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Workshop Descriptions (PDF)

Workshop Description

(In Alphabetical Order by Title)

 

Abuse of Older Adults: Practical Strategies for Reaching and Serving Older Victims of Crime

Each day 10,000 people turn 65 years old. As the population ages, the number of reports of abuse, neglect and exploitation of older adults is rising. Older victims experience disproportionately higher rates of victimization and are at a higher risk of morbidity and mortality than older adults who are not abused. This workshop provides participants with a broad overview of the forms of abuse commonly perpetrated against older adults and of the dynamics that are often present in abuse cases involving older victims. This workshop addresses some obstacles that older victims can face when receiving assistance from service providers. This workshop offers attendees practical strategies and information about technical assistance available to help participants reach and better serve older victims.

 

Access to Justice: Language Access for Victims with Limited English Proficiency

This interactive workshop will explore the requirements of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act and what it means for ensuring that victim services are accessible to people with limited English proficiency. This workshop is intended for administrators, first responders and advocates to explore why language access plans are needed, and how to develop, implement and monitor one. Presenters will discuss tools and technical assistance that is available to help establish language access plans.

 

Addressing Ageism: Increasing Older Victims’ Access to Victim Services

Ageism and other forms of institutional and social marginalization present significant barriers for older victims seeking services to meet their unique needs. This workshop will delve into the concept of ageism and the ways in which ageism can manifest in victim services work. Particular emphasis will be put on the intersecting experiences of older victims from historically underserved communities. Participants will have an opportunity to identify strategies they can use to increase equity in and access to services for all older victims.

 

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. Presenters discuss how to advocate for victims to ensure these rights protect and assist survivors through campus disciplinary proceedings, survivors’ rights under Title IX, and other laws to file civil lawsuits against schools.  Presenters 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.

 

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 (SART) 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. Presenters 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, will hear  survivor stories, and focus on how to improve responses and 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.

 

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

In order to raise awareness about healthy relationships and prevent future generations from suffering abuse, the Jewish Coalition Against Domestic 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.  An overview of AWARE®'s outcomes and results will be discussed.

 

Bathrooms, Bullies, and Bystanders

Restrictive legislation is limiting the basic right of transgender and non-binary individuals to use public bathrooms and locker rooms.  Additionally, youth and adults, politicians and citizens, parents and teachers, atheists and people of faith, (and even some victim service providers) are all too often engaging in anti-trans bullying, discrimination, and assault.  Victim service agencies across the country are asking what they can do to both support transgender communities and counter myths about sexual assault linkages to basic transgender rights. This workshop helps attendees effectively respond to the false charges that trans peoples’ access to restrooms threatens women’s and children’s safety, offering suggested strategies that compassionately address peoples’ fears and introduce factual data about sexual assault, prevention, and bystander intervention.  Presenters show how transgender sexual assault survivors are negatively impacted by public votes on their basic human rights and repeated accusations of being sexual predators.   There are many ways we can all make a difference in improving the lives of trans and non-binary people.

 

 

Blending of Victims' Rights

juvenile courts; and politically.  All too often victims of crime find themselves in several court systems, having their rights not recognized and enforced in different court systems.  This workshop provides for unique ideas that have led to success in passing laws and lobbying for crime victims’ rights.

Bringing the Margins of the Margins to the Center - Securing Collective Liberation for ALL

This workshop will explore the multi-layered experiences of historically marginalized communities, and the ways these communities.  Along with other national leaders, Women of Color Network, Inc. (WOCN, Inc.) will weave a critical conversation about the needs and assets of those residing at the margins of the margins.  Participants will receive information and specific strategies to amplify their efforts to meaningfully partner and serve these communities.

 

Civil and Criminal Case Options for Elder Abuse

Using case scenarios, this presentation exposes 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.

 

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

This workshop explores civil remedies for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking beyond restraining orders. This workshop discusses:  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 cases.

 

Community Voices in Police Reform: A Collaborative Approach

The Office of Community Oriented Policing Services’ (COPS) 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 listening sessions to allow community members to voice their opinions about their police department. These and other input translate into key reform areas.  This process engages the community, allows them  to have a hand in the reform efforts, for police department accountibility.  Panel members discuss the usefulness in fully engaging members of the community to help increase trust and legitimacy of a police department. Lastly, panel members discuss the importance of incorporating victims into the process of reform.

 

Courageous Spirits - Brave Heart

Violence against Native women and men is at a crisis concern 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. This workshop addresses historical trauma experiences, the 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.

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. The second part of the presentation will detail clinical strategies for effectively facilitating male support groups of CSA survivors.

 

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, presenters examine the critical, missing links, unique holistic faith, 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.

 

 

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 seeks 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.

 

Enhanced Safety Planning for Immigrant Survivors of Domestic and Sexual Violence

This workshop provides a better understanding of 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.

 

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 presentation focuses on lessons learned from the Colloquium and provide a road map for other organizations to build practitioner/researcher partnerships.

 

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

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. This workshop focuses 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.

 

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

Working with crime and victims, every day activites may vary greatly given the severity of the work. Learning how to master accessing the "calm" in any storm is a worthy goal, but is it really attainable? In this workshop, participants learn how to manage 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 served.

 

From Client-Centered to Survivor Engagement: A Holistic Approach to Working with Survivors of Human Trafficking

This presentation will examine 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.

 

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.

 

Hidden in Plain Sight: Women, Gender-Based Violence, and Jails

When thinking about mass incarceration, women detained in local jail facilities is not typically the first group to come to mind – yet this is the fastest growing correctional population in the United States. In just the last few years (2010-2014), the rate of women in jails increased 14%, even though the rates of men declined 3%. To reverse these trends and end cycles of female incarceration, more work needs to be done to address the deep trauma histories of justice-involved women. Research shows that the overwhelming majority of women in jails – most of whom are charged with nonviolent crimes – are survivors of sexual violence (86%), partner violence (77%), and/or caregiver violence (66%). This workshop will feature individuals and organizations working at the intersection of gender-based violence, victim services, and female jail incarceration. Presenters highlight the most common service needs of women and offer practical advice for reaching female survivors with trauma-informed, gender-responsive programs, both in and out of incarceration.

 

House of Horrors: The Mills and Akers Investigation

This presentation will review 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.

 

How Safe are Americans with Disabilities? The Facts About Violent Crime and their Implications

People with disabilities make up 19% of the US population and are 3 times more likely to experience violent victimization than people without disabilities. Despite this, their experiences remain largely invisible to the criminal justice system and victim service agencies. This workshop explores the unique dynamics of violence against people with disabilities and discuss common barriers that prevent people with disabilities from getting help. The workshop also offers suggestions for creating a public safety strategy that both reduces the rate of violent victimization among people with disabilities and ensures that when violence does occur, survivors with disabilities have access to the support they need.

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.

 

Increasing Access to Services for those Vulnerable to Human Trafficking

The workshop will go into a brief overview of human trafficking, and provide an overview of how the Polaris through its hotline established in 2007,  has worked with federal, state, local and tribal entities to increase access to victim services Polaris also has its textline with texting capabilities through the BEFREE textline in . 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. Polaris shares its best practices and lessons learned with participants.

 

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, examine the landscape in L.A., focusing on two innovative protocols: the first first responder and victim witness 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.

 

Introduction to Community-Centered Evidence-Based Practices

There has been increasing demand for service providers to selectively utilize treatments and interventions that have demonstrated evidence of effectiveness (Sullivan et al., 2009). Government and private funding agencies often make funding contingent on effectiveness, despite continued debate on what constitutes as “evidence” and other methodological concerns. In an attempt to address this issue in various disciplines, the Evidence Based Practice (EBP) model was developed and adapted to include various forms of evidence including, but not limited to, highly controlled academic researchThis presentation will attempt to fill this gap by presenting an adapted EBP framework that bridges violence practice and research. This presentation will include the introduction of the Community-Centered Evidence-Based Practice (CCEBP) approach (Serrata et al., 2017) which is meant to challenge traditional EBP models by including sources of knowledge relevant to historically underserved communities, including the Latino community. By illustrating practical steps for including documented evidence, community practitioner expertise, and organizational context into decision-making processes, the presenter hopes to stimulate the adoption of CCEBP by other organizations and programs in violence practice and related fields. The emergence of community-based “best practices” can also be used to inform broader systems of care and policies affecting Latino communities

 

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, and what are the impacts of intra-familiar juvenile sexual abuse between victim/offender, parent, and extended family. Presenters discuss 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.  Other topics addressed include common issues for families in the healing process, conflicting loyalties among family members and potential legal options and navigation through the court system, and how to ensure best outcomes.

 

Leaving the Silo: Embracing the Concept of Polyvictimization and Evidence-Based Treatment

For many years we have pursued a multidisciplinary approach to child abuse, recognizing the unique contributions made by diverse partners.  However, we have not fully embraced the multi-victimization of our clients, typically focusing on one form of victimization for which the client was referred.  Emerging research and practice considerations related to the polyvictimization of children will be reviewed with specific recommendations for practice changes which will enhance our service delivery to our clients and also our effective investigation and evidence-based intervention outcomes.  Particular focus will be paid to children with disabilities, LGBTQ children, and children from historically marginalized populations, and the increased complexity for addressing child victimization.

 

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, presents 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.

 

Leveraging Victims Compensation to Create Access

As we know, being a victim of crime can have a lasting impact on a person’s life, particularly for those individuals who acquire a disability as a result of the crime they experienced. From losing their hearing after a physical assault, to suffering an injury from a drunk driving accident that results in the use of a wheelchair, to acquiring a mental health disability as a result of the acute trauma associated with the crime, a crime victim’s disability will likely impact their ability to heal from the crime and participate in civil and criminal legal proceedings. Drawing on her personal experience, Olga Trujillo, who was diagnosed with Dissociative Identity Disorder (formerly known as Multiple Personality Disorder) at the age of 31, will discuss barriers people with disabilities can face when reporting a crime or participating in the legal processes, and offer suggestions for ways VOCA administrators can work to remove those barriers, including through the use of VOCA Compensation.

 

LGBTQ Voices and Victimization OR Beyond the Letters: The ABC’s of Working with LGBTQ Survivors

We all have many identities and experiences that make us who we are.  This is true for LGBTQ victims or crime, as well.  This session will review core information about who LGBTQ survivors are, including prevalence and other victimization data. An exploration of common barriers LGBTQ survivors face will engage attendees in thinking broadly about the many intersections associated with gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, race, disability, age, economics, employment, access to health care, and many other factors that influence LGBTQ victims of crime from accessing services.  Participants will leave with clear and concrete ideas of what they can do to better serve LGBTQ survivors of crime.

 

Making Connections: Prisoner Reentry and Victim Services

Every year, hundreds of thousands of people are released back into the community from our nation’s prisons and jails. For many reentering society after a period of incarceration, their immediate needs for transportation, housing, and employment often supersede any needs they may have to address the trauma of past victimization – either prior to their incarceration or during their time in confinement. This workshop explores the unmet needs of people returning to the community from prison or jail and consider strategies for fostering connections between reentry programs and victim service organizations. Presenters discuss creative ways for providing healing services to this underserved population of survivors, which may not always see themselves as “crime victims” or know where to go for help with past trauma.

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.

 

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

This workshop explores 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.

 

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

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. 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 workshop, presenters explore a number of community models that have been implemented to improve victims' access to the criminal justice and community response systems. Best practices, existing tools and resources are reviewed and evaluated from across the country. With a focus on local implementation, our goal is for participants to leave prepared to make recommendations for positive changes in their communities.

 

Oregon's Response to Sex Trafficking

This workshop provides an overview of Oregon's collaborative statewide response in addressing sex trafficking. Presenters discuss the structure of the system we have set in place, the toolkits developed to support that structure, and how this systems has worked with the different needs and capacities of urban and rural communities.  Presenters show how awareness and buy-in has expanded throughout the state and how all this has been executed at a very low cost.

 

Outreach that Works: Effective Strategies for Reaching Young Men of Color Survivors of Violence

As an often marginalized, racially subjugated and ostracized group, young men of color face an array of social obstacles and racial barriers that influence their ideas of manhood. In this context, anything associated with weakness may be shunned. Trauma, in many respects, and among many populations, conjures negative connotations of weakness and vulnerability. The resulting unwillingness of young men of color to associate themselves with trauma, makes reaching them, and ultimately serving them, much harder. This session will present strategies for effectively reaching out to young men of color who have suffered trauma. The session will provide the tools needed to locate, recruit, influence, enlighten, and engage young men of color who may or may not acknowledge themselves as victims of crime or as traumatized individuals. The session will cover the benefit of credible messengers, avoiding overly clinical language, and honoring the young men’s skills and abilities. It will also address the use of financial incentives, travel reimbursement, and offering practical skills and training, like writing and public speaking. Similarly, we will highlight the importance of having a broader community strategy of engagement.

 

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. Presenters provide resources and guidelines on developing and implementing tools, trainings and programming in  communities. Participants will leave having identified potential partnerships and programming priorities within their communities.

 

Perspectives of Victims and Survivors: Court and Community Challenges

This workshop addresses obstacles facing sexual and domestic violence victims as they encounter expectations embedded in community and 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.

 

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.

 

 

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. ​

 

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.

 

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

This workshop focuses on the University of California San Francisco General Hospital Trauma Recovery Center (TRC) model which 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. A flexible, coordinated, trauma-informed approach allows clinicians to tailor services to patients’ individual needs, providing victims of crime with the services and support that is most important to them while eliminating the barriers to treatment that often prevent patients from accessing traditional services.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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 children who are victims of sex crimes 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.

 

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 endures.  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.  Presenters 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.

 

Shifting the Underserved Populations Paradigm: Supporting VOCA Administrators to Enhance Efforts to Better Identify, Reach and Resource Un-served, Underserved and Inadequately Served Communities

This workshop will explore innovative steps VOCA and other administrators have undertaken to expand their ability to effectively engage, collaborate with and fund community-based organizations (CBO) and culturally specific programs (CSP) serving un-served and underserved communities.  Participants will hear about promising practices from national experts as well as fellow administrators who have increased their capacity to better identify, reach and resource un-served, underserved and inadequately served communities and the CBOs and CSPs assisting them.

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 illustrates 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.

 

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.

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.

The Intimate Partner Violence Intervention: Victim Safety and Accountability

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. This panel will focus on how IPV is informed by and observes both historical perspectives and best practices of victim advocacy, and how a focus on offender accountability supports victim safety.

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.

 

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 Technical Assistance 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.

 

We Know What to Do So Let's Do It! How Listening to Survivors Can Broaden Our Vision for Inclusion and Change

To a great extent, the contemporary victim service field arose from the battered women’s and rape crisis movements of the 1970’s-80’s. Based on this history, the field has developed broad services for survivors of rape and intimate partner violence (IPV), but has also inadvertently created structural barriers to meeting many survivors’ needs. In addition, it has had a complex and limited response to male victims of violence, particularly to young Black and Latino male survivors. This workshop will offer a framework for deep reflection on the successes and pitfalls of these early movements.  Through large and small group discussion, presenters identify strategies to improve and broaden this work so that it once again privileges survivors’ voices, in order to develop more effective options for victims of IPV and rape as well as for young men of color and all survivors.

 

What Really Happens to Our Children? An Overview of Child Victimization in the United States

In order for us to intervene on behalf of our vulnerable children we must understand what they are experiencing.  This presentation will provide an overview of historical trends in child victimization in the United States, and highlight emerging trends in youth victimization from emerging research with a particular focus on the complex interaction between these experiences and youth from minority and/or underserved populations.  The long-term impacts of this victimization on our society will be highlighted to further clarify youth victimization as a public health issue.

 

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.

 

When Your Offender is a Victim,“Identifying and Supervising Victims of Intimate Partner Violence”

This presentation focuses on the role community corrections officers who may be the first responders of victims of domestic violence who are involved in the criminal justice system. 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. 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.

 

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.

 

Who's Your Trusted Contact?

Hear practical pointers for Kids, Elders, Social Workers and Brokerage firms and why it's so important to name a trusted contact. Learn about the (FINRA) Customer Account Statement Rule (Rule 4512) and a new Rule 2165 regarding Financial Exploitation of Specified Adults and how it applies to you and yours.

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, the researcher provides an overview of the analysis 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. This workshop  will identifies and explains 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 research participants.

 

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.

 

 

 

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