The National Census of Victim Service Providers (NCVSP) and the National Survey of Victim Service Providers (NSVSP) are two surveys within the Victim Services Statistical Research Program (VSSRP). Collecting information directly from service providers can help to fill important information gaps in our understanding of victimization, namely the range of services available for and provided to different types of crime victims. These new surveys will be implemented in two phases:
Phase I. In 2017, the NCVSP questionnaire was administered to about 12,200 organizations that serve victims of crime or abuse as their primary mission, or that had dedicated staff or programs to serve victims. The census data refined the original roster and described the basic characteristics of the organizations and programs serving victims. Read more
Phase II. Using the information gathered from Phase I, NSVSP will survey a nationally representative sample of VSPs. The survey will provide more in-depth information about both the organizations serving victims and victims receiving services. Read more
For more than two decades, programs such as the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) and the Office on Violence Against Women have worked to enhance the nation's capacity to assist and promote justice through the delivery of support services to victims of crime. However, little research exists that demonstrates service provider coverage and effectiveness or that identifies the areas in which victims still need services.
BJS initiated the VSSRP to build knowledge and address gaps in our understanding of victim service provision, including—
- What are the organizations and agencies that make up the victim services field?
- How are VSPs staffed, funded, and organized to provide services to victims?
- How many victims do VSPs serve each year?
- What services are provided to crime victims?
- How many victims need but do not have access to services?
BJS's VSSRP aims to build knowledge about victim services by collecting and analyzing national data from victims and the diverse entities that serve victims. The research program includes several components that together help to define and describe the victim services field.
Since 1972, BJS has implemented the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) to conduct research and collect statistics from crime victims. Although the NCVS gathers large amounts of information on victims and the crimes they experience, it collects little information about the types of victim services they seek and receive. BJS is redesigning the NCVS and will collect more detailed data about victims’ access to services, types of services victims receive, and reasons victims may not receive services.
In addition to data collected from victims, data collected directly from entities that serve victims is important for understanding whether VSPs have the capacity to meet the needs of all victims seeking services. BJS's VSSRP includes a number of initiatives to collect information from VSPs. With funding and support from the OVC, BJS is developing the NCVSP and the follow-up NSVSP, two comprehensive surveys of all types of VSPs. Other efforts focus on particular types of service providers. BJS and the National Center for Health Statistics are collaborating to develop a National Survey of Hospital Victim Services to better understand the range of hospital services available for crime victims. BJS has also added questions about victim services to existing surveys of law enforcement agencies and prosecutors’ offices. Together, all of these efforts will define the VSP field and offer the most comprehensive picture of victim service provision to date.