Selected Publications

All publications linked below are available as Portable Document Format (PDF) files, which may be viewed with a free copy of Adobe Acrobat

Tri-Agency Letter Issued on Laws and Policies about Providing Services to Immigrants (August 2016)

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. 


Twenty Years of the Violence Against Women Act: Dispatches from the Field (June 2016)

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.

National Protocol for Sexual Abuse Medical Forensic Examinations, Pediatric (April 2016)
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.

Plan for Evidence-based and Evidence-building Grantmaking (March 2016)
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. 

Federal Workplace Responses to Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, and Stalking (November 2013)
On November 19, 2013, the Deputy Attorney General issued a Department of Justice (DOJ) Policy on Federal Workplace Responses to Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, and Stalking. This is an internal DOJ policy, binding only on DOJ employees and contractors, but can serve as a model for other employers.

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)
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)
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.

Report on September 2011 Sexual Violence Research Roundtable
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.

National Training Standards for Sexual Assault Medical Forensic Examiners (June 2006)
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.

Sexual Violence in the United States: Summary of the Roundtable Proceedings (October 2010)
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.

Civil Protection Orders: A Guide for Improving Practice (2010)
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.

Updated August 12, 2016