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Next Steps

T his roundtable was the first time that OVC focused exclusively on the needs of victims of gun violence. Participants found the process extremely useful and were satisfied that many key victim issues stemming from firearm violence were identified. As indicated in this bulletin, gun violence victims have some unique concerns and needs that differ from those of other crime victims. By sponsoring this roundtable, OVC has opened the door for a full and frank discussion of these issues. Participants expressed the hope that there would be other opportunities to continue this discourse. For example,

  • Once a national-scope search of providers and programs serving the needs of gun trauma victims is concluded, OVC should reconvene this or a similar group to identify unmet needs and make additional recommendations for funding new programs.

  • Smaller focus groups of gun victims should be held regionally to identify their needs and learn about the services they used to meet those needs.

  • Focus groups should be held on particular topics that were not fully covered in the roundtable. For example, we know that guns and domestic violence terrorize, injure, and kill women every day. On average, in 1997, more than one woman a day (393 women total) was shot and killed by her husband or intimate acquaintance during an argument.51 The use of guns in domestic violence situations and its impact on victims should be explored further by both OVC and VAWO. Some key issues were raised during OVC’s September 2000 Intimate Partner Homicide Forum. These issues and recommendations on how to identify trends and factors associated with intimate partner homicide will be addressed in a future OVC bulletin.

  • OVC should develop training materials and sponsor training and technical assistance programs for state VOCA administrators and compensation programs to help them identify the diverse needs of victims of gun violence and how to respond to them.
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Working With Victims of Gun Violence
July 2001
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