National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, April 18–24, 2021
From April 18–24, 2021, OVC will lead the Nation to commemorate the 40th anniversary National Crime Victims’ Rights Week (NCVRW). This year’s NCVRW theme—Support Victims. Build Trust. Engage Communities.—emphasizes the importance of leveraging community support to help victims of crime.
Access the 2021 NCVRW Resource Guide for public awareness materials to educate the public about victims’ rights, protections, and services during NCVRW and throughout the year. The guide includes tips for developing your campaign, strategies for communicating your message, compelling artwork, and more.
All NCVRW Resource Guide materials are available in English, with many available in Spanish as well. Organizations can incorporate these materials into their own online campaigns and other efforts to raise public awareness.
View the 2021 NCVRW Resource Guide.
2021 National Crime Victims’ Service Awards Ceremony
Register to watch the 2021 National Crime Victims’ Service Awards Virtual Ceremony virtually. This annual event recognizes individuals and organizations that demonstrate outstanding service in supporting victims.
Date: April 23, 2021
Time: 3:00–4:30 p.m. eastern time
The ceremony will also be broadcast over Facebook Live. Like OVC’s Facebook page to receive notification when the ceremony begins.
Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month
Present Biden proclaimed April as National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, marking the 20th anniversary of this annual event. President Biden states that during this month “we honor the strength and resilience of sexual assault survivors, and we recommit ourselves to standing with them for safety, dignity, and justice.”
"The Office for Victims of Crime is here to help survivors access the services and the justice that they deserve," states OVC Acting Director Katherine Darke Schmitt in a National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month video message. "This month, as we commemorate victims and survivors, we also think about the professionals and the victim service providers who have helped these survivors on their paths towards healing."
Help raise awareness about sexual violence by visiting the National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month website. Download and share campaign content, including posters, social media resources, and more.
During this month, we highlight the following OVC-funded initiatives to improve services to victims and reach victims.
- National Sexual Assault Online Hotline
With support from OVC, the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) provides free, confidential support services for English- and Spanish-speaking survivors of sexual assault through its National Sexual Assault Online Hotline and by calling 800–656–HOPE (4673).
- Telehealth to Help Survivors of Sexual Assault
OVC provides funding to five demonstration sites to increase access to high-quality forensic care for victims of sexual assault in rural and underserved areas.
- Penn State University (SAFE–T Center),
- Texas A&M University (Texas Teleforensic Remote Assistance Center),
- Avera Health (eSANE for Rural),
- Tundra Women’s Coalition, and
- University of Arkansas (Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner Network for Evidence-based Telemedicine).
- The International Association of Forensic Nurses provides technical assistance to ensure that patients who have experienced sexual assault have access to quality, patient-centered, trauma-informed care and to ensure that the demonstration sites have immediate access to the training and technical assistance they need to deliver these services.
- Expanding SANE Services to Victims of Sexual Assault on Campus
In Fiscal Year 2020, OVC made 8 awards to establish or expand Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) programs that will offer medical forensic care, advocacy, and other victim services to sexual assault survivors on the following campuses.
Visit the Office on Violence Against Women website for sexual assault resources, including publications for forensic medical examiners, and information about this office’s formula and discretionary grants that support victims of sexual assault.
National Child Abuse Prevention Month
April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, a time for communities to raise awareness and promote strategies that address the risk factors surrounding child abuse. In his Presidential Proclamation, President Biden states that his “Administration is committed to expanding efforts to improve prevention initiatives, enhance trauma-informed responses to assist children and adolescents impacted by sexual violence, and work toward healing and justice.”
View an outreach toolkit, sample messages, and graphics to help raise awareness on the Child Welfare Information Gateway website.
During April, OVC highlights the following resources on protecting and assisting children and youth—
- Linking Systems of Care for Children and Youth
Through this initiative, OVC is supporting demonstration projects in four states to learn what is needed to bring healthcare, child welfare, justice, and other systems together at a statewide level to coordinate and align efforts to ensure a timely and seamless response to young victims of violence and their families.
View the Linking Systems of Care Toolkit to learn how you can help your community replicate the process of linking systems of care.
- Through Our Eyes: Children, Violence, and Trauma
Trauma left unaddressed can have serious consequences for children and youth as they grow up. “Through Our Eyes” encourages everyone to act to protect children from crime and abuse and help them heal from trauma.
- A Circle of Healing for Native Children Endangered by Drugs
This video series and companion resource guide weaves Native stories and cultural practices from across the Nation to show many of the ways children, families, and communities are healing from drug endangerment. It highlights a range of culturally relevant approaches to inspire communities to develop, enhance, and share their own responses to these issues.
Our partners at the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention provide funding through their Victims of Child Abuse program to enhance victim services and ensure professionals have access to effective and innovative training. This office also funds children’s advocacy centers, court appointed special advocates, and other programs to help protect children. Visit the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention’s Responding to Child Abuse page to learn more.
For additional resources, view our Child and Youth Victimization topic page.