OVC Bulletin banner

A Multimedia Program To Improve Criminal Justice System Participation and Reduce Distress Among Physically Injured Crime Victims

April 2006
Connie L. Best, Ronald E. Acierno, and Heidi S. Resnick


Message From the Director

Emotional distress and lack of knowledge and information can cause victims of violent crime to avoid participation in the criminal justice system.

A DVD and accompanying brochure detailing victims' rights, clarifying processes of the criminal justice system, and providing guidance on dealing with common psychological effects of violent crime were shown to several injured crime victims while they were hospitalized. The victims then completed a survey.

The surveyed victims represented a variety of demographic groups, and the crimes they encountered and injuries they sustained ranged widely.

Results: Video and Nonvideo Participants
The crime victims who viewed the DVD and brochure (video participants) reported a greater understanding of their legal rights, emotional effects of violent crime and strategies to address them, and the criminal justice process than did crime victims who had not viewed the DVD and brochure (nonvideo participants).

Implications and Applications
The DVD was designed to help individuals understand and navigate the criminal justice system, and to increase individuals' knowledge about common psychological responses to crime and strategies to reduce their negative effects. The materials were designed for use in the trauma and surgical inpatient setting of a hospital where patients have acute injuries, but may also be useful in outpatient emergency rooms, other hospital-based clinics, physical therapy facilities, rehabilitation centers, or primary care offices and clinics.

For More Information



About the Authors

This product is also available in Spanish.

This project was prepared by the National Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center at the Medical University of South Carolina under grant number 1998-VF-GX-0006, awarded by the Office for Victims of Crime, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this document are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.

Download This Bulletin

  • 8-page PDF file (1.7 mb)

Related OVC Resources

Order This OVC Product Online

The fastest and easiest method for obtaining materials from OVC is to place your order online by clicking on the shopping cart icon.

  • NCJ 212974 Order

To obtain other materials from OVC, visit the NCJRS Publications/Products page where you can search for all available OVC products either by entering the product ordering number or keyword in the search field. A browsable list of crime victimization-related publications is also available in the NCJRS Web site.

OVC Resource Center
Toll-Free: 1-800-851-3420
TTY: 301-947-8374

OVC Training and Technical Assistance Center
1-866-OVC–TTAC (1-866-682-8822)
TTY: 1-866-682-8880

Office for Victims of Crime logo

Office of Justice Programs Seal Partnerships for Safer Communities
The Office for Victims of Crime is a component of the Office of Justice Programs, which also includes the Bureau of Justice Assistance, the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.