Division of Violence Intervention and Victim Assistance (VIVA)

Division of Violence Intervention and Victim Assistance (VIVA)

New Jersey is responding to the crisis of violence that has emerged in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic through an innovative approach to public safety. In September 2022, through an administrative directive, Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin created a new Division within the New Jersey Department of Law and Public Safety, the Division of Violence Intervention and Victim Assistance (VIVA).

VIVA will advance a unified strategy for public safety by bringing together victim services, including victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, and the Department’s violence intervention and prevention programming. VIVA will centralize these services, under one roof and provide staffing to support these programs statewide.

VIVA will

  • Promote a trauma-informed approach on victim assistance and violence intervention services.
  • Expand the scope of the victim population served by the Department.
  • Develop an infrastructure for victim assistance and violence intervention and prevention services.
  • Serve as a resource center and hub of technical assistance and training.
  • Coordinate among, build partnerships between, and support initiatives involving law enforcement entities and victim assistance and violence intervention and prevention service providers.
  • Provide a structure and outlet for community stakeholders to provider input to improve services.
  • Support policies and practices that recognize the important of cultural competency of those providing victim assistance and violence intervention services.

The creation of VIVA marks a transformational step in how New Jersey approaches public safety.

DOWNLOADS

VIVA CVIP – Download

VIVA Fact Sheet – Download

VIVA HVIP Fact Sheet – Download

VIVA VASPA Fact Sheet – Download

VIVA CVIP – Download

VIVA Fact Sheet – Download

VIVA Fact Sheet – Download

VIVA HVIP Fact Sheet – Download

VIVA CVIP – Download

VIVA Fact Sheet – Download

VIVA HVIP Fact Sheet – Download

PRESS RELEASES

DIRECTIVE 2022-10

AG Directive 2022-10 | September 23, 2022

Directive Creating the Division of Violence Intervention and Victim Assistance

BIOS

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<h5 style="color:white;">Patricia Teffenhart, Executive Director</h5>
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Patricia Teffenhart is the Executive Director of the Division of Violence Intervention and Victim Assistance (VIVA). Teffenhart, of Holmdel, was formerly the Senior Vice President of Strategic Initiatives at the NJ Chamber of Commerce where she led initiatives to support and expand the business community’s commitment to, and advancement of, diversity, equity, and inclusion. Prior to joining the Chamber, Patricia served as the Executive Director of the New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault (NJCASA) from 2013 to 2021, and during her tenure she successfully advocated for passage of the Sexual Assault Survivors Protection Act of 2015, co-chaired the Governor’s appointed Campus Sexual Assault Task Force, and helped to ensure loopholes were closed in the hiring practices for school employees to protect children from sexual predators, among other accomplishments. Patricia is a proud graduate of Douglass College and holds a Master’s in Public Administration from the Rutgers School of Public Affairs and Administration.

HIGHLIGHTS

2023 Highlights

  • OVIP issued $28 million in grant awards to community-based and hospital settings to address community violence through three of its key grant programs. The awards were made through the Community-Based Violence Intervention Program ($15 million), the Hospital-based Violence Intervention Program (HVIP) ($10 million), and the Trauma Recovery Centers (TRCs) program ($3 million). These grant investments were provided to organizations serving the communities in New Jersey most impacted by gun violence. Starting at the hospital bedside, HVIP providers connect victims of violent crime to a multidisciplinary team of trauma-informed, survivor-centered service providers to facilitate recovery and reduce the long-term impact of victimization. The TRC program also works through community settings to provide outreach to victims of a wide range of crimes who typically are unable to access traditional services. TRC services include mental health and case management. Together these programs are supporting the development of a statewide infrastructure and ecosystem for community violence intervention.
  • VCCO launched a new online case processing system that will increase and improve access to critical support available to victims of crime. Supported by a federal Building State Technology Capacity grant from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime, the updates to the VCCO’s existing case processing system create a more user-friendly experience for applicants filing from both desktop and mobile devices. Users are now able to file applications in 133 different languages and sign the applications electronically. The new system also provides greater flexibility on the methods of future communication from VCCO – electronic, traditional mail, or both.
  • VIVA helped secure a multi-year $4,000,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to enhance and expand existing community violence intervention strategies. One of the largest grant awards the Department has ever received, this project will be led by OVIP, which will use the funds to enhance local coordination among CBVI providers and other human service agencies. Through closer collaboration and strategic enhancements, OVIP will be able to identify service gaps and develop solutions tailored to the needs of communities most affected by violence.

MEDIA