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Texas Victim Assistance Training (TVAT) Academy

The TVAT Academy is a free, four-day training. The next TVAT Academy will be held in 2025. If you would like to be notified when the application period opens up for the 2025 TVAT Academy, please complete the survey located at TVAT Academy Application Notification.

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 collaborates with key stakeholders with expertise in various victim service disciplines to assist in determining the training needs of the community and in revising the TVAT Academy curriculum.

Training Goal

The TVAT Academy curriculum is designed to follow the victim’s experience through the criminal justice system. By understanding victims' experiences, rights, and available services, victim service providers can make an accurate assessment of victims’ needs. Seamless service delivery can be achieved when victim service providers from all groups are aware of available resources and approach service delivery through multidisciplinary teamwork. Students who attend the TVAT Academy will: 

  • gain foundational skills necessary to serve all victims of traumatic crime; 
  • acquire specialized victim service training and experience; 
  • demonstrate a commitment to victim-centered service delivery and professional development; and 
  • receive networking opportunities with other professionals.

Target Audience

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

Training Topics

The curriculum is designed to follow the crime victim’s experience over time and through the criminal justice system. The curriculum focuses on skills and knowledge related to victims’ experiences, needs, and rights from the moment of victimization through the investigation and pre-trial, prosecution and trial, and the post-conviction phases of the system. Additional topics will include ethics, crime victims' rights, the influence of cultural factors, and resiliency. The TVAT Academy provides experiential learning, with case studies and activities involving real-life scenarios supplemented by presentations and relevant 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 service ethics;
  • Stress management;
  • Crime victims assistance standards;
  • Guiding principles and practices of the victim service fields;
  • Criminal justice system;
  • Compassion fatigue;
  • 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 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.