What are Victim Service Providers, and what do they do? Understanding this crucial health and human service is the first step in empowering them to set survivors up for success.
Victim Services in the US
Every minute, an estimated 20 people in the US experience domestic violence. In a single year, this adds up to over 10 million women, children, and men. Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic has caused an even higher uptick in reports of domestic violence, including child, elder, and intimate partner abuse.
Perhaps one of the most difficult aspects of domestic violence is that it often preys on these vulnerable populations. Additionally, survivors of this type of violence must wade through difficult legal, emotional, and mental challenges. This may be why an estimated 50% of domestic violence assaults are never even reported.
Victim services are designed to provide help to these survivors as they recover from domestic violence. By providing resources, coordinating with other health and human service organizations, and offering mental and physical health support, they can empower these vulnerable populations to take the steps they need to find justice and heal.
What are Victim Service Providers?
The health and human service organizations that focus on helping those who experience domestic violence are known as victim service providers, or VSPs. The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) defines VSPs as “private nonprofit organization(s) whose primary mission is to provide direct services to victims of domestic violence.”
These types of organizations include, but are not limited to:
- Domestic violence shelters
- Transitional housing programs
- Rape crisis centers
- Dating violence support programs
- Advocacy and support services
- Emergency housing providers
- Rapid re-housing programs
- Crisis call lines
- Educational programs
- Self-defense courses
- Medical support
The importance of VSPs cannot be understated. They serve as a lifeline–sometimes the only lifeline–for victims and survivors of domestic violence. It is critical for the health of communities that VSPs are able to function, receive funding, and expand their programs.
Ensuring VSP Compliance
Much of the funding that VSPs receive comes from HUD. As a governmental organization, HUD requires strict compliance to data standards, report formats, and other HMIS requirements. Unfortunately, if VSPs do not meet even one of these conditions, they may not qualify for essential funding.
With compliance standing as a top condition for VSPs, it is more important than ever for these organizations to ensure their case management and data systems are up-to-par. ClientTrack® is the industry-leading case management platform for VSPs, and promises 100% compliance with HUD standards.
For example, VSPs are not permitted to add client information directly to the HMIS system, but do need to use a platform that complies with HMIS requirements. ClientTrack is one of the only systems that guarantees such compliance, in addition to several other features (such as care coordination, individualized workflows, and user-specific access).
If you are a VSP, now may be the perfect time to consider upgrading your case management to ClientTrack. With a team of HUD and HMIS experts ready to assist with all compliance and funding requirements, ClientTrack is certain to help VSPs do what they do best: helping domestic violence survivors heal and find justice.
The Future of VSPs
As more and more VSPs work towards compliance with HUD standards, it also means they are one step closer towards ending domestic violence and improving the protection of vulnerable populations. Eccovia is proud to support programs and organizations that advocate for the end of domestic violence.
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, know that there is help. Please refer to the resources below for where to start:
- National Domestic Violence Hotline: (Call 800-799-7233)
- Crisis Text Line: (Text HOME to 741741)
- National Parent Hotline: (Call 1-855-427-2736)
- Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline: (visit https://www.childhelp.org/childhelp-hotline/ or call 1-800-422-4453)
- National Domestic Violence Hotline: (visit http://thehotline.org, text LOVEIS to 22522, or call 1-800-799-7233)
- Futures Without Violence: (visit https://www.futureswithoutviolence.org/resources-events/get-help/)
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Or, Check out Our Case Study on Safe Horizons, one of the nation’s leading victim assistance programs.