BJS: Bureau of Justice Statistics

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Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS)
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Victim Service Providers
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The National Survey of Victim Service Providers (NSVSP) is a project aimed at filling an important information gap in our understanding of victimization, namely the range of services available for and provided to different types of crime victims. For more than two decades, programs such as the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) and the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) have been working to enhance our nation’s capacity to assist crime victims and promote justice through the delivery of support services to victims of crime. However, relatively little research has been done to demonstrate the coverage and effectiveness of this service infrastructure or to identify areas in which victims are still in need of services. 

The Bureau of Justice Statistics’ (BJS) National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) has conducted research and collected statistics from crime victims since 1972. While the NCVS has a great deal of information on victims and the crimes they experience, these efforts have limitations in terms of answering questions about what is and is not being done to provide support and services to victims, as well as what support programs are and are not effective. Currently, the victim service field lacks complete and reliable information about the range of services being provided to crime victims every day across the country, how many crime victims are being served each year, and how many victims are seeking unavailable services. Similarly, with a few exceptions, limited information exists about the organizations and agencies that comprise the victim service field, including how they are funded and the organizational resources required to provide certain services.

With no baseline measures about the current services provided or the organizations that provide them, there is no way to measure progress in terms of the number and range of victims served by these organizations or the effectiveness of services provided. The lack of a clear understanding about how current victim service funding is being used limits the ability of the field to work more effectively in providing assistance to crime victims, to seek future funding, or to identify underserved populations. BJS recognizes the limits of the NCVS to fully address issues related to victims’ receipt of services, and therefore, with collaboration and funding from OVC, developed the National Survey of Victim Service Providers (NSVSP). On June 26, 2012, BJS issued a solicitation for the 2012 NSVSP, requesting applications to respond to this interest in developing a statistical system about services provided to crime victims.

RAND Corporation, working in collaboration with the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) and the National Center for Victims of Crime (NCVC), was awarded the cooperative agreement. The awardees are actively working to carry out the NSVSP’s two primary objectives: (1) design a data collection that will produce reliable statistics about both the crime victims served and the victim-serving providers, and (2) implement the design to obtain national and subnational data to generate a specified set of statistics. The NSVSP aims to produce estimates, such as the number of victims served by victim service providers, the types and duration of services provided, the cost of providing services, the number of victims for whom services could not be provided, the types of organizations providing services, the funding sources for victim service providers, the number and characteristics of staff in victim service organizations, and the policies and practices of these organizations as they relate to the provision of services to crime victims.

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Use of Victim Service Agencies by Victims of Serious Violent Crime, 1993-2009 NINE PERCENT OF SERIOUS VIOLENT CRIME VICTIMS RECEIVED HELP OR ADVICE FROM A VICTIM SERVICE AGENCY BETWEEN 1993 AND 2009
  Press Release