U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.


Office for Victims of Crime (OVC)

The Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) is committed to enhancing the Nation’s capacity to assist crime victims and to providing leadership in changing attitudes, policies, and practices to promote justice and healing for all victims of crime.

Visit the OVC website to learn more about OVC.

OVC Divisions

OVC's main undertaking is to improve the Nation’s ability to help victims of crime and to be a leader in transforming attitudes, policies, and practices that encourage justice and healing for victims. There are six divisions of the OVC which administer particular areas. They are:

  • Operations Team
  • Policy, Communications, and Outreach Division
  • State Victim Resource Division
  • Tribal Division
  • Human Trafficking Division
  • Discretionary Programs Division

OVC Leadership

Katherine Darke Schmitt
Acting Director

About Katherine

Katherine Darke Schmitt photo

Katherine Darke Schmitt is the Acting Director of the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) within the U.S. Department of Justice, where she oversees programs and services that help victims in the aftermath of crime and as they rebuild their lives.  Most recently, she served OVC as the Deputy Director of the Tribal Division and, prior to that, as the Deputy Director of the National Programs Division.  Before joining OVC as Associate Director in February 2018, she served as Senior Policy Advisor to the Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs (OJP), where she was also Director of the OJP Diagnostic Center, a national technical assistance resource providing customized assistance to states, municipalities, and tribes in criminal justice, public safety, and victim service issues.

Ms. Darke’s portfolio at the Office of Justice Programs has included programs related to enhancing officer safety and community relations, the nexus between animal cruelty and interpersonal violence, and the integration of research and program evaluation into the practice of public policy in the fields of criminal justice, juvenile justice, and public safety.  Previous assignments within OJP include 7 years at the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, where she was Deputy Associate Administrator of the Child Protection Division, focused on the law enforcement and community response to the abuse, exploitation, and trafficking of children.  She also spent 3 years at the National Institute of Justice in the Violence and Victimization Research Division overseeing research projects on violence against women.

Prior to joining the Department of Justice, Ms. Darke worked at the Urban Institute and the National Academy of Sciences on projects focused on gender equity, immigration, domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse prevention.

Ms. Darke holds a B.A. in Government, magna cum laude, and a Master’s degree in Public Policy from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia.  She is a 2017 graduate of the Federal Executive Institute and the Brookings Executive Education Fellowship and a 2016 graduate of the Army War College Senior Leader Seminar.

Contact OVC

OVC Email
Main Line: 202-307-5983

Date Created: January 7, 2020