Stalking Awareness Month: An Evaluation of the National Center for Victims of Crime and the National Stalking Resource Center
January 3, 2011
The National Center for Victims of Crime, also known as the National Stalking Resource Center, a center that provides training to other agencies, receives nearly 3 Million dollars of government grants per year for helping victims rebuild their lives. About 2 Million dollars per year is spent on salaries, $500,000 is used to train victim service providers and the rest of the funding is used for benefits, meetings and conferences. After reviewing their Form 990, I couldn’t find any funds directed towards “rebuilding victims’ lives”.
January is National Stalking Awareness Month, and, unfortunately for many, there are no actual direct services for stalking victims in the US. The NCVC or the National Stalking Resource Center provides referrals to victims of stalking, but that is all. And where are these victims directed? Probably to the domestic violence hotlines, who then refer the victims to a domestic violence shelter, who then refer the victim to another resource-and so forth. This is the cycle of violence that I know, and many struggling through the support system in place are also very familiar with this system. It is a never ending maze, and many don’t make it to the end.
Although these agencies do not provide actual services to victims, they are heavily funded to support salaries, meetings, conferences and much more. The number one need of all crime victims in the United States is direct victim services, the ability to walk into a place or dial a number and get the actual resource they need at the exact time they need it. This rarely happens for domestic violence victims, and almost never happens for victims of stalking. Although most domestic violence victims are stalked before their death, the US continues to funnel money into agencies that function as large referral centers.
“As a victim of stalking and abuse I was turned away by the local shelter and the National Stalking Resource Center when I reached out for help. I learned how to defend myself and have since started Survivors In Action, Inc., a resource for domestic violence and stalking victims, and lead the nation’s first DV Reform Movement. The worst part is the fact that these agencies continue to receive funding and yet they do not provide any direct support to victims and they acknowledge that and nothing is being done to stop it.” Alexis Moore, victim of stalking.
Victims of stalking unable to obtain assistance is the norm in the US, and more and more victims are reaching out to agencies that are not funded such as Survivors In Action, Tri-County Crisis Center, and EARC.
“I continually send clients to NCVC as a resource but there has never been any follow up or answer after the referral. As a victim service provider, I haven’t witnessed this agency assist any of my clients” Maria DiBari, Tri-County Crisis Center, Inc.
It is important for communities, states and the entire nation to pay close attention to where and how our money is being spent and how crime victims funding is being allocated and used. Crime Victims Funding is a substantial part of our nation’s budget, and much of our tax payer money is being handed over to many agencies that do not support victims in any way. Although many agencies have good intentions and do help, there are also organizations that replicate services, provide no services to victims and make profits through their non-profit.
How can you help? Please add your voice by signing our petition and tell the funding sources and grant makers that it is necessary to re-prioritize existing funding to programs that actually offer direct services. Help us as we urge policy-makers to reform the current system and take stalking seriously. http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/a-call-to-action-for-stalking-reform/