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THURSDAY, APRIL 17, 1997202/307-0703


WASHINGTON, D.C. -- In an effort to increase the availability of information about victims' rights and assistance services, the Justice Department's Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) has launched a new interactive homepage on the Internet --

The new website will enable crime victims, victims advocates and others interested in victims rights to access information about available services on a state-by-state basis. OVC website visitors can also obtain information about available funding, training and technical assistance, and employment opportunities in the field of victim services. A feature called "Listservs" will allow victim assistance providers to share program ideas through e-mail. Other links include information about victims' legislation, help for victims of a variety of different crimes and victim statistics. Victim practitioners can click on: law enforcement," "prosecutors" and other categories to go directly to information of interest.

"Our new webpage is a cost-efficient and safe way for victims to find help," said OVC Deputy Director Carolyn Hightower, who led the effort to create this new outreach. "It also provides a quick, easy way for victim service providers to access the latest information about what's available to victims and communicate with each other, so they can better serve their clients."

OVC was established in 1985 as a result of the Victims of Crime Act of 1984, as the federal government's chief advocate for crime victims and their families. OVC operates on financing from the Crime Victims Fund, which is comprised of monies paid, not by taxpayers, but by persons and organizations fined by the federal government for criminal activities.

OVC provides substantial funding to state victim assistance and compensation programs, and supports trainings to educate criminal justice and allied professionals regarding the rights and needs of crime victims. OVC is one of five bureaus within the Office of Justice Programs (OJP).

To learn more about OVC, its programs and resources, see the new web site at or the OJP home page at Or, call the OVC Resource Center at 800/627-6872.



After hours, please page Linda Mansour on 888/582-6753