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Forum Guidelines and Accessibility

Forum Guidelines

The New York State Office of Victim Services (OVS) is pleased to invite members of our Victim Assistance Program (VAP) community to join VAP Connect. VAP Connect is meant as a space for VAPs to build an online community to connect, share information, create networks and develop and share tools to help innocent victims of crime in New York State. The forum will also provide OVS an additional means of communication with VAPs. To ensure an engaging and productive community that is a safe space for discussion, all users are required to follow certain rules, outlined below. Use of VAP Connect indicates agreement with these rules, and accuracy of member registration.


Terms of Use:  You are responsible for the content that you post through your username and password, and by participating in VAP Connect, you agree that you are part of an OVS-funded VAP, and the information you provide in your registration is accurate.

VAP Connect is designed to allow members to ask questions, voice opinions, share information and best practices, build network and community, and solve problems. OVS asks that you participate respectfully. If you wish to provide feedback to OVS directly, please use our CONTACT OVS page. 

The best discussions occur when users review threads and avoid duplicative, lengthy, or irrelevant posts.

Forum moderation: To ensure a safe space for all users to engage, OVS will moderate the forum. OVS reserves the right to remove, edit, or delete any post on VAP Connect at its discretion.  Posts that are subject to edit or removal include, but are not limited to:

  • Posts that are defamatory, libelous, unnecessarily antagonistic, or an invasion of privacy or violation of the rights of another user, person, or party including the sharing of information that identifies any specific victim

  • Posts that use obscene, foul and inflammatory language

  • Posts in violation of any copyright, trademark, or otherwise protected content

  • Posts in violation of state and federal law

  • Posts submitted repetitively, or without regard to the discussion topic

  • Posts that are determined to spam, attempt to sell, or solicit funds in any manner

  • Posts determined by OVS to be unprofessional or inappropriate


Violations: OVS has the right to remove access to, or ability to post, of any forum member at any time, for any length of time, for any reason. In the event that a member’s ability to post is removed, OVS will alert the member, and include a length of time for which the poster’s account will be limited or deactivated.


VAP Connect is committed to providing a website that is accessible to the widest possible audience, regardless of circumstance and ability. We aim to adhere as closely as possible to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0, Level AA), published by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). These guidelines explain how to make Web content more accessible for people with disabilities. Conformance with these guidelines will help make the web more user friendly to everyone. Whilst VAP Connect strives to adhere to the guidelines and standards for accessibility, it is not always possible to do so in all areas of the website and we are currently working to achieve this. Be aware that due to the dynamic nature of the website, minor issues may occasionally occur as it is updated regularly. We are continually seeking out solutions that will bring all areas of the site up to the same level of overall web accessibility.

If you have any comments and or suggestions relating to improving the accessibility of our site, please don't hesitate to contact OVS at Your feedback will help us make improvements.

Additional Information

More information about VAP Connect, including access to Standard Operating Procedures, is available at

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