In 2009, Nebraska was one of 12 states nationwide that did not have a State Victim Assistance Academy (SVAA). The Office of Victims of Crime (OVC) funds new SVAAs through 3-year start-up grants. Thus, a statewide steering committee was formed, an academic partner was sought, and the State VOCA Administrator was in support of the effort. In January of 2010, the first informational meeting for the Nebraska State Victim Assistance Academy (NEVAA) was held. OVC provided technical assistance during
the planning process, Creighton University committed to be the academic partner and grant writer, and the Nebraska Crime Commission—as the VOCA Administrator—was asked to support the project. As the plan for NEVAA began to develop, the University of Nebraska at Kearney (UNK) agreed to also act as an academic partner in order to better serve statewide. On October 1, 2011, Creighton University was awarded the OVC Grant to start NEVAA.
Purpose and Format:
NEVAA is a foundation-level training whose curriculum is tailored to the needs of Nebraska victims and those who serve them. We strive to provide comprehensive, academically-based, fundamental education and training for victim service providers and allied professionals. The result will be a delivery of the core set of knowledge and skills that is needed for those who work with victims of crime. The vision is that this will lead to statewide, standardized training. In addition, SVAAs seek to encourage victim assistance course of study in colleges and universities nationwide. The increasingly complex needs of crime victims have resulted in a demand for more coordinated and multidisciplinary approaches to training in the victim services field.