RTI uses cookies to offer you the best experience online. By clicking “accept” on this website, you opt in and you agree to the use of cookies. If you would like to know more about how RTI uses cookies and how to manage them please view our Privacy Policy here. You can “opt out” or change your mind by visiting: http://optout.aboutads.info/. Click “accept” to agree.

Focus Areas

Victimization and Victim Services

Understanding how survivors respond to criminal victimization, and the impact, cost, and consequences on their lives, is essential for ensuring that there are criminal justice and community resources and services available to meet their needs and aid in their recovery. To build knowledge about victimization experiences and the reach and effectiveness of programs designed to address victim needs, RTI researchers design and conduct large-scale surveys of victims and at risk populations; evaluate the outcomes and fidelity of programs and services; conduct needs assessments related to increasing access to services; carry out environmental scans of best practices; develop tools and technologies to help service providers better assist victims; and provide training and technical assistance to support implementation and capacity building efforts. The results of these efforts are used by stakeholders, practitioners, and policymakers to enhance service programs, justify and demonstrate the need for funding and resources, and shape policies and practices related to identifying victim needs and that they receive support and assistance. 

Project Highlight

Measuring the Impact of COVID-19 on North Carolina’s Victim Service Providers

The COVID-19 pandemic changed the way community members were able to interact and caused temporary and permanent closures of businesses and social institutions. For victim service providers (VSPs) who provide a range of service to victims of crime—from forensic interviews to mental health care and beyond—the need to adapt was critical. This project involves a rapid assessment of VSPs across North Carolina during the COVID-19 pandemic to understand the challenges they faced in continuing their service delivery and the strategies they utilized to overcome those challenges to remain available and responsive to clients’ needs. Findings from this project will enhance community and policymaker understanding of the presenting needs of VSPs and provide tangible measures to support the necessary adaptation efforts of these agencies. Further, this study provides a framework for supporting victim service provision during other socially disruptive crises.

Project Highlight

Measuring the Impact of Victim Services

To continue to advance the victim services field, victim service providers (VSPs) must move from measuring outputs to outcomes, from anecdote to evidence in demonstrating the impact of their programs on victims’ lives. RTI’s Victim Outcome and Satisfaction Survey and platform for administration is a significant step propelling that advancement. The objective of the project is to develop and validate a trauma-informed, low-burden survey instrument and methodology that victims service providers can use to measure victim perceptions of the quality of services and the extent to which services and referrals effectively addressed their needs. RTI’s open-source, freely available, customizable survey application Tangerine® is being used for survey administration, data collection, and easy back-end data visualization and export.

Project Highlight

Addressing FGM/C Training and Technical Assistance Project (AFTTAP)

Female genital mutilation and cutting (FGM/C) a is a public health, social welfare, and human rights concern in the United States. Researchers, practitioners, and survivors have called for culturally informed multisectoral community responses inclusive of law enforcement, social service and healthcare providers, religious and community leaders, and educators to end the practice of FGM/C and improve services for those affected. The Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) is committed to preventing and serving victims of FGM/C through the Addressing Female Genital Mutilation and Cutting (FGM/C) program, which supports 11 grantees across the United States. Grantees are charged with educating multiple sectors on detecting high-risk individuals, providing direct services to victims, and forming community networks positioned to identify and respond to at-risk individuals and victims.

RTI International supports grantees in meeting OVC’s goals by using proven strategies for developing and delivering grantee-centric and community-tailored training and technical assistance (TTA), leveraging existing expertise and resources, and creating outreach materials for broad use in FGM/C-affected communities. Our work on the Addressing FGM/C Training and Technical Assistance Project (AFTTAP) is guided by a group of eminent researchers, physicians, and community activists in the field; decades of FGM/C research; evidence-based and culturally responsive FGM/C prevention strategies and service approaches; and experience in supporting communities’ multisectoral responses to complex social problems. Furthermore, our partnership with the End FGM/C US Network supports the project’s national reach, scope, and visibility.