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Victims Services

The Victims Services Team in the Division of Programs and Services administers grants, coordinates training, provides technical assistance, implements statewide initiatives, develops best-practice resource materials, drafts and reviews policies, and supports victim-serving organizations throughout the Commonwealth. Victims Services staff also assist individuals and communities impacted by mass casualty events through victim assistance emergency response.

Victims Crisis Assistance and Response Team (VCART)

The Code of Virginia requires the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) and the Virginia Victims Fund (officially the Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund) to be the lead coordinating agencies for crime victims during critical events and emergencies under emergency management plans. These plans have been developed by school boards, institutions of higher education, the Board of Health, the State Emergency Medical Services Advisory Board, the Department of Emergency Management, and political subdivisions.

Staff also works closely with the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, the Virginia Victims Fund, and others in the development of the “Family Assistance Center Plan.” DCJS responsibilities for the Plan include identifying and coordinating the availability of trained, experienced victim advocates to provide crisis intervention, grief counseling, and other services at a Family Assistance Center (FAC) and to primary and secondary victims.

Grant Funding

  • Victims Services currently administers seven grant programs that support projects in victim-serving organizations throughout the Commonwealth.
  • Approximately 470 grant awards are made annually, totaling over $60 million in state and federal funds (SFY/CY 2023 data).
  • Grant programs supporting services to crime victims include:

Training and Technical Assistance

Victims Services plans, coordinates, and facilitates multiple trainings each year. These cover a wide range of topics, from grant award management to service provision to trauma-informed practices. Examples of recent trainings include: Collaborative Advocacy; the Intentional Victim Services Organization: Leading with Vision, Focus, and Purpose; and Overcoming Bias in the Investigation and Prosecution of Sexual Assault.

Staff also offer technical assistance and audience- and issue-specific training on a range of topics. Some examples include: