Selected Publications


Accomplishments of the Office on Violence Against Women: 2009-2017, January 2017 [PDF]  A summary of the achievements of the $3.4 billion in investments OVW has made in communities across the nation who serve victims and the justice system that responds to sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking.  

Effectiveness of Grant Programs, 2014-2016 [PDF] The biennial report on the effectivess of grant programs authorized by the Violence Against Women Act contains aggregate qualitative and quantitative data sumitted by grantees. The report also presents current research on best practices to respond to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, sex trafficking, and stalking, which OVW uses to invest in proven strategies and solutions to further the common goal of ending domestic and sexual violence. See reports for previous years on the Reports to Congress page. 

​Language Access Policy and Plan for the Office on Violence Against Women, ​January 2017 [PDF]  In this updated Language Access Plan, OVW reaffirms its commitment to take reasonable steps to provide provide people with limited English proficiency with meaningful access to all programs or activities conducted both by OVW and by entities receiving funding from OVW.

20 Years of the Violence Against Women Act: Dispatches from the Field, June 2016 [PDF] To commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act and hear directly from the communities that have benefited from its funding, OVW launched a yearlong national tour in October 2014. This report is a summary of those conversations, highlighting the lasting influence of VAWA on communities’ ability to respond to domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking.

Plan for Evidence-based and Evidence-building Grantmaking, March 2016 [PDF] This document describes a plan that the Office on Violence Against Women will implement over the next several years to further develop and make maximum use of the evidence base for approaches to combatting domestic and dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. 


Tri-Agency Letter Issued on Laws and Policies about Providing Services to Immigrants,  August 2016 [PDF]  This letter does not create a new policy; it clarifies for service providers that they should not turn away immigrant victims, on the basis of their immigration status, from certain services necessary for life or safety. Such services include emergency shelter, short-term housing, crisis counseling, and intervention programs. The letter is signed by the Attorney General, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, and the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. 


National Protocol for Sexual Abuse Medical Forensic Examinations, Pediatric, April 2016 [PDF]  The National Protocol for Sexual Abuse Medical Forensic Examinations, Pediatric (Pediatric SAFE Protocol) offers guidance for multidisciplinary agencies that coordinate with health care providers to facilitate medical care that addresses both the acute and longer term health needs these children face.  The goal of the Pediatric SAFE Protocol is to provide evidence-based, trauma-informed recommendations for health care providers who conduct sexual abuse medical forensic examinations of children.

Recommendations for Administrators of Prisons, Jails, and Community Confinement Facilities for Adapting the U.S. Department of Justice's A National Protocol for Sexual Assault Medical Forensic Examinations, Adults/Adolescents  August 2013 [PDF]  The Confinement SAFE Protocol is designed as a guide to assist administrators of prisons, jails, and community confinement facilities in drafting or revising protocols for an immediate response to incidences and reports of sexual assault. It also identifies issues and recommendations for administrators of lockups and juvenile corrections. This guide extends the efforts of the PREA Commission and the Department of Justice to address an immediate response to sexual assault in correctional environments by offering guidance on how to comply with the PREA Standards, follow a uniform evidence protocol and coordinate response activities, and help correctional facilities strive towards the standards in the SAFE Protocol.

Updated: National Protocol for Sexual Assault Medical Forensic Examinations, 2d,  April 2013 [PDF]  Released in April 2013, by the Office on Violence Against Women this revised edition of the SAFE Protocol maintains the same commitments of standardization and quality as the first SAFE Protocol, but is updated to reflect current technology.  It also increases the emphasis on victim-centered care and includes additional information reflecting changes from the Violence Against Women Act of 2005.  OVW developed a short fact sheet (PDF) and long fact sheet (PDF) on the updated protocol.

National Training Standards for Sexual Assault Medical Forensic Examiners, June 2006 [PDF]  This companion to the National Protocol offers a framework for the specialized education of health care providers who wish to practice as sexual assault forensic examiners. The training standards include recommendations for training objectives and topics that will enable a sexual assault forensic examiner to implement effectively the guidelines and standards outlined by the protocol.


Reflections from the Field on Victim and Survivor Advocacy Report, January 2017 [PDF]  Advocates provide information, support and advocacy to those affected by violence against women. To gauge the current state of advocacy and to inform and enhance training, technical assistance and policy, the Office on Violence Against Women convened a roundtable in October 2016. This report is a summary of the discussion.

The Impact of Incarceration and Mandatory Minimums on Survivors: Exploring the Impact of Criminalizing Policies on African American Women and Girls, January 2017 [PDF]  A summary of a Roundtable discussion based on data showing that black women and girls are disproportionately survivors of gender-based violence and are over-represented among women in criminal and juvenile carceral facilities.


Civil Protection Orders: A Guide for Improving Practice, 2010 [PDF]  Recognizing the need to promote effective issuance, service, and enforcement of protection orders, the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, in partnership with the Office on Violence Against Women and the National Center on Protection Orders and Full Faith and Credit, created this streamlined guide. It is intended to provide a fundamental understanding of the values and practices necessary for a more effective civil protection order system. Each year, many of the millions of women who are battered by their partners look to the civil protection order system as a way to stop the abuse. In the act of seeking protection, a victim is putting her trust and safety in the hands of numerous professionals: from the advocates and attorneys who explain the system and assist the victim in obtaining an order, to the judge who crafts an order appropriate to the victim's needs, to the law enforcement officers who serve and enforce the order, to the prosecutor who prosecutes violations. Along that complex chain, a victim can find that the promise of the civil protection order system is either kept or broken.


Sexual Assault Kit Testing Initiatives and Non-investigative Kits, January 2017 [PDF]  This report presents reasons why the Office on Violence Against Women cautions against submitting sexual assault kits to forensic laboratories if the person from whom the kit was collected has not chosen to report a sexual assault to law enforcement and has not otherwise consented to its submission. 

Report on September 2011 Sexual Violence Research RoundtableSeptember 2011 [PDF]  The Office on Violence Against Women and the National Institute of Justice convened a roundtable discussion on research on sexual violence on September 8 and 9, 2011. The roundtable brought together experts on sexual violence, representing fields including research and academia, victim advocacy, law enforcement, prosecution, the judiciary, and health care; as well as several survivors of sexual violence. Participants identified new and emerging priorities for research on the criminal justice system's response to sexual assault and generated ideas for bridging the gap between research and practice. A short summary (PDF) and full report (PDF) of the meeting are now available.

Sexual Violence in the United States: Summary of the Roundtable Proceedings, October 2010 [PDF]  In October 2010, the Office on Violence Against Women collaborated with the White House Council on Women and Girls and the White House Advisor on Violence Against Women to host a Roundtable on Sexual Violence in the United States.  Participants represented a broad array of disciplines and also included survivors. The discussion focused on barriers to advancing the issue of sexual violence such as the lack of community engagement which stymies public discourse, the need for more effective training and the dearth of research in the field. The roundtable provided valuable information that is helping direct OVW'€™s efforts moving forward, and it serves as a starting point for future conversations with other stakeholders.


Native Men's Gathering: Experiences that Shape Behaviors and Beliefs about Violence Against Women, January 2017 [PDF]  A summary of a Roundtable discussion among American Indian and Alaska Native men who are involved in efforts to end domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence and stalking. 

Alaska Native Listening Session Summary Report, October 2016 [PDF]  Every year, the U.S. Department of Justice conducts government-to-government consultations with American Indian and Alaska Native tribal governments. In 2015, the Alaska Native tribes and villages invited the Department to come to Alaska for a formal listening session to hear about the special challenges Alaska Native tribes face. This report documents the testimony from the Alaska listening session.  


Federal Workplace Responses to Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, and Stalking, November 2013 [PDF]  On November 19, 2013, the Department of Justice issued a policy statement on Federal Workplace Responses to Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, and Stalking. The internal DOJ policy statement is binding only on DOJ employees and contractors, but it can serve as a model for other employers.

Updated December 27, 2017

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