Using guidance from Recommendation #3 of Vision 21 - a large-scale initiative by the U.S. Justice Department's Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) to transform crime victim services in the United States - this paper focuses on how to improve support services for male survivors of violence.
Vision 21's Recommendation #3 is to "Ensure statutory, policy, and programmatic flexibility to address enduring and emerging crime victim issues." Vision 21: Transforming Victim Services Final Report recognizes that existing victim service systems do not have the cultural competency and capacity to engage, respond to, and treat male victims of violence. Often these survivors cope alone with the adverse trauma of their victimization, which undermines the healing process. To address this need, in 2015 OVC partnered with the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) and the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) to launch the Supporting Male Survivors of Violence Initiative. The goal of this initiative is to bolster the victim-services field's ability to provide effective, culturally appropriate, and trauma-informed services for boys and men harmed by violence, as well as to expand services and assist in normalizing male victims' lives and promote their healing. This paper outlines the four objectives and three components of this 5-year multidisciplinary demonstration initiative. Contact information for resources and technical assistance is provided.