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How to: Find Existing Local Data in the CVR Library

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Local data can be useful when you’re planning outreach for your services and want to know more specifics about the gaps, barriers, and strengths of your community. You may also want to use local data when planning a conference workshop or a staff training. Local data can really drive home why an issue matters to your audience and how their work can contribute to making a difference in their communities.

Local data is also important to funders and government officials; they want to know specific information about how your service fulfills a need. They want to be able to measure the impact of their investment or legislation. The use of local data can help you make your case.

The Center for Victim Research (CVR) Library links to many state-level and regional research reports that include data and statistics about victim services and crime victims. These reports are from a variety of local sources, like universities, non-profits or advocacy organizations, victim services agencies or criminal justice agencies, public health or public safety departments, statistical analysis centers, and other state-level government agencies. Sometimes a broader report may include a section or chapter about violence, abuse, or crime, even if the report’s main topic is economics or public health. If newspapers or magazines include original data analysis on victimization, they may be included in the CVR Library too.

This video tutorial demonstrates how to use the CVR Library to find existing local data. Tips are also listed below the video.

Video Tutorial


Many of the following tips use OR to connect synonyms in a search strategy. For more information about using Boolean operators like OR and creating a search strategy, review the Supercharge Your Search in the CVR Library tutorial.

  • Adding United States OR U.S. OR USA OR America to your search terms can help locate nationwide reports that include state-level information.
  • Researchers may mention which region or city their study’s participants come from. Add to your search terms the name of the state, city, or region, like Minnesota OR Twin Cities OR Midwestern.
  • Include in your search strategy phrases that are related to statistics, like surveys results OR interview results OR data analysis OR trends OR statistics OR percent OR prevalence OR demographics OR snapshot.
  • Add words to your search strategy that relate to a specific type of victimization, like gun violence OR shooting OR firearms OR community violence OR homicides.
  • When reviewing a report, check the methods section or the appendix to see if the authors included the dataset or statistical tables with their analysis.
  • If you are logged in to as a VOCA-funded agency user, you can also use the CVR Library’s “search full text” feature to look for mentions of a state-specific survey or dataset.

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