Public Education and Awareness Projects
OVC is committed to ensuring that victims' rights are recognized
throughout the criminal and juvenile justice systems and that victims'
voices are consistently heard throughout the Nation. As part of these
efforts, OVC supports programs that generate greater awareness among
victims, survivors, and communities about victims' rights and services.
Through initiatives such as National Crime Victims' Rights Week,
OVC hopes to build capacity to promote victims' rights and services
at the local level. Because these initiatives seek to expand awareness
of and compliance with victims' rights, each supports the others
in educating the Nation about victims' issues.
National Crime Victims' Rights
In 1981, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed the first victims' Rights
Week, calling for "a renewed emphasis on, and an enhanced sensitivity
to, the rights of victims." Each April since then, communities nationwide
have held public rallies, candlelight observances, and commemorative
activities to promote awareness of victims' rights and needs. OVC
coordinates the annual commemoration of National Crime Victims' Rights
Week (NCVRW) and uses the event to recognize individuals and organizations
that demonstrate outstanding service in supporting victims and victim
services. OVC also helps communities organize activities and initiatives
during the weeklong celebration by supporting the development and
dissemination of the NCVRW Resource Guidea collection
of national statistics on crime and victimization, sample press releases,
camera-ready artwork, and sample speeches and proclamations. Each
year, OVC conducts an extensive nomination and review process to
identify exemplary individuals and organizations for the National
Crime Victim Service Award and the Crime Victims Fund Award. The
Service Award is the highest federal honor bestowed on outstanding
advocates, many of whom are victims serving as role models and offering
inspiration to others in the field. The Fund Award recognizes outstanding
federal employees whose work exemplifies efforts to hold offenders
accountable and contribute deposits in the Crime Victims Fund. For
information about past award recipients' accomplishments, visit the NCVRW
page on the OVC Web site.
National Crime Victims' Rights Week Community
The National Crime Victims' Rights Week Community Awareness Projects
initiative will help advocates raise awareness of victims' rights
and services in their communities. The initiative will make up to
$5,000 available to organizations in 60 communities nationwide to
support innovative outreach and public awareness activities. Specifically,
project funds will help defray costs associated with developing educational
materials, advertising in print and broadcast media, designing Web
sites, and conducting other promotional activities. OVC encourages
faith-based organizations to apply for funding under this initiative
or to partner with local victim service organizations. For more details,
visit the project's
home page on the OVC Web site.
National Crime Victims' Rights Week: Summary
Report and Planning Document
As National Crime Victims' Rights Week (NCVRW) becomes more prominent,
and commemorative activities become more meaningful, planning and
implementing NCVRW activities becomes more demanding. As a result,
it is critical for OVC to plan efficiently and effectively for events,
using lessons learned from previous commemorations and improving
existing planning and implementation processes. As these events are
extremely demanding in terms of coordination and logistics, it is
also essential that OVC develop a master planning document, or "blueprint," to
assist staff who may become responsible for planning and implementing
these events in future years. This blueprint would capture lessons
learned, suggestions for improving the process, and outcomes associated
with NCVRW events. It would also allow OVC to institutionalize the
process for planning and administering NCVRW events.
National Public Awareness and Education Campaign
OVC launched the National Public Awareness and Education Campaign
to increase public awareness of and support for victims' rights,
issues, and services, and to help victims' voices resonate across
the country. This project, which is being conducted through a grant
to Justice Solutions, Inc., will develop and implement a national
strategy to increase awareness of victims' issues and the role of
OVC and the Crime Victims Fund in serving victims. The grantee will
create resource materials for use during National Crime Victims'
Rights Week (NCVRW), develop awareness activities and supporting
resources, and publish an article about OVC, the Fund, and victims'
issues in a major national publication. The campaign will also build
the capacity of victim service organizations to develop and sustain
ongoing public awareness and victim outreach activities at the community
level. For more information, call Justice
Solutions at 2024481710.
OVC Resource Center
The OVC Resource Center (OVCRC) is the field's primary source of
victim information. OVCRC's core objectives are to provide information
and resources to the field and to support the efforts of national,
international, state, military, and tribal victim assistance and
criminal justice agencies and other professional organizations in
promoting fundamental rights and comprehensive services for all victims.
OVCRC's broad practitioner focus includes federal, state, local,
and tribal agencies that serve victims and victim service providers,
private nonprofit victim service organizations, victim advocacy organizations,
victims' rights organizations, and researchers and educators. For
more details, visit OVCRC on
the OVC Web site.
Oral History Project
The victims' movement is a contemporary example of positive social
evolution that, over the past 30 years, has grown into a national
agenda for putting victims first. The Federal Government accepted
responsibility for national leadership by first convening the President's
Task Force on Victims of Crime in 1982 and later establishing OVC
to administer the Crime Victims Fund. OVC recognizes that many movement
leaders contributed to this evolution. Under OVC's Oral History Project,
key contributors to the success of the victims' movement will be
interviewed about their involvement in advancing policy and practice.
This progress and the impact of the President's task force will be
documented in special reports and a videotape. In addition, an online
archive that memorializes the field's achievements and identifies
its pioneers will be developed. For more information, call Justice
Solutions at 2024481710.
OVC steadfastly works to put victims first and make their voices
heard. To promote and increase the public's awareness of victims'
needs and to improve services available to victims, OVC continually
fine-tunes its initiatives and creates new ones that enhance its
outreach. We hope our initiatives to reach the Nation about victims'
rights, services, and issues will result in better and more complete
services for all victims of crime.