U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Understanding the Impact of COVID-19 on Victim Service Provision: Recommendations for VSPs to Mitigate Future Service Disruption

NCJ Number
Date Published
7 pages

This report provides lessons learned from Covid-19 service disruptions that can be implemented to help victim service providers better prepare for future unprecedented events; it overviews key study findings and recommendations for service provider leadership, funders, and policymakers as they prepare for other unprecedented service disruptions.


This report presents a research study that explored the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on victims of crime and community-based victim service provider (VSP) agencies, by investigating the following: the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, including related societal changes; how agencies pivoted to address those challenges; and which of the innovations were successful in ways that called for lasting changes in practice. The sample population included eight county-level project sites that varied in geography, urbanicity, and the presence of VSPs serving victims of gender-based violence such as sexual assault, stalking, or human trafficking. The authors conducted state and local policy assessments, a web-based survey of all VSPs in each project county, and in-depth case studies for each of the eight agencies in order to determine the impacts of Covid-19 on the individual agencies. The authors’ findings revealed that VSPs adapted their services to federal, state, and local mandates as well as to critical infrastructure closures, adapting service delivery models so they could continue to support survivors throughout the pandemic response. Study findings provide tangible strategies to support VSPs as they continue working to improve their services.

Date Published: January 1, 2023