How Municipalities Can Nurture Crime Victims Services

Municipal governments and public agencies can nurture crime victims services through partnerships and outreach efforts that focus on training and sharing impactful stories of victims and their advocates.

President Ronald Reagan declared the first National Crime Victims’ Rights Week (NCVRW) in 1981 and helped create the Victims of Crime Act and Crime Victims Fund in 1984, which addresses victims rights following a crime and continues to help fund compensation and local crime victims services.

This year's NCVRW theme for the week of April 7-13th primarily focuses on creating hope for the future through partnerships. The Office of Justice Programs (OJP) Office for Victims of Crimes (OVC) provides materials so communities and agencies can quickly set up and implement public awareness campaigns for NCVRW and beyond. Crime victims services advocates are encouraged to host events and use and share campaign materials in meaningful ways.

Here are four ways municipalities and public services can nurture local crime victims services.

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#1 Seek Partnerships

Through partnerships, organizations can more effectively mobilize experience, skills, resources and stakeholders. The key is to begin with deciding what an organization desires in a partner before identifying possible partners. Ask:

  • What skills does your organization have that you can share with others?
  • What is your area of expertise and who could benefit from learning more about it?
  • What expertise or skills is your organization missing?
  • Who in your organization can play a leadership role in building this partnership?
  • How will this effort contribute to or expand access and equitable services to victims of crime?

Learn more about extending your organization's reach through partnerships by following OJP OVC's recommended steps to building partnerships.

#2 Use the Theme Video

OJP OVC created a full length theme video and brief promotion clip about making crime victims services more inclusive, accessible and trauma-informed for use online and on local public access stations.

The federal office recommends local governments and agencies use the video in groups, online or as part of events:

  • To train and build awareness among volunteers and interns
  • To educate local students

Watch the brief theme video promotional clip:

#3 Share Stories & Recognize Crime Victims Services Professionals

By telling the stories of victims and crime victims advocates, local governments, agencies and partners can personalize the work of crime victim services and promote awareness that services are available -- or that potential partnership opportunities are.

I think the struggle for victims' rights can give meaning to the work of professionals in the field today," said Steve Twist, founder of the Arizona Voice for Crime Victims, in NCVRW 2019 theme video.

During NCVRW events, government officials are also presenting service awards to those that work in crime victim services, like Arizona Governor Doug Ducey:

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