First Lady Chirlane McCray and New York Police Department announced that the police department will provide more crime victims with the support and resources needed to recover from the trauma of experiencing a crime. The NYPD is expanding the Crime Victims Assistance Program (CVAP) to all of the city’s 77 precincts and nine Police Service Areas (PSA), making it the first police department in the country to make such a service available to crime victims citywide.
CVAP is a free and confidential program that pairs crime victims with trained advocates who help mitigate post-event trauma by discussing their safety concerns, legal rights, and ways to navigate the criminal justice system in a meaningful way. NYPD coordinates with Safe Horizon, the largest non-profit services agency in the United States, to provide crime victims with a number of resources, including crisis intervention, access to counseling and support groups, emergency housing or relocation assistance, and information on other local services that can help them with crime-related needs.
“The pain and emotional vulnerability of being a victim of crime can linger long after the violence or violation has happened. In the safest big city in the country, we don’t want anyone to feel alone and without support,” said First Lady Chirlane McCray, who leads the City’s mental health and substance misuse efforts. “ThriveNYC is committed to ensuring all crime victims have access to mental health services. By expanding the Crime Victim Advocate Partnership to all 77 precincts and all nine Police Service Areas in NYC, any New Yorker who has been a victim of a crime will have access to the support they need.”
“This trailblazing program is the product of seamless collaboration with our partners at Safe Horizon, and New Yorkers’ willingness and ability to share responsibility for public safety,” said NYPD Commissioner James P. O’Neill. “It is an invaluable resource for every New York City neighborhood as police officers and victim advocates work together to keep residents safe, and ensure that they feel safe, too.”
“CVAP allows us as a city to reach people in great need at a very vulnerable time—immediately following a crime,” said Deputy Commissioner for Collaborative Policing Susan Herman. “We are so pleased that victim advocates are now in every precinct and PSA in the city, making it more convenient than ever before to help victims of crime rebuild their lives.”
Ensuring CVAP is available citywide supports a central goal of ThriveNYC, the roadmap championed by First Lady of New York City Chirlane McCray that aims to help New Yorkers better navigate the city’s mental health services. A major public awareness campaign will roll out this fall to ensure the public is familiar with the services CVAP provides.
“In New York City no crime victim has to rebuild their life or navigate the system alone,” said ThriveNYC Executive Director Alexis Confer. “I applaud First Lady McCray for her leadership in bringing this program to all precincts and PSA’s. I also want to thank the crime victim’s advocates for the important work they do every day to support survivors of crime in our city.”
Since its launch in 2016, CVAP has helped thousands of New Yorkers feel safe and assisted in the aftermath of a crime. The program’s positive impact is clear: from the start of the program in July 2016 through July 31, 2018, CVAP advocates across the city have reviewed more than 500,000 police reports to help proactively identify victims who may be in need of their services. During that same time period, CVAP has interacted with approximately 70,000 individuals to make sure they are aware of their rights and options after being victimized by a crime, advocating for nearly 11,000 New Yorkers to help them navigate various services such as housing, mental health, public benefits, and the criminal justice system.
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“The Crime Victim Assistance Program (CVAP) makes key connections between victims and critical supports,” said Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence Cecile Noel. “For victims of intimate partner violence in particular, these supports are vital to addressing safety concerns, navigating the criminal justice process, and connecting to other support services and resources. We applaud this important and successful partnership between law enforcement and social services.”
CVAP is part of the Department’s broader commitment to drive down crime and strengthen ties to local communities through innovative neighborhood policing. That same commitment made July 2018 the safest on record in New York City and places the department on track to finish 2018 under a total of 100,000 index crimes, which would be only the second time the NYPD has reached this milestone in the CompStat-era.
“No one deserves to be a victim of violence, crime, or abuse. But when crime happens, it matters that a Safe Horizon CVAP Advocate is there to follow-up and help them. I am proud of CVAP advocates for helping victims in their time of greatest need, delivering services every day that are timely, client-centered and trauma-informed,” said Safe Horizon CEO Ariel Zwang. “Now, anyone who has experienced a crime can go into any NYPD precinct or Police Service Area to speak with an advocate who can help with safety planning, address practical needs, and begin the healing process. I am grateful to First Lady Chirlane McCray, Police Commissioner James O’ Neill, and Deputy Commissioner for Collaborative Policing Susan Herman for launching this remarkable program.”
To find nearest NYPD precinct or Police Service Area for CVAP services, click here.