A recent study found that American Indians and Alaska Natives experience violence at more than twice the rate for the Nation.1 As part of its longstanding commitment to serving the needs of American Indian and Alaska Native communities, OVC established two major Indian Country initiatives: the Tribal Victim Assistance (TVA) Discretionary Grant Program, which began in 1989, and the Children's Justice Act (CJA) Partnerships for Indian Communities Discretionary Grant Program, which began in 1990. TVA has stimulated the growth of a responsive victim assistance network in Indian Country communities. TVA programs provide direct victim services such as crisis intervention, emergency services, 24-hour crisis hotlines, mental health counseling, hiring of victim advocates, recruitment of volunteers, emergency transportation of victims, court advocacy and accompaniment, and bilingual counseling services. CJA helps tribal communities improve the investigation, prosecution, and overall handling of child abuse casesparticularly cases of child sexual abusein a manner that increases support for, and lessens additional trauma to, the victim. To continue the growth of victim-focused programs in Indian Country, OVC funds several initiatives that explore new ways to support victims and victim service providers. Because these initiatives seek to provide culturally appropriate services for victims in Indian Country, each in some fashion supports the others.
See the box at the right for detailed information about OVC's initiatives
in this area.
OVC continues to assist victims in Indian Country by providing much-needed resources, improving and increasing services, identifying promising practices, and adapting and replicating successful programs. In addition, OVC collaborates with other federal agencies to fund demonstration programs that help tribes and tribal organizations serve victims more efficiently. A particular focus is the strengthening of assistance for child victims in Indian Country. Through these collaborative efforts, OVC is working toward more sensitive and complete services for all American Indian and Alaska Native victims.
1. See American Indians and Crime: A BJS Profile, 19922000, December 2004, U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, NCJ 203097.
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