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Texas Victim Assistance Training (TVAT) Academy

The TVAT Academy application is now closed. If you would like to be notified of the next TVAT Academy or for more information, please email the Clearinghouse at

TVAT Academy

TVAT Academy logoThe Texas Crime Victim Clearinghouse (TxCVC) was awarded a grant from the Criminal Justice Division of the Office of the Governor to develop and host an in-person Texas Victim Assistance Training (TVAT) Academy. The TxCVC is collaborating with key stakeholders with expertise in various victim services disciplines to assist in determining the training needs of the community and in reviewing and offering insight in revising curriculum.

Training Goal

The TVAT Academy curriculum is designed to follow the victims’ experience through the criminal justice system. Understanding the victims’ experience, available services, and rights provides for accurate assessment of crime victims’ needs, victim service provider awareness of multidisciplinary teamwork, and seamless service delivery from all victim service provider groups. Benefits of attendance at the TVAT Academy include acquisition of foundational skills necessary to serve victims of traumatic crime; recognition of specialized victim service training and experience; demonstration of commitment to victim-centered service delivery and professional development; and networking opportunities with other professionals.

Target Audience

The TVAT Academy is designed to provide a foundational level victim assistance training for new victim services advocates, victim assistance providers, volunteers, criminal justice professionals, and allied professionals with less than three years' experience who routinely work with victims of crime. The TxCVC will, however, review all applications.

Training Topics

The curriculum is designed to follow the victims’ experience over time and through the criminal justice system. The curriculum focuses on skills and knowledge related to the victims’ experience, needs, and rights from the moment of victimization through the investigation and pre-trial, prosecution and trial, and the post-conviction phases. Additional topics will include ethics, crime victims' rights, the influence of cultural factors, and resiliency. The TVAT Academy will provide experiential learning, with case studies and real-life scenarios supplemented by student text readings. The TVAT Academy faculty includes a diverse group of victim service practitioners who have expertise in various victim issues, and staff from other institutions that support victim intervention and restoration.

Training Objectives

Areas of study for the academy include knowledge and understanding of:

  • Crime victims' rights;
  • Victim services ethics;
  • Stress management;
  • Compassion fatigue;
  • Crime victims assistance standards;
  • Guiding principles and practices of the victim services field;
  • Criminal justice system;
  • Effective communication skills for working with victims of crime;
  • Victim advocacy with additional attention to the unique elements of specific crime types; and
  • Influence of cultural factors and victim restoration strategies.

Upon the conclusion of the academy and submission of evaluations, a certificate of completion will be awarded to the student. The TxCVC is currently identifying continuing education units that can be offered. More information will be posted as it becomes available.

The inclusion of external links in no way implies endorsement, recommendation, or favor by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Nor is either party responsible for the availability, legality, accuracy, or content of the external Web sites listed.