U.S. flag

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

Violent Crime Reduction Roadmap

Working Together to Build Safer Communities

Action 7. Emphasize healing with trauma-informed approaches.

Open hand with below cross

Research indicates that trauma resulting from exposure to violence is widespread, impacting victims and perpetrators, service and treatment providers, law enforcement officials and many others. Localities should ensure they engage and support victims and survivors of violence with trauma-informed services and make them available to first responders and community violence intervention and prevention staff as well.

DOJ resources can help support the delivery of trauma-informed services and provision of interventions and services to those experiencing violence, as well as the workforce encountering violence. Key resources are identified below, followed by links to additional resources.

Key Resources

Strategies to Support Children Exposed to Violence

This program provides funding to communities to develop coordinated and comprehensive community-based approaches to help children and their families who are exposed to violence build resilience, restore their safety, heal their social and emotional wounds and prevent future violence and delinquency.

Office of Victims of Crime Training and Technical Assistance Center

The OVC TTAC has a vast array of resources to help build the capacity of victim assistance organizations across the country. The OVC TTAC can provide live interaction with subject matter experts when appropriate.

Health Alliance for Violence Intervention

This network builds and connects violence intervention programs and promotes equity for victims of violence. Some of these resources are available for CVIPI grant recipients, while others are available to the broader field.

Community Based Violence Intervention and Prevention Initiative

The Community-Based Violence Intervention (CVI) and Prevention Initiative provides funding to support evidence-based violence intervention and prevention programs. The CVIPI webpage provides access to a variety of resources for planning, implementing, supporting, and assessing community-based violence intervention and prevention efforts. CVIPI funding can support goal-setting, analysis, and planning activities.

Community Violence Intervention Implementation Checklist

Developed with support from the Bureau of Justice Assistance, the Community Violence Intervention Implementation Checklist captures background information about CVI efforts, CVI guiding principles, and details on the following specific steps to take when implementing CVI programs.

Additional Resources

Grant Funding

Advancing the Use of Technology to Assist Victims of Crime

This program funds applications that demonstrate innovative strategies to create, expand, or enhance the use of technology to interact directly with crime victims; or provide information, referrals, crisis assistance and long-term help.

Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program

The Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program Program is a formula award administered to each state and territory, based on their population and violent crime. The award is divided between state (60%) and direct to local (40%) units of government. JAG funding is administered by a state agency. JAG funds are extremely flexible and can be used to support a variety of approaches to reduce community gun violence. Localities should contact their State Administering Agency or the National Criminal Justice Association.

Training & Technical Assistance

Law Enforcement-Mental Health Learning Sites

Helps public safety personnel implement effective responses to people with mental health needs, including those police and other Council of State Governments Justice Center stakeholders frequently interact with.

Developing and Supporting Trauma-Informed Policing Approaches Training

This training is available to PSN grantees. It provides concrete information on how jurisdictions have responded effectively to trauma-related issues, including understanding the impact of trauma on officers and community, integrating trauma-informed care into a law enforcement agency, and supporting officer mental health and self-care.

National Public Safety Partnership

The National Public Safety Partnership is a network of communities who have committed to implementing evidence-informed approaches to reducing violence and enhancing public safety. It is a DOJ-wide program that connects communities with peers and experts to receive coordinated training and technical assistance. Many of these resources are for grantees, but there are many more resources, through the National Public Safety Partnership Clearinghouse available to all. The Clearinghouse includes resources on addressing the needs of victims, first responders, and communities who have to confront violence.

Bureau of Justice Assistance - National Training and Technical Assistance Center

The BJA National Training and Technical Assistance Center connects justice agencies with national experts to help reduce violent and drug-related crime. NTTAC provides no-cost training and specialized guidance matched to the needs of the requesting agency. NTTAC has a TTA catalog that allows users to identify upcoming trainings, asynchronous trainings, and published materials to inform their approaches to providing trauma-informed services to victims, first responders, and communities. Jurisdictions interested in implementing strategies outlined in the Roadmap may also contact NTTAC to request TTA from the Police Executive Research Forum. In collaboration with BJA and a cadre of subject matter experts, PERF will coordinate no-cost TTA services designed to enhance jurisdictions’ capacity to reduce community gun violence and promote community trust.

Project Safe Neighborhoods Training & Technical Assistance

The PSN TTA website includes resources for grantees as well as those available to all localities working to reduce violence. PSN specifically incorporates the resources of the National Center for Victims of Crime, which advocates for victims’ rights, trains professionals who work with victims, and serves as a trusted source of information on victims’ issues. Through PSN, NCVC can provide services in the areas of assessments of victim services provided; trauma-informed law enforcement responses to victims of violent crime; victimization and trauma essentials and best practices; vicarious trauma training for law enforcement and first responders; developing a crime victim assistance program for victims of violent crime; and understanding trauma resulting from various crimes, such as sexual assault, domestic violence, stalking and human trafficking.

Guides, Reports and Webinars

BJA Violent Crime Reduction Summit Resource Center

Resources from the BJA Violent Crime Reduction Summit designed to offer insights and tools to jurisdictions in addressing violent crime that impacts their communities.

Violent Crime Reduction Operations Guide (PDF, 5.2 MB)

This BJA-sponsored, practitioner-focused guide outlines actions and activities that have contributed to successful crime-fighting strategies throughout the country. This guide complements existing conversations and offers a unique “for the field, by the field” perspective that combines best practices and research to assist law enforcement executives in assessing capacity and strategic planning.

Trauma-Informed Interview and Investigation Techniques for Law Enforcement

In this webinar, Dr. Justin Ramsdell, a forensic psychologist and law enforcement trainer, provides a detailed overview of the importance of traumatic victimization in a violent crime, skills for recognizing when victimization becomes traumatic, knowledge of how trauma can affect a victim, and practical techniques law enforcement can incorporate into their investigation and interview protocols.

Vicarious Trauma Toolkit

This toolkit was developed to provide tools and resources specifically tailored to first responders who need the knowledge and skills necessary for their organizations to address vicarious trauma needs.

Pathways Toward Collective Healing

This document outlines work done in five communities across the country, providing examples of tools developed and implemented as well as lessons learned. The work focuses on creating a victim-centered, trauma-informed, collaborative response that meets the needs of those most vulnerable amid violence and traumatic events.

Trauma-Informed Law Enforcement Strategies for Combating Victim, Witness, and Community Intimidation and Retaliation

In collaboration with the National Center for Victims of Crime, this webinar reviews how law enforcement agencies are using trauma-informed approaches to intervene, mitigate and counteract the effects of intimidation and retaliation in local, state and federal jurisdictions.

PSN Victim Service Spotlights: Improving Services for Victims of Violence: The Homicide Support Group

In this spotlight, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department discusses their Homicide Support Group program and the lessons they have learned from it.

Enhancing Law Enforcement Responses to Children Exposed to Violence and Childhood Trauma

This collection of resources developed in partnership with the IACP, and the Childhood Violence Trauma Center at the Yale School of Medicine is designed to help increase the capacity of law enforcement to identify and respond to children exposed to violence and childhood trauma.

Transformative Guidance on Victim Services Funding for Hospital-Based Violence Intervention Programs

This toolkit provides resources to those who want to improve health care services to victims and survivors of community violence.

Achieving Excellence: Model Standards for Serving Victims of Crime

This resource provides guidelines and suggestions to help victim service practitioners and program administrators improve the quality and consistency of their response to crime victims.

First, Do No Harm: The Neurobiology of Trauma and Trauma Informed Investigations

This is a multimedia presentation on the principles of the neurobiology of trauma and effective principles and practices to support trauma-informed investigations.

Engaging Survivors of Crime with Empathy and Compassion: A Toolkit for Establishing Homicide Support Groups

This COPS Office toolkit produced in partnership with local police departments, is a field-friendly resource for guidance on how to implement an effective Homicide Support Group in jurisdictions. HSGs provide structure for localities to provide support to secondary crime victims, to improve their cooperation, increase clearance rates, and enhance community trust and safety.