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Workshop Descriptions (PDF Version)

 

WORKSHOP DESCRIPTIONS

(Alphabetical by Title)

 

Advocating for Campus Sexual Assault Survivors’ Rights Under Title IX and Beyond

The workshop will describe campus sexual assault victims’ rights to accommodations so they can safely and fully access the benefits of their education, as well as schools’ responsibility to conduct prompt and equitable grievance proceedings into student-on-student sexual assault.  These rights stem from Title IX, state laws, and school conduct codes. We will discuss how to advocate for victims to ensure these rights protect and assist survivors through campus disciplinary proceedings.  Next, we will discuss survivors’ rights under Title IX and other laws to file civil lawsuits against schools.  We will explain the legal standards governing these claims and the remedies available to survivors, which can include money damages and other forms of relief that would help survivors access the full benefits of their education.

Topic Area(s): Advocacy , Victims’ Rights, Violence against Women

 

At the Center: Using the SART Model to Create Survivor-Centered Programs in Detention

This workshop will explore how the tried and tested sexual assault response team model can be applied inside corrections facilities, making the jobs of all stakeholders easier and getting life-saving services to survivors. The SART model can unify professionals with different perspectives and jobs to work together to the common goal of preventing sexual abuse in detention and responding to survivors when it does happen. Written agreements, like memoranda of understanding (MOU), are important tools in defining each team member’s role and in creating sustainability of programs. During this workshop, presenters will discuss how the SART model fits with efforts to address sexual abuse in detention, using real-life examples from successful programs. Participants will also have an opportunity to work through an interactive MOU exercise, defining in detail each party’s roles and responsibility. Survivor stories will be shared to help participants engage in discussion about how to improve responses and how to handle challenges. The workshop will encourage service providers and VOCA administrators to think about ways to use established community models to create effective programs for incarcerated survivors.

Topic Area(s): Advocacy , Outreach

 

AWARE: A culturally-adaptable gender-based violence prevention program

In order to raise awareness about healthy relationships and prevent future generations from suffering abuse, JCADA developed its prevention initiative AWARE® (Adolescents Working for Awesome Relationship Experiences). AWARE® provides age-appropriate experiential and interactive workshops for youth and young adults in 6th grade through college, as well as for parents and educators.  In this Workshop, participants will be introduced to the array of AWARE® workshops, as well as their adaptability for multiple audiences.  JCADA has experienced success working in public schools, private schools, community organizations, and recreational settings.  An overview of AWARE®'s outcomes and results will be discussed.

Topic Area(s): Children and Adolescents, Violence against Women, Other

 

Blending of Victims' Rights

Blending the rights of crime victims in the court and political systems.  This course will look at the rights of crime victims in two unique areas: the criminal, family and juvenile courts; and politically.  All too often victims of crime find themselves in several court systems, having their rights not recognized and enforced between the different court systems.  This course will focus on having those that work with crime victims assist with the enforcement of rights throughout the extensive court system.  This course will provide for unique ideas that have led to success in passing laws and lobbying for crime victims’ rights.

Topic Area(s): Advocacy , Criminal Justice, Outreach, Public Policy, Victims’ Rights

 

Civil and Criminal Case Options for Elder Abuse

Using case scenarios in this presentation we will expose the audience to various examples of elder abuse and financial exploitation. We will discuss the civil and criminal case options available for elder abuse; how trauma can have an impact on the victim and his/her ability to function within the justice system; and practical ways that advocates and lawyers can work with victims of elder abuse.

Topic Area(s): Abuse in later life/Older Victims

 

Civil Remedies for Victims of Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Stalking

This workshop will explore civil remedies for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking beyond restraining orders. Abuse takes many forms and attorneys and advocates are needed to think outside the box in order to seek remedies tailored to meet the individual needs of survivors.  In addition to injunctive relief, victims are entitled to financial recovery and to be "made whole" with respect to their economic losses.    This workshop will discuss: - the difference in the victim's roles in a civil case versus a criminal case - why a victim may choose to pursue a civil case - how advocates and attorneys can screen for potential civil cases and make appropriate referrals - the basic elements of tort remedies, e.g. some states have specific gender violence or domestic violence statutes - strategies for incorporating demand and settlement for civil recovery within the existing family law or restraining order case

Topic Area(s): Trauma, Victims’ Rights, Violence against Women

 

Community Voices in Police Reform: A Collaborative Approach

The Office of Community Oriented Policing Services’ Collaborative Reform Initiative for Technical Assistance is a holistic strategy that aims to enhance the relationship between a police department and the community. The COPS Office employs the use of community listening sessions to allow members of the community to voice their opinions about their police department. These and other input translate into key reform areas.  This process not only engages the community to have a hand in the reform effort but it also allows the community to hold its police department accountable for change.  This panel presentation will introduce the Collaborative Reform Initiative for Technical Assistance and highlight ways that this process increases trust, confidence and legitimacy in the law enforcement agency from the perspective of the community. Panel members will then discuss the usefulness in fully engaging members of the community to help increase trust and legitimacy of a police department. Lastly, panel members will talk about the importance of incorporating victims into the process of reform. Often times, community members most at-risk feel disenfranchised but Collaborative Reform can be a pathway to reconciliation.  Questions will be taken throughout the panel presentation.

Topic Area(s): Criminal Justice, Outreach, Public Policy

 

Courageous Spirits - Brave Heart

Violence against Native women and men is at a crisis stage on our reservations and urban communities. The Violence Against American Indian and Alaska Native Women and Men 2010 findings from the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey reveal a disturbing picture of the victimization of American Indians and Alaska Natives. 4 in 5 American Indian and Alaska Native Women (84.3 percent) have experienced violence in their lifetime. This includes 56.1 percent who have experienced sexual violence, 55.5 percent who have experienced physical violence by an intimate partner. Violence Against American Indian and Alaska Native Men, 27.5 percent who have experienced sexual violence. The symposium will address historical trauma experiences, impact of intergenerational grief and current racism which is integral to understanding violence issues in American Indian/Alaska Native community. This Presentation will seek to create awareness of appropriate interventions while eliminating discrimination and racism.

Topic Area(s): Anti-Oppression, Underserved Populations, Victimization in Indian Country

 

Creating Effective Support Groups for Male Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse

This 90- minute workshop will provide clinical guidance on how to prepare and effectively facilitate a psycho-educational support group for adult male survivors of childhood sexual abuse (CSA). This workshop will concentrate on understanding male culture (masculine hegemony and gender role socialization), and the impact of CSA and trauma on masculinity and male identity, as well as clinical approaches to facilitating a support group that emphasizes empowerment, psychoeducation on healthy relationships, coping skills, trauma, and emotional support to enhance recovery and resilience.  This presentation will prepare participants to facilitate their own support group for adult male survivors of CSA. After attending this presentation, participants will 1) understand the challenges of putting together and running a male support group for survivors of CSA 2) possess a basic structure and template for male survivor support groups 3) be able to identify common themes upon which they can build when starting their own groups.  This workshop will explore the many challenges in putting together and facilitating a male survivor group; culturally authorized stereotypes; socialization; social constructs; social and prosocial behavior; gender role conflicts; myths vs. facts; shame; anger; benefits of co-facilitation; benefits of male-female co-facilitators; closed vs. open groups; psychoeducation vs. process.  The first part of the presentation will focus on the foundations of toxic masculinity and the cultural forces that prevent men from seeking help. The second part of the presentation will detail clinical strategies for effectively facilitating male support groups of CSA survivors.

Topic Area(s): Trauma, Underserved Populations, Other

 

Critical Missing Links to Elder Justice: Coalitions of Faith and Community-Based Elder Abuse Programs & Shelters

Elder abuse is a multifaceted issue and helping elders get out of harm's way is complex. Elders cannot be left in or returned to their homes where the perpetrators reside. Access to emergency temporary elder shelters and available housing and social services for safe permanent discharge is essential. Without both, elder victims remain in the most lethal situations. This workshop will focus on how the shelter model uniquely leverages existing community resources to fill the critical services gap for vulnerable victims. Using case studies, policies and procedures, we will examine the critical missing links-unique holistic faith and community-based coalitions and program models, and elder sheltering using two programs. In Baltimore's Jewish community, SAFE: Stop Abuse of Elders, a program of CHANA, formed a partnership between a domestic violence program, a community services program and a geriatric care facility. In Buffalo, Legal Services for the Elderly, Disabled or Disadvantaged, formed a partnership with two Assisted Living Groups. The workshop will also introduce participants to the SPRiNG Alliance (Shelter Partners: Regional, National, Global), an umbrella organization lending national structure to program replication through close working relationships, shared resources and technical assistance. Participants will learn concrete ways in which they can create their own unique version of the models presented.

Topic Area(s): Abuse in later life/Older Victims

 

Defining Victims’ Rights to Fairness, Dignity and Respect

Nearly all states and the Federal government have laws that promote the right of crime victims and survivors to be treated with fairness, dignity and respect, yet few jurisdictions clearly define what this right entails.  A national project is seeking to define this important victims’ right and clarify what it means in the reality of criminal, juvenile, civil, Tribal and Federal justice processes, with an emphasize on traditionally-underserved and marginalized crime victims and survivors.  This session will provide an overview of this project and initial findings, and seek input from participants about how they define a victim's right to be treated with fairness, dignity and respect.

Topic Area(s): Victim’s Rights

 

Enhanced Safety Planning for Immigrant Survivors of Domestic and Sexual Violence

This workshop seeks to provide a better understanding of the need to create enhanced safety plans for immigrant survivors. The presenters will cover special considerations that advocates and service providers must keep in mind when working with immigrant communities. What do survivors of violence have to keep in mind when interacting with Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE)? What are some of the economic and employment considerations to consider around safety planning? What are the policies of local police departments and their potential entanglement with immigration enforcement agencies? These are some of the guiding questions for the workshop. We will also explore safety planning around social services systems, including Adult Protective Services, Child Protective Services, and Housing providers. Finally, participants will receive some background about the remedies available for immigrant survivors in the United States.

Topic Area(s): Advocacy , Underserved Populations, Violence against Women

 

Enhancing and Evaluating the Impact of Community-Based Domestic Violence Services: Building Partnerships Colloquium

In order to thrive and successfully compete for competitive funding opportunities, victim service organizations must invest in and build their capacity for program evaluation and enhancement.  Organizations must be committed to the ongoing examination of their program design and implementation, their development and/or utilization of evidence-based program models, and their outcome measurements and evaluations.  As the field of victim services is a relatively new field, with only a 40 year history, there are few tools and models available in supporting organizations to build their capacity for impact enhancement.   In order to address this gap, Safe Horizon developed the Building Partnerships Colloquium which brought together victim services organizations throughout NYC along with researchers to strengthen partnerships focused on building our collective capacity to increase and measure our impact. This symposium will focus on lessons learned from the Colloquium and provide a road map for other organizations to build practitioner/researcher partnerships.

Topic Area(s): Evaluation/Research, Violence against Women

 

Enhancing Victim Services for Boys and Young Men of Color Harmed by Crime

Safe Horizon is the largest not-for-profit organization helping victims of crime and abuse in the United States. Through a network of more than 50 program locations across NYC’s five boroughs, Safe Horizon offers a comprehensive array of programs, touching the lives of more than 250,000 individuals affected by violence each year. Our proposed workshop will focus on organizational efforts to address gaps in service to boys and young men of color, a traditionally underserved population within the victim services field. The workshop will take an in-depth look at scope of the organization's efforts to enhance services for this population and share findings from our ongoing demonstration project. The workshop will serve as a case study on the necessary processes to effectively engage and serve young men of color harmed by crime and abuse.

Topic Area(s): Children and Adolescents, Organizational Development, Underserved Populations

 

Finding Light After Darkness: Homicide Survivor Support Group Model

Losing a loved one to homicide is a very misunderstood and isolating form of grief. No one should have to go through that process alone. One former group participant shared, “There is no substitute for the feeling that comes from talking with others who experienced similar loss. Knowing that there are others, outside of my immediate family that I can connect with and who truly understand. I feel less alone.” For many, our Finding Light After Darkness (FLAD) peer support group provides a space for peer interactions that engender mutual trust, compassionate concern for each other, and allow for very special bonds and relationships to form. Many participants seek validation for their experiences from those who uniquely understand the trials and tribulations that only another homicide survivor would truly understand. FLAD is a 10 week, closed, homicide survivor peer support group. The group follows a psychoeducational model developed by Victim Support Services. Back by research and best practices, the FLAD model assists survivors as they explore their personal grief journey, while honoring the memory of their loved one.  This workshop will review the 10 week model, the group process, and best practices. It will provide group model instruction and review basic facilitation techniques. It will provide information to participants starting a group in their community as well as lessons learned. This workshop will also provide information about how to amend the 10 week model into a condensed weekend retreat.

Topic Area(s): Special Populations, Violent Crime, Other

 

Fly into the Eye of the Storm: Use Anxiety as Your Ally and Stop the “Fight or Flight”

Working with crime and victims, your every day may vary greatly. You have learned to always remain calm, be able to focus, and quickly attend to the matter at hand in a professional and caring manner.  Learning how to master accessing the "calm" in any storm is a worthy goal, but is it really attainable? That is, without eventually feeling burned out, feeling emotionally numb, and worst of all, feeling as if what you do does not make a difference.  In this workshop, you will learn how to manage your daily (normal) anxiety using a three-step adapted cognitive behavioral model that supports self-care, prevents burnout and maintains a helpful and healing connection to the victims you serve.

Topic Area(s): Organizational Development, Trauma

 

From Client-Centered to Survivor Engagement: A holistic approach to working with survivors of human trafficking

Purpose: To look at survivor engagement as a process, as opposed to a program or outcome, that weaves throughout existing service delivery models and should incorporate promising practices moving forward.  There are many avenues for survivors of human trafficking in the anti-trafficking field, from providing feedback on programs to leading service programming to becoming powerful advocates for change. This workshop will focus on helping service providers explore survivor engagement as a process that begins from implementing client-centered practices.

Topic Area(s): Human Trafficking

 

Guiding Organizational Responses to Vicarious Trauma: New Tools & Strategies for Success

Increasingly aware of vicarious trauma as an occupational challenge, victim service agencies are seeking ways to minimize the negative impact of acute and cumulative trauma exposure on staff.  This exposure comes in wide-ranging ways, from mass casualties of a shooting to the devastating victim experiences of bullying, racism, xenophobia, and other forms of oppression. Addressing this work exposure to trauma can optimize staff health, reduce turnover, and improve quality of care for victims and survivors. This workshop will introduce the new OVC-funded, multimedia Vicarious Trauma Toolkit  (VTT) and explore its critical role in helping diverse victim service agencies assess their current organizational strategies, strengths and gaps, design action plans, and identify vetted, evidence-informed resources in the Toolkit to assist them in becoming vicarious trauma-informed.

Topic Area(s): Advocacy , Organizational Development, Other

 

House of Horrors: The Mills and Akers Investigation

This case study will detail the investigation of a married couple, Bailey and Elizabeth Mills, who operated a day care and mentoring program for children. As it turned out, the husband was a two time registered sex offender and also his wife’s pimp. The investigation revealed that the husband had sexually molested 10 children and recorded the acts with his cell phone camera, including some in which his wife participated. Bailey Mills also arranged for a person known as Peter Gilbert but later identified as William Akers to have sex with three of the children in his care. The presenters will discuss their investigation of this multi-victim/multi-offender case and how “Peter Gilbert” was identified. This case was awarded the HERO AWARD by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Topic Area(s): Children and Adolescents, Criminal Justice, Violent Crime

 

I Can’t Believe I’m Free: Working with Victims of Family Violence, Including Abuse in Later Life

Using a case video describing long-term family violence and its effects on family members this session will discuss the tactics of abuse, lethality factors, enhancing victim safety with elderly crime victims, the value and benefits of a collaborative, multidisciplinary response. The impact of abuse on younger and older victims and extended family members will be considered and the resiliency of elderly victims of family violence will be highlighted.

Topic Area(s): Abuse in later life/Older Victims, Underserved Populations, Violence against Women

 

 

 

Increasing Access to Services for those Vulnerable to Human Trafficking

Polaris has been operating the National Human Trafficking Hotline since 2007 and added texting capabilities through the BEFREE textline in 2013. For years, Polaris worked with local, state and federal service providers and law enforcement to create local crisis response protocols. When a call comes into the hotline from anywhere in the country, advocates are able to connect to localized, victim-centered emergency responders and long-term providers. Polaris is now working on ensuring that vulnerable populations and communities have high-functioning, well-integrated mechanisms to respond to all forms of human trafficking and the National Hotline is included in the response. The focus for the next couple of years will be American Indian/Alaskan Natives, rural populations and people with disabilities. The workshop will go into a brief overview of human trafficking, an overview of the hotline and how we are working with federal, state, local and tribal entities to increase access to services.

Topic Area(s): Human Trafficking, Underserved Populations, Victimization in Indian Country

 

Innovative, Multi-Disciplinary Approaches to Identifying and Supporting Victims of Human Trafficking

Since 2012 California has worked diligently to improve its understanding of and response to the commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC). Los Angeles has been at the forefront of the state’s efforts. The panelists, experts in the field of child trafficking, will examine the landscape in LA, focusing on two innovative protocols.  Los Angeles’ Law Enforcement First Responder Protocol for CSEC (FRP) has been in place for nearly two years. The FRP has allowed Los Angeles County to drastically diminish the number of children arrested for prostitution and instead provides these children a non-punitive, victim-centered response.   The Victim Witness Protocol (VWP) brings together a team of individuals to support a child who is testifying against their trafficker. The VWP prioritizes the childs’ safety, mental and physical health while ensuring their legal rights are met.   In addition to reviewing the protocols, several cases will be discussed to illustrate the benefits, challenges, and collaboration necessary to meet the children’s needs.

Topic Area(s): Children and Adolescents, Human Trafficking, Victims’ Rights

 

Integrating Human Trafficking into Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, & Child Abuse Work

Human Trafficking can be integrated into domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse organizations, law enforcement units, and multidisciplinary teams with a thorough understanding of the intersections of these issues.  In fact, agencies that work on these issues are indispensable to providing trauma-informed care and victim centered response to human trafficking.  This workshop will examine intersectional cases and explore how domestic and sexual violence victim advocacy can be applied to human trafficking prevention and response. The workshop will also explore some of the barriers to this intersectional work with case examples and brainstorm how to overcome these obstacles.  Finally, the workshop will discuss how to claim your seat at the anti-trafficking collaborative table by reviewing the essential roles that domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse agencies typically play in these multidisciplinary teams.

Topic Area(s): Children and Adolescents, Human Trafficking, Violence against Women

Its "Not Just Kids Stuff"  :  Intrafamilair Juvenile Sexual Abuse

This workshop will explore the dynamics, challenges, issues  and opportunities available to professional staff when working with parents of both the victim and offender on juvenile sexual abuse cases involved with the court system    Topics will include: Prevalence of juvenile intra-familial sexual abuse, who are these families and what are the relationships. What is the impact of intra-familiar juvenile sexual abuse between victim/offender, parent, and extended family. We will explore the short and long term impact of sibling abuse and address  the often forgotten secondary victim siblings who were not abused, their issues and ways to include them in the healing process.  What are common issues and challenges for the parent, victim and offender on these cases. How do professionals involved with these families help to identify and resolve the complicated emotions, resistance, loyalties, guilt, fear, embarrassment, conflicts with other family members,  and conflicting loyalties that parents of both the victim and offender experience. What legal options and tools do prosecutors in Hennepin County utilize to ensure best case outcomes. How to help families navigate the often intimidating juvenile criminal arena with dignity and openness to achieve best results for the victim, offender and secondary victims.

Topic Area(s): Advocacy , Children and Adolescents

 

Lessons Learned from the Military's Multidisciplinary Approach to Victim Support

The 2014 Not Alone report from the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault recommended 4 sets of actions for universities. The Air Force Academy (and all of DoD) has been engaged in these action steps for nearly a decade. The unique structure and resources of the military have allowed us to lead the way in regards to victim services and support, particularly because all of our support and response agencies fall under a consolidated organizational umbrella. This session, led by a military attorney and a victim advocate from the US Air Force Academy, will present the distinctive response capabilities of the military and at the Academy. In a system where victims receive their own legal counsel, collaboration between first responders is required and monthly updates are mandated to be presented to advocates from legal, investigative, and support services, civilian services will gain insight into the benefits and challenges involved in such a multi-disciplinary approach to improve their own organizations.

Topic Area(s): Advocacy , Special Populations, Victims’ Rights

 

New York State's Collaborative Response to the Prison Rape Elimination Act

This workshop will focus on providing services to incarcerated survivors of sexual violence, using New York State's multidisciplinary, collaborative model as a starting point for the conversation.  New York State approached its response to the guidelines set forth in the Prison Rape Elimination Act by engaging victim service providers to provide support to inmates who have experienced sexual violence.  A three-year pilot program was designed and initiated beginning in 2013.  Now, three and a half years later, the victim service providers who were part of the pilot, the New York State Coalition Against Sexual Assault, and the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision have developed a sustainable PREA response that could be easily replicated across the country.  There is still much work to be done, but so much has been learned through the deep collaboration that exists between those involved.

Topic Area(s): Advocacy , Underserved Populations, Victims’ Rights

 

Oh, the Possibilities: Multidisciplinary, Best Practice Approaches to Service Provision for Incarcerated Survivors of Sexual Abuse

This workshop will explore meaningful service provision for incarcerated survivors, focusing on the importance of collaborative approaches—that is, where rape crisis centers, state coalitions and corrections officials work together to build meaningful partnerships and troubleshoot potential challenges. While the national Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) standards are a powerful tool for stimulating genuine corrections-community partnerships, meaningful service provision should extend beyond what is required by the standards. Profiling successful service provision initiatives for incarcerated survivors around the country, speakers will highlight what is possible when corrections officials and victim services providers partner creatively and effectively.   The workshop will provide tailored guidance for VOCA administrators on creating mechanisms for their grantees to establish programs for incarcerated survivors, and identifying barriers—such as in their solicitation guidelines--that could prevent the allocation of funds for services to incarcerated sexual abuse survivors.

Topic Area(s): Criminal Justice, Outreach, Other

 

Opening Doors: Alternative Reporting Options for Law Enforcement and VAWA Forensic Compliance Webinar

There is currently a very welcome national trend across the country emphasizing alternative reporting methods for sexual assault victims. It is partly the result of provisions in the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) that were first enacted in 2005 and remain in effect under the current 2013 reauthorization. This is an area known as forensic compliance, and it is critically important to understand because these legislative provisions have dramatically altered the options available for victims to report sexual assault.  Yet implementing forensic compliance and other alternative reporting methods requires addressing many complex issues regarding: evidence collection, storage, reporting methods, records retention, retrieval, and collaboration with hospitals and other community agencies such as victim advocacy organizations. For example, if a sexual assault victim has a medical forensic examination without personally reporting to law enforcement, how long will the evidence be stored?  How will the case be recorded and tracked by the law enforcement agency? Who will victims contact if they want to convert to a standard reporting procedure? If victims choose an alternative reporting procedure, such as anonymous or non-investigative reporting, will it be investigated anyway? Or will the victim be allowed to decide when and if an investigation will proceed? Who will contact the advocacy organization, to ensure victims have access to the information, support, and other valuable services that an advocate can offer?  These are complex issues, and many communities have worked toward creative solutions to go beyond the "letter of the law" to honor the "spirit of the law" which is to increase victim access to the criminal justice system and other community resources. In other words, many Sexual Assault Response and Resource Teams (SARRTs) are enacting reforms designed to "open more doors" for sexual assault victims.  In this webinar, we will explore a number of community models that have been implemented to improve victims' access to the criminal justice and community response systems. Best practices will be reviewed from across the country, and existing tools and resources will be evaluated. With a focus on local implementation, our goal is for participants to leave prepared to make recommendations for positive changes in their own communities.

Topic Area(s): Evaluation/Research, Public Policy, Violence against Women

 

Oregon's Response to Sex Trafficking

An overview of Oregon's collaborative statewide response in addressing the issue of sex trafficking. We will cover  the structure of the system we have set in place, the toolkits we have developed to support that structure, and how we have acknowledge and worked with the different needs and capacities that exist in urban and rural communities.  We will show how awareness and buy-in has expanded throughout the state and how all this has been executed at a very low cost.

Topic Area(s): Human Trafficking, Organizational Development, Program Management

 

Partnering to provide accessible and appropriate services for LGBTQ+ survivors of sexual violence

For two years, the Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault’s (MECASA) LGBTQ+ Advisory Board worked collaboratively with stakeholders to develop creative, collaborative programming between local sexual assault support centers and local LGBTQ+ providers. This work increases the capacity of local victim service providers and LGBTQ+ providers to offer accessible and appropriate services for LGBTQ+ survivors of sexual violence.   This workshop will offer best practices for establishing and convening an LGBTQ+ Advisory Board and an overview of the programming we created to increase cross-training and cross-referrals. We will also have resources and guidelines around developing and implementing tools, trainings and programming in your communities. Participants will leave having identified potential partnerships and programming priorities within their own communities.

Topic Area(s): Outreach, Underserved Populations, Other

 

Perspectives of Victims and Survivors: Court and Community Challenges

This workshop will address obstacles facing sexual and domestic violence victims as they encounter expectations embedded in community and in court procedures - and present ways of minimizing or eradicating those challenges.  Information on two areas of current significance will be highlighted:  The Safer Schools Sexual Assault Task Force, established to develop recommendations addressing sexual assault on campus within the City and County of San Francisco through 2017, and California’s statewide judicial branch efforts to improve the handling of domestic violence cases.  While state and federal policies have been developed addressing campus sexual assault, San Francisco's approach is one of the first city-wide efforts addressing coordination on and off campus. Similarly, California’s judicial branch, (the largest court system in the U.S.) has implemented policies on coordination designed to reduce barriers to justice for victims.  The workshop will cover opportunities to reconsider the experience of victims and survivors navigating these processes.

Topic Area(s): Anti-Oppression, Public Policy, Violence against Women

 

Protecting Access to Safety and Justice for Immigrant Survivors of Domestic and Sexual Violence and Trafficking

Abusers often use the threat of immigration enforcement as a way to maintain power and control and to make immigrant victims less likely to seek protection.  This interactive workshop will use case scenarios to highlight special immigration remedies for survivors under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA), including special VAWA provisions around confidentiality and sensitive locations. This workshop will also discuss recent immigration policy developments and new enforcement measures that should be taken into consideration when assisting immigrant survivors with safety planning.

Topic Area(s): Advocacy , Underserved Populations, Violence against Women

 

Providing Effective Counsel to Survivors of Campus Sexual Assault in University Proceedings

This session will provide a brief overview of federally-mandated university and college responses to campus sexual assault and then explore the various roles an attorney may play in assisting a survivor in disciplinary proceedings. Although the role of attorneys in these cases varies depending on school-specific policies, this session will focus on the skills necessary to ensure that clients’ rights are protected through trauma-informed and client-centered representation. We will outline best practices for working with clients during the stages of reporting  and investigation, in administrative meetings, and in disciplinary proceedings and appeals. ​

Topic Area(s): Advocacy , Trauma, Violence against Women

 

Raped or “Seduced”?  How Language Helps Shape Our Response to Sexual Violence

Language can never be neutral; it creates versions of reality.”   Yet when we discuss sexual assault, we constantly use the language of consensual sex to describe assaultive acts.  We use euphemisms, erotic or affectionate terms to portray violent acts.  This language often implies consent and romance, rather than criminal acts.  In addition, we describe violence against women in passive terms, which allows the perpetrators of this violence to remain invisible and unaccountable.  We also use language that objectifies or blames sexual assault victims.   This interactive session will explore the language of sexual assault: how we talk about and write about this crime.  We will discuss specific examples of the language we use and explore how to discuss sexual assault in a way that more accurately depicts the crime.

Topic Area(s): Advocacy , Outreach, Violence against Women

 

Removing Barriers of Care and Transforming Services for Survivors of Violent Crime

The University of California San Francisco General Hospital Trauma Recovery Center (TRC) model includes assertive outreach to identify and engage the hardest-to-reach victims of crime, clinical case management for all services (including medical, legal, financial, and others), and evidence-based psychotherapy. Assertive outreach breaks down the barrier of the office visit by engaging clients in the community, including in their homes or in homeless encampments, while TRC clinicians provide a single point of contact for all services. A flexible, coordinated, trauma- informed approach allows clinicians to tailor services to patients’ individual needs, providing victims of crime with the services and supports that are most important to them while eliminating the barriers to treatment that often prevent patients from accessing traditional services. The TRC utilizes a multidisciplinary staff of Psychiatrists, Psychologists, Social Workers and Outreach Workers.

Topic Area(s): Advocacy , Criminal Justice, Outreach, Public Policy, Trauma, Underserved Populations, Violent Crime

 

Resolving the Paradox: Working in Victim Services and being the Victim of a Workplace Bully

One of the challenges in victim services work is the Workplace Bully: someone whose actions can increase stress, affect work performance, and make staff want to leave. We don't often realize that some of the same patterns we have come to recognize in intimate partner violence are present in this bullying dynamic. This workshop explores the correlation between Intimate Partner Violence and Bullying, and how pro-active bystander behavior helps us craft solutions to reclaim the workplace to be a safe and supportive place for all.

Topic Area(s): Organizational Development, Program Management, Other (please explain)

 

 

Restorative Practices for Grief and Healing

After a homicide, family and friends of the deceased may be unable to discuss the death with others or have space to express their grief to those who understand because victimization can create shame and silence storytelling and connection. Catholic Charities takes a broad approach to identifying and supporting those hurt by violence in communities. The ripple effect of violence impacts communities, alongside victims, and perpetuates cycles of grief.  This presentation will cover restorative practices philosophy, as well as the systems-based approach we take to holistically supporting the needs of victims and communities. The primary tool covered in this training will be restorative grief and healing circles. Presenters will focus on their work in partnership to collaboratively support victim needs, while addressing the impacts of systemic oppression and trauma on victims and communities, and how other agencies can begin these conversations as well.

Topic Area(s): Anti-Oppression, Trauma, Other

 

Secondary Trauma, Compassion Fatigue, and Suicide: Risks to Law Enforcement and Service Providers Working in Sex Crimes Against Children

The rate of suicide among law enforcement professionals working with this population has increased exponentially over the last five years, and now includes suicide victims from local law enforcement branches, the private sector, the United States Military, and the Department of Homeland Security. The purpose of this workshop is to provide an understanding of vicarious trauma, secondary trauma, and compassion fatigue in law enforcement and service providers working with children and individuals that have experienced sexual violence and/or sexual victimization. This training will make recommendations for understand the warning signs of burnout and coping skills to increase physical and psychological health, as well as job performance.

Topic Area(s): Children and Youth

 

Serving Male Domestic Violence Survivors in Shelter

Barrier Free Living, Freedom House (FH), is the first fully accessible emergency domestic violence shelter located in New York City.   FH serves everyone who is in need of safety including men with and without disabilities who are single and have children. Through research and resident experiences, FH has developed a unique understanding and approach to the needs and challenges our male population faces.  During this workshop, we will address the struggles men face accepting that they are in a violent relationship, understanding what gives them the courage to report the violence, and explore what it is like for a male survivor with and without disabilities to access and live in a domestic violence shelter.  We will discuss the stigmas and struggles male victims with and without disabilities face while seeking assistance from various settings including police, court, child services, and shelter.

Topic Area(s): Special Populations, Trauma, Victims with Disabilities

 

Supporting Healthy Relationships for Young Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder

As young adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) transition from the relative security of school settings to the world at large, they encounter numerous challenges relating to victimization in both social and workplace interactions. This workshop will illustrate interpersonal concerns of young adults with ASD, present sensitive and knowledgeable teaching accommodations to promote self-determination for healthy relationships, and provide examples of a nine-week program model specifically designed to support young adults with ASD.

Topic Area(s): Children and Adolescents, Special Populations, Underserved Populations, Victims with Disabilities

 

Supporting Male Survivors of Violence

The Supporting Male Survivors of Violence Initiative (SMSV) is a collaborative effort between the Office of Victims of Crime, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, and the National Institute of Justice to enhance and support trauma-informed systems of care for boys and men of color harmed by violence. Participants in this session will learn how the 12 SMSV demonstration sites have increased the body of knowledge available on identifying and serving male survivors of violence, particularly boys and young men of color, and their families. The Healing Justice Alliance (HJA), the dedicated technical assistance provider for this effort, will lead a discussion about the successes and challenges of creating a multi-disciplinary network of partners to provide coordinated services and support for male survivors of violence and their families; conducting outreach and training to educate stakeholders on the adverse effects of trauma and violence; and/or, developing methods to overcome barriers that prevent male survivors of violence, particularly boys and young men of color, from accessing services and support. Speakers from HJA and a representative from a SMSV demonstration site that operates in several public-school health clinics in West Contra Costa County, CA will discuss their work and challenges faced when connecting male victims to the supportive services required to normalize their lives and support their healing. Participants will have opportunity to share lessons learned and strategies to better serve male crime victims.

Topic Area(s): Trauma, Underserved Populations, Violent Crime

 

Taking Action: Assisting Victims of Financial Fraud

Millions of Americans become victims of financial crimes every year. This training will walk you through the accessible, victim-centered approaches at the heart of Taking Action: An Advocate’s Guide to Assisting Victims of Financial Fraud. Learn step-by-step strategies for addressing four major types of financial crime: Identity Theft, Investment Fraud, Mortgage and Lending Fraud, and Mass Marketing Scams. Attendees will receive a foundational background on these four major fraud types, and will learn about their role as advocates when they encounter victims dealing with financial crime. We will also discuss specific and concrete action steps that can be taken, along with a multitude of resources available to victims.

Topic Area(s): Abuse in later life/Older Victims, Fraud/ID Theft, Trauma, Victims’ Rights

 

 

The Intimate Partner Violence Intervention: Victim Centered

Intimate partner violence (IPV) constitutes nearly half of all murders of women in the United States. It ranks among the top calls for service to police and its community impact is devastating. Yet, traditional criminal justice responses have failed to address IPV appropriately, placing an enormous burden on victims and neglecting offender accountability. This workshop introduces a new approach.  Designed by David Kennedy, the Intimate Partner Violence Intervention (IPVI) aims to alleviate serious victim harm; intervene early in cycles of victimization; and shift the burden of IPV from victims to the criminal justice system. Through a partnership of law enforcement, victim advocates, service providers, and community, IPVI addresses all offenders known to the criminal justice system, while enhancing outreach and support for victims. A pilot implementation in High Point, NC has shown dramatically reduced intimate partner homicides and victim injuries, fewer repeat calls for service, and positive victim response.

Topic Area(s): Advocacy , Criminal Justice, Violence against Women

 

Understanding the Types of Elder Abuse and Resources for Responding

As victim service providers expand their scope to include victims of elder abuse, and as elder abuse is increasingly being perceived as a crime, victim service providers will increasingly be responding to the needs of elder abuse victims.  This workshop is intended to familiarize victim service providers with the various forms of elder abuse (including financial exploitation) and to provide a basic understanding of the dynamics involved.   This workshop will further familiarize victim service providers with materials being developed by various agencies within the US Department of Justice to assist victim service providers in responding to the needs of elder abuse victims generally, and the unique needs of elder abuse victims specifically.  Attendees will also learn about several VOCA-funded elder abuse programs and how to access VOCA funds in their own state.        

Topic Area(s): Abuse in later life/Older Victims, Criminal Justice, Fraud/ID Theft

 

Using VOCA to Increase Safe Housing Options for Domestic and Sexual Violence Victims: Updates and innovations

Access to safe and stable housing plays a critical role in the lives of domestic and sexual violence survivors and their children. The Domestic Violence & Housing TA Consortium, a highly collaborative federally-funded initiative, is providing coordination leadership to the goal of ending family homelessness in the U.S. by 2020, by more effectively addressing the housing needs of survivors. The VOCA Final Rule that went into effect on August 8, 2016 provides both clarity and new flexibility on the use of VOCA Assistance funds to contribute to these efforts. This interactive workshop will highlight emerging and innovative approaches to investing VOCA funds to expand the array of housing options for survivors, provide an update on what we are learning from ongoing evaluation research on different housing approaches, as well as explore challenges and opportunities identified by participants.

Topic Area(s): Advocacy , Violence against Women, Other

 

What’s Next?:  Innovations in Increasing Legal Assistance for Crime Victims

Victims’ advocates have long recognized the need for legal assistance for crime victims.  In an effort to respond to this need, the Office for Victims of Crime has supported a broad array of legal assistance programs, including through Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) Victim Assistance state formula funding, the Victim Assistance Legal Networks, and ElderJustice AmeriCorps.  The panel will discuss the impact of these and other legal assistance programs, lessons learned, and suggested next steps.  This workshop will be an open discussion about the need for legal services for crime victims, innovative ideas to address those needs, and funding opportunities available to support these programs.

Topic Area(s): Advocacy , Victims’ Rights, Other

 

When you offender is a victim,“Identifying and Supervising Victims of Intimate Partner Violence”

Domestic violence cuts across all boundaries of race, age, social class and even sexual orientation, impacting the lives of individuals from all social categories—including those involved with the criminal justice system. Therefore, it is important to keep in mind that the victim and probation/parole populations are not mutually exclusive populations. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, between 40 and 57 percent of women offenders in prison, jail or on probation supervision reported experiencing physical or sexual abuse prior to their sentence. Of those women, approximately half reported that their abusers were intimate partners. Increasingly, community corrections agencies and professionals are addressing intimate partner violence through enhanced—in some cases, specialized—supervision of intimate partner abusers. These efforts have been critical to enhancing the criminal justice response to domestic violence and have demonstrated the critical role that community corrections should play in addressing intimate partner violence. However, probation, parole, and pretrial services professionals can also play an important role in identifying and addressing the needs of victims of intimate partner violence under community supervision. In addition, due to the nature of the work that community corrections officers do and the access that they have to the homes and lives of the individuals they supervise, they are also in a unique situation to recognize potential unreported cases of IPV.

Topic Area(s): Advocacy , Criminal Justice, Organizational Development, Special Populations, Trauma, Underserved Populations, Victims with Disabilities, Violence against Women

 

Who is at High Risk for Violent Victimization and Who is Most Likely to Access Services? Findings from the National Crime Victimization Survey for the Victim Assistance Field

What do race, gender, poverty and age have to do with who is at highest risk for victimization, who is less likely to access services, and the level of distress this victimization may cause in their lives? Analysis of statistical trends and data can be complicated and limited to researchers with a particular skill set. Often the numbers do not tell the whole story, requiring context and texture not always readily available to practitioners or policymakers. Yet connecting these perspectives is critical for understanding the significance of data by researchers and practitioners alike – and most importantly, the implications for the people and communities these statistics represent. This workshop will present updated findings from the nation's primary source of information on criminal victimization, the National Crime Victimization Survey, with a focus on translating the significance for service providers and other key stakeholders in the victim assistance field.

Topic Area(s): Evaluation/Research, Public Policy, Violent Crime

 

Women’s Pathways to Crime and Prison: The Psychological, Social, and Legal Impact of Sexual Victimization

The majority of incarcerated women in the United States have survived sexual victimization before imprisonment. In this session, I will provide an overview of my research with incarcerated women in Washington, D.C., during the time period of 2010 – 2012. This presentation will provide an analysis of how sexual victimization and other forms of gender-based violence profoundly influenced women’s “pathways” to crime and prison. I will identify and explain how specific criminalized behaviors may indicate that women are trying to cope with, or recover from, sexual victimization. This session will also analyze how structural violence affected my research participants.

Topic Area(s): Special Populations, Trauma, Violence against Women

 

Writing from the Heart: Poetry as a Resource for Healing

This workshop is based on the work of the Pongo Poetry Project, a 22-year-old volunteer-based nonprofit in Seattle. Pongo provides trauma-informed poetry programs for vulnerable populations. The workshop will share poetry by victims of crime, describe the history and structure of a successful therapeutic poetry program, explain data and outcomes from the program, and demonstrate methods and resources that will help the audience to use therapeutic poetry in their own healing work.

Topic Area(s): Trauma, Underserved Populations, Other

 

 

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