The Office for Victims of Crime

The Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) founded a National Crime Victims’ Rights Week wherein their goal is to gather the victims of homicide, theft, rape, domestic violence, assault, drunk driving, burglary, child abuse or neglect, identity fraud and stalking because they believe that these people have strength in numbers. They provide the needed assistance for these victims and they ensure guidance and support to those who need help. Under the United States Department of Justice within the Office of Justice Programs, the Office for Victims of Crime was established in 1983.

Ever since then, they have been reporting accurate information regarding victims of these crimes through interviews and surveys of people 12 years and older, regardless of these crimes being reported to law enforcers (p. 2). There have been several trends observed in the past years. According to statistics supplied by security offices at colleges and universities around the country to the U. S. Department of Education, in 2003, there were 10 murders committed on campus, three of which occurred in residence halls.

To support this trend, victims of sexual assault were four times more likely to be victimized by someone they knew than by a stranger, hence of the 2,581 forcible sex offenses that occurred in campus in 2003, 1,808 occurred in residence halls (p. 81). The campus is a great big melting pot for students. Here you do not bother to check a person’s past nor his real identity because they are perceived to be college students trying to earn a degree.

With the rise of the internet as a daily household commodity, the need to update the laws regarding cyber crime has also been put into practice. People are now aware of the advantages of having an internet connection at home. But do they know the disadvantages? “Law enforcement agencies nationally made an estimated 1,713 arrests for Internet-related crimes involving the possession of child pornography during the 12 months beginning July 1, 2000” (p. 82). It has become a trend for these criminals to catch their prey over the internet.

It is convenient for them since they do not need to actually be there physically for the crime to be committed. Adults ages 25 to 34 were the only age group to experience increases in homicide victimization rates since the late 1990’s. But in 2000, 10 percent of all murder victims were younger than 18 (p. 88). The media has indeed been exposing younger people to a lot of violence. Not only through the movies and the television shows, the games as well are becoming more and more realistic, scenarios do tend to be human in nature.

A young adult is in the stage of curiosity and finding meaning in his life and if influenced otherwise by unnecessary violence, these trends might as well shoot up in the next 5 years or so. They say that values are formed at home, with our parents as the major influencing factor. But what if these victimizations occur at home? How tolerable would it be to live in the same house with the person who abused you? Between 1998 and 2002, there were approximately 3. 5 million violent crimes committed against family members.

Of these, 49 percent were crimes committed against spouses, 11 percent were children victimized by a parent, and 41 percent were crimes against other family members (p. 83). To further support the statement, it was researched that the majority of child victims were maltreated by a parent acting alone. Approximately two-fifths (40. 8 percent) of child victims were maltreated by their mother; 18. 8 percent were maltreated by their father; 16. 9 percent were abused by their mother and father; and 13. 4 percent were abused by a nonparent (p. 78).

Victimization within the household can also occur in rape cases. Among female victims of rape and sexual assault, 67 percent of the crimes were committed by intimates, other relatives, friends or acquaintances (p. 92). The numbers are alarming. Hopefully efforts to save more people are continuously being done by the government. These people have a right to live their lives to the fullest, just like everybody else.

References

Office for Victims of Crime. ( 17 December 2007). 2007 NCVRW Resource Guide. Retrieved December 24, 2007, from www. ojp. usdoj. gov/ovc/ncvrw/2006/pdf/resource_guide. pdf