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To Mark National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, Mayor Bowser Highlights Investments in Victim Services and Trauma-Informed Responses to Violence

Monday, April 8, 2019
New Fiscal Year 2020 investments focus on healing, will create new resource centers in neighborhoods most affected by violence

(Washington, DC) – Today, to mark National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, Mayor Muriel Bowser highlighted how the public safety investments in her Fiscal Year 2020 (FY2020) Budget are focused on both policing and healing. The Mayor was joined by Director of Office of Victim Services and Justice Grants (OVSJG) Michelle Garcia as well as other Administration officials to talk about the role addressing trauma plays in cutting off cycles of violence and building safer, stronger neighborhoods.

“We know that reducing violence in our community requires both policing and healing,” said Mayor Bowser. “As we continue the investments in getting our police force up to 4,000 officers, we’re also making big investments in programs and resources that address trauma. Through these programs, we can tackle the root causes of violence and put residents, families, and our community on a safer, stronger path forward.”

The Mayor’s proposed FY2020 budget includes a $1.6 million for OVSJG that will be used to create safe spaces where residents can access support and services and where community partners can work together to tackle the root causes of violence and complex trauma. Sites will be identified in three neighborhoods with high rates of violence that have also historically been underserved or experienced barriers in accessing services. The sites will build individual and community capacity to respond in a timely and effective manner to trauma by:

  • providing trauma-specific clinical intervention, service navigation, trauma-informed culturally competent mentorship, and supportive peer-led workshops;
  • recruiting, training, and supporting neighborhood community leaders to respond to traumatic events in the community and connect residents to services;
  • educating and training practitioners and community members in responding effectively to trauma and traumatic events; and
  • leveraging and supporting existing and planned community engagement and trauma reduction efforts by other District agencies, including the Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement (ONSE), the Department of Behavioral Health (DBH), the Department of Corrections (DOC), and the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services (DYRS).

The sites will also serve as hub for programming and services provided by other District agencies and community-based organizations working to address trauma and reduce violence.

The Mayor’s FY2020 budget also includes:

  • $1.6 million to establish Connected Schools that will act as neighborhood hubs that provide wraparound services for students, families, and community members; and
  • $4.7 million for a new Families First DC initiative to establish 10 Family Success Centers in neighborhoods East of the Anacostia River to hear directly from families about what they need and then empower those families with resources, support, and opportunities.

Learn more about the Mayor’s FY 2020 budget at mayor.dc.gov/2020Budget.