9 Best Charities That Fight for Victims of Crime (Complete 2022 List)

9 Best Charities That Fight for Victims of Crime (Complete 2022 List)

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Eniola Adeeko

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Criminal activities often leave victims feeling traumatized and vulnerable. Despite the existence of criminal justice systems worldwide, victims of crime continue to struggle with getting justice and restoration. As a result, charities are now working with victims of crime to help them rebuild their lives. So we had to ask: What are the best charities that fight for victims of crime?

The best charities that fight for victims of crime are Safe Horizon and the National Crime Victim Law Institute. Charities such as the Victim Rights Law Center and National Organization for Victim Assistance provide free legal representation and train community members to respond to victimization.

Whether you want to raise awareness of direct victim services, advocate for justice for crime victims, or simply ensure every victim of crime has access to the support they need to rebuild their lives, there is a charity for you. Keep reading to learn more about what the best charities that fight for victims of crime are all about, how they work, and what your best way would be to make a contribution.

Related: Did you know that you can make Amazon donate 0.5% of your purchases to a charitable organization of your choice. Sign up at smile.amazon.com, select the charity you want your donations to go to, and make Amazon donate a part of your purchases to your chosen charity at no extra cost to you.

Here’s What All the Best Charities That Fight for Victims of Crime Have in Common

The charities on this list were chosen based on their impact and achievements in supporting victims of crime. Although many of them operate at national levels, they all share the same goal of helping crime victims rebuild their lives and handle trauma.

They also work to educate the public on best practices for providing direct support to victims of crime. They advocate for better policies and legislation that favor crime victims. In addition, they offer free legal services to help victims of crime and their families get justice.

These Are the 9 Best Charities That Fight for Victims of Crime

Below are our favorite charities that fight for victims of crime:

  • Safe Horizon
  • National Crime Victim Law Institute
  • Victim Support Services
  • National Center for Victims of Crime
  • Alliance for Hope International
  • National Organization for Victim Assistance
  • Victim Rights Law Center
  • Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network
  • Victim Support

(At the end of this article, we’ll also share our six-step approach on how you can select the best charity to support.)

Safe Horizon: Moving Victims of Violence from Crisis to Confidence

Safe Horizon was founded in 1978 by the New York City court system to provide compassionate and expert support for victims of crime. Today, they have become the largest charitable organization for victims of crime in the US.

Their impact and transparency ratings: Safe Horizon scores a perfect 100 out of 100 for Finance and Accountability on Charity Navigator.

“Our mission is to provide support, prevent violence and promote justice for victims of crime and abuse, their families and communities.”

Safe Horizon

What they do: Safe Horizon supports victims of domestic violence, stalking, human trafficking, sexual assault, and child abuse. They provide various resources, including an Anti-Trafficking Program, domestic violence shelter, and community programs to help crime victims heal, rebuild their lives, and get justice. They also provide confidential one-on-one support and counseling for victims of crime through their hotlines.

What they’ve achieved: Safe Horizon supports over 250,000 victims of crime and abuse every year. They partner with governmental agencies to advocate for policies on local, state, and national levels for those affected by abuse and violence. In addition, after over a decade of advocacy, they influenced the New York State Legislature to pass the Child Victims Act, giving adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse a chance to seek justice.

Ways to contribute: You can donate directly to Safe Horizon through the website. You can also support them by joining their grassroots fundraising program, Team Horizon. In addition, you can volunteer, or follow them on social media and share their content.

National Crime Victim Law Institute: Protecting, Enforcing, and Advancing Victims’ Rights

The National Crime Victim Law Institute was founded in 1997 by Professor Doug Beloof as a national resource for victims and crime victim lawyers to assert and enforce victims’ rights in court proceedings. Today, they promote enforceable legal rights for crime victims and equip crime victim attorneys to protect these rights.

Their impact and transparency ratings: The National Crime Victim Law Institute scores 85 out of 100 for Finance and Accountability on Charity Navigator. They also hold the Gold Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

“We actively promote comprehensive and enforceable legal rights for crime victims and access to knowledgeable attorneys to help protect those rights in every case through victim-centered legal advocacy, education, and resources.”

National Crime Victim Law Institute

What they do: The National Crime Victim Law Institute addresses critical legal issues facing victims today. They employ expertise in legal advocacy, education, training, and public policy to protect, enforce and advance victims’ rights. They also participate in cases all over the US as amicus curiae (friend of the court) to explain the national implications of court decisions and their impact on future crime victims.  

What they’ve achieved: The National Crime Victim Law Institute is committed to advancing victims’ rights in the US. For example, every year, they host the Crime Victim Law Conference, the only national conference for victims’ rights in the country. They have also developed resources to help crime victims, and lawyers understand and enforce financial recovery rights. In addition, they launched the first Special Victims’ Counsel Program in the US Air Force and trained the first cohort of 60 Judge Advocate Generals on victims’ rights.

Ways to contribute: You can donate directly to the National Crime Victim Law Institute through their website. You can also support them by volunteering and joining the National Alliance of Victims’ Rights Attorneys and Advocates.

Victim Support Services: Rebuilding Lives Through Empathy, Advocacy & Resiliency

Victim Support Services was founded in 1975 by Lola Linstad and Linda Barker to examine the criminal justice system and support those impacted by crime. Today, they continue to assist people who have been affected by crimes through education, advocacy, and awareness.

Their impact and transparency ratings: Victim Support Services scores 73 out of 100 for Finance and Accountability on Charity Navigator.

“Join us in rebuilding lives through empathy, advocacy, and resiliency, providing hope, one client at a time.”

Victim Support Services

What they do: Victim Support Services assists crime victims and their families during times of grief through support systems, educational opportunities, and advocacy. They are also dedicated to creating awareness among the public on the impact of violent crime on society. They do this by helping members of communities understand the criminal justice process so they can adequately respond to victimization.

What they’ve achieved: Victim Support Services serves thousands of people annually who have been affected by crime. For example, in 2021, they trained nearly 2,000 people to assist and advocate for crime victims locally and across the US. They also provided 494 victims with courtroom support, compensation benefits, and media intervention. In addition, they created awareness about handling victimization among 9168 community members and partners. 

Ways to contribute: You can donate directly to Victim Support Services through their website. You can also support them by attending their Fall Ball Fundraiser. In addition, you can sign up for training to provide direct services to crime victims in the state of Washington.

National Center for Victims of Crime: Redefining Justice for Crime Victims 

The National Center for Victims of Crime was founded in 1985 by Ala Isham and Alexander Auersperg to redefine justice for crime victims. Since their inception, they have become a major resource and advocacy organization for victims of all types of crime and the people who serve them.

Their impact and transparency ratings: The National Center for Victims of Crime scores 85 out of 100 for Finance and Accountability on Charity Navigator. They also hold a Gold Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

“The National Center is, at its core, an advocacy organization committed to — and working on behalf of — crime victims and their families.”

The National Center for Victims of Crime

What they do: The National Center for Victims of Crime is committed to helping crime victims rebuild their lives. They advocate for victims’ rights, train professionals who work with victims, and serve as a trusted source of information on victims’ issues. They also work with local, state, and federal partners to provide interactive training, attorney referrals and confidential helplines to victims of crime.

What they’ve achieved: The National Center for Victims of Crime supports the needs of Victim Service Providers through technical assistance, resources, training, and support. Through their VictimConnect Resource Center, they have assisted over 10,500 people via call, text, and chat. They have also supported over 3,700 crime victims through their victim hotline. In addition, they contiue to raise awareness of victim rights through webinars attracting over 5000 attendees.

Ways to contribute: You can donate directly to the National Center for Victims of Crime through their website. You can also support them by volunteering or joining the organization.

Alliance for Hope International: Providing Hope to Victims of Crime

Alliance for Hope International was founded in 2003 by Casey Gwinn and Gael Strack to cater to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault and their children. Today, they are social change leaders in the US, focused on creating collaborative, trauma-informed, and hope-centered approaches toward the needs of victims of crimes.

Their impact and transparency ratings: The Alliance for Hope International scores 86 out of 100 for Finance and Accountability on Charity Navigator. They also hold a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

“Hope is the single most important predictor of long-term outcomes in the lives of survivors.”

Alliance for Hope International

What they do: Alliance for Hope International supports victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, human trafficking, child abuse, and elder abuse through collaborative and multi-disciplinary centers and initiatives. They also provide direct support for survivors and training for doctors, nurses, police officers, prosecutors, advocates, and other professionals handling near and non-fatal strangulation cases.

What they’ve achieved: Alliance for Hope International helps over 150,000 victims of sexual assault and domestic violence and their children annually in the US through Family Justice Centers. They also support Family Justice and Multi-Agency Centers in 40 states and 25 countries and train over 10,000 multi-disciplinary professionals annually. In addition, they also run the largest camping and mentoring program for children impacted by domestic violence in the US.

Ways to contribute: You can donate directly to Alliance for Hope International through their website. You can also support them by buying their official merchandise. 

National Organization for Victim Assistance: Providing Victim Support through Advocacy and Credentialing

The National Organization for Victim Assistance was founded in 1975 to advocate for crime victims who had no say in the federal decision-making process in the US. Today, they are recognized leaders in victim advocacy, education, and credentialing.

Their impact and transparency ratings: The National Organization for Victim Assistance scores 100 out of 100 for Finance and Accountability on Charity Navigator. They also hold a Bronze Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

“Our mission is to champion dignity and compassion for those harmed by crime and crisis.”

National Organization for Victim Assistance

What they do: The National Organization for Victim Assistance advocates for crime victims by providing them with resources and services and promoting public policy initiatives that protect their rights. They also offer skill-based training to victim advocates and crisis responders. They ensure the maintenance of the highest standards and professional competencies by those working directly with crime victims through credentialing programs.

What they’ve achieved: The National Organization for Victim Assistance is committed to protecting crime victims’ rights. Through their National Advocacy Leadership Center, they have equipped victim advocates with knowledge and tools to improve their careers. They have also trained caregivers to provide a professional response to victims and communities if there is a natural disaster or mass casualty. In addition, they launched the first voluntary credentialing program for crime victim advocates in the US.

Ways to contribute: You can donate directly to the National Organization for Victim Assistance through their website. You can also support them by joining the organization or buying their official merchandise.

Victim Rights Law Center: Providing Legal Representation to Survivors of Rape and Sexual Assault

The Victim Rights Law Center was founded in 2003 by Susan Vickers to meet the legal needs of victims of rape and sexual assault. Today, they champion a new response towards sexual violence by providing free and comprehensive legal services to sexual assault victims.

Their impact and transparency ratings: The Victim Rights Law Center scores 93 out of 100 for Finance and Accountability on Charity Navigator. They also hold a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

“Provide legal representation to survivors of rape and sexual assault to help rebuild their lives and promote a national movement committed to seeking justice for every rape and sexual assault survivor.”

Victim Rights Law Center

What they do: The Victim Rights Law Center provides free legal assistance for sexual assault survivors in Massachusetts and Oregon in the US. Their legal practice areas include safety, employment, privacy, education, housing, immigration, housing, education, and criminal justice advocacy to help rebuild survivors’ lives following sexual violence. Their staff attorneys recruit, train, and mentor volunteer attorneys to leverage local resources to represent sexual assault survivors.

What they’ve achieved: The Victim Rights Law Center is dedicated to meeting the legal needs of rape and sexual assault victims. They have also ensured that survivors can continue their education, keep their employment, maintain safe housing, secure their immigration status, and swiftly access survivor compensation and other benefits. They have also trained and mentored over 10,000 lawyers and advocates across the US, continually improving access to justice for rape and sexual assault survivors. In addition, they host the nation’s only National Sexual Violence Law Conference.

Ways to contribute: You can donate directly to the Victims Rights Law Center through their website. You can also support them by volunteering at their educational and fundraising events.

Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network: Leading the National Effort to end Sexual Violence

The Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN) was founded in 1994 by Scott Berkowitz to run a national telephone hotline for victims of sexual violence. Today, they are the largest anti-sexual violence organization in the US.

Their impact and transparency ratings: The Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network hold a 3-star rating from Charity Navigator. They also hold a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

“We are a dynamic organization comprised of experts in victim services, public education, public policy, consulting services, and technology.”

The Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network

What they do: The Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network provides excellent services for victims, educates the public about sexual violence, and improves the public policy and criminal justice response to sexual violence. They maintain the Laws in Your State database for students, lawmakers, and others seeking to understand sexual violence laws in the US. They also have programs to prevent sexual violence, assist victims, and ensure justice for them.

What they’ve achieved: Since their inception, the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network have helped over 3.7 million victims and families. They have created and operate the National Sexual Assault Hotline in partnership with over 1,000 local sexual assault service providers in the US. They also run the Department of Defense Safe Helpline and the Speakers Bureau, a network of nearly 4,000 survivors who volunteer to share their stories with local communities and the media.

Ways to contribute: You can donate directly to the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network through their website. You can also donate stock or give to a fundraiser. In addition, you can show support by volunteering or joining the Speaker Bureau. You can also take political action.

Victim Support: Providing Emotional and Practical Support for Victims and Witnesses of Crime

Victim Support was founded in 1974 by Chris Holtom to provide emotional and practical support to victims and witnesses of crime. Today, they are an independent charity supporting people affected by crime and traumatic events in England and Wales.

Their impact and transparency ratings: According to their financial report, Victim Support spent 99% of their total expenditure on charitable activities and 1% on fundraising.

“Victim Support is an independent charity. We are dedicated to supporting people affected by crime and traumatic incidents in England and Wales, and we put them at the heart of our organization.”

Victim Support

What they do: Victim Support helps people affected by all types of crime for as long as they need assistance. They provide specialist services to help victims and witnesses of crime recover and rebuild their lives. They also operate the National Homicide Service, which is a comprehensive service and independent voice for those bereaved by murder and manslaughter in England and Wales.

What they’ve achieved: Victim Support helps thousands of people recover from the impact of crime annually. They are the largest charity specializing in domestic violence in the UK. For example, in 2020 and 2021, they provided support to 153,100 victims of crime. Their support forum for people bereaved by murder and manslaughter had supported over 2,256 people. In addition, they printed 6,576 pieces of media to raise more awareness about victim assistance.

Ways to contribute: You can donate directly to Victim Support through their website. You can also support them by volunteering and fundraising.

How Can You Select the Best Charities to Support?

The charities on the list are, we deem, the best charities that fight for victims of crime. However, you may have a particular charity you want to support. Let’s look at what you can do to ensure your contribution has the most significant impact.

  • Check out the charity website. Charities that are worthy of your donations are transparent in their mission and their figures. Familiarise yourself with their history, mission, and values. Their website usually is the best place to start.
  • Identify the charity’s mission. Without a goal, the charity is likely to fail. If the charity’s mission isn’t clear, it’s probably worth looking for a charity that does have a clear mission. 
  • Check if the charity has measurable goals. An effective charity has clear goals. You want to know your donation will help the charity reach its goals. But if it doesn’t have targets, it’s likely to fail or squander your gift. The charity should be able to account for its spending and supply evidence of the work they do.
  • Assess the successes or goals the charity has achieved. You wouldn’t invest in a business if it kept missing its targets. In the same way, charities are like this too. If no one is assessing a charity’s progress in reaching its targets, the chances are they’re not making a substantial positive change.
  • Check the charity’s financials and stats. Trustworthy organizations will publish financial statements and reports each year. Some might be exempt from having to do so, but they should be able to provide them to public members who are interested in donating.
  • Locate sources who work with or benefit from the charity. Word of mouth and first-hand experience of a charity’s work lets you know the charity’s quality. If you’re able to do so, check out the charity for yourself or speak to someone familiar with it. This way, your donation will go to the right place. 

How Can You Best Support These Charities?

After you’ve made your decision, it’s time for you to decide on how you’d like to help the charities you’ve chosen. Check how you can help – each charity runs specific programs that have unique aims. Find out what the aim of such programs is and whether they are right for you. 

Here are a few ways you can help your chosen charity:

  • Donate money. You can find donation pages on the website of most charities. Your donation can be a one-time payment, or you can set it to be deducted regularly at different intervals. You can mostly pay via credit card, but some charities also take PayPal or Bitcoin payments.
  • Buy their official merchandise. The charities can also raise money by selling merchandise. So, you can support them by buying the mugs, shirts, caps, pens, pencils, and any other such items they may be selling. Ideally, you should buy as much as you can to share and spread the word about the charity’s activities.
  • Donate a percentage of your online purchases. If you bought anything on sites like Amazon lately, you’d find a prompt asking you to donate to your favorite charities through their Amazon Smile program. You can set this up so that your chosen charities will get a fraction of your online purchases.
  • Engage in volunteer work. As you’ve seen from our descriptions above, some charities engage in a lot of local and grassroots programs. You can help by taking on and organizing the program in your local area.
  • Help their fundraising efforts. You can spread the word about the charity in your workplace, school, church, etc., and hold creative fundraising drives on social media or offline within your small circles.
  • Share their stories. Most charities have compelling stories that you can share with your audience to attract more people to the cause.

Final Thoughts

Now it is up to you to select the charity that resonates most with you. And whichever charity you end up choosing and contributing to, we are sure that they will immensely appreciate your support. Hopefully, the information within this article has made this selection process a bit easier for you to support charities dedicated to fighting victims of crime – based on the causes that matter most to you.

Stay impactful,

Illustration of a signature for Eniola

PS: Finally, I want to leave you with a thought-provoking TED talk from Dan Pallotta, a leading philanthropic activist and fundraiser, about what is wrong with the way we think about charities – and what we can do about it:

Sources

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Eniola Adeeko

Eniola loves to research and write about providing humanitarian aid and access to proper education and literacy to underprivileged children around the world. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Law and volunteers with her local Red Cross chapter. When she is not writing, she enjoys reading novels, cooking new dishes, and creating podcasts.

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