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Think Before You Post ad campaign launched
The U.S. Department of Justice, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, and the Ad Council have launched a new phase of their online sexual exploitation public service advertising campaign, Think Before You Post.
The campaign is designed to educate teenage girls about the potential dangers of posting and sharing personal information on social networking Web sites such as MySpace, Facebook, and Sconex. A recent study by the University of New Hampshire found that girls comprised 70 percent of the approximately one in seven young people who are sexually solicited or approached over the Internet.
The Think Before You Post campaign sends a strong reminder to children and their parents to be cautious when posting personal information online because anything they post can be seen by anyone: family, friends, and even not-so-friendly people. Visit the Project Safe Childhood Web site for more information about the campaign.
Take 25 effort encourages parents, others to discuss child safety
The Office of Justice Programs is one of the partners in the Take 25 program. The program is designed to encourage parents, teachers, and other caregivers to make time to discuss safety issues with children.
Assistant Attorney General Regina B. Schofield participated in the announcement of this initiative at a news conference on May 1, 2007. In her remarks, Ms. Schofield noted that education is a major element of effective child protection: “The goal of the Take 25 initiative is to prevent the living nightmare of a missing child, and keeping the lines of communication open with our children will go a long way toward doing that.”
Information about Take 25 is available on the AMBER Alert Web site.
Collaborative problem solving between crime victims and police
Crime and disorder problems are solved most effectively when all stakeholders are represented in the solution. The victim of a crime—the most important stakeholder in the criminal justice system—often is underserved. This toolkit, produced by the National Center for Victims of Crime and the Police Foundation through a grant from the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, comprises three First Response Guides in the areas of domestic violence, residential burglary, and automobile theft that address how to bring victims into community policing. The toolkit provides helpful information about building successful partnerships between law enforcement and victim service organizations to better serve victims of crime. It also offers guidance to community policing professionals who interact with victims and victim service organizations and addresses repeat victimization and how to break the cycle.
Addressing domestic violence through police-community partnerships
Through the community policing philosophy and its practices, some law enforcement agencies are seeking to improve their effectiveness in dealing with the problem of domestic violence by forming police-community partnerships to enhance their response options. The Office of Community Oriented Policing Services awarded a grant to the Police Executive Research Forum to explore the nature, function, and impact of such police-community partnerships. The research shows that these partnerships have improved the way in which agencies communicate with each other and how they focus their energies on improving the safety of victims of domestic violence. This publication highlights such initiatives around the country that can be replicated to better address domestic violence.
Understanding repeat victimization
Repeat victimization occurs when incidents of a certain crime are experienced repeatedly by the same victim or target within a specific period, such as a house that is burglarized more than once during the course of a year. This guide, published by the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, will help police identify and understand patterns of repeat victimization for a range of crime and disorder problems. It describes the concept of repeat victimization and its relationship to other patterns in public safety problems, such as hot spots and repeat offenders. The guide also focuses on techniques for determining the amount of repeat victimization in specific public safety problems and how analysis of repeat victimization may be used to develop more effective responses to a problem.
Community-oriented policing responses to stalking
Stalking affects 1 in 12 women and 1 in 45 men. Community-oriented policing, which means partnering and solving problems using all available resources in a community, is the single most effective way to combat this growing crime. A 20-minute video produced by the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services and the National Center for Victims of Crime provides a general overview of stalking (what it is, how often it occurs, how to respond) and features two jurisdictions that successfully use multidisciplinary, collaborative responses to stalking. The companion discussion guide profiles the two programs and provides questions for discussion. Together, they form an excellent training and educational tool for all levels of law enforcement, victim service providers, and community stakeholders seeking to develop multidisciplinary, collaborative responses to the serious problem of stalking.
Directory details Federal agencies that work with missing children cases
The fifth edition of Federal Resources on Missing and Exploited Children: A Directory for Law Enforcement and Other Public and Private Agencies is the product of the Federal Task Force for Missing and Exploited Children, which works directly with cases involving missing, abducted, and exploited children and their families. This directory describes the role of each of the 16 Federal and 2 private task force agencies in the location and recovery of missing and exploited children, the types of services these agencies offer, the procedures for accessing these services, and instructions for obtaining additional information.
Guide examines investigative issues in cases of online child sexual exploitation
The updated second edition of the portable guide Use of Computers in the Sexual Exploitation of Children serves as a practical, step-by-step guide for law enforcement officers—in particular, first responders—who investigate cases of child sexual exploitation involving computers. The guide describes the behavioral characteristics of sexual predators who target children, offers best practices for investigations involving computer evidence, and sets forth the legal principles governing the search and seizure of computer systems. The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention developed the Portable Guides to Investigating Child Abuse series for individuals who investigate cases of child abuse and neglect.
Use of Computers in the Sexual Exploitation of Children, second edition, 40 pages
Printed copies only, no online availability
Analyzing domestic violence
Domestic disputes are among the most common calls for police service, and many such disputes do not result in violence. However, in the United States, domestic violence accounts for about 20 percent of the nonfatal violent crimes that women experience and 3 percent of the nonfatal violent crimes that men experience. This guide discusses domestic disputes that involve violence and the measures that can be used to reduce their incidence. This essential tool will help law enforcement agencies analyze and respond to their local problem.
DVD focuses on crime victims with disabilities
The Serving Crime Victims With Disabilities DVD presents two award-winning videos originally produced in December 2002—“Meet Us Where We Are” and “The Time Is Now”—in a new, user-friendly format. “The Time Is Now” (34 minutes) helps crime victim service providers reach out and serve people with disabilities. “Meet Us Where We Are” (73 minutes) presents first-person accounts of how crime affects people with disabilities and educates disability service providers and people with disabilities about crime victims’ rights and resources.
Law enforcement-community partnerships respond to stalking
Law enforcement agencies can improve their responses to stalking by establishing collaborative partnerships with the community and developing protocols to help address stalking more effectively. The Office of Community Oriented Policing Services funded the National Center for Victims of Crime to develop a Model Stalking Protocol that subsequently was tested by the Philadelphia Police Department. This publication addresses how law enforcement agencies can implement a Model Stalking Protocol for early intervention, preventive action, and proactive problem solving in stalking cases.
Creating an Effective Stalking Protocol, 118 pages
Safety on campus
A new Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) CD–ROM contains more than 50 publications and resource links related to drugs, alcohol, and violence on campus. It also contains the video “Because Things Happen Every Day: Responding to Teenage Victims of Crime,” produced by the National Center for Victims of Crime and sponsored by the COPS Office.
Online directory provides resources for crime victims
The Directory of Crime Victim Services is an online resource sponsored by the Office for Victims of Crime. The directory is designed to help service providers and others locate victim services in the United States and other countries. The directory is available at http://ovc.ncjrs.gov/findvictimservices/.
Guide offers support to siblings of abduction victims
This Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention guide—What About Me? Coping With the Abduction of a Brother or Sister—was written by the brothers and sisters of children who were abducted. This unique guide addresses the emotional needs of siblings left behind in the wake of an abduction of a brother or sister and answers many of the questions they may have about what is happening to their family and the community around them. Throughout the guide, the authors share their personal experiences and thoughts to show their readers that they are not alone in their grief and sense of loss and that there are others who have gone through experiences similar to what they are facing. The authors provide a number of recommendations for activities that readers may undertake to cope with their emotions and answer their questions.
Video highlights DNA evidence
“DNA: Critical Issues for Those Who Work With Victims” is a 24-minute DVD that raises awareness for victim advocates, criminal justice practitioners, and others who work with crime victims about the issues involved for those whose cases involve DNA evidence. The video highlights issues such as collection and preservation of evidence, what the victim can expect as the case moves forward, victim notification during the process, victim involvement and participation in the process, and cold case investigations.
Video series offers educational materials about victims’ rights
The “Voices of Victims” video series is a five-tape collection designed to educate criminal justice and social service professionals and the general public about victims’ rights. These videos present information about the need for a constitutional amendment, financial assistance for victims of crime, victims’ dealings with criminal justice professionals, victim notification rights, and the unique issues encountered in Indian Country.
Protecting victims of stalking
Stalking creates uncertainty, instills fear, and can completely disrupt lives. This Problem-Oriented Guide for Police reviews theproblem of stalking and the factors that contribute to it. It provides questions that can help law enforcement agencies analyze their local problem. Finally, it reviews responses to the problem of stalking and what is known about it from evaluative research and police practice.
Responding to teenage victims of crime
Adolescents represent about 14 percent of the general population, yet they comprise about 31 percent of victims of violence. Teenagers are twice as likely as other age groups to become victims of violence. This CD–ROM features two innovative programs that have been effective in reaching and responding to teen victims through peer leadership, in-school support groups, one-on-one counseling, and hotlines. The 20-minute video, produced by the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services and the National Center for Victims of Crime, and its companion guidebook are geared to anyone who works with teenagers or might be in a position to identify and support teen victims.
Collaborating to help children and youth
The Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) and the National League of Cities (NLC) have issued a new report that highlights effective collaborations between mayors and law enforcement officials to protect the safety of children and youth. The report is the product of intensive research, data collection, and outreach by NLC’s Institute for Youth, Education, and Families; the COPS Office; and the International Association of Chiefs of Police. The report describes effective partnerships in cities of every size and region that demonstrate the importance of community-oriented policing strategies, the role of data in sustaining momentum and measuring results, and the challenges of building partnerships around a shared community vision. Topics addressed in the report include prevention of gang violence, bullying, and substance abuse; creating safe places for recreation; effective neighborhood policing programs; and partnerships with diverse stakeholders.