National Native American Heritage Month
November is National Native American Heritage Month. In his proclamation, President Biden states “During National Native American Heritage Month, we celebrate the countless contributions of Native peoples past and present, honor the influence they have had on the advancement of our Nation, and recommit ourselves to upholding trust and treaty responsibilities, strengthening Tribal sovereignty, and advancing Tribal self-determination.”
The U.S. Department of Justice has a long-standing commitment to enhancing public safety for American Indian and Alaska Native communities. Learn about programs and resources supported by OVC to support victim services in these communities.
Tribal Multimedia Products
The following OVC resources are available to inform and assist victim service providers and allied professionals in their efforts to help crime victims in American Indian and Alaska Native communities.
- Alcohol-Facilitated Sexual Assault in Indian Country
- A Circle of Healing for Native Children Endangered by Drugs
- A Healing Journey for Alaska Natives
- Partners in Justice—Bureau of Indian Affairs Victim Specialists
- Using Federal Law To Prosecute Domestic Violence Crimes in Indian Country
Tribal Victim Services Set-Aside Funding
OVC administers the Tribal Victim Services Set-Aside formula program that—
- funds direct services that meet the needs of crime victims,
- assists victims in navigating the complex systems often associated with victimization, and
- provides awareness about victimization and the resources available to victims.
In Fiscal Year 2021, OVC awarded more than $90 million under this program. Learn about these awards.
OVC Provides Financial Management to Tribal Grantees and Applicants
The OVC Tribal Financial Management Center offers the following services at no cost—
- assistance preparing applications for grants,
- support for the financial management and reporting requirements of their Office of Justice Programs award,
- financial needs assessments,
- individualized financial training and technical assistance, and
- regional training sessions and interactive webinars.
Visit the OVC Tribal Financial Management Center website to learn more and request assistance.
Human Trafficking Capacity Building Center
The Human Trafficking Capacity Building Center helps Tribes start, sustain, or expand their anti-trafficking work.
The Center also proactively reaches out to Tribes that receive little or no OVC funding for their human trafficking programs to help address gaps in their service coverage.
Visit the Human Trafficking Capacity Building Center website for more information about the Center’s free services and a wealth of downloadable anti-trafficking resources.
Tribal Resource Tool
The Tribal Resource Tool is a searchable directory of services available for American Indian and Alaska Native survivors of crime and abuse. Find programs that provide services for—
- all ages;
- all forms of victimization;
- all locations (on or off reservations, in areas that are remote, rural, urban, or suburban);
- all needs of victims, including justice, safety, healing, and support.
The project also seeks to identify gaps in victim services so those can be addressed.
The Tool was created by the National Center for Victims of Crime, National Congress of American Indians, Tribal Law and Policy Institute, and StrongHearts Native Helpline with funding support from OVC.
Tribal Access Program
Tribes face unique challenges in information sharing and accessing federal databases, which impacts public safety in Tribal communities and throughout the United States.
OVC is one of the U.S. Department of Justice Program Offices that funds the Tribal Access Program, which helps provide Tribes with access to national crime information systems for both criminal and non-criminal purposes.
Under the Tribal Access Program, OVC funds provide kiosks, software, and training; onboarding and vetting services; and deployment and ongoing support for Tribal nations to help protect crime victims.
Visit our American Indians/Alaska Natives Victim Services Resources microsite for additional information and resources.
Transgender Day of Remembrance
On Saturday, November 20, 2021, we recognize Transgender Day of Remembrance. This annual observance honors the memory of those whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence.
Transgender victims deserve respect and to be heard, believed, served, and supported.
Discover resources to help your organization raise awareness and serve victims of anti-transgender violence on the GLAAD Transgender Day of Remembrance website.
The OVC Training and Technical Assistance Center (OVC TTAC) offers a training module in Victim Assistance Training Online on Specific Considerations for Providing Victim Services to LGBTQ Populations. This training provides information on—
- language, terminology, and concepts commonly used in LGBTQ communities;
- the differences between gender identity and sexual orientation;
- a historical and legal perspective of LGBTQ rights and recognition;
- barriers people in the LGBTQ community face when accessing services; and
- ways to increase your agency's ability and capacity to effectively serve LGTBQ people.
Take the free, self-paced training at any time online and read more about the following resources from OVC TTAC:
- The Vulnerabilities of LGBTQ and Homeless Youth to Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation
- Serving LGBTQ Survivors of Violence
In FY 2020, domestic and family violence was the most common victimization reported serving 3,804 victims, followed by stalking/harassment (1,411 victims), adult sexual assault (1,351 victims), bullying (1,302 victims), and adult physical assault (1,130 victims) according to a recent analysis of 22 VOCA Victim Assistance subgrantees that provide services to the LGBTQ community.
Visit OVC’s topic pages for resources that provide information on these types of victimizations, including the Responding to Transgender Victims of Sexual Assault toolkit.
OVC Administers Grants that Support Millions of Victims Each Year
The Crime Victims Fund is financed by fines and penalties paid by convicted federal offenders, not from tax dollars.
Administered by OVC, the Crime Victims Fund provides support to state victim assistance and compensation programs annually. Annual Victim Assistance and Victim Compensation grants help fund thousands of local victim assistance programs nationwide and provide millions in victim compensation to victims of crime.
In FY 2021, OVC awarded more than $1 billion in Victim Assistance grants that will support local direct service programs, including domestic violence shelters, rape crisis centers, human trafficking and elder abuse programs, as well as victim advocate positions in prosecutors’ offices and law enforcement departments. Through Victim Compensation grants, more than $186 million will supplement the state funds that assist victims’ with financial burdens such as medical fees, lost income, dependent care, funeral expenses, and other costs resulting from crime.
OVC Victim Assistance and Victim Compensation grantees are also required to report performance measures. In FY 2019, the latest year for which reporting data is available, OVC provided $3.3 billion to 56 states and territories under the Victim Assistance Formula Grant program. These 56 grantees used this money to fund 6,837 domestic violence shelters, rape crisis centers, human trafficking and elder abuse programs, and other programs that provide direct services to victims of crime.
Programs receiving funding in FY 2019 reported—
- serving more than 13.8 million total victims (including new and returning individuals) and
- handling nearly 5 million hotline calls or online chats.
Read more in our FY 2019 Victim Assistance Formula Grant Program Nationwide Performance Report.
In FY 2019, 54 states and territories received funding to reimburse victims for out-of-pocket expenses resulting from the crime.
Programs receiving funding in FY 2019 reported reimbursing nearly $400 million to more than 235,000 victims of crime.
Read more in our FY 2019 Victim Compensation Formula Grant Program Nationwide Performance Report.