National Center for Victims of Crime Essay

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The National Center for Victims of Crime is the nation’s leading resource and advocacy organization for crime victims and victim service providers. Founded in 1985 by the children of Sunny von Bulow, the victim of a murder attempt that left her in a decades-long diabetic coma, the National Center works with local, state, and federal partners to help individuals, families, and communities who have been harmed by crime.

The National Center provides direct services and resources to victims of crime across the country through its victim helpline (1-800-FYI-CALL), which helps victims—in 150 languages—understand the impact of crime, access victim compensation, develop safety plans, navigate the criminal justice and social service systems, learn their legal rights and options, and find the most appropriate local services. Victims of crime also receive direct assistance via e-mail at gethelp@ncvc.org and through the national center’s Get Help bulletins on a wide range of victim-related issues available at www.ncvc.org. The organization also operates the Victim Services Referral Database, a unique resource that gives victims access to detailed information about the services of nearly 10,000 victim-service agencies throughout the country. Victims may also receive referrals to attorneys through the National Crime Victim Bar Association, an affiliate of the national center and the nation’s only organization of attorneys dedicated to helping crime victims seek justice through the civil justice system.

The National Center for Victims of Crime fosters cutting-edge thinking about the impact of and response to crime and has published several landmark reports including Rape in America, a groundbreaking national study on rape conducted in partnership with the Medical University of South Carolina; Our Vulnerable Teenagers, released jointly with the National Council on Crime and Delinquency, which analyzed existing, but largely unnoticed, research and data on the alarming crime experiences of teenagers; and Repairing the Harm, which highlighted major shortcomings in the nation’s victim compensation system.

The National Center for Victims of Crime advocates for laws and public policies that secure resources, rights, and protections for crime victims and is the nation’s leading proponent of a new vision of justice for crime victims called Parallel Justice, a framework for responding to crime with two separate, but complimentary paths to justice—one for victims and one for offenders.

The center’s Stalking Resource Center, the only national technical assistance center focused solely on stalking, works to raise public awareness about stalking and helps communities across the country develop multidisciplinary responses to this insidious crime. Since its inception in 2000, the center has provided training to tens of thousands of victim service providers and criminal justice practitioners throughout the United States. In addition, the center’s Teen Victim Initiative focuses on building the nation’s capacity to support teenage victims of crime, one of the largest groups of underserved victims.

Through its Training Institute and national conferences, the National Center for Victims of Crime provides trainings and technical assistance to victim service providers, counselors, attorneys, and allied professionals serving victims of crime and publishes a wide array of resources, including NETWORKS, the National Center’s flagship magazine.

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