This report guides law enforcement agencies in assessing their policies, practices, and training related to the provision of digital services to crime victims, which pertains to any technology used to communicate with victims, such as mobile or landline phone calls, text messages, video calls, web-based chats, or emails.
When planning for digital services as a component of a victim services program, law enforcement agencies should consider the distinctive community circumstances, applicable laws, available resources, current practices, and other local circumstances. This report presents a set of steps adapted for law enforcement victim services, along with links to resources developed by the National Network to End Domestic Violence. The first of three recommended steps is to identify and review existing agency and victim services policies and practices for communicating with victims. In this step, attention should be given to the types of communication with victims included in current policies, and how chat, text, or video communications would change or impact current policies. Attention should be given to how the provision of multiple options for communication with victims may remove barriers and promote increased access to and engagement with victims. Agencies are encouraged to discuss policies and procedures with agency legal counsel and the prosecuting attorneys’ office to ensure both agency and victims’ rights are considered. The second step is to make key decisions as agencies adopt new digital services for victims, such as who will plan and adopt decisions and policies; what new capacities and procedures are needed; how digital services will be managed and scheduled; and who will be included in the communication platform. The third step is to train those who will deliver and manage digital victim services. 4 online resources