The focus of this policy paper is civil commitment programs in the United States. The use of civil commitment for sexual offenders has generated considerable debate in legal and clinical professions, and it continues to be debated even among professionals who work with and conduct research on sexual offenders.

 The Office for Victims of Crime is pleased to announce the release of the Vision 21: Transforming Victim Services Final Report, the first comprehensive assessment of the victim assistance field in nearly 15 years. The Vision 21 initiative gave participants the opportunity to engage with a broad spectrum of service providers, advocates, criminal justice professionals, allied practitioners, and policymakers to address crime victim issues through a lens broader than their everyday work. The result of this collective examination, the report seeks to permanently transform the way crime victims are treated in this country. The Vision 21: Transforming Victim Services Final Report discusses the following:

  • Major challenges to the integration of research into victim services.
  • The tremendous need for crime victims to have access to legal assistance to address the wide range of legal issues that can arise following victimization.
  • The impact of advances in technology, globalization, and changing demographics on the victim assistance field.
  • The capacity for serving victims in the 21st century and some of the infrastructure issues that must be overcome to reach that capacity.

Furthermore, the final report outlines recommendations for beginning the transformative change, which fall into the following four broad categories:

  • Conducting continuous rather than episodic strategic planning in the victim assistance field to effect real change in research, policy, programming, and capacity building.
  • Supporting research to build a body of evidence-based knowledge and generate, collect, and analyze quantitative and qualitative data on victimization, emerging victimization trends, services and behaviors, and victims’ rights enforcement efforts.
  • Ensuring the statutory, policy, and programmatic flexibility to address enduring and emerging crime victim issues.
  • Building and institutionalizing capacity through an infusion of technology, training, and innovation to ensure that the field is equipped to meet the demands of the 21st century.

Presents data from the 2012 National Survey of Youth in Custody (NSYC), conducted in 326 juvenile confinement facilities between February and September 2012, with a sample of 8,707 adjudicated youth. The report ranks facilities according to the prevalence of sexual victimization, as required under the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 (P.L. 108-79). The prevalence of victimization, as reported by youth during a personal interview, is based on sexual activity in the 12 months prior to the interview or since admission to the facility, if less than 12 months. This report provides state- and national-level estimates of juvenile sexual victimization by type of activity, including estimates of youth-on-youth nonconsensual sexual contact, staff sexual misconduct, and level of coercion. It also explores sexual victimization by the characteristics of both the perpetrator and youth at high risk of victimization, location and time of incidents, and nature of the relationship between youth and facility staff prior to sexual contact.

The Urban Institute released this report to present findings from a research study on the intersections of cyber abuse and cyber sexual coercion with other forms of teen dating violence. Study findings include an increased risk of experiencing sexual coercion when a teen is abused or harassed online.

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View the infographic.

This Report and Executive Summary discuss the National Crime Victim Law Institute (NCVLI) victims’ rights clinics are an effort to clarify and enforce victims’ rights legislation. The NCVLI clinics were intended to promote awareness, education, and enforcement of crime victims’ rights in the criminal justice system.

View the Full Report or the Executive Summary.

This report focuses on the realities and prevalence of sexual violence committed against children in conflict. It urges action to recognize and address this issue by global leaders.

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This report offers findings from a study of students’ activities, priorities, perceptions, and needs related to various efforts to address campus sexual violence, with a specific focus on campus policies. Students also reported on their school’s efforts to address rape and sexual assault.

Download the full report.
 

Vera’s Center on Victimization and Safety partnered with the Ms. Foundation for Women in 2012 to examine the prevalence of this abuse and existing responses and to recommend next steps for a national strategy to respond to this epidemic. This issues brief summarizes the study, its findings, and its recommendations.

A Brown Paper from the National Compadres Network (NCN) discusses moving beyond trauma-informed services toward a practice of culturally-informed healing. This approach takes into account elements of culture and experience that can help to promote healing after a traumatic experience. The report specifically focuses on Latino men and boys and the social factors that influence and detract from their healing.

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This report summarizes ten major misconceptions about wartime sexual violence, highlighting both advances and gaps in our knowledge. Drawing on social science research, it outlines for policymakers the current state of knowledge about wartime sexual violence, details gaps in existing knowledge, and explores the implications of these findings for policymaking.

Read the report.

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