About the National Survey of Victim Service Providers

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The National Survey of Victim Service Providers (NSVSP) is a data collection effort geared towards gathering new data on victim services providers. The project is funded by the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) through a collaboration with the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS).

About BJS

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BJS is an independent statistical agency within the Department of Justice tasked with collecting, analyzing, publishing, and disseminating information on crime, criminal offenders, victims of crime, and the operation of justice systems at all levels of government.

BJS is collaborating with the Office of Victims of Crime (OVC) and the Office of Violence Against Women (OVW) to administer the NSVSP. The survey is part of a larger effort related to Vision 21 to enhance the existing statistical infrastructure on victims of crime and the response to victims of crime.

Goals of the NSVSP

The project will address current gaps in our knowledge of Victim Services by gathering data in two phases.

The first is a short, census survey of all victim service providers in our sampling frame. The census phase of this project will help define the field of victim services and will tell us

  • the agencies that are intentionally serving victims of crime and
  • the types of crime victims are they serving.

The information from the first survey will be used to target a set of providers for a longer survey that will tell us more about

  • the victims who are receiving services
  • the types of services they are receiving
  • the staffing of victim-serving entities
  • the technology tools programs are using and
  • the types of funding that support their work

The NSVSP’s Role in BJS Efforts

The NSVSP is being designed to address gaps in coverage from grant reporting and the following surveys, which BJS currently fields:

  1. National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) – Collects national data on victims of nonfatal crime both reported and not reported to police
    • NCVS provides data on victim characteristics; the nature of victimization; victim-offender relationships; criminal justice system response; receipt of assistance from victim service providers
  2. National Survey of Prosecutors – Collects national data on operations of prosecutor offices, including the provision of direct victim services
  3. Law Enforcement Agency Surveys – Collect information about the organization and operations of law enforcement agencies nationwide, including those with dedicated personnel to provide victim assistance

The NSVSP is unique from other BJS collections in its focus on the organizations that deliver services to victims. The ultimate goal for BJS is to relate data collected from the NSVSP to data from the NCVS and from police administrative records.

This will provide the field with a more complete picture of

  • who victims are
  • which victims are receiving services
  • how service providers are organized to provide services
  • what types of services are provided
  • which necessary services are not provided and
  • how victims receiving services differ from those who do not