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October 2020 Featured Resources

Meet the 2020 National Crime Victims’ Service Awards Recipients

The Office for Victims of Crime annually recognizes individuals and organizations that demonstrate outstanding service in supporting victims.

The National Crime Victims’ Service Awards recipients are selected from nominations in a variety of categories for their vision, action, and leadership to improve the lives of victims in the aftermath of crime.

In a video message, OVC Director Jessica E. Hart states that “among the honored awardees are those who champion and defend victims’ rights, support family members of murder victims, combat human trafficking and child exploitation, conduct research to enhance services to crime victims, offer comfort and counseling in crisis, serve on the front lines, help child victims, and many who inspire hope and healing.”

Learn more about the extraordinary contributions of this year’s award recipients in the OVC Gallery, where you can view photos, biographies, and short tribute videos.

Twenty Years of Progress in Combating Human Trafficking

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, which recognized the importance of protecting victims, holding traffickers criminally accountable, and preventing victimization from occurring in the first place.

Early in his term, President Trump pledged to bring the “full force and weight” of the U.S. government to address the “epidemic” of human trafficking and, during a commemorative event earlier this year, the President hosted a historic summit at the White House where he signed an Executive Order directing decisive action to combat human trafficking. 

“We have come a long way over the last 20 years, but we also recognize that there is still a lot of work to be done,” states OVC Director Jessica E. Hart in a video message. “The approach embraced by this Administration, in coordination with all of you, is bringing about real change. The Department stands ready to support you on the frontlines of this fight.” 

In commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, OVC launched an art initiative—Represent Resilience—to feature original artwork by survivors, advocates, and anti-trafficking professionals across the country.

View the artwork selected for our Represent Resilience Virtual Gallery.

OVC is also excited to announce the launch of the Human Trafficking Capacity Building Center website. The Center provides free coaching, mentoring, and a resource library for organizations and federally recognized tribes looking to start, sustain, or grow their anti-trafficking work.

Visit the Center’s website to learn more and access these services.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

President Trump proclaimed that October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. In his proclamation, President Trump called upon us to “marshal every tool at our disposal to continue the national, sustained, and coordinated campaign to end domestic violence forever.”

In her National Domestic Violence Awareness Month video message, Director Jessica E. Hart discusses the Office for Victims of Crime’s commitment to supporting organizations throughout the Nation that support victims of domestic violence. “The Office for Victims of Crime has awarded $1.5 million dollars to the National Domestic Violence Hotline to expand their digital services and technology-based tools to assist victims, including tracking the availability of shelter beds online.” states Director Hart.

Funded in part by the Office for Victims of Crime, the National Domestic Violence Hotline has advocates that are available 24/7 for victims experiencing domestic violence, seeking resources or information, or questioning unhealthy aspects of their relationship. Support is also available to family members and friends concerned about a loved one. Contact the hotline 24/7 toll free at 800–799–7233 or via online chat.

Domestic violence not only causes emotional and physical harm to victims, but it is also a major cause of homelessness. The Domestic Violence and Housing Technical Assistance Consortium supports survivors experiencing homelessness. Submit a technical assistance request to the Consortium for assistance to address the intersection of domestic violence and homelessness in your community.

Download the free DocuSAFE: Documentation and Evidence Collection app. This app helps survivors collect, store, and share evidence of abuse, such as domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, online harassment, and dating violence. If survivors choose, the app provides options for sharing the content with law enforcement, attorneys, victim advocates, and other professionals. The Safety Net Team at the National Network to End Domestic Violence, in partnership with 3Advance, created this app with funding from the Office for Victims of Crime.

Learn about the OVC-funded SafeNight app that provides support to victims of domestic violence, human trafficking, and sexual assault seeking urgent shelter. This app was produced by the Safe Shelter Collaborative—agencies, funders, supporters, technologists, and community-minded experts who develop solutions that find shelter faster for survivors.

To enhance your efforts in raising awareness of domestic violence, visit the Domestic Violence Awareness Month Project section of the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence website for customizable materials, training resources, and other tools.

Additional resources and information are available on the Intimate Partner Violence section of our site.

National Cyber Security Awareness Month Observed in October

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month. “We must all work together to create a safer, more secure, and more resilient cyber world,” states President Trump in his proclamation.

For information and resources to commemorate National Cyber Security Awareness Month, visit the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency website. Learn more about the theme—Do Your Part. #BeCyberSmart.—and areas of focus throughout the month.  Explore their site even further to learn more about the STOP.THINK.CONNECT.™ Campaign, a national public awareness campaign aimed at increasing the understanding of cyber threats and empowering the American public to be safer and more secure online.

During National Cyber Security Awareness Month, we highlight the following resources.

The National Elder Fraud Hotline, operated by OVC, provides services to adults ages 60 and older who may be victims of financial fraud. If you or someone you know is a victim of elder fraud, we encourage you to call the Hotline at 833–FRAUD–11 (833–372–8311).

The Tech Safety App offers resources for victims of technology-facilitated stalking or abuse and walks users through how a particular technology could be misused, what they can do about it, and offers users safety tips on how to increase their safety and privacy. This OVC-funded app was created by National Network to End Domestic Violence.

The ID Theft Help App provides resources for identity theft victims, including direct access to victim advisors through a 24/7 call center or live chat, and offers educational tools on how to protect yourself against identity theft. This app was created by Identity Theft Resource Center with funding support from OVC.

Date Created: October 15, 2020