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The Office of Crime Victims Advocacy (OCVA) serves as a voice within government for the needs of crime victims in Washington State. Established in 1990, OCVA serves the state by:
- Advocating on behalf of victims obtaining needed services and resources.
- Administering grant funds for community programs working with crime victims.
- Assisting communities in planning and implementing services for crime victims.
- Advising local and state government agencies of practices, policies, and priorities that impact crime victims.
Vision and Mission
We envision a future where all people have access to support, healing, and the ability to reach their full potential; where all people experience autonomy, dignity, freedom of identity and expression, and safety in their homes and communities.
To that end, it is the mission of the Office of Crime Victims Advocacy to identify the opportunities and resources needed for prevention and intervention, and to facilitate the availability of those opportunities and resources in communities statewide.
OCVA helps crime victims access needed services and resources. It serves as an ombudsman for crime victims who are dissatisfied with the response they received in the aftermath of a crime. OCVA also provides individual case consultation to service providers and victim advocates regarding clients.
Services funded by OCVA
OCVA administers grant funds in all communities throughout Washington State. Grant funds are provided by the legislature or the federal government to coordinate and enhance services designed to benefit crime victims.
The purpose of the Crime Victim Service Center program is to support the provision of services to victims of crime, such as assault, robbery, child abuse, vehicular assault, vehicular homicide, property crime, and survivors of homicide in Washington State.
- Respond to the emotional and physical needs of crime victims.
- Assist primary and secondary victims of crime to stabilize their lives after a victimization.
- Assist victims to understand and participate in the criminal justice system.
- Provide victims of crime with a measure of immediate safety and security.
The Domestic Violence Legal Advocacy (DVLA) Program supports a victim’s attempt to end a violent relationship by holding offenders accountable through the criminal justice system. The goal is to decrease the incidence of domestic violence by facilitating victims’ access to and participation in the civil and criminal justice processes. Fifty community-based domestic violence programs provide direct services to victims throughout Washington. Legal advocates ensure that safety and rights of victims are protected within the criminal justice and civil court systems by acting on behalf of victims of domestic violence and their children. They assist victims with protection and anti-harassment orders, divorce and separation papers, child custody or visitation orders, and help victims get needed financial aid and social services.
The Washington State Legislature recognizes that adequate treatment and services for a sexual assault victim are not only a matter of justice for the victim but also a means of preventing additional abuse. Through consolidation of treatment and services funds, state-level technical assistance and support, and implementation of statewide accreditation standards, community-based services for victims of sexual assault have grown in volume and consistency. The Washington State Department of Commerce contracts with 38 accredited community sexual assault programs (CSAPs) to guarantee access for every sexual assault victim in Washington, adult or child, to the services of crisis intervention, information and referral, medical/legal advocacy and support. These contracts also support the efforts of CSAPs to conduct prevention and education activities designed to reduce sexual violence in their communities. Additional contracts provide support groups and therapeutic interventions.
The STOP Violence Against Women Formula Grant Program makes the criminal justice system work more effectively for victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. The goal of the program is to increase the safety of victims in every county, while enhancing the collaboration between law enforcement, court systems, and victim advocates.
The Victim Witness Assistance Program provides trained advocates to help crime victims during the investigation and prosecution of the crime. Every county prosecutor’s office in Washington has a system-based Victim Witness Program available to victims and witnesses of crime.
In its role as an advocate for victims of crime, OCVA provides leadership on several levels:
Policy Development: Developing and recommending programs and policies to improve the quality and accessibility of services for victims.
Technical Assistance: Providing technical support and consultation to services providers relative to improved management and service delivery.
Training: Facilitating the planning and provision of training for service providers in social service, criminal justice, medical, and education systems.
Community Education: Increasing public awareness of crime victims’ needs and concerns in Washington State.
Service Standards: Facilitating the development of service delivery standards by working in concert with providers to assure quality and availability.
Resources: OCVA serves as a clearinghouse for up-to-date information on services, legislation, and research relevant to crime victims, including information on prevention/education programs, treatment services, statistics, criminal justice system, and crime victim compensation.
Office Of Crime Victims Advocacy
Washington State Department Of Commerce
P.O. Box 42525
1011 Plum Street Se
Olympia, WA 98504-2525
Grantee Line: 1-866-857-9889
If you are a victim of a crime and are looking for services:
Direct Service Line:1-800-822-1067
Information about crime
DSHS Domestic Violence Referral (web)
StrongHearts Native Helpline (web)
National Child Traumatic Stress Network: Resources for Parents and Caregivers on Child & Youth Trauma (web)
Washington Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs (web)
Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence (web)
Washington Coalition of Crime Victim Advocates (web)
Children’s Advocacy Centers of Washington (web)
Washington Crime Victim Compensation Program (web)
Washington Connection (web)