The goal for Vision 21: Transforming Victim Services (Vision 21) is simple yet profound: to permanently alter the way we treat victims of crime in America. The Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) at the Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice, and many others who work in the victim assistance field recognize the need for a better way to respond to crime victims. We seek a comprehensive and systemic approach, drawing from a wide range of tangible yet difficult to access resources, including legislation, more flexible funding, research, and practice, to change how we meet victims’ needs and how we address those who perpetrate crime. We have heard the call for a better way, and it is our fervent hope that Vision 21 creates that path.
Vision 21 grew from a series of meetings sponsored by OVC across the country, to facilitate conversations about the victim assistance field. These meetings brought together crime victim advocates and allied professionals to exchange information and ideas about enduring and emerging issues and how we treat victims of crime. What emerged from those intense and fruitful discussions was a common understanding about current challenges facing victims and, most importantly, a shared expression of the urgent need for change. Vision 21 is the result of those conversations. We believe it can be our call to action—the motivation to address the needs of crime victims in a radically different way.