OVC administers the Crime Victims Fund (the Fund), which is financed by fines and penalties paid by convicted federal offenders, not from tax dollars. Federal revenues deposited into the Fund also come from gifts, donations, and bequests by private parties. OVC channels funding for victim compensation and assistance throughout the United States, raises awareness about victims’ issues, promotes compliance with victims’ rights laws, and provides training and technical assistance and publications and products to victim assistance professionals.
State victim assistance and compensation programs are the lifeline services that help victims to heal in the aftermath of crime. Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) formula grants for crime victim compensation are awarded to every state, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. These grants supplement state funds that reimburse victims for out-of-pocket expenses resulting from the crime.
VOCA formula grants for crime victim assistance, awarded through subgrants to state agencies and local service providers, support direct services to crime victims in every state, the District of Columbia, and every territory. Through OVC, more than 4,400 state and local victim assistance programs receive support from the Fund.
OVC is dedicated to continuously improving the national response to crime victims by identifying emerging needs and gaps in existing services, enhancing the skills and abilities of service providers to better meet these needs, and promoting greater public awareness of the issues that victims face.
In FY 2010, OVC sought applications for the Helping Organizations and Programs Expand (HOPE III) program. The overarching goal for this project is to expand the vision and impact of the crime victim services field. Four grantees were selected to collectively undertake a comprehensive analysis of the current state of the crime victims’ field in the United States and develop a consensus document that will provide a philosophical and strategic framework for defining the role of the field in the country’s response to crime and moving the field forward in the future. This final consensus document will include recommendations to OVC and the broader victims’ field as well as a detailed blueprint for a national demonstration project or multiple demonstration projects focused on implementation of those recommendations.
OVC works to ensure that every victim has access to a well-trained and knowledgeable service provider. OVC’s Training and Technical Assistance Center offers training opportunities for providers and advocates at all levels of victim services.
In the biennial report to Congress, OVC details its major undertakings during the previous 2 fiscal years. For more information about how OVC works to improve community and criminal justice responses to victims, make services and resources more accessible, and expand the range and quality of services for victims nationwide and around the world, read the most current 2011 OVC Report to the Nation: A New Era of Victim Service. Earlier reports are available through the OVC Archive.