Message From the Director
Despite being at a higher risk for violent crime than the general population, persons with disabilities are underserved and largely uncounted in the criminal justice and victim services fields. To address this issue, OVC supported victim service agencies in the Multidisciplinary Response to Crime Victims With Disabilities project to improve community services and to begin collecting data on crimes against persons with disabilities.
Since 1998, OVC has supported the development of training, technical assistance, and demonstration projects to expand and improve the quality of services for crime victims. OVC administers the Crime Victims Fund, supporting a broad array of programs and services that focus on helping victims in the immediate aftermath of crime and as they rebuild their lives. Millions of dollars are invested annually in victim compensation and assistance in every U.S. state and territory, as well as for training, technical assistance, and other programs designed to enhance the ability of service providers to support victims of crime in communities throughout the Nation.
In recent years, OVC has directed substantial funding to developing resources for assisting victim advocates and other practitioners in reaching and serving victims from underserved populations, including persons with disabilities. OVC leaders believe that a coordinated, multidisciplinary response system will help individual victims receive the services they need and will support the justice system in aggressively prosecuting individuals who commit criminal acts of victimization.
The state- and community-level replication guides in this set are based on the real-world experiences of pilot sites that replicated multidisciplinary responses in their communities. It is OVC's hope that other organizations will use these guides to improve services for crime victims with disabilities in their own communities.
Joye E. Frost
Office for Victims of Crime