What the VSIP Offers Students

The purpose of the VSIP is to provide an internship with a stipend in the field of crime victim services that may not otherwise be accessible to the student, while nurturing a cooperative working and learning relationship between the host agency, the intern, and COVA.

The VSIP’s foremost commitment is to the learning process of the intern. The VSIP staff are available to all interns to facilitate growth, assist in networking, and identify other resources pertinent to their internship experience. Workshops, seminars and conference opportunities are available to all VSIP interns. Regular intern meetings provide additional in-service training, debriefings, and peer support.

COVA’s Victim Service Intern Program (VSIP)

The VSIP Seeks to address issues related to service provision for marginalized/underrepresented crime victims. One barrier that continues to challenge the victim services field is the disparity between the high number of crime victims from marginalized/ underrepresented communities, compared to the low number of victim service professionals of similar backgrounds. Members of these communities may often be less trustful of the criminal legal system and therefore less likely to access available services. We believe that a person who has experienced the trauma of being a crime victim would be more trusting of and comfortable with-a victim advocate from a similar racial, ethnic or cultural background, while also developing a more diverse representation of service providers.

The ultimate goal of the VSIP is to help diverse student interns secure
employment in the field of victim services by equipping them with the skills to serve crime victims through advocacy, working knowledge of the criminal legal system, crisis intervention styles, awareness of community resources, and a variety of trauma-informed techniques. The intern experience, coupled with increased awareness in diverse populations benefit the student, the community, and the prospective employer.


COVA Intern Program

2021 Facts

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COVA’s Victim Services Intern Program hired or maintained a total of 62 student interns
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COVA interns provided approximately 10,050 services to at least 2,200 crime victims
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COVA interns dedicated approximately 21,313 total hours
27 COVA Interns completed the VSIP
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36% of COVA interns were hired in the field of Victim Services at the completion of their internship


  • Nicky, COVA, Social Work, Metropolitan State University of Denver
  • Juddith, Sheridan Police Department, Social Work, Colorado State University Fort Collins
  • Rusul, Aurora City Attorney, Criminal Justice, Metropolitan State University of Denver
  • Amahirini, Rose Andom Center, Social Work, Metropolitan State University of Denver
  • Cindy, YWCA of Pueblo, Social Work, Colorado State University Pueblo
  • Debanhi, Aurora Police Department, Social Work, Metropolitan State University of Denver
  • Diana, Safehouse, Denver Social Work, Indiana Wesleyan University
  • Jocelyn, Family Tree, Social Work, Metropolitan State University of Denver
  • Savannah 19 th Judicial District Attorney, Psychology, University of Northern Colorado
  • Skyler, Westminster Police Department, Social Work, Metropolitan State University of Denver
  • Alissa, Pueblo Rape Crisis Services, Psychology, Colorado State University, Pueblo
  • Ashley 18 th Judicial District Attorney, Criminology, Metropolitan State University of Denver
  • Diana, Ralston House, Social Work, Metropolitan State University of Denver
  • Hyun-Jung, Lakewood Police Department, Social Work, Metropolitan State University of Denver
  • LaKeitha, Aurora Police Department, Social Work, Metropolitan State University of Denver
  • Lara, Latina Safehouse, Human Services, Metropolitan State University of Denver
  • Natalie, Safehouse Denver, Social Work, University of Denver
  • Nicole A, Woman’s Place, Social Work, Newman University
  • Ana, Voces Unidas for Justice Social Work, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs
  • Lisa, Westminster Police Department, Social Work, Metropolitan State University of Denver
  • Max, Family Tree, House of Hope, Social Work, University of Denver
  • Sidni, Rocky Mountain Children’s Law, Social Work, University of Denver
  • Cassie, Larimer County Sheriff’s Office, Psychology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins
  • Nathan 18 th Judicial District, Attorney Criminal Justice and Psychology, University of Dubuque
  • Dacia, Gateway, Human Services, Metropolitan State University of Denver

Student Intern Information

Fill out the application above.

Complete a VSIP Intern application (above)
● Submit a cover letter
● Submit a resume
● Agree to a release of information for a background check

* All internships are in person, if you would like to intern with a specific agency, we recommend you verify they are located within a reasonable proximity.

  • Have an interest in advocating for crime victims
  • Identify as a member of an underrepresented community
  • Commit to 15-20 hours per week
  • Commit to 9 -12 months
  • Be currently enrolled in an accredited college or university
  • Commit to maintain confidentiality with the highest level of integrity and respect for others

Examples of underrepresented communities include, but are not limited to, those
who are marginalized due to their race/ethnicity; gender identity; sexual orientation; age; socioeconomic status; physical ability; language; and/or immigration status.

* Please note: service providers who identify as male, regardless of other factors, are underrepresented in Victim Services. In 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated that “1 in 3 men experienced contact sexual violence, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner during their lifetime.” While according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 12.7 % of victim advocates identify as male.

Background checks are completed by the VSIP. However sometimes, the host
agency will also conduct their own background check.
Criminal justice agency entities often have a more extensive process and likely
follow federal criteria. While marijuana possession and use are legal under Colorado state law, possession and use is a crime under federal law. Marijuana use or possession may prevent an applicant from being accepted as an intern in a criminal justice agency.

The VSIP is responsible for the facilitation of the internship; therefore, students will not intern at the COVA office. Instead, students will intern at a host agency with which we have a partnership. Host agencies vary from systems-based to community-based and include police departments, district attorney’s offices, domestic violence shelters, children’s advocacy centers, non-profit organizations, etc. You can find potential host agencies in our COVA Service Directory. We work with a variety of agencies across the state, please make sure you are filtering based on areas of interest and location. *Please be aware not all host agencies are recruiting interns at the time students apply.

Host Agency Applications

Fill out the application above.

  • Complete a VSIP Host Agency application (above)
  • Submit intern’s job description
  • Submit agency’s equal employment opportunity statement
  • Agree to a site visit with the VSIP staff to tour the facility and learn more about
    the services provided
  • Serve crime victims
  • Be able to host an intern for 9-12 months
  • Interns must be providing victims of crime direct services in some capacity
  • The intern stipend allows students to dedicate more hours to meet agency needs
  • Interns commit to work within their host agency for 9 -12 months
  • The VSIP screens each intern candidate prior to referring them to assess the
    best possible match for the intern and the agency
  • Interns are provided with additional trainings
  • Scholarship opportunities are available for the intern to attend the COVA
    Conference and/or Basic Victim Assistance Academy

For further information regarding the Victim Services Intern Program
Please contact the COVA office at 303-861-1160 or via email

Christa Taylor, VSIP Program Director Christa@coloradocrimevictims.org and
Alondra Arias, VSIP Program Coordinator Alondra@coloradocrimevictims.org 

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