Building and maintaining victim service programs require resources. Staff, program management, training, and funding are all necessary to support survivors on their healing journey. Whether an organization is starting, sustaining, or growing services for those experiencing human trafficking, a broad range of resources are available to assist them in offering victim services.
- Applying for Your First Federal Grant
- Grant Funding Resources
- Talking Circle - Expanding Your Circle of Support: Federal Resources to Help Healing in Your Tribal Community
- Talking Circle - Funding Healing: Securing Federal Funds to Support Victims of Crime in their Healing Journey
- Talking Circle: Start, Sustain, or Grow - Using Federal Funding for Victim Services
- The National Association of Crime Victim Compensation Boards
- Tribal Victim Services Set-Aside Funding Program
"Paint a good picture of your area, your service needs, and how you are going to accomplish the goals and objectives.”
- Desireé Coyote, Confederated Tribes of Umatilla Indian Reservation (Nez Perce, Walla Walla, Cayuse, and Umatilla)
Questions & Answers
These questions and answers come from Talking Circle conversations where American Indian and Alaska Native practitioners share their experiences supporting survivors of human trafficking.
Apply! Apply! Apply! Definitely apply! All eligible applicants will receive Tribal Victim Services Set-Aside (TVSSA) program funds. If you are applying for the first time for other federal grants, know the deadlines, attend webinars about the funding, print out the funding notifications, highlight requirements, and circle deadlines. Think about taking a grant writing course (although not required) to understand the basics and then apply, tailoring the application to the requirements of the solicitation or request for proposal. Should the application not be selected for funding the first time, don’t get discouraged. Request feedback on any non-funded grant application and apply again at the next opportunity.
Yes, a Tribal designee can apply on behalf of more than one federally recognized Tribe. The designee must submit an official Tribal resolution (or other official authorizing document), signed and on Tribal letterhead, from each participating Tribe along with the designee’s population certification form. If any of the participating Tribes apply to the Tribal Victim Services Set-Aside (TVSSA) program on their own, that Tribe cannot be included in the numbers for the designee, and the total population submitted by the designee will be reduced.
Ensure you are part of the community. Take part in their events, staffing tables at various events within the community, on and off the reservation. And the bigger piece that I [Desiree Coyote] found in was this sexual violence and Tribal community. Walking through that piece with the evaluator in, we went back and forth on language and context and Tribal context and of course the United States context. It was interesting discussion on what we needed to do. And the advisory members that we had were employees from the Tribe and also survivors from the Tribe and from the community. People who had an invested interest in seeing safety for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. First and foremost, always, always being the community, gaining their trust. That is the purpose of our program; we are here to gain the trust of our community. That means confidentiality. So, when we did the surveys and the assessments, we also put it back out to our community. So, we do not hold it to ourselves. We share the information that we gained to the community so that they know that we're working on these pieces. And when they catch us in the street or at the events, we explained where we are at with those pieces. So always being in touch with the community and involve everybody, even the naysayers; those who do not believe in the work or have negative aspects about what we do. Invite them. Because, more often than not, they have some pieces that I have never looked at or they end up being a good community member who wants to help us out in other areas. Talk with the Elders. Talk to the youth.
There are many ways under Tribal Victim Services Set-Aside (TVSSA) program to create a safe and non-threatening environment for victims. TVSSA grantees are using funds to provide services to domestic violence and sexual assault victims, pay the salaries of victim advocates, run supervised visitation programs to allow children to stay connected to their families, and provide civil legal assistance to crime victims dealing with the repercussions of their victimization in the court system. TVSSA funds are also being used to buy emergency groceries or pay for emergency housing or shelter for victims, amend Tribal codes to include stronger victim protections, lease vehicles to take victims back and forth to appointments, and hold sings and ceremonies to help victims connect back with their communities. These are only a very few examples or ways Tribes use these funds. See additional examples of program activities and specific costs.
No. The funding authorization for the Tribal Victim Services Set-Aside (TVSSA) program limit allowable expenses to those associated with serving crime victims. Examples include activities and services that provide awareness about victimization and the resources available to victims, direct services that meet the needs of crime victims, and assist in navigating the complex systems often associated with victimization (e.g., criminal justice, child welfare). Funding cannot be used for prevention activities. This document provides examples of program activities and specific costs for TVSSA funding from the 2022 funding cycle. The Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) will review all proposed costs in the context of the grant proposal.
If you or a loved one are experiencing human trafficking, you are not alone.
Strong Hearts Native Helpline and the National Human Trafficking hotline are available 24/7 to listen. All conversations over phone, text, and online chat are confidential and anonymous.
- Strong Hearts Native Helpline - 1-844-7NATIVE (762-8483) is a 24/7 safe, confidential, and anonymous domestic, dating and sexual violence helpline for American Indians and Alaska Natives, offering culturally appropriate support and advocacy.
- National Human Trafficking Hotline - 1-888-373-7888, text "BeFree" (233733), or live chat at humantraffickinghotline.org.
During your conversations, if you desire, you may receive referrals to state or local resources.