OVC ArchiveOVC
This file is provided for reference purposes only. It was current when produced, but is no longer maintained and may now be outdated. Please select www.ovc.gov to access current information.
National Crime Victims' Rights Week: April 18-24, 2004 banner



The field addressed only basic victim issues. The field is “basic and beyond,” addressing new issues such as terrorism, cybercrime, identity theft, hate violence and stalking.
There was no Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) funding; the first deposits in 1985 totaled $68,312,955. Deposits into the VOCA Crime Victims Fund in 2003 totaled $519,466,480, with over $5.5 billion collected since the inception of the Fund.
VOCA authorized only three programs: victim compensation; victim assistance; and services to victims of federal crimes. VOCA now authorizes victim compensation; victim assistance; services to federal crime victims; training, technical assistance, and demonstration grants; programs to improve the investigation and prosecution of child abuse cases; assistance for victims of domestic terrorism; the international terrorism victim compensation program; assistance to American citizens victimized abroad; a federal victim notification system; and funding for victim assistance staff for U.S. Attorneys, the FBI, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The initial VOCA grants in 1986 funded less than 1,500 sub-grantees. VOCA now provides funding to more than 4,000 sub-grantees.
There were just a handful of national organizations addressing crime victims’ needs and concerns. There are more than 30 national organizations that address a wide range of victims’ rights and issues, including the needs of many victim-specific populations.
In 1984, VOCA and funding at HHS (under the Preventative Health and Human Services block grant and the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act) were the principal sources for funding for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. VOCA and the Health and Human Services funding available in 1984 are now joined by Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) funding to address the needs of victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.
There were 38 state crime victim compensation programs. Compensation programs exist in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and all U.S. Territories; and for victims of international terrorism.
The Office for Victims of Crime was headed by an Attorney General appointee. The OVC Director is now on a par with all other Office of Justice Programs offices, with a Presidential appointee (requiring advice and consent of the U.S. Senate) as its Director.



The U.S. Department of Justice creates a unit in the Office of Justice Assistance, Research and Statistics (OJARS), the predecessor of the Office of Justice Programs (OJP), to implement the recommendations of the 1982 President’s Task Force on Victims of Crime. The Chair of the Task Force, Lois Haight Herrington, is named Assistant Attorney General over this agency.

The Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) is created administratively by the U.S. Department of Justice within the Office of Justice Programs to implement recommendations of the President’s Task Force on Victims of Crime.

For the first time, the President of the United States honors crime victims in a White House Rose Garden ceremony during National Crime Victims’ Rights Week.


The Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) is passed and establishes the Crime Victims Fund that is comprised of federal criminal fines, penalties and bond forfeitures; VOCA provides funding for victim assistance and victim compensation.

The Office for Victims of Crime is established by statute, and the OVC Resource Center (OVCRC) is established.

OVC hosts the first national symposium on child molestation.

OVC funds victim/witness coordinator positions (both full- and part-time) in each U.S. Attorney’s Office within the U.S. Department of Justice.

The first national symposium on sexual assault is hosted by OVC.


OVC provides input to the development of the “United Nations International Declaration on the Rights of Crime Victims and the Abuse of Power.”

OVC issues the first guidelines for formula grant programs in its “Compensation Notice of Program Guidelines” and “Assistance Notice of Program Guidelines.”


OVC awards the first grants to support state victim compensation and assistance programs.

VOCA is amended by the Children’s Justice Act to provide funds specifically for the investigation and prosecution of child abuse, and to address child abuse in Indian Country.


A position is funded at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center to train all federal law enforcement officers about their responsibilities to victims under federal law.

OVC provides the first funding for direct services to victims of crime on Indian reservations in response to a multiple victim child sexual abuse case.

The Compensation Final Guidelines and Assistance Final Guidelines for formula grant programs are issued by OVC.


The first grants for victim assistance to Indian Nations are provided by OVC.

The first “Indian Nations: Justice for Victims of Crime” conference is sponsored by OVC in South Dakota.

VOCA amendments legislatively establish the Office for Victims of Crime, and elevate the position of Director to a Presidential appointment with Senate confirmation required.

OVC establishes a Federal Emergency Fund for victims in the federal criminal justice system.

OVC funds the first Sexual Assault Evidence Collection Protocol.

The OVC Director testifies before the President’s Commission on HIV to advocate for the right and needs of sexual assault and sexual abuse victims to address their concerns about possible exposure to HIV/AIDS.

OVC provides funding for the first time to the National Association of Crime Victim Compensation Boards to expand national training and technical assistance efforts.


OVC funds the first national conference that addresses crime victims’ rights and needs in corrections in California.


The Attorney General’s Summit on Law Enforcement and Violent Crime focuses national attention on victims’ rights in the criminal justice system.

The first conference of leaders from 13 religious denominations is held with support from OVC to address ways in which inter-faith communities can increase awareness of victims’ rights and needs.

For the first time, OVC addresses victims’ rights throughout civil justice processes through the “Civil Remedies for Crime Victims” regional conference series and text.

OVC develops and distributes to all federal law enforcement and prosecutors’ offices the new “Attorney General Guidelines for Victim and Witness Assistance.”


OVC and the National Association of Crime Victim Compensation Boards host the first-ever joint victim compensation and victim assistance conference.

OVC develops an automated Subgrant Award Database.


OVC establishes the Community Crisis Response (CCR) program, using the NOVA model, to improve services to victims of violent crimes in communities that have experienced crimes resulting in multiple victimizations.


OVC responds to domestic terrorism following the bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, OK.

OVC funds the first National Victim Assistance Academy (held every year since then in multiple university sites across the nation).


OVC responds to international terrorism following the bombing of Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia.

The Antiterrorism Act authorizes the Antiterrorism and Emergency Reserve Fund.

OVC launches a number of international crime victim initiatives, including working to foster worldwide implementation of a United Nations declaration on crime victims’ rights and working to better assist Americans who are victimized abroad.


OVC launches its home page on the World Wide Web: www.ojp.usdoj.gov/ovc

“New Directions from the Field” is published, which includes over 250 recommendations from the field for the new millennium, and “Five Global Strategies” to implement victims’ rights and services.

OVC for the first time addresses victims’ rights and services in the juvenile justice system through its “Improving the Juvenile Court Response to Victims of Juvenile Offenders” national training and technical assistance project.

OVC awards its first demonstration project to establish a comprehensive, seamless system of victim services — Victim Services 2000.

OVC supports a project to implement a customized victim notification system for victims of crime in federal jurisdictions.

The first National Symposium on Victims of Federal Crimes is sponsored by OVC.

To fully recognize the sovereignty of Indian Nations, OVC for the first time provides victim assistance grants in Indian Country directly to tribes.

OVC representatives join the United States Delegation to the United Nations Commission on Criminal Justice and Crime Prevention. OVC plays a leadership role in the development of an “International Victim Assistance Training Manual” to implement the U.N. Declaration of Basic Principles of Justice for Victims of Crime and Abuse of Power.

OVC publishes the first Legislative Sourcebook, a comprehensive compendium of victims’ rights laws in all states.


The Office for Victims of Crime Training and Technical Assistance Center (OVC TTAC) is established.

OVC responds to international terrorism following the bombings of U.S. Embassies in Africa.

OVC releases a series of resources to assist victims of fraud developed by a federal working group that was sponsored by Police Executive Research Forum.

OVC convenes a Fraud Victimization Focus Group as part of the Economic Crime Summit in St. Louis, Missouri and issues an OVC Bulletin that highlights its findings.


OVC assists victims of the 1988 Pan Am 103 bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland, with trial attendance and victim support.

OVC funds the first Professional Development Institute at the NOVA conference.

OVC funds the first State Victim Assistance Academies.

OVC provides funding and support to respond to the victims and witnesses of the shootings at Columbine High School in Colorado.

OVC leads an interagency working group to develop a protocol for responding to terrorism cases.

OVC conducts the first evaluation of formula grant programs.


OVC revises and issues the Attorney General Guidelines for Victim and Witness Assistance.

The VOCA/Victim Assistance in Indian Country working group is established by OVC.

OVC provides funding to support a victim assistance program for American citizens victimized abroad through the U.S. Department of State, American Citizen Services (ACS).

The National Victim Assistance Academy, sponsored by OVC and the Victims’ Assistance Legal Organization, launches its “Advanced Topic Series.”

OVC offers assistance to the victims of the terrorist bombing of the USS Cole in the port of Aiden, Yemen.

OVC publishes “Responding to Terrorism Victims: Oklahoma City and Beyond.”


OVC augments state victim compensation funding to aid victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York, Virginia, and Pennsylvania; and establishes a toll-free telephone number and web site for victims and their immediate family members.

OVC offers assistance to victims of the September 11 terrorist attack on the Pentagon through the Pentagon Family Assistance Center.

OVC establishes a listserv for VOCA state administrators and for VOCA sub-grant recipients.

OVC sponsors the first national training conference for sexual assault response teams (SARTs), including sexual assault nurse examiners.


OVC receives appropriated funds for services for the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000.

The first grants are provided to the newly formed National Association of VOCA Assistance Administrators (NAVAA).

The first satellite teleconference to address effective victim assistance responses to terrorism is sponsored by OVC in conjunction with the National Victim Assistance Academy.

OVC sponsors a series of regional roundtables to hear first-hand from victims and survivors about their experiences with the criminal and juvenile justice systems.

The first “Helping Outreach Programs to Expand” grants are offered by OVC.

OVC Director John Gillis hosts a series of regional roundtables of victims, survivors and service providers to determine victims’ most important needs for services and rights.

A “National Public Awareness and Education Campaign” is sponsored by OVC in conjunction with Justice Solutions, POMC, and the Victims’ Assistance Legal Organization to promote the scope and availability of victims’ rights and services nationwide.

OVC sponsors its first “Visiting Fellow” through the new OVC Fellowship Program.


The first National Observance to commemorate National Crime Victims’ Rights Week (NCVRW) is held in Washington, D.C. with remarks provided by Attorney General John Ashcroft.

The first training scholarships are offered by OVC via the OVC Training and Technical Assistance Center to attendees at the POMC, NOVA and MADD conferences, and NCVC training institutes.

The first grants to communities to support local NCVRW victim awareness and public outreach activities are funded for NCVRW 2004.

OVC showcases its web-based, online victim services directory at the NOVA and NAVAA/NACVCB conferences.

Putting Victims First


1. To enact and enforce consistent, fundamental rights for crime victims in federal, state, juvenile, military, and tribal justice systems, and administrative proceedings.

2. To provide crime victims with access to comprehensive, quality services regardless of the nature of their victimization, age, race, religion, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, capability, or geographic location.

3. To integrate crime victims’ issues into all levels of the Nation’s educational system to ensure that justice and allied professionals and other service providers receive comprehensive training on victims’ issues as part of their academic education and continuing training in the field.

4. To support, improve and replicate promising practices in victims’ rights and services built upon sound research, advanced technology, and multidisciplinary partnerships.

5. To ensure that the voices of crime victims play a central role in the Nation’s response to violence and those victimized by crime.

Office for Victims of Crime
Office of Justice Programs
U.S. Department of Justice
810 Seventh Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20003
202.514.6383 (FAX)

Office for Victims of Crime Resource Center

Office for Victims of Crime Training and Technical Assistance Center (OVC TTAC)
10530 Rosehaven Street, Suite 400
Fairfax, VA 22030
ttac@ovcttac.org (e-mail)

Previous Contents Next

National Crime Victims' Rights Week: Victims' Rights: America's Values April 18–24, 2004
Archive iconThe information on this page is archived and provided for reference purposes only.