The Youth Outreach Victim Assistance (YOVA) project was a youth leadership program with the primary goal of educating teens on the dynamics of victimization and providing information on where they can turn for help and support. Thirty-two youth-adult teams around the nation accomplished this goal by creating unique outreach events, materials, and advertising to reach teen crime victims in their local communities.
- Two out of three teens say they want to help make things better in their schools and communities, but 60% report they have never been asked!
- Teens are twice as likely as any other age group to be targeted as victims of violent crime.
- 70% of high school students surveyed say that they would report a serious problem to a person of their own age first.
- The National Partners are the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) and the National Center for Victims of Crime (NCVC)
- Funding is provided through a cooperative agreement with the Office for Victims of Crime, Office of Justice Programs, and the U.S. Department of Justice.
- Youth and adults from local school and community organizations partnered to form a YOVA site and work together on outreach campaigns.
- The National Partners supported YOVA sites through workshops, resources, and site visits. Regular conference calls and nationwide trainings kept the sites connected, so each could benefit from the other's experiences.
- Teens are victimized by crime at alarmingly high rates, yet many teens do not report these incidents nor seek support.
- YOVA outreach campaigns were designed by teens to break down some of the barriers facing young victims.
- Training from the National Center, a Guide book, and input from the youth give victim service providers insight into making help more teen-friendly.
- Local victim service providers taught YOVA sites about the rights of teen victims, counseling, advocacy, and other services available to them.
- A selection of YOVA site now serve as mentor to sites with the goal of expanding their campaigns or addressing a new area of victimization.
- Lessons learned from YOVA were published to serve as a guide for communities that wish to implement similar campaigns.
See a listing of YOVA project sites: