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Introductory Workshop on Crime Victims' Rights and Services Trainer's Manual

NCJ Number
Fran Danis Ph.D.
Date Published
February 2006
40 pages
This trainer's manual presents guidance for trainers conducting the "Introductory Workshop on Crime Victims' Rights and Services," a component of the Victims of Crime: A Social Work Response project.
The trainer's manual is divided into four sections: (1) introductory statements; (2) the biopsychological effects of violent crime; (3) crime victims' rights; and (4) next steps for social work. Prior to section 1, the manual offers guidance on how to prepare for the workshop, including advice on preparing the workshop materials and planning the training sessions. Section1 presents the workshop goals and objectives, which are to provide knowledge concerning the effects of violent crime on victims, the services available to crime victims, and the rights of crime victims. Two exercises in section 1 focus on the composition of the workshop audience and the experiences they may have had as victims of crime. The second section discusses the biopsychological effects of violent crime and recommends an exercise that encourages participants to consider how they might react to an assault. A crime scenario is presented and participants are asked to consider the victim's possible reactions during the crime event and the effects of the traumatic event on the brain. Participants are also asked to consider how they might help this crime victim feel safe. Secondary victimization issues, posttraumatic stress symptoms, and issues for special populations of crime victims are also considered. Section 3 focuses on crime victims' rights, which vary by State but generally include federally funded victim compensation funds and the right to be present during criminal justice proceedings. Crime victims' rights in Texas are focused on as an example of specific crime victims' rights. Section 4 moves on to a brief discussion of the next steps for social work in terms of meeting the needs of crime victims, which is followed by a series of workshop attachments, including a sample victim impact statement, a workshop evaluation form, and a series of PowerPoint slides for use during the workshop.