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The first Oklahoma Victim Assistance Academy, designed to improve the quality and consistency of victim services in Oklahoma, will be held June 6-11 at East Central University in Ada.

The OVAA is an intensive week-long course of study for victim advocates, service providers, law enforcement professionals and social service providers who work with crime victims. Applications and all required documents must be received by April 16.

The academy increases providers' capacity to serve those victimized by crime, encourages cutting-edge thinking about ways to help victims regain control of their lives, and enhances the multidisciplinary training currently provided.

The OVAA is modeled after the National Victim Assistance Academy offered through the Office for Victims of Crime. The comprehensive curriculum is based on a recent needs assessment that was conducted after the Oklahoma Office of the Attorney General was awarded a federal grant from OVC to develop Oklahoma's academy.

A student selection committee will review applications and select up to 50 candidates to attend the academy. All students who are accepted and successfully complete the 40-hour training will receive a certificate of completion. Continuing education units (CEU's) have been applied for and academic credit will be available for an additional fee.

The OVAA is looking for advocates, providers and professionals who work in any capacity in a paid or volunteer position having direct contact with Oklahoma crime victims.

Candidates should have less than five years of experience working with victims. Applicants with more than five years' experience are required to submit written justification why they should be considered for the academy.

Participants also must be in-residence at the campus residence halls for the entire 40-hour training.

The comprehensive, academic and specialized training will include 40 hours of in-class study and 20 to 40 hours of pre-academy online course work.

Information about the academy is available from Jannason Long at ECU at 580-559-5859 or, or from Allyson Carson at the Oklahoma Attorney General's Office at 405-522-4397 or

Written correspondence detailing attendance status will be mailed to all applicants.

The Office for Victims of Crime is part of the Office of Justice Programs in the U.S. Department of Justice.

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