What's Inside:
  • VOCA Increases State Victims Assistance Grants for FY2016
  • March 9th 'Identifying Opportunities to Change the Discourse Webinar'
  • Funding Opportunities
  • The latest on Trauma Informed Care
  • What's New on the Research Front
  • HJA Members In the News
  • Communications Corner
February 2016 E-Newsletter
VOCA Increases State Victims Assistance Grants
Many were upset and worried about the passing of the congressional Bipartisan Budget Agreement last November. as that agreement permanently removed $1.5 billion from the Crime Victims Fund to pay for other, non-crime victim related, federal programs. However, in the midst of this, a silver lining has appeared in the form of funding increases for FY 2016.

With an increased cap on the Crime Victims Fund for FY 2016, an estimated $302.6 million additional will be available for state VOCA victim assistance grants. This represents a 15.5% increase for state assistance grant funding from FY 2015.

All states and most territories receive annual VOCA assistance grants consisting of a mandated base amount plus additional funds based on population (click here for formula). State assistance grants are used to support providers who supply direct services to victims including counseling, emergency shelter, rape crisis centers and help participating in the criminal justice system. Approximately 4 million crime victims receive these services from more than 4,000 agencies every year throughout the U.S.  The agencies responsible for the VOCA programs vary from state to state. Contact information for each VOCA administrator as well as current VOCA Assistance and Compensation Reports are available in OVC’s U.S Resource Map of Crime Victim Services and Information (click here for U.S. Resource Map).

The federal Office for Victims of Crime administers the Crime Victims Fund, established under the 1984 Victims of Crime Act (VOCA), to help victims and victim service-providers with program funding in accordance with OVC’s Program Plan each fiscal year.

For more in-depth information, please visit:
Office for Victims of Crime – Crime Fund page
Office for Victims of Crime – Statewide VOCA Analysis U.S. Index
Office for Victims of Crime – U.S. Resource Map of Crime Victim Services and Information
National Association of VOCA Assistance Administrators

Monitoring the news helps us understand the public conversation around violence and identify opportunities to change it. Join BMSG to learn how to monitor news about violence, analyze it, disseminate it strategically to your networks, and capitalize on opportunities to move the conversation toward solutions
Missed our January webinar "Intro to Trauma Informed Care?
We recorded it, so please feel free to download it if you missed it.

IF YOU JOINED US for the January Webinar, please complete this short survey so that we are able to target our webinar topics to the areas of highest interest to our members.
Communications Corner
Want the latest #publichealth news w/ insights on media advocacy and framing? Get @BMSG's daily digest.
HJA In The News.....

Looking at Stabbings & Gunshot Wounds as a Public Health Program.  Washington Post

Violence Interrupters:  Chicago's Cure Violence Team (Video) Crime Watch Daily

Three Very American Reasons Why We're Still So Unhealthy Washington Post

50 Most Violent Cities in the World Business Insider

Baltimore City Health Department Expands Safe Streets Program to 5th Site


Funding Opportunities


Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The CDC National Centers of Excellence in Youth Violence Prevention: Building the Evidence for Community- and Policy-Level Prevention
Deadline:  February  17, 2016  
Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Research Grants for Preventing Violence and Violence Related Injury (R01)
Deadline:  March 1, 2016  
American Psychological Foundation
2016 Visionary Grant program
Deadline:  April 1, 2016
Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Core State Violence and Injury Prevention Program (Core SVIPP)
Deadline:  April 8, 2016  
American Psychological Foundation
Lizette Peterson Homer Memorial Injury Research Grant
Deadline:  October 1, 2016

Trauma Informed Care Corner
by Joseph F. Foderaro, LCSW, BCD Psychoeducation Training Specialist, HHP, Philadelphia
Charity is not the only quality that should “begin at home”. Creating a truly safe community also begins within the four walls of a home, where the absence or presence of interpersonal violence (IPV) can set the stage for the children at home to enter the world on a trajectory where safety and security are presumed, or where coping styles of avoidance, dissociation, and stress and fear responses begin to change the very biology of these children.

Studies confirm the obvious observation that IPV “damages a woman's physical and mental well-being, and indicates that her children are likely to experience abuse, neglect and other traumatic experiences.” Violence and Victims. In this report, titled Exposure to Abuse, Neglect, and Household Dysfunction Among Adults Who Witnessed Intimate Partner Violence as Children: Implications for Health and Social Services , by Dube, Shanta R et al, the authors conclude that more frequent exposure of a child to interpersonal violence at home increases by a factor of twice to six times the risk of  later exposure to other forms of adverse childhood experiences, and that the more frequent the exposure to IPV, the greater the report of “self-reported alcoholism, illicit drug use, IV drug use and depressed affect”.
Safe communities start with safe homes.

From the Research Desk......
  • “Looking at stabbings and gunshot wounds as a public health problem.” Washington Post article which highlights the work of several NNHVIP programs.  Not peer reviewed research, but a nice highlight of this work.
    • Details a “wraparound” approach of following patients after they leave the hospital and providing both medical and social support (for example, connecting patients to resources).
    • “The hospitals are acting on the notion that keeping violent injury from recurring will ultimately reduce their expenses and improve people’s long-term health. In other words, they increasingly view violence prevention as both good medicine and good business.”
    • “Even if they [hospitals] can’t change, for instance, a neighborhood’s crime rate or drug culture, they can help someone get into rehab or find somewhere new to live.”
  • Turcotte Benedict F, Amanullah S, Linakis JG, Ranney M. Emergency Department Utilization Among Assault-Injured Youth: Implications for Youth Violence Screening. Pediatr Emerg Care. In press.
    • Examined prior ED utilization patterns in assault-injured youth ages 13 to 24, utilizing retrospective case control study to compare assault injured youth to those seeking care for unintentional injuries.
    • Assault-injured youth had significantly higher median numbers of previous psychiatric and assault-related ED visits when compared to unintentionally injured youth.
    • A youth with 1 previous psychiatric ED visit had 4-fold increased odds of having an assault-related ED visit compared to unintentionally injured youth.
    • Assault-injured youth were more likely to have previously visited the ED particularly for psychiatric illnesses and assault-related injury. Targeted youth violence screening may be appropriate for such patients seeking emergency care.
  • Ranney ML, Patena JV, Nugent N, et al. PTSD, cyberbullying and peer violence: prevalence and correlates among adolescent emergency department patients. Gen Hosp Psychiatry. In press.
    • This study examined the correlates of PTSD symptoms in adolescents aged 13-17 who presented at the emergency department for any reason. 
    • The objective of this analysis was to describe the prevalence and correlates of symptoms consistent with PTSD among adolescents presenting to an urban emergency department (ED). Researchers found both physical peer violence and cyber victimization were strongly associated with current PTSD in the sample.
      • Nearly 1 in 2 adolescents reported past-year physical peer violence and cyberbullying.
    • Of 353 adolescents, 23.2% reported current symptoms consistent with PTSD, 13.9% had moderate or higher depressive symptoms and 11.3% reported past-year suicidal ideation. Adolescents commonly reported physical peer violence (46.5%), cyberbullying (46.7%) and exposure to community violence (58.9%).
Copyright © 2015. Healing Justice Alliance, All rights reserved.  This newsletter is funded in part through a grant from the Office for Victims of Crime, Project # 2015-VF-GX-K025, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. Neither the U.S. Department of Justice nor any of its components operate, control, are responsible for, or necessarily endorse, this Web site (including, without limitation, its content, technical infrastructure, and policies, and any services or tools provided).

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