OFFICE FOR VICTIMS OF CRIME 2004
TWENTY-ONE YEARS OF PROVIDING LEADERSHIP AND ASSISTANCE
CRIME VICTIMS/SURVIVORS AND THOSE WHO SERVE THEM
|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
|The initial VOCA grants in 1986 funded less
than 1,500 sub-grantees.
||VOCA now provides funding to more than 4,000
|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
||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 Presidents 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 Presidents 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. Attorneys 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 Childrens 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
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 Presidents Commission
on HIV to advocate for the right and needs of sexual assault and
sexual abuse victims to address their concerns about possible exposure
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 Generals 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
FOR VICTIMS OF CRIME
Putting Victims First
FIVE GLOBAL CHALLENGES FOR THE FIELD
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 Nations 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
5. To ensure that the voices of crime victims play a
central role in the Nations 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
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
|National Crime Victims' Rights
Week: Victims' Rights: America's Values
||April 1824, 2004