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An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Law Enforcement

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Whenever a crime is committed, law enforcement officers are typically the first to arrive on the scene and interact with victims. As a result, officers often have more contact with crime victims in the immediate aftermath of a crime than any other criminal justice professional.

An officer’s initial response to a victim can have a long-lasting impact on that individual’s experience in the justice system and their participation in the investigation and prosecution of the crime.

This puts law enforcement in a unique position to meet a victim’s needs immediately, provide referrals to crime victim services, and encourage and facilitate the victim’s participation in the criminal justice system.

Learn about OVC’s support for programs that help officers compassionately and effectively meet the needs of crime victims and establish collaborations between police and the communities they protect. This site also offers publications, multimedia, and other resources.

The Vicarious Trauma Toolkit

The toolkit can help law enforcement agencies strengthen their ability to address work-related exposure to trauma.

Enhancing Law Enforcement Response to Victims

This program seeks to—

  • create community-wide trust and confidence in the police,
  • foster the healing process for victims, and
  • produce stronger, more comprehensive cases for law enforcement.
Date Created: December 8, 2020