, their families, and their communities in the face of any challenge."
Learn more about how you can prepare for an emergency by visiting www.Ready.gov (www.Listo.gov para información en español) and the National Criminal Justice Reference Service’s (NCJRS) Safety and Preparedness Special Feature.
Victim service professionals and the public are encouraged to visit OVC’s Domestic Terrorism & Mass Violence page to help find information about government and nonprofit organizations, programs, and publications related to victims of terrorism.
The United States commemorates National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15th – October 15th by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America. During this month, OVC highlights our Recursos en Español (Spanish Resources) page which contains information on how victims can find help, resources to assist Spanish-speaking victims of crime, and links to other Spanish language Web sites.
Did you know that OVC’s Web site features a listing of Toll-Free and Online Hotlines to help victims of crime locate assistance? Our Helplines page features referrals for victims of human trafficking, identity theft, sexual violence and many other types of crimes. Advocates and allied professionals are encouraged to bookmark this page to ensure these numbers are easily accessible when assisting victims of crime.
OVC’s National Calendar of Crime Victim Assisted-Related Events allows users to plan, promote, and locate events of interest to the victim service community in their area. We encourage you to visit the Calendar when you are not only seeking learning opportunities, but also as a way to promote your agency’s or organization’s events. View our Calendar submission guidelines for more information about this free method to extend your marketing footprint.
Keep up to date with the latest OVC publication and product announcements, new program initiatives and other important information. Visit our Connected Page to sign up for OVC social media and email updates.
OVC works to ensure that every victim has access to a well-trained and knowledgeable service provider. The OVC Training and Technical Assistance Center (OVC TTAC) offers training opportunities for providers and advocates at all levels of victim services. Visit the OVC TTAC Web site to learn more about opportunities to build your organization’s skills and capacity through:
Nominations are being accepted for the 2015 National Crime Victims’ Service Awards. Each year, OVC recognizes extraordinary individuals, organizations, teams, and programs that demonstrate outstanding achievements in supporting victims and victim services. This year, OVC announced a new category; the Vision 21 Crime Victims Research Award which recognizes individual researchers or research teams that made a significant contribution to the Nation’s understanding of crime victims issues.
The recipients are honored at the National Crime Victims’ Service Awards Ceremony in Washington, DC. View past recipients and, if you know a similarly deserving individual, group, team, or program, submit a nomination by Wednesday, August 6, 2014.
Visit the National Crime Victims’ Rights Week (NCVRW) Web site for details about NCVRW—April 19–25, 2014—and the Awards Ceremony as they become available.
Transgender individuals also experience high rates of sexual violence. According to several studies, more than 50 percent have been sexually assaulted at some point in their lives. OVC’s new user-friendly guide, Responding to Transgender Victims of Sexual Assault, offers practical tools to promote understanding and support of transgender victims, whether you are a health care provider, law enforcement officer, emergency medical personnel, advocate, therapist, or support group facilitator.
The guide contains a section titled, Transgender 101, which covers the basics of what it means to be transgender. If you need a general understanding of transgender-related issues, this is an excellent place to build your cultural competency.
Learn how you can be a source of support and care for individuals in this high-risk population.
In June 2014, OVC released the first three modules of a free, Online Elder Abuse Training for Legal Service Providers training. Developed in collaboration with the Access to Justice Initiative and the Elder Justice Initiative, the first three modules in this six-part series are:
These training modules provide basic information and tools to identify and address the needs of elders who may be experiencing abuse. The training includes a variety of information, tools, and resources, from interactive client scenarios to printable materials.
Three additional modules will be released in August 2014.
Learn about the Legal Assistance for Crime Victims Initiative and enroll now for the training.
Read more about OVC’s support of service providers who work with elder abuse victims and survivors.
HELP for Victim Service Providers Web Forum—Visit this message board to share ideas, suggestions, and recommendations concerning promising and best practices and victim issues. Each month the Nation’s experts answer your questions about best practices in victim services through Guest Host Sessions. Users can sign up for e-mail notifications about new discussions and topics.
National Calendar of Crime Victim Assistance-Related Events—Find crime victim-related events, such as conferences, trainings, ceremonies, or use the OVC Calendar to promote your event nationwide.
Also visit our Online Tools page to view other popular online resources.
Each year, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Month is commemorated in June. OVC encourages victim service providers to rededicate themselves to serving LGBT victims who often do not have consistent access to informed services to help them recover in the aftermath of a crime. As a result, LGBT victims suffer disproportionately from violence and its effects.
In recognition of LGBT Pride Month, the Office for Victims of Crime is pleased to announce the release of a new online guide, Responding to Transgender Victims of Sexual Assault, to help educate those who respond to transgender sexual assault victims. Supported by the experiences of transgender survivors, and addressing specific challenges that victim service providers, first responders, and health care providers may encounter, this guide provides practical tools to promote understanding and support for transgender victims.
World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, recognized on June 15, 2014, is a call-to-action for individuals, organizations, and communities to raise awareness about elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation. In commemoration of the 9th annual World Elder Abuse Day, learn how you can take a stand in the fight against elder abuse by visiting the National Center on Elder Abuse Web site and making use of the following OVC Resources:
OVC recently released The HALOS Strategy: Community Collaborations for Children, an online toolkit for communities wanting to replicate the Helping and Lending Outreach Support (HALOS) program. HALOS’s mission is to provide resources and special opportunities to abused and neglected children and their caregivers through partnerships with faith-based and other community organizations
This toolkit offers lessons learned and suggests strategies for establishing programs like HALOS wherever foster families and relatives need additional support for the children in their care. It explains key components of program development, implementation, and sustainability, and includes sample forms and materials used by HALOS and the replicating organizations.
In May 2014, OVC announced the release of Integrating Crime Victims’ Issues Into College and University Curricula, a series of multidisciplinary educational materials designed to broaden college and university students’ exposure to and awareness of criminal victimization and its impact on victims and teach them about helpful responses when encountering victims.
With funding from OVC, the University of Massachusetts Lowell, along with its partners from the universities of Massachusetts Boston, Massachusetts Dartmouth, and Massachusetts Medical School, developed this customizable teaching resource designed for both university/college faculty members and victim service providers. Visit OVC’s Training & Technical Assistance Center Web site to access the materials and for more information about this curriculum.
This release followed the launch of NotAlone.gov, which contains resources from the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault. Read more about protecting students from sexual assault and the federal government’s steps to strengthen their enforcement efforts and increase coordination among responsible agencies.
Designed to strengthen communication among victim-serving organizations, professionals, and OVC, the newsletter is a valuable tool for sharing information about OVC’s strategic planning, initiatives, events, and other items of special interest. This issue focuses on programs and resources that highlight the recommendations put forth in the Vision 21: Transforming Victim Services Final Report, and introduces OVC’s two new deputy directors, Marilyn Roberts and Kristina "Kris" Rose. Additional topics featured in this edition include—
Deputy Attorney General James Cole honored ten individuals, programs, teams, and organizations for service to crime victims during the April 9th National Crime Victims’ Service Awards Ceremony. Associate Attorney General Tony West, Karol V. Mason, Assistant Attorney General, Office of Justice Programs, and Joye E. Frost, Director, OVC, also addressed attendees at this annual event that honors extraordinary service to crime victims.
Details about this event, the awardees, and National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, can be found in these online resources:
Each year the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF) leads the Nation in commemorating National Police Week, which will be observed this year from May 11-17. Join NLEOMF on May 13 for the Annual Candlelight Vigil in Washington, D.C., to honor the sacrifices made by our Nation’s law enforcement.
The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) offers assistance to provide death and education benefits to survivors of fallen law enforcement officers, as well as firefighters and other first responders, and disability benefits to officers catastrophically injured in the line of duty through the Public Safety Officers’ Benefits (PSOB) Program. Visit the PSOB site to learn more about this program.
OVC recognizes the critical role of law enforcement in responding to victims of crime. During May, OVC highlights the following resources from our Enhancing Law Enforcement Response to Victims Strategy (ELERV):
National Crime Victims’ Rights Week (NCVRW) was observed April 6–April 12, 2014, marking the 30th annual commemoration of this event which promotes victims’ rights and honors crime victims and those who advocate on their behalf. President Barack Obama in his Proclamation for National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, 2014 invites us to "recommit to preventing crime and strengthening rights and services for all victims. Together, we can expand opportunity and build a safer, more just world."
On Wednesday, April 9, 2014, OVC hosted the annual National Crime Victims’ Service Awards Ceremony in Washington, D.C. During this annual ceremony, OVC recognized individuals, teams, programs, and organizations that demonstrated outstanding service in supporting victims and victim services. Visit the OVC Gallery to learn about this year’s awardees.
Do you wish to recognize outstanding achievements in supporting victims and victim services? Sign up for the NCVRW mail list to receive notification when the 2015 Award nomination period opens.
President Obama proclaimed that April 2014 is National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month. In his proclamation, the President states "[d]uring National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, we recommit to ending the outrage of sexual assault, giving survivors the support they need to heal, and building a culture that never tolerates sexual violence." Help raise awareness about sexual violence by visiting the National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s 2014 National Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) Web site. This year’s campaign centers on healthy adolescent sexuality and engaging youth. Content is available in English and Spanish.
OVC remains committed to improving services for sexual assault victims.Â You may be interested to learn more about the following training resources from OVC:
The OVC Web site also features a topical page on Sexual Abuse or Violence which features additional materials for service providers.
President Obama has also proclaimed April as National Child Abuse Prevention Month. 2014 marks the 40th anniversary of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act, which centralized and expanded Federal efforts to prevent and respond to child abuse and neglect. Child abuse and neglect have negative impacts that ripple across the lifespan, affecting children’s chances to succeed in school, work, and relationships. During the month of April and throughout the year, communities are encouraged to raise awareness and promote strategies that address the risk factors surrounding child abuse.
OVC recently released resources that support efforts to protect and assist children and youth including:
For additional resources, view the:
This year, National Crime Victims’ Rights Week (NCVRW) will be observed April 6–12, 2014. Access the full version of the 2014 NCVRW Resource Guide which provides an array of how-to’s, sample outreach products, promotional items, and updated statistics.
During NCVRW, OVC will recognize individuals and organizations that demonstrate outstanding service in supporting victims and victim services at the National Crime Victims’ Service Awards Ceremony in Washington, DC on April 9th. Learn more about this annual event.
For additional information pertaining to NCVRW, visit our NCVRW Web site.
Recent updates to the OVC.gov Web site make it easier than ever to access OVC.gov using your Android, Apple, or Blackberry device. Connect anywhere, at any time to OVC.gov which features the same great resources to help crime victims, service providers, and community leaders. Exciting new features include simple searches of victim services and programs through the Online Directory of Crime Victim Services and events through the National Calendar of Crime Victim Assistance-Related Events.
This series of nine brochures features information and resources for victims of crime and victim service professionals on the topics of assault, child abuse, domestic violence, homicide, impaired driving, robbery, sexual violence, and stalking. Each brochure defines a type of victimization; discusses what to do if you are a victim of this crime and where to go for help; and provides resources for more information and assistance.
Victim service providers, crime victims, and other users are encouraged to print out copies of these brochures for use and distribution in their offices, in the field and at awareness events. These easy to read resources are great to display at your 2014 NCVRW awareness events!
Approximately 9.4% of students nationwide had been hit, slapped, or physically hurt by a dating partner within the last 12 months according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study. To raise awareness of and solutions to teen dating violence, President Obama has proclaimed that February is National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month.
The Loveisrespect.org Web site features an interactive safety planning tool designed to assist youth and young adults in customizing a safety plan online. A safety plan is a personalized, practical plan that can help you avoid dangerous situations and know the best way to react when you’re in danger.
Additional Events. Search our National Calendar of Crime Victim Assisted-Related Events to learn about additional events related to Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month. Promote your organization’s event by adding it to our Calendar.
Press-ready versions of camera-ready artwork from the 2014 NCVRW Resource Guide are now online for use in your public awareness campaigns to help inform, brand, and promote your outreach efforts. Hard copy versions of the artwork will be disseminated in early February 2014, followed later in the month by the 2014 NCVRW Theme DVD and CD-ROM, containing the complete NCVRW Resource Guide. Designed to help communities and victim assistance providers promote awareness of crime victim issues, the full version of the Guide will provide a practical and visually striking array of how-to’s, sample outreach products, promotional items, updated statistics.
For additional information pertaining to NCVRW, visit our NCVRW Web site.
First celebrated as Negro History Week in 1926, this event was expanded to African American History Month in 1976, the nation’s bicentennial. Then President Gerald R. Ford urged Americans to "seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history."
As we celebrate the accomplishments of African Americans, OVC recognizes the need to provide culturally relevant services and tools to the African American community. Learn about how OVC is working to reach out to underserved African Americans through the following examples of innovative OVC-sponsored grant programs:
As we observe this month, visit the following Web sites, which provide additional information about victim services in the African American community:
“Let us declare as one that slavery has no place in our world, and let us finally restore to all people the most basic rights of freedom, dignity, and justice.” - President Obama (Presidential Proclamation -- National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, 2014).
As we commemorate this month, OVC encourages you to learn how to identify victims of human trafficking and where they can go for help by reviewing the following OVC resources:
Read more about the following events and activities taking place this month:
View the following resources for additional information about efforts to combat human trafficking:
January marks the 10th anniversary of National Stalking Awareness Month which seeks to educate the public about the serious and at times deadly crime of stalking. Throughout January, communities help build awareness by sharing and information and holding special events. To learn more, we encourage you to visit—
Tax identity theft happens when someone uses your Social Security number to take your tax refund. To raise awareness, OVC is helping the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) commemorate Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week on January 13-17, 2014.
Visit the FTC Web site for a guest blog post by OVC, promotional materials and to learn about national and regional events, National Webinars and a Twitter Chat, both in English and Spanish. The OVC blog post includes information about the National Identity Theft Victim Assistance Networks Program and OVC’s free online training, Identity Theft Victim Assistance Online Training: Supporting Victims' Financial and Emotional Recovery.
For additional information about various types of fraud, including identity theft, visit our Fraud and Identity Theft page.