Projects and Initiatives
Through funding from a variety of sources, NCVLI administers a number of projects dedicated to addressing some of the most critical issues facing victims today. Some of our projects respond directly to specific crime areas, while others help arm general practitioners with the skills they need to assist victims in their everyday work. Each of our projects furthers our underlying mission of promoting balance and fairness in the justice system through legal advocacy, education and training, and public policy.
NCVLI provides cutting-edge legal research, writing, and strategic consultation to attorneys and advocates across the county so that they can make the best arguments possible for the victims they serve. We also file amicus curiae (friend of the court) briefs in victims’ rights cases nationwide, including to the United States Supreme Court.
NCVLI trains on the meaning, scope, and enforceability of victims’ rights through in-person trainings, conference presentations, webinars, and a variety of publications. Our annual Crime Victim Law Conference is the only national conference dedicated to rights enforcement in criminal cases.
NCVLI is working to secure the next wave of victims’ rights legislation – legislation that guarantees victims substantive rights and the procedural mechanisms to protect those rights in courts. NCVLI works with partners nationwide to improve victims’ rights in every jurisdiction, providing model legislation, strategic advice, and expert testimony. NCVLI also works to raise awareness about victims’ rights, through letters to key officials and major media outlets.
The National Alliance of Victims’ Rights Attorneys (NAVRA) is NCVLI’s membership alliance of attorneys, advocates, law students, and other persons interested in advancing victims’ rights. NAVRA has a dedicated website (www.navra.org) that provides a wealth of resources to members, including searchable databases of hundreds of case summaries, amicus briefs, and pleadings.
In 2004, NCVLI launched its Network of Victims’ Rights Enforcement Clinics. These clinics provide free legal services to victims as they seek enforcement of their rights in criminal cases against their offenders. What started as five clinics is now a network of eleven partner clinics.
Domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, dating violence, and other acts of violence against women occur every day. These victims often face hurdles to accessing justice based, in part, on persistent cultural myths and biases. Our Responding to Violence Against Women Project provides focused technical assistance and training to tackle the unique challenges confronting these victims.
Children victimized by crime are one of the most vulnerable victim populations. To be effective advocates for child-victims, attorneys must understand the complexities of victims’ rights law generally, child-victimization specifically, and the unique challenges presented in each justice system faced by the child-victim. Through our Safeguarding Child-Victims’ Rights Initiative, NCVLI aims to address these gaps.