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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

Featured in 2014: January - June | July-December


June 2014

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Month

Responding to Transgender Victims of Sexual AssaultEach 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.

June 15th Is World Elder Abuse Day

One Person, One Action, One Nation United Against Elder Abuse. World Elder Abuse Awareness Day 2014World 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:

  • In Their Own Words: Domestic Abuse in Later Life: This 2-part DVD and Resource Guide covers what victim services providers and other professionals need to know about the dynamics of domestic abuse in later life, the barriers these victims have to overcome, and the justifications that abusers use to excuse such abuse.
  • Responding to Elder Abuse Video DVD Series: These 3 DVDs address what community corrections, judges and court personnel, and law enforcement should know about elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation.

More information can be found in our Elder Abuse/Mistreatment section on OVC.gov and in the Elder Abuse Special Feature section of the National Criminal Justice Reference Service site (NCJRS).

OVC Resource on Assisting Foster Families and Relatives Who Support Children

The HALOS Strategy: Community Collaborations for ChildrenOVC 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.

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May 2014

New Release: Integrating Crime Victims’ Issues Into College and University Curricula

Integrating Crime Victims ’ Issues Into College and University CurriculaIn 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.

April Issue of OVC News & Program Updates is Now Available

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—

  • how a Crisis Call Center is incorporating text messaging into its response to crises;
  • a firsthand account of one woman’s encounter with elder abuse and her advice for detecting abuse;
  • information on addressing vicarious trauma for victim service professionals;
  • an update on the forward progress of victims’ rights in the military; and
  • research partnerships and lessons learned from the California Crime Victims Assistance Association.

National Crime Victims’ Service Award Recipients

restoring the balance of justice. National Crime Victims' Rights Week, April 6-12, 2014Deputy 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:

National Police Week

Badge of Honor. National Police Week 2014Each 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):

  • With funding from OVC, the International Association of Chiefs of Police designed a national strategy that guides policies, procedures, and training in state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies to substantially enhance the culture and practice of serving crime victims. View the ELERV DVD to learn more.

  • OVC will make three awards of up to $100,000 each to participate in a demonstration project to implement ELERV. The goal of this project is to improve agencies’ response to victims of crime, with a strong focus on reaching and serving underserved and unserved victims identified in the community. Learn more and apply. Deadline: June 9, 2014.

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April 2014

National Crime Victims’ Rights Week: April 6–April 12, 2014

Restoring the balance of Justice. Naitonal Crime Victims' Rights Week, April 6-12. 2014.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.

Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month April

Sexual Assault Awarenss MonthPresident 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. You may be interested to learn more about the following training resources from OVC:

  • Advanced Military Sexual Assault Advocate Training
    OVC and the Department of Defense (DoD) collaborated to create a new training which incorporates a victim-centered approach in implementing sexual assault policy and builds a framework that improves the quality of response to sexual assault victims and encourages victims to report an incident. Note: This training is only open to authorized DoD personnel. To learn more about this curriculum, contact the OVC Training and Technical Assistance Center at ttac@ovcttac.org.
  • Strengthening Military-Civilian Community Partnerships to Respond to Sexual Assault
    This interactive two-day training helps participants establish partnerships with local military installations in order to effectively respond to the needs of sexual assault victims in the military. Through this training, participants also build knowledge about military systems, protocols, and culture to improve service provision to military sexual assault victims and to develop an appreciation of the perspectives of their future collaborative partners

The OVC Web site also features a topical page on Sexual Abuse or Violence which features additional materials for service providers.

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month

National Child Abuse Prevention MonthPresident 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:

  • Through Our Eyes: Children, Violence, and Trauma
    Too many of our Nation’s children experience violence and trauma every day—in their homes, schools, and communities. Trauma left unaddressed can have serious consequences for children and youth as they grow up. The Through Our Eyes campaign compels everyone to take action to protect children from crime and abuse and help them heal from trauma. This familiar resource has been updated to include four new videos—with corresponding resource guides—and public awareness posters.
  • Building Resiliency in Child Abuse Organizations
    Help prevent secondary traumatic stress or burnout among your staff. Take this free training to identify the five elements of resiliency and find ways to support your staff through policies, supervisory techniques, and training.

For additional resources, view the:

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March 2014

30 years: restoring the balance of justice2014 National Crime Victims’ Rights Week Fast Approaching!

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.

Access OVC.gov on the Go: OVC’s New Mobile 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.

OVC HELP Series for Victims of Crime

Image of OVC Help Series for Crime Victims. Who To Call. Facts To Know. Download BrochuresThis 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!

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February 2014

February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month

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.

Teen Dating Violence Awareness MonthAs we observe this month, visit the following Web sites, which provide comprehensive information about preventing dating violence and assisting victims:

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.

2014 National Crime Victims’ Rights Week (NCVRW)

Restoring the balance of Justice. Naitonal Crime Victims' Rights Week, April 6-12. 2014.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.

Celebrating African American History Month

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:

  • National Network of Hospital-based Violence Intervention Programs (NNHVIP) is a collaborative effort among member programs throughout the country dedicated to engaging patients during the window of opportunity when they are recovering in the hospital after a violent injury in order to reduce the chance of retaliation and recurrence.

  • The Crown Heights Community Mediation Center operates the Save Our Streets Crown Heights (S.O.S.) project in Brooklyn, NY, which is a community-based effort to end gun violence in the neighborhood. The project creates better access to traditional victim service agencies and develop on-site victim programming for young men of color who are experiencing community violence.

As we observe this month, visit the following Web sites, which provide additional information about victim services in the African American community:

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January 2014

January Is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month

If you believe you are a victim of human trafficking or may have information about a potential trafficking situation, please contact the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) 1-888-3737-888. If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, please call 911.“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:

National Stalking Awareness Month

National Stalking Awareness Month, January 2014January 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—

Raising Awareness About Tax Refund Theft

Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week, January 13-17, 2014 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.

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Featured in 2014: January - June | July-December