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First Response to Victims of Crime: A Guidebook for Law Enforcement Officers

NCJ Number
Date Published
July 2010
98 pages
Publication Series

Although not intended to be a training manual or to offer guidance on responding to victims in every possible situation, this guidebook offers important information for law enforcement officers on how to respond to the needs of a wide range of victims.


The first section presents basic guidelines on officers' first response to victims' three major needs: to feel safe, to express their emotions, and to know "what comes next." Guidelines are listed for the specific attitudes and behaviors officers should display in meeting each of these three major victim needs. The guidebook's second section focuses on officers' first response to specific types of crime victims. This includes victims distinguished by age (older victims and child victims), those distinguished by a disability (Alzheimer's disease, mental illness, mental retardation, blindness or vision impairment, deafness or difficulty in hearing, and those with limited physical mobility), and victims who are immigrants. The guidebook's third section lists appropriate officer behaviors and attitudes toward individuals victimized by each of the following types of offenses: sexual assault, domestic violence, drunk-driving crashes, survivors of homicide victims, human trafficking, and mass-casualty crimes. A directory of national victim service providers is included. 50 notes

Date Published: July 1, 2010