The DC Victim Hotline (DCVH) assists victims with understanding their rights and options following any type of crime. The goal of the hotline is to connect crime victims, especially diverse and underserved populations, specifically, older adults, college students, LGBTQ and immigrant populations, to local organizations who will be able to meet their needs. Some will experience economic hardship, emotional distress, or family instability as a result of the crime, while others will experience few lingering effects. This new service is vital because in 2014, there were 8,199 violent crimes and 34,147 property crimes in the District of Columbia.[i] The DC Victim Hotline has been designed to connect District residents with the support and resources they need to recover quickly and efficiently from the effects of victimization.
DCVH, operated by the National Center for Victims of Crime in partnership with the DC Mayor’s Office of Victim Services and Justice Grants, was developed to make the search for victim services transparent, efficient, and accessible. While there are many services available to crime victims in DC, it is not always readily apparent which services a victim needs, is qualified for, or how they can connect with the applicable services. In addition, individuals may have experienced multiple crimes and may want information about all of their options. Unlike traditional hotlines, DCVH works with all victims. DCVH provides a starting point for victims to ask questions about their rights, learn about their options and make informed decisions regarding their next steps.
DCVH is a free service for any person who is a victim of crime in the District of Columbia. Assistance is available by phone around-the-clock, and chat and text assistance is available during select weekday hours in English only. DCVH victim assistance specialists are able to access an interpreter in more than 200 languages. We will provide a warm welcome, and ask some safety and privacy questions. From there, we will discuss all available options for resources and referrals. DCVH is able to provide resources regarding case management, counseling and support groups, housing, financial compensation assistance, medical and advocacy services, legal services, crime reporting, and more. While we can provide information and support, we cannot provide legal advice or counseling. However, we will try to connect you with someone who can.
This blog will contain information pertinent to victims of crime, their loved ones, and local advocates. You will see profiles of community partners, detailing what they do and the best way to get in contact with them. You will also see explanations of important tools for victims, and information about victim rights in DC. There will also be educational information regarding specific crimes and the best ways to respond to that type of victimization. While many victims have similar needs, it is important to remember that every situation is unique. The resources that effectively help one victim may not be helpful for another. If you or someone you know has been the victim of crime, know that you are not alone. Feel free to reach out to us via phone, chat or text to discuss your options, ask questions, and be heard.