Thursday, October 23, 2014

Harris County SAFE Court - Survivors Acquiring Freedom and Empowerment

Harris County SAFE Court – Survivors Acquiring Freedom and Empowerment
Dr. Lisa Muftic, CVI's Assistant Director, is serving as a research partner for Harris County's new SAFE Court, a prostitution prevention program targeting first offenders between 17 and 25 years old. The program combines a specialty court with evidence-based treatment to provide the tools needed to reduce victimization and criminalization of these young adults. See link below for more information.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released the most recent statistics from the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS), 2011. According to this national survey, more than 1 in 5 women and 1 in 10 men have experienced severe physical violence at the hands of an intimate partner in their lifetime (NISVS 2011 Report).

Between 2003 and 2012, domestic violence accounted for 21% of all violent victimizations in the United States (see Nonfatal Domestic Violence 2003-12).
In 2013, 119 Texas women were killed by a current or former partner.
For their stories, see the TCFV report, Honoring Texas Victims.
Remember their names, and be a Voice Against Violence!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Socio-Emotional Impact of Violent Crime

More than two-thirds of victims of serious violence experience socio-emotional problems (e.g., moderate to severe distress, problems with relationships with family or friends, and/or problems at work or school) as a result of their victimization.

Read more about the wide-reaching consequences of violent victimization in a special report recently published by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS).

Thursday, September 11, 2014

National Campus Safety Month

National Campus Safety Month raises awareness for campus safety issues, including relationship violence, sexual assault, stalking, hazing, high risk drinking, and illegal drug use.

SHSU is sponsoring a number of activities throughout the month.

"Be a Bearkat Lifesaver!"
The 9th Annual Alcohol and Drug Summit will be held on Sept. 12.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Identifying Victims of Human Trafficking

The National Institute of Justice has released a tool for identifying victims of human trafficking. Developed by the Vera Institute of Justice in collaboration with victim service organization, the tool is available in both long and short versions for use by victim service providers and others who interact with potential victims.

To learn more about the tool and to read the guide:

Friday, June 20, 2014

Upcoming events

National Center for Victims of Crime - National Conference
Miami, FL  9/7/14-9/10/14

Texas Council on Family Violence Conference
Galveston, TX  9/21/14-9/24/14

Friday, May 2, 2014

Integrating Crime Victims' Issues into University and College Curricula

On May 1, the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) announced the release of "Integrating Crime Victims' Issues into College and University Curricula," a series of multidisciplinary educational model materials designed to broaden college and university students' exposure to and awareness of criminal victimization and its impact on victims and teach them about helpful responses when encountering victims. This free online resource (available at: consists of curriculum kits and teaching materials, including class exercises and sample assignments; a faculty involvement guide with steps for creating a supportive learning environment for students and responding to student experiences with victimization; and templates of internship agreements to increase undergraduate and graduate student placements in victim services. The overall goal of the curriculum is to provide comprehensive and quality education and training materials to educate future victim service providers and allied professionals by integrating victims' issues into the Nation's educational system and to professionalize the field of victim services.

The College of Criminal Justice at Sam Houston State University is ahead of the curve in several respects. Victimology is a required course for our undergraduate criminal justice majors, recognizing that individuals working in all areas of the criminal justice system interact regularly with victims and should have some understanding of victimization and related issues. SHSU is also one of very few universities to have a specific undergraduate degree in Victim Studies, as well as a master's degree program designed for victim service professionals (MS Victim Services Management online). You can find more information about SHSU's Victim Studies/Services programs at

Thursday, May 1, 2014

New Campus Safety Mobile App

Texas Association Against Sexual Assault (TAASA) has recently launched Texas Safety University (TX Safety U), a free app available on iOS and Android. Through this app, students, faculty, staff, and other members of campus communities can quickly access customized contact information, including campus and community resources available to those who have experienced sexual assault, dating, violence, domestic violence or stalking. As is apparent from the study reported here, this is a necessary and welcome resource to assist students and others in finding the resources they need. The TX Safety U app is available to download at the Google Play and iTunes Store and may be accessed at:

Sexual Assault Report Series

CVI is producing a series of reports on sexual assault, including campus sexual assault, Title IX and other guidelines, and criminal justice system response to perpetrators and survivors. The first report in the series will provide an overview of sexual assault. Additional reports will further explore more specific issues and will highlight research conducted by CVI and its affiliated faculty and students.

Victoria Camp received the Defensor Pacem Award

Victoria (Torie) Camp is the former Deputy Director of the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault (TAASA). Torie has been a member of the Crime Victims' Institute Advisory Board since 2010 and led several major campaigns at TAASA, including an adult entertainment fee to fund sexual assault programs and services and the development of legislation to eliminate the backlog of untested rape kits in police evidence room. At TAASA, she served as a tireless advocate for sexual assault survivors and was involved with public policy initiatives, special projects and day-to-day operations.

Torie spearheaded a legislative effort to create a statewide Task Force on Campus Sexual Assault, and although the bill did not pass, the effort produced a number of research projects, presentations and grant proposals by the Crime Victims' Institute (CVI) to address the issue in the state, including a statewide training on Title IX and Campus Sexual Assault. Her efforts have helped CVI gain a reputation as a leading research authority on the topic.

Torie holds a bachelor's degree from Colorado State University and a master's from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

Monday, April 14, 2014

April is Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month

Governor Rick Perry has designated April 2014 as Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month (SAAPM) in Texas.

The Crime Victims' Institute (CVI) at Sam Houston State University joins rape crisis centers across the state and nation in commemorating Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month to promote awareness and encourage support of this issue. This year’s theme, "First Class Male: Cultivating Change through Male Involvement," is motivating CVI to host a number of campus events this April.
  •  Sign a pledge against violence - weeks of April 14 and 21, 10am - 2pm on the SHSU Mall
  • Wear jeans for Denim Day to raise awareness and honor survivors - Wed. April 23
  • Screening of "Red Blooded Men," a documentary about men's perspectives on college life and sexual assault - Wed. April 23 at 6pm in Olson Auditorium
  • Ignite the Night Rally and March - Tuesday, April 29 at 5:30 behind Lonestar Hall

In Texas, nearly 2 million Texans have been sexually assaulted. That equals 1 in 5 women and 1 in 20 men in our state. Unfortunately, fewer than 20 percent of sexual assaults are ever reported to police for fear they won’t be believed or that nothing will be done. “First Class Male: Cultivating Change through Male Involvement” reminds us of the importance of collective responsibility of both men and women in raising awareness, responding to reports of sexual violence, understanding the dynamics of sexual violence, and improving community efforts to stop it before it starts.

The Texas Association Against Sexual Assault (TAASA) is the statewide organization committed to ending sexual violence in Texas. A non-profit educational and advocacy organization based in Austin, TAASA member agencies comprise a statewide network of more than 80 crisis centers that serve rural as well as metropolitan areas. Founded in 1982, the agency has a strong record of success in community education, legal services, youth outreach, law enforcement training, legislative advocacy, and curricula and materials development. Additional information about TAASA can be found at

The National Sexual Assault Hotline number is 1-800-656-HOPE

Monday, April 7, 2014

National Crime Victims' Rights Week (NCVRW)

National Crime Victims' Rights Week is being observed April 6-12, 2014. In recognition of NCVRW, the Crime Victims' Institute, Crime Victim Services Alliance, and Abuse Survivors' Support Group will host a panel discussion with victims and advocates. The panel will discuss victim rights in Texas, and panelists will talk about their personal experiences with the criminal justice system.

30 years: restoring the balance of justice
2014 NCVRW Resource Guide Ad

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

February is National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month.

One in three teens will experience dating violence and two-thirds of them will never report it. Abuse crosses all social, economic and ethnic boundaries, devastating a young person’s health and safety. Dating violence hurts victims, families, friends, schools and communities.

It's time to break the cycle.This Valentine’s Day, we’d like to remind you that everyone deserves a safe and healthy relationship. If you or someone you know has a question about a relationship, healthy or unhealthy, visit or text "loveis" to 22522.

Remember, love has many definitions, but abuse isn't one of them.