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Advocating for Military Victims

Advocating for Military Victims

Overview

NCVLI’s Military Expertise 

NCVLI––a nonprofit educational and advocacy organization, whose mission is to actively promote balance and fairness in the justice system through crime victim-centered legal advocacy, education and resource sharing––has a rich history of serving military survivors of gender-based violence, including ensuring that victims’ rights are enforced throughout civilian-military criminal justice systems.

Notably, NCVLI helped to envision and launch the first trained cohort of 60 Special Victim Counsel (SVC) program in the Air Force and trained its first cohort of 60 Judge Advocate Generals (JAG) on victims’ rights. When the SVC program encountered its first appellate case, NCVLI provided Technical Assistance (TA) through litigation support and the filing of two amicus curiae briefs with military courts, including in the precedent-setting case––Airman First Class (E-3) LRM v. Lieutenant Colonel Kastenberg––which recognized a victim’s ability to assert and seek enforcement of her rights in court martial processes. Since 2011, NCVLI has partnered closely with all branches of the military to address the unique challenges that military crime victims face while navigating military and civilian justice systems. Since 2012––once the SVC and Victims’ Legal Counsel (VLC) programs launched victims’ rights in military justice––military victims’ rights have been included in NCVLI’s Annual Crime Victim Law Conference, which is the only national conference focusing on the enforcement of victims’ rights.

Today, NCVLI continues to advise military leadership on legal counsel program design, victims’ rights enforcement and training curricula; train SVC and VLC across branches of military service; provide legal TA in the form of research, writing and strategic advice on active cases; and participate as amicus curiae in cutting edge cases.

Military Members & Families Project

One aspect of NCVLI’s work is an effort funded by the DOJ Office on Violence Against Women. The National Organization for Victim Assistance (NOVA) and the National Crime Victim Law Institute (NCVLI) are partnering on training and technical assistance (TTA) for criminal justice professionals who respond to military members (active duty and veterans) and families victimized by sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and/or stalking. NOVA and NCVLI are working to provide TTA that builds and strengthens military-civilian partnerships and coordinated community response (CCR) teams that will facilitate trauma-informed, survivor-centered services and legal advocacy tailored to the unique needs of this violence.

This work is funded in part by an award to NCVLI under a subgrant from the National Organization of Victim Assistance (NOVA) pursuant to Grant No. 2019-TA-AX-K019 awarded to NOVA by the Office on Violence Against Women. The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the contributors and do not necessarily represent the official position of the U.S. Department of Justice or NOVA.