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Serving Region 9 - Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada & the Pacific Basin

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Guidebook for First Responders who Help Crime Victims with Disabilities

The U.S. Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) has developed a training DVD and guidebook for first responders who are called to help victims of crime who have disabilities, “Victims with Disabilities: Collaborative, Multidisciplinary First Response”. The guidebook focuses on victims with intellectual and communication disabilities.

The guidebook talks about how the initial contact with a crime victim who has a disability is
very important in helping the first responder gain the victim’s trust and developing a meaningful connection with the individual. The OVC’s guidebook lists eight essential elements that should be considered during an officer’s initial contact with the victim including physical position, space, touch, eye contact, voice, lighting, distractions, and attempt to record.