Texas Victim Services Association   A professional organization for Victim Service Providers


Victim Services in the news...
  • 11 Jun 2013 1:20 PM | Michelle Richter

    OVC has released its Vicsion 21 Report.

    You can view the document at: http://ovc.ncjrs.gov/vision21/pdfs/Vision21_Report.pdf 

  • 25 Apr 2013 8:46 AM | Michelle Richter

    OJJDP Inventory Reduction Sale

    For a limited time, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) is waiving shipping fees for select publications in its inventory. Stock up on materials for your personal collection, order a quantity of an essential publication for distribution to your colleagues, or add resources for trainings and meetings. Browse the collection and take advantage of this special offer, but hurry – quantities are limited, and free shipping ends May 1.


    View the available publications with free shipping.

  • 25 Apr 2013 8:45 AM | Michelle Richter

    Evaluation of OVW’s Domestic Violence Homicide Prevention Demonstration Initiative

    NIJ seeks proposals to evaluate the implementation and outcomes of the Office on Violence Against Women’s (OVW) Domestic Violence Homicide Prevention Demonstration Initiative. Proposals submitted under this solicitation should:

    • Detail research options for conducting both a process and outcome evaluation.
    • Provide an initial plan for reviewing Phase I, that can include in-person or virtual site visits.
    • Demonstrate strong knowledge of program evaluation, including experience with multi-site evaluation.
    • Demonstrate an understanding of domestic violence, including intimate partner homicide and related prevention programs.

    Application deadline: June 8, 2013

    Download the solicitation
  • 25 Apr 2013 8:44 AM | Michelle Richter
    The National Center for Victims of Crime is inviting adult survivors of child sexual abuse involving sexually explicit pictures or videos of the abuse (child pornography) to take an anonymous online survey about the response they received and the help victims need.

    The survey is funded by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office for Victims of Crime. It asks about help survivors received, barriers to getting help, and suggestions for improving how victims of these crimes are treated by police, prosecutors, courts, and counselors. It also includes a few general questions about the crimes experienced. Participants are free to skip any questions they do not want to answer, and they will not be asked for any information that could identify them.

    For more information about this project, including a link to the online survey, visit www.victimsofcrime.org/child-pornography.

    Thank You!

  • 25 Apr 2013 8:41 AM | Michelle Richter

    Congrats to TAASA for being awarded as a 2013 National Crime Victims’ Service Recipient!


    Everyone is so grateful for TAASA’s mission and the dedication of and strategic thinking of its employees. You make us proud!


    OVC annually recognizes individuals and organizations that demonstrate outstanding service in supporting victims and victim services. The award recipients, who are selected from public nominations in nine categories, are extraordinary individuals, organizations, teams, and programs that provide services to victims of crime. The honorees are announced and honored at the National Crime Victims’ Service Awards Ceremony. Mary Lou Leary, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs and US Attorney General Eric Holder, among other spoke at the awards ceremony.


    Pictures and more about the event: https://ovcncvrw.ncjrs.gov/Awards/AwardGallery/gallerysearch.html

  • 07 Apr 2013 5:28 PM | Michelle Richter

    Two important updates..


    First, federal funding amounts for VOCA are still undetermined and currently face risk of additional reductions.   Here are some details from the NAVAA.org website.  Attorney General Eric Holder informed Senate appropriators that the Justice Department will reprogram "donated" funds intended for grants (e.g. VOCA, VAWA, Byrne JAG grants, etc) to offset sequestration cuts to other DOJ components. The Attorney General has authority to reprogram up to 5 percent from among DOJ accounts. According to recent news reports, DOJ will transfer $150 million from some (still unknown) DOJ accounts to alleviate sequestration cuts to the Bureau of Prison. Although the exact amount is unknown, a transfer of the maximum 5 percent from the Crime Victims Fund would further redu! ce the amount available for VOCA programs.


    Worst case scenario, there is a potential 16.8% cut to VOCA grant programs.   Please call your US. Representative and Senators and ask that Eric Holder be pressured NOT to ‘donate’ funding intended for victim services.


    Second, HB 1229 (a bill to create a statewide campus sexual assault task force) was heard in committee yesterday.  There was some excellent testimony.  You can watch the recorded video here (you will need real player on your computer).  The testimony on HB 1229 starts at the 14 minute mark and includes some powerful survivor testimony around the 46 minute mark.



  • 23 Mar 2013 6:12 PM | Michelle Richter

    There has been a lot of movement regarding funding for rape crisis centers in the last couple of months.  There are still a lot of moving parts so most of this may change.  But here is the current status of funding for rape crisis centers:

    VOCA and VAWA (Governor’s Office)

    As a result of sequestration, VOCA and VAWA grants from the Governor’s office may be reduced by 5% starting Sept 1, 2013.  This is best guess, as the federal government has not passed a continuing resolution yet (although I hear they might have reached an agreement!).

    In addition, please make sure to check to if your home county (the county where your main o! ffice is) is on pace to be at or above 90% on reporting adult criminal history dispositions to the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) by August 1, 2013. CJD will periodically post updated criminal history disposition reports on its website and will be sending monthly updates to regional councils of government.  You may locate the most recent list by going to the eGrants log-on screen and clicking on Updates and then Important Notices.  You may access the current list by clicking here.

    OAG – Victim Assistance Grants

    As you know, the CVC Fund is the revenue source for several types of victim assistance grants (SAPC! S-State, OVAG, CAC, CASA to name a few).  In the fall the OAG predicted a 57% cut to these grants because of declining balances in the CVC Fund.  In January, the legislature’s base bill restored the victim assistance grants 100%.  This is great news, but is subject to change until the budget is finalized and the legislative session ends (May 27, 2013). 

    That said, the victims assistance grants will most likely be effected by sequestration as some of the original source of funding is VOCA.  Grant reductions are still unknown, but could range from 5-10% as a result of sequestration.   

    OAG – RPE Funds (or SAPCS-Federal)

    Starting Sept 1, there will most likely be a more than 5% cut for SAPCS-Federal funds.  VAWA Reauthorization included a new formula fo r RPE distribution to the states that included baseline funding which ! means high population states will actually get a little less money since it is currently ALL population based rather than mostly population based.  

  • 01 Mar 2013 4:50 PM | Michelle Richter

    Statement by Attorney General Eric Holder on the House Passage of the Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act


    Attorney General Eric Holder issued the following statement today on the House passage of the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act:


    “I am pleased that Congress has voted to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), a landmark law that has transformed the way we respond to domestic and sexual violence.  This reauthorization includes crucial new provisions to improve our ability to bring hope and healing to the victims of these crimes, expand access to justice, and strengthen the prosecutorial and enforcement tools available to hold perpetrators accountable. 


    “Congress has also taken an historic step to finally close the loophole that left many Native American women without adequate protection.  With this bill, tribes and the federal government can better work together to address domestic violence against Native American women, who experience the highest rates of assault in the United States.  The bill also provides funding to improve the criminal justice response to sexual assault, ensuring that victims can access the services they need to heal.  And it will help to build on evidence-based practices for reducing domestic violence homicides and prevent violence against our nation’s children, teens, and young adults.


    “I applaud Congress for passing a bipartisan reauthorization that protects everyone – women and men, gay and straight, children and adults of all races, ethnicities, countries of origin, and tribal affiliations. The Department of Justice looks forward to implementing this historic legislation after it is signed into law.”


  • 01 Mar 2013 3:24 PM | Michelle Richter

    Department of Justice

    Office of Public Affairs

    Thursday, February 28, 2013



    Justice Department Announces More Than $12.6 Million in Grants to 20 Communities to Reduce Dating Violence


    The Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women (OVW ) today announced $12.6 million dollars in grants awarded to 20 communities as part of a new, consolidated program designed to more effectively reduce dating violence . For the first time, grantees can implement a comprehensive approach to dating violence that includes services for victims, prevention programs, partnering with schools and engaging men and boys in ending violence against women . OVW combined four separate grant programs into one, enabling more efficient, effective work and responding to the call for bold new initiatives from The Attorney General’s Task Force on Children Exposed to Violence.


    Grantees of the Consolidated Grant Program to Address Children and Youth Experiencing Domestic and Sexual Violence and Engaging Men and Boys as Allies will provide services to children and youth exposed to violence, training for professionals to improve interventions and responses, coordinated school-based strategies, supportive services for non-abusing parents and coordinated community responses. The Program also supports innovative prevention strategies that encourage men and boys to work as allies with women and girls to prevent domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking.


    Acting Associate Attorney General Tony West announced the grants to a room full of high school and college students at a White House event commemorating Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month.


    “Teen dating violence is about our community, our schools and our relationships. And that means it’s about us. Each one of us, as well as, importantly, those of us who are men,” Acting Associate Attorney General West said. “As fathers, brothers, coaches, teachers and classmates – men’s voices must be part of this conversation – as men, both young and old, this is our individual and collective responsibility.”


    Research shows that our nation’s teens and young adults experience particularly high rates of violence. One-in-ten 9th-12th grade students were physically hurt, on purpose, by a boyfriend or girlfriend in 2011. According to the latest CDC data, 80% of rape victims were raped for the first time before their 25th birthday. Many young people do not know where to turn for help. A 2008 study found that 67 percent of students who were abused in a relationship talked to a friend, but only 13 percent also talked to a parent or other adult.


    “Every year, millions of children and adolescents across the United States are victimized and exposed to violence in their homes and neighborhoods, and often suffer severe, long-term emotional and physical consequences,” said Acting Director of OVW Bea Hanson. “As we work to help keep our children safe, we must view prevention and intervention as intertwined, not separate and distinct. This grant program is an essential part of our vision for safe and healthy communities, places where young people can grow to their fullest potential.” 


    Grantees will receive awards ranging from $350,000 to $1,000,000 based on the scope of their projects.   The selected applicants are: Aleut Community of St. Paul Island, Alaska; The Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, Alaska; Center for Hope and Healing, Mass.; Deaf Abused Women’s Network, Washington, D.C.; The Family Partnership, Minn.; Family Violence and Rape Crisis Services, N.C.;   Jenesse Center Inc., Calif.; Jewish Women International, Inc., Washington, D.C.; HOPE Works, Vt.; Mecklenburg County, N.C.;   Meriden-Wallingford Chrysalis Inc., Conn.; Kalispel Tribe of Indians, Wash.; King County Sexual Assault Resource Center, Wash.; Nashville Young Women’s Christian Association, Tenn.; Peace Over Violence, Calif.; Project Pave, Colo.;   SafeHaven of Tarrant County, Texas; Wiconi Wawokiya Inc., S.D.; Youth Organizations Umbrella Inc., Ill.; and YWCA Knoxville, Tenn.


     For more information on OVW and its programs, please visit: www.ovw.usdoj.gov .




  • 28 Feb 2013 12:34 PM | Michelle Richter

    VAWA (Senate Version S47) just passed the House. The vote was 286 yay, 138 nay.

    87 Republicans joined House Democrats to pass the bill.

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