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Initiatives for Improving the Mental Health of Traumatized Crime Victims

NCJ Number
Date Published
4 pages
Publication Series
This fact sheet reviews the support for victim mental health services provided by the U.S. Department of Justice's Office for Victims of Crime (OVC).
OVC recognizes that victim assistance providers need to have the knowledge and skills to respond sensitively and effectively to crime victims and that mental health services should be available to victims who need this assistance. OVC also supports strong collaboration between victim assistance providers and mental health practitioners. OVC administers the Crime Victims fund, which was established by the Victims of Crime Act of 1984 (VOCA) to support services to crime victims throughout the country. Each year, OVC distributes substantial VOCA formula grant funding to State victim assistance and compensation programs to ensure that lifeline services for victims, including crisis counseling and specialized mental health assistance, are available and accessible. OVC also administers VOCA discretionary grant funding to support innovative, national scope training and technical assistance initiatives that will expand and improve services to crime victims, including specialized training on the mental health assistance needs of crime victims for both victim advocates and licensed mental health providers. During fiscal year 1997, State compensation programs reimbursed victims almost $43 million for mental health services. Four VOCA discretionary grant programs are briefly described, and relevant OVC resources are listed and summarized. An exhibit shows the limits for mental health counseling benefits for each State.

Date Published: January 1, 1998