We help justice systems support children who have experienced violence and victimization.
A child who is a victim or witness of violence often confronts a system ill-equipped to meet their needs and to treat their symptoms of trauma. Our Bronx Child Trauma Support program works with children ages 3 to 15, most of whom are witnesses in criminal and/or family court cases. The program provides trauma-focused, evidence-based therapy, crisis intervention, and intensive court support services. At the national level, with funding from the federal Office for Victims of Crime, we’ve developed a package of court support materials for child victims and witnesses, their caregivers, and justice system personnel. We also provide training and technical assistance to practitioners on effective responses to child abuse and children’s exposure to violence.
Bronx Child Trauma Support
Bronx Child Trauma Support provides services to young people who have been exposed to violent crime.
Child Witness Materials Project
To support child victims, we've developed a first-of-its-kind collection of interactive and educational materials to guide children through how the justice system works and how to
Learn about materials that support children and youth, ages 2–18, as they navigate the justice system. Panelists discuss how OVC's Child Victims and Witnesses Support Materials can help children and youth in both criminal and family court settings understand the justice system, their rights, and the roles of different practitioners that they may encounter.
With funding from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention of the U.S. Department of Justice, the Center for Court Innovation conducted a multi-site study designed to increase scientific knowledge concerning youth involvement in the sex trade. Nearly 1,000 youth, ages 13-24, were interviewed across six sites on subjects including entry into the sex trade, earning a living, finding customers, involvement of pimps and market facilitators, health issues and service needs, interactions with law enforcement, and outlook for the future.
In this episode, Melanie Thompson is joined by Audrey Morrissey, associate director of My Life, My Choice Boston, to speak on their experiences of transitioning once a case has closed and the potential challenges and feelings that youth may experience. They also discuss resources to help with this transition, strategies for navigating relationships within systems, and the importance of providing youth with consistent and stable relationships.
Citing our 2016 national study finding that more than a third of young people involved in the U.S. sex trade were boys and young men, this article details the challenges presented with supporting those victimized in ways the public often assumes applies mostly to women and girls. For many men and boys, incidents are not reported, their stories stifled by stigma and shame, keeping these victims unseen and without access to help they need.