Center for Victim Research

students working by a laptop

To respond effectively to victims of crime, practitioners must have access to the highest-quality, most relevant research to inform their work. Yet, in the victim services’ field, there remains a sizable gap in communication, information sharing, and application between research and practice. Resource centers and clearinghouses are increasingly needed to fill that gap and connect research to practice.

The Center for Victim Research (CVR) is designed to be a one-stop shop for victim service providers and researchers, connecting and sharing knowledge to increase access to victim research and data, and to improve the utility of research and data collection to crime victim services. Ultimately, CVR’s vision is to build a community of victim service providers and researchers who collaborate to improve practice through effective use of research and data.

To that end, CVR does the following:

  • Promotes the collection and use of victim data through technical assistance and the development and dissemination of tools and training
  • Increases access to evidence on victim policies, programs, and practices through a curated library, including large numbers of open-access materials
  • Supports the translation and dissemination of victim research as usable information in the form of research syntheses, webinars, and a podcast
  • Improves opportunities for researchers and practitioners to work together through a researcher directory, fellowships, and partnerships

Our Role

The Urban Institute is one of three partners involved in creating and managing the Center for Victim Research—working alongside the Justice Research and Statistics Association and the National Center for Victims of Crime—under a grant from the US Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime.

Urban’s role spans several of the project’s objectives, most notably efforts to translate and disseminate victim research and to improve opportunities for researchers and practitioners to collaborate. We are responsible for:

  • Developing research syntheses on a range of victimization topics, including homicide co-victims, identity theft and fraud, and elder abuse;
  • Providing technical assistance to providers and managing CVR’s inaugural fellowship program;
  • Highlighting recent and notable victim research through the CVR Spotlight and social media; and
  • Producing accessible tools (e.g., quick-reference guides, toolkit resources, and videos) and contributing to CVR’s webinars to bring to life research products and methods most relevant to practitioners.

Our Team

Urban’s research team for this project draws from across our Justice Policy Center. Jennifer Yahner is CVR’s associate director, and Malore Dusenbery is Urban’s CVR project manager; Sara Bastomski and Marina Duane oversee the evidence syntheses; Alexandra Ricks manages the local fellowships; and Marina and Alexandra also manage CVR’s technical assistance to the field. In addition, the following Urban researchers provide invaluable contributions to CVR’s syntheses, research tool development, and outreach efforts: Storm Ervin, Erica Henderson, Janine Zweig, Leigh Courtney, Cameron Okeke, Akiva LibermanMargaret Goff, and Nkechi Erondu.