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National Crime Victims’ Rights Week: Supporting Victims Through Community-Focused Engagement

National Crime Victims' Rights Week graphic. Text: How would you help? Options, services and hope for crime survivors.

Each year in April we commemorate National Crime Victims’ Rights Week (NCVRW). NCVRW is a time to recognize crime victims’ courage and resilience. It also serves as a call to action to advance victims’ rights and shed light on their experiences. This year NCVRW is April 21 – 27.

This year’s NCVRW theme is “How would you help? Options, services, and hope for crime survivors.” This theme underscores the importance of our individual and collective responsibilities to empower victims through relevant and impactful support services. It highlights the power of collaborative efforts to promote community safety and well-being.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) is deeply committed to not only prosecuting hate crimes and addressing bias-related incidents covered by federal civil rights laws, but partnering with community organizations to ensure victims are heard and supported through victim-centered and trauma-informed resources.

Through DOJ’s enforcement efforts, funding opportunities for community organizations, and initiatives focused on hate crimes prevention, like our United Against Hate Program, we remain steadfast in advancing the civil rights of crime victims through community-based efforts.

DOJ Awards Grants to Support Community-Based Projects Serving Victims of Hate Crimes

DOJ’s Office for Victims of Crime (OVC), in collaboration with Futures Without Violence, provided funding to 12 local community-based groups to serve and support victims of hate crimes in their communities. The grants, ranging from $50,000 to $125,000, are aimed at promoting awareness, healing, and access to resources and services for people affected by hate crimes. Below are some of the projects the selected community-based groups are conducting:

  • The California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative in Oakland, California, partners with Black Women for Wellness to curate programming and strengthen solidarity among Vietnamese and Black women survivors of hate crimes.
  • The New England Arab American Organization in Maine enhances systemic responses for Arab American victims of hate crimes by building awareness, promoting healing, and providing avenues for reconciliation.
  • The In The Streets project continues to provide therapeutic mentorship to victims of hate crime. They have also recruited and begun screening for an LGBTQ+ support group led by a representative mental health professional.

“They are remarkable organizations led by people who understand the imperative to stop hate and help people heal. We know each of them will identify strategies, approaches and models that will be help people and communities heal from hate and trauma.” 

Esta Soler, FUTURES President and Founder

To learn more about these and other grantees, visit Futures Without Violence.

Explore DOJ Resources and Funding Opportunities 

  • Hotlines for Victims. OVC developed a webpage that lists helpful resources for victims and their loved ones. It provides toll free, text, and online hotlines that can assist victims with finding the local services and explains how victims may be eligible for crime victim compensation benefits. OVC has also funded a few states to implement state-run hate crimes reporting hotlines through the Jabara-Heyer NO HATE Act.
  • Victim Connect. The DOJ-funded Victim Connect Resource Center provides information and assistance at no cost to victims of crimes, including hate crimes. Find local support services at 1-855-484-2846 or by chat on their website. 
  • DOJ Grants. DOJ offers several grant programs that support hate crimes programs of law enforcement agencies, researchers, community organizations, and service providers. Of note, DOJ’s Bureau of Justice Assistance will award up to $2 million to eligible organizations to support community-based approaches to addressing hate crimes. Learn more about this funding opportunity.
Updated April 23, 2024