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Expert Q&A

You have questions. We have answers. 
Here's what's coming up in our Expert Q&A series.


Topic: Innovative Practices for Family Justice Centers

Date: February 19, 2020; 2:00–3:15 p.m. e.t.

Description: Family Justice Centers provide a “one-stop shop” for victims of family violence (intimate partner violence, sexual assault, and elder abuse). These co-located, multidisciplinary service centers reduce the number of places a victim must go to receive services following the crime. Services include, but are not limited to, assistance with protective orders, legal services, medical, counseling, safety planning, and more. This session will allow the audience to inquire about innovative practices within the Family Justice Center model.

Note: This session will be recorded and posted on the Expert Q&A Past Sessions tab when available.



Featured Hosts:

HeadshotScott Hampton, Psy.D., has been working in the violence prevention field for 30 years. He has worked on more than 4,000 cases involving domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse, substance abuse, and hate crimes. He is the executive director of Ending the Violence, a New Hampshire-based organization that provides educational classes to perpetrators of interpersonal violence; the project coordinator of Strafford County’s Supervised Visitation Center; and serves on the statewide fatality review team. He authored Tolerant Oppression: Why Promoting Tolerance Undermines Our Quest for Equality and What We Should Do Instead, published in 2010. He developed a virtual family justice center model for communities in which a physical site is not practical and a community rape kit for educating violence prevention stakeholders on how to identify elements of a rape culture.
Dr. Hampton received the Community Service Award for developing a county’s first domestic violence program, A Sign of Hope Award from the local crisis center, and a Hall of Fame Award from the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence. Dr. Hampton writes and speaks frequently on issues related to interpersonal violence. He has been interviewed frequently for newspaper articles and on the radio and has made several television appearances, including on the Oprah Winfrey Show. Dr. Hampton spends much of his time consulting with other professionals in the handling of interpersonal violence cases; and he has conducted more than 400 keynote and breakout sessions in North America, Europe, and Asia on a variety of interpersonal violence topics, as well as entire institutes (e.g., 2-day advanced training in batterer intervention). He frequently testifies in court as an expert witness. Dr. Hampton earned his Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
View Full Biography


HeadshotVilma Torres is the Safe Horizon director of the NYC Family Justice Center-Bronx Mayor's Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence. Her diverse experience within the field of trauma and grief include teaching and providing presentations for local, state, and national organizations on helping crime victims and survivors cope after a violent death. Previously, she served as the vice president of the New York State Office of Victims Services, and she is on the advisory boards of the New York City Department of Correction and the Downstate Coalition for Crime Victims. Ms. Torres has been a presenter in a series of trainings titled Traumatic Grief: After Violent Death, a continuing education program. She co-facilitates a weekly homicide support group in collaboration with the Bronx County District Attorney’s Office Crime Victims Assistance Unit. Ms. Torres earned a master’s degree in Social Work from Hunter College and graduated from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. She is a licensed master social worker.



Topic: Helping Survivors of Multiple Victimizations

Date: March 18, 2020; 2:00–3:15 p.m. e.t.

Description: Polyvictimization refers to having experienced multiple victimizations, such as sexual abuse, physical abuse, bullying, and exposure to family violence, and occurs when individuals experience different kinds of victimization, rather than multiple episodes of the same kind of victimization. Understanding the prevalence, occurrence, and identification of polyvictimization across all generations is essential for victim advocates and other victim-serving professionals to help ensure that the right types of assistance, support, and intervention are made available.

Note: This session will be recorded and posted on the Expert Q&A Past Sessions tab when available.




Featured Hosts:

HeadshotNatalia Aguirre was the director of the Family Justice Center Alliance (FJCA), where she worked to expand services for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking, elder abuse, and child abuse in Family Justice Centers (FJC) across the United States and around the world. She provided training to professionals on developing and creating FJCs, polyvictimization, program evaluation, leadership, trauma-informed care, and how to better serve survivors of interpersonal violence (IPV).

Under her leadership, FJCA expanded programming and services for survivors of IPV in FJCs to include a broader and more holistic framework. She led a demonstration initiative on polyvictimization for the Office for Victims of Crime with six FJC communities around the country. This initiative paved the way to better understand adult polyvictims through a national research project with more than 350 survivors served in FJCs. Ms. Aguirre and the team greatly expanded the understanding of survivors and created tools for frontline staff to use to better assess and address the needs of survivors.
She worked extensively with multidisciplinary professionals on increasing their capacity to provide services to survivors, as well as improving operations and building a stronger collaborative environment. She advocates for evidence-based practices to address IPV in Congressional hearings in Washington, D.C., and took the lead in developing national programs funded by the U.S. Department of Justice. Ms. Aguirre is fluent in Spanish and used her skills and knowledge to expand the FJC framework in Mexico.
View Full Biography
HeadshotKelly Graves, Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist in North Carolina. She served as a tenured associate professor for a combined almost 16 years at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and North Carolina A&T State University. Dr. Graves founded Kellin, PLLC, a trauma-focused behavioral health center, and the nonprofit Kellin Foundation, which the National Child Traumatic Stress Network named a national partner for its expertise in community-based trauma recovery for children and families (only the second such site in North Carolina). She is a training consultant with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Social Work’s Area Health Education Centers Training Partnership. She successfully implemented dozens of large-scale grants totaling more than $10 million focused on community change, and she authored dozens of peer-reviewed publications, books, and book chapters. She developed the Greensboro Child Response Initiative, which the U.S. Department of Justice recognizes as a national model for best practices in responding to children exposed to violence. Dr. Graves received the Division 56 Trauma Award from the American Psychological Association, the Top 40 Leaders Under 40 Award from the Triad Business Journal, and the Top Psychologist Award from the International Association of Healthcare Professionals, among other awards.

Expert Q&A Recordings

Each month the Nation's experts answer your questions about best practices in victim services. If you missed a past session, find the recording below.

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Topic Date Length Training Materials
Show Summary Show Host Biography January 15, 2020 1.25 hours Listen/View Webinar
View PowerPoint (PDF, 165 KB)
Summary: Presenters discuss trauma-informed approaches to increasing community awareness of labor trafficking, as well as explore how to help community partners provide potential victims with appropriate resources for support. As a result of the session, participants will: identify approaches that victim service providers can take to expand their knowledge and/or community knowledge of labor trafficking, discuss innovative approaches for outreach and awareness on labor trafficking, and identify resources and approaches for referring potential victims of labor trafficking safely for additional support.
Host Biographies:

Sarah Southey serves as a program assistant for the Buffett-McCain Institute Initiative to Combat Modern Slavery. In this role, she supports the team in Texas to combat forced labor in the agricultural sector. Before joining the McCain Institute for International Leadership, Ms. Southey was a legal and outreach intern at a labor rights organization in Mexico City, Centro de los Derechos del Migrante. While living in Mexico City, Ms. Southey also interned at Case Refugiados as a community integration program assistant, helping people seeking asylum from Central America to find employment. Ms. Southey graduated from McGill University with a bachelor’s degree, double majoring in Physiology and Latin-American Studies.

Patricia Medige has provided legal representation to low wage workers and immigrant crime victims with Colorado nonprofit organizations since 1995. Ms. Medige has been an appointee to the Colorado gubernatorial Human Trafficking Council since 2014 and was honored to be a co-recipient of the Freedom Network (USA) Paul and Sheila Wellstone Award in 2009. She has presented at numerous conferences and written several law review articles on immigrant labor and human trafficking issues.


Expert Q&A Archives

2019 Recordings


2019 Recordings


View Expert Q&A sessions from 2019.

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Topic Date Length Training Materials
Show Summary Show Host Biography November 20, 2019 1.25 hours Listen/View Webinar
View PowerPoint (PDF, 163 KB)
Summary: This session identifies the historical and traditional ways that domestic and sexual violence were addressed in American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) communities prior to colonization and how historical experiences persist to have residual trauma in the community. Recommendations are provided to improve advocacy for native communities that have been affected by domestic and sexual violence.
Host Biography:

Elena Giacci is a Diné woman and an anti-sexual and domestic violence training specialist and advocate for American Indian and Alaska Native people. Ms. Giacci works extensively with many diverse communities. She has more than 28 years of experience in the violence against women field, and has a B.A. in Criminal Justice. Ms. Giacci trains throughout North America on sexual and domestic violence issues. She is currently chair of the Albuquerque Mayors Anti Domestic and Sexual Violence Task Force. She was the faculty leader on Native Project 2.0 in cooperation with the national organization Futures Without Violence. Ms. Giacci was co-investigator with Dr. Elizabeth Miller in the research study by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development: Partner Violence and Reproductive Coercion Among Native American Women, a qualitative study to examine partner violence, sexual violence, and reproductive coercion on reproductive decisionmaking.
Show Summary Show Host Biography October 16, 2019 1.25 hours Listen/View Webinar
View PowerPoint (PDF, 382 KB)
Summary: The Domestic Violence High Risk Team (DVHRT) Model was born from one community’s tragedy and has gone on to national recognition and replication as a leading strategy for intimate partner homicide prevention. This presentation provides a comprehensive understanding of the DVHRT Model, with an overview of the research at its foundation, and includes a discussion on the function and structure of key partners in this multidisciplinary approach. Participants will learn how team members work together to identify high-risk cases and mobilize risk management strategies.
Host Biographies:

Kelly Dunne is the chief of operations and director of national training and technical assistance at the Jeanne Geiger Crisis Center in Massachusetts. She focuses her work on analyzing the response systems created to protect victims and hold offenders accountable. In 2003, after a tragic domestic violence homicide/suicide of one of her clients, Ms. Dunne created the DVHRT Model. This model, which is based on Dr. Jacquelyn Campbell’s Danger Assessment, seeks to reduce domestic violence homicides and re-assaults by employing risk assessment practices to identify potentially lethal offenders, establishes case-specific multidisciplinary responses, and coordinates monitoring of high-risk domestic violence cases.

Heather Davies is the project specialist for national training and technical assistance at the Jeanne Geiger Crisis Center in Amesbury, Massachusetts. Ms. Davies works with communities around the country to implement the DVHRT Model and the Danger Assessment for Law Enforcement. Before joining the Jeanne Geiger Crisis Center, she worked for 5 years at Casa Myrna as the coordinator of SafeLink, the Massachusetts statewide domestic violence crisis hotline. Ms. Davies practiced law as a civil litigator for 11 years prior to joining Casa Myrna.
Show Summary Show Host Biography September 18, 2019 1.25 hours Listen/View Webinar
View PowerPoint (PDF, 395 KB)
Summary: The negative psychological effects of surviving a mass violence incident are second only to injury and death, and these types of incidents usually have a slower recovery trajectory. Everyone who is exposed is in some way touched by what happened and may not understand their reactions. The good news is that most distress reactions are quite common and dissipate over time with good social supports and coping skills. This webinar provides psychoeducational information to assist victims and survivors in understanding their reactions and how to best cope with them. It also helsp providers to understand how powerful this information is in decreasing anxiety and fear of the development of mental illness.
Host Biographies:

April Naturale, Ph.D., is a traumatic stress specialist with 30 years of experience as a health/mental health care administrator, and a clinician specializing in response to traumatic events. After 9/11, Dr. Naturale directed the New York State response to the World Trade Center disaster, served as project director for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Disaster Technical Assistance Center (SAMHSA DTAC), was the architect of the Boston Marathon bombing behavioral health response, and has been assisting in program development efforts as well as victim, family, and provider forums for the Las Vegas Harvest Festival, Pulse Nightclub, Parkland, Thousand Oaks, and Pittsburgh Tree of Life shooting incidents. She is also currently training humanitarian aid workers for the European Union.

Thomas Ray Thomson, M.Ed., LPC, is the access specialist and disaster mental health coordinator for the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (ODMHSAS). Employed by ODMHSAS since 1991, Mr. Thomson has coordinated services for every major disaster in Oklahoma since 1993, including the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building bombing in 1995. As part of his duties, Mr. Thomson trains and recruits disaster mental health employees and volunteers, designs and manages crisis counseling programs for presidentially declared disasters, collects, analyzes and reports data, and consults with ODMHSAS leadership and other state and national agencies and volunteer organizations regarding the effects of and services needed after terrorism and natural disasters.
Show Summary Show Host Biography August 21, 2019 1.25 hours Listen/View Webinar
View PowerPoint (PDF, 333 KB)
Summary: During this session, practical information is be provided to direct service providers and other programs open to the public about service and support animals. Learn the differences between service animals, crisis response canines, emotional support animals, therapy animals, and pets. Find out the laws in the United States that apply to these animals, including the Fair Housing Act, and learn about New Mexico's "Model Guidelines for Service Animals and Emotional Support Animals in Domestic Violence Programs and Shelters," which provides policy suggestions and other tips for working with clients who have emotional support animals and how to respectfully respond when someone tries to bring in a dog or animal that isn’t appropriate for public access.
Host Biographies:

Marcie Davis is the CEO of Davis Innovations, a research and organizational development consulting firm focused on organization and leadership development. Since 2002, she has been the project director for the New Mexico Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs on a number of topics, including populations with less access to services. She is a nationally recognized victim assistance and disability advocate and trainer who leads a diverse staff in providing program development, leadership and management, training, technical writing, grant writing, and research and evaluation services to local, state, federal, and tribal governments and nongovernmental organizations.

Lovey Davis is a Labrador Retriever. She was born on June 13, 2013, in New York and custom-trained as an assistance dog by Jill Felice, Founder of Assistance Dogs of the West. Lovey knows more than 100 commands, including opening doors and picking up objects as small as a dime. She was placed as a service dog with Marcie Davis in May 2015. Lovey has an incredible work ethic. She serves as the co-host of Working Like Dogs on Pet Life Radio. Lovey is also certified as a Therapy Dog. She and Marcie work together as volunteers with the Santa Fe Animal Shelter’s Pet Therapy Outreach Program. In her spare time, Lovey enjoys playing in her backyard, swimming, traveling, and chewing on her favorite toy.
Show Summary Show Host Biography July 17, 2019 1 hour Listen/View Webinar
View PowerPoint (PDF, 520 KB)
Summary: The field of victim services has marched from a movement to a profession. Learn more about current trends and growth in the field and how to use innovation to better serve victims.
Host Biographies:

Mary Vail Ware is the project director for the Office for Victims of Crime Training and Technical Assistance Center (OVC TTAC). OVC TTAC provides victim-centered capacity building, training and technical assistance, and mass violence response for organizations and communities across the United States. Prior to joining OVC TTAC, Ms. Ware was the director of programs and outreach for the Virginia Office of the Attorney General. She managed initiatives in the following areas: human trafficking, school-based prevention, family violence prevention, jail re-entry efforts, law enforcement training, victim-witness assistance, community capacity building, elder crime prevention, sexual assault kit testing, lethality assessment protocol training, sexual assault prevention, and campus sexual violence prevention and intervention.

Marti Kovener is a senior advisor to the Office for Victims of Crime Training and Technical Assistance Center (OVC TTAC). She has spent her 30-year career working with local, state, and national organizations to help them better serve victims of crime; building capacity in communities, organizations, and individuals; and mobilizing and engaging unserved and underserved victims of crime. She loves facilitation, strategic planning, training and leadership development, and thinking about innovation in learning. She has trained on various areas of victim services and criminal and juvenile justice, including collaboration, nonprofit and community capacity building and leadership, community and youth engagement, cultural competency and inclusion, and sexual assault intervention.
Show Summary Show Host Biography June 12, 2019 1 hour Listen/View Webinar
View PowerPoint (PDF, 261 KB)
Summary: In October 2017, the Elder Abuse Prevention and Prosecution Act was signed into law. The law requires the U.S. Department of Justice to take a number of steps to both enhance its own efforts and to support the efforts of state and local prosecutors, law enforcement, and other elder justice professionals in preventing and combatting elder abuse and financial exploitation. This session explores the different forms of elder abuse, the role that dementia and other cognitive issues play, promising preventive measures, and some of the challenges of prosecuting such cases.
Host Biographies:

Andy Mao, J.D., is a deputy director in the Commercial Litigation Branch of the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Division, as well as the coordinator of the Department’s Elder Justice Initiative. Mr. Mao focuses on health care fraud matters primarily, and he has litigated cases in the hospital, pharmaceutical, and nursing home contexts. As the coordinator of the Elder Justice Initiative, Mr. Mao helps to support and coordinate the Department’s law enforcement and programmatic efforts to combat elder abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation. He joined the Department in 2000 after completing a federal clerkship in the District of New Jersey. Mr. Mao is a graduate of Cornell University and the University of Virginia School of Law.

Mark Lachs, M.D., M.P.H., graduated medical school from NYU School of Medicine, completed his residency at the University of Pennsylvania, and was on the faculty at Yale before joining the geriatrics program at Cornell’s Division of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine. Dr. Lachs is the Irene and Roy Psaty Distinguished Professor of Medicine at the Weill Cornell Medical College and cochief of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine, and the director of geriatrics for the New York Presbyterian Health Care System. His major area of interest is the disenfranchised elderly, and he has published widely in the areas of elder abuse and neglect, adult protective services, the measurement of functional status, ethics, and the financing of health care.
Show Summary Show Host Biography May 29, 2019 1 hour Listen/View Webinar
View PowerPoint (PDF, 138 KB)
Summary: Victims react to the psychological trauma of a crime in various ways. In order to ensure they receive the care they need, you must become familiar with the impact of trauma and the concept of trauma-informed care. This session will provide insight into the surprising similarities of victims and police officers that will help connect the complex thought patterns of a victim in trying to survive the moment and in the long term.
Host Biography:

Marcus Bruning retired in 2013 after a 28-year career in public safety. Major Bruning served the last 20 years with the St. Louis County Sheriff's Office, where he retired as supervising deputy sheriff (rank of major). In 2001, Major Bruning founded Marcus Bruning Training and Consulting, where he provides real world practical education and training for law enforcement professionals across the country. Major Bruning is a certified Federal Law Enforcement Training Center training specialist and provides train-the-trainer instruction in domestic crisis intervention and intelligence-led policing. He is a nationally recognized expert on law enforcement response to intimate partner abuse, sexual assault, and stalking.
Show Summary Show Host Biography April 17, 2019 1 hour Listen/View Webinar
View PowerPoint (PDF, 688 KB)
Summary: Survivors of sexual assault are at heightened risk for a variety of mental health problems, including PTSD, depression, and anxiety. They are also more likely to consider or attempt suicide. This session will provide information from an extensive meta-analysis of research focused on the range of mental health problems that are associated with sexual assault and discuss risk factors for developing mental health problems after victimization. The discussion will address the role of service providers, friends, family, and other loved ones in supporting survivors.
Host Biographies:

Jo Johnson is a visiting fellow at the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC), Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. As an OVC Fellow, Ms. Johnson has been assisting in the development of new tools and resources to improve sexual assault response for diverse groups of survivors and communities. She believes in listening to communities to create change, a belief that draws her into networking with people in more than 30 states. Ms. Johnson is a licensed clinical social worker in California, and she has 28 years of clinical experience working with children, youth, and families in prevention and intervention programs and nearly 15 years advancing macro-level change to launch initiatives and build multidisciplinary teams across the Nation.

Emily Dworkin, Ph.D., is a senior fellow at the University of Washington School of Medicine. Her research focuses on psychological recovery from sexual assault and other forms of trauma, with an emphasis on the social contexts in which recovery occurs; early interventions to promote recovery; and novel strategies to disseminate evidence-based practices to those in need. As a clinician, she specializes in evidence-based treatments for PTSD and other forms of internalizing psychopathology.

Nicole E. Allen, Ph.D., is a professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. Her research examines systems change processes in the response to intimate partner violence and sexual assault; individuals’ experiences as they navigate complex systems; effectiveness of social interventions that aim to alter the contexts of individuals’ lives to promote health and well-being; and the gendered nature and context of intimate partner violence and sexual assault.
Show Summary Show Host Biography March 20, 2019 1 hour Listen/View Webinar
View PowerPoint (PDF, 277 KB)
Summary: The National Identity Theft Victims Assistance Network seeks to expand and improve the outreach and capacity of victim service programs to better address the rights and needs of victims of identity theft and cybercrime nationwide through a national network that enhances the capacity to provide assistance to victims and encourages expansion of existing victim service programs and coalitions. This session provides guidance on improving and expanding service to identity theft victims.
Host Biography:

Hazel Heckers worked in hospice for a number of years, then she discovered victim assistance. She has been a victim advocate since the late 1980s, when the victim assistance movement was just beginning, and is honored to have participated in making the movement into a respected profession. As a victim advocate, Ms. Heckers became known as an expert in the areas of crimes against older adults and people with disabilities, and working with the family members and loved ones of homicide victims. She has been a pioneer in the field, facilitating the first law enforcement protocol for response to caregiver abuse; starting Colorado’s first Kinship Care Support Program; establishing support groups and counseling programs for families and loved ones of homicide victims; bringing Safety School to Colorado grade schools; and establishing cross-training programs for law enforcement and human services responding to elder abuse.

Ms. Heckers participated in writing and advocating for Colorado’s At-Risk-Adults legislation, defining abuse against older adults and people with disabilities. Ms. Heckers is the victim assistance coordinator with the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, working in the Identity Theft, Fraud, and Cyber Crimes Investigations Unit. Ms. Heckers is also a current member of the National Identity Theft Victims Assistance Network Advisory Committee. She provides direct services and support to crime victims and coordinates community education and professional training across the state and on a national basis. Ms. Heckers worked to establish the first 24 Hour ID Theft and Fraud Hotline in the Nation and was in the forefront of bringing the issues of medical ID theft, child ID theft, family violence and ID theft, and disaster response-related ID theft and fraud to light. She is considered a national expert in ID theft and fraud. Ms. Heckers is the 2014 recipient of the U.S. Department of Justice National Crime Victim Service Award. She earned a graduate degree in Jungian Psychology.
Show Summary Show Host Biography February 20, 2019 1 hour Listen/View Webinar
View PowerPoint (PDF, 375 KB)
Summary: Teenagers are impressionable and influenced by the world around them, which in turn can impact the way they view relationships and what they believe is or is not abusive behavior. This session will identify warning signs of teen relationship abuse and explore the effect relationship abuse has on teens.
Host Biographies:

Connie J. Kirkland, M.A., N.C.C., has more than 35 years of experience in crime victim advocacy, as a college instructor, and as a criminal justice researcher and trainer. She is the director of the NOVACares Office at Northern Virginia Community College, where she chairs the Threat Assessment Team, coordinates behavioral intervention and support services for the college, and manages the college Sexual Assault Services program. Previously, she was the director of sexual assault services at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, where she provided education and intervention services for victims of campus sexual assault, stalking, and dating/domestic violence for 20 years. In 2014, Ms. Kirkland spoke with members of the White House Campus Sexual Assault Task Force, presented keynotes addressing Title IX issues at both the Stetson Law School National Conference on Law and Higher Education and the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services Campus Crime Summit.

David R. Thomas is a program manager at the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), focusing on projects including the National Law Enforcement Leadership Initiative on Violence Against Women, and three OVC-funded demonstration initiatives, Identifying and Preventing Gender Bias in Law Enforcement Response to Victims; Integrity, Action, and Justice: Strengthening Law Enforcement Response to Domestic and Sexual Violence; and Law Enforcement and the Communities They Serve: Supporting Collective Healing in the Wake of Harm.

Mr. Thomas retired from the Montgomery County (Maryland) Police Department in 2000. While there, he taught at the Police Training Academy, served on the S.W.A.T. team, was a hostage negotiator, and was an original member of the Domestic Violence Unit. He developed the curriculum for the department’s domestic violence training and the policy on domestic violence-related issues.
Show Summary Show Host Biography January 29, 2019 1 hour Listen/View Webinar
View PowerPoint (PDF, 395 KB)
Summary: Finding adequate and appropriate emergency, transitional, and long-term housing for victims of human trafficking is often the biggest service-related challenge that service providers face. In order to meet the diverse needs of trafficking victims, service providers should explore a variety of options, considering specific safety and level of care needs of each victim. This session will discuss the intersection between housing, substance use, and addiction, and will explore the impact of the opioid crisis on the already limited appropriate and available housing supply for victims of trafficking.
Host Biographies:

Deepa Patel, CSTOP, LCSW, is the executive director and co-founder of Trauma and Hope in Springfield, Virginia, which focuses on victims of violence, sexual exploitation, gang prevention and intervention, and sex offender evaluations and treatment. As a clinician, she developed an expertise in treating non-voluntary clients, specifically juvenile and adult gang members and sex offenders. For more than a decade, Ms. Patel has developed a proficient style of working with adolescents who are gang-involved. Through her understanding and clinical devotion to her clients, she widened her competency to develop an Outpatient and Inpatient Sex Trafficking Training Treatment Curriculum that is implemented in her own agency and within numerous outpatient, inpatient, and human trafficking task force programs. Ms. Patel has a unique ability to successfully relate to and treat her clients.

Karen Romero is the director of the Freedom Network Training Institute (FNTI). FNTI develops and delivers high quality training and technical assistance to human trafficking programs on access to housing for human trafficking survivors. Ms. Romero joined Freedom Network USA with a history in direct service provision and program management in the areas of human rights, including violence against women and immigrant rights. Ms. Romero is a native Spanish speaker who worked with survivors of sexual assault as a bilingual therapist at Utah’s Rape Crisis Center. She went on to direct the Women in Jeopardy Program at the YWCA, a residential program for victims of domestic violence, and later served as the social services director for Ayuda in the Washington, D.C., Metropolitan area. Most recently, Ms. Romero worked at Polaris on the strategic initiative to address the sex trafficking of women and girls from Latin America. She received her master’s degree in Psychology from the University of Utah.

2018 Recordings


2018 Recordings


View Expert Q&A sessions from 2018.

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Topic Date Length Training Materials
Show Summary Show Host Biography November 14, 2018 1 hour Listen/View Webinar
View PowerPoint (PDF, 1.26 MB)
Summary: In this session targeted toward Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners, participants will learn about some of the advantages to telenursing, as well as some of the potential obstacles, such as cross-state licensure, credentialing for nurses responding to a hospital where they are not employees, provision of medications, and maintenance of medical records. Collaboration with hospital medical and nursing staff is key to an effective telenursing response.
Host Biographies:

Susan Chasson, M.S.N., J.D., SANE–A, is a family nurse practitioner and certified nurse midwife at the Merrill Gappmayer Family Medicine Clinic and the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) coordinator for the Utah Coalition Against Sexual Assault. As the statewide SANE coordinator, she provides education and assistance to health care providers and other professionals to improve the immediate response to victims of sexual violence. As a volunteer, Ms. Chasson has worked on projects to reduce sexual violence, including developing primary sexual violence prevention strategies for nurses and helping to draft an amicus brief to the Maine Supreme Court to maintain immunity for reporters of child abuse.

Dr. Sheridan Miyamoto is an assistant professor in the College of Nursing and a faculty member of the Child Maltreatment Solutions Network at Penn State University. Dr. Miyamoto received her Ph.D. in Nursing Science and Health Care Leadership from the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis. Her clinical work as a nurse practitioner at the UC Davis Child and Adolescent Abuse Resource and Evaluation Center focused on providing health and forensic services to children in Northern California. She supported six rural sites through live telehealth sexual assault consultations, allowing children to receive quality care within their own community.
Show Summary Show Host Biography October 24, 2018 1 hour Listen/View Webinar
View PowerPoint (PDF, 699 KB)
Summary: Batterer Intervention Programs (BIP) provide an opportunity for program participants to be accountable for their abusive behavior. One key aspect of BIPs is the outreach they provide to partners of abusers for the purposes of making referrals to victim advocacy programs and safety planning. Various outcome studies show that BIPs often provide empowerment for victims by validating their experience and reinforcing that they are not responsible for the abusive behavior. This session will describe model practices for BIP outreach to victims as well as collaboration with victim advocacy programs.
Host Biographies:

Dr. David Adams, Ed.D., is the co-founder and co-director of Emerge, the first counseling program in the Nation for men who abuse women, established in 1977. Dr. Adams has led groups for men who batter, and conducted outreach to victims of abuse, for 40 years. He has led parenting education classes for fathers for 20 years. He is one of the Nation's leading experts on men who batter and has conducted trainings for social service and criminal justice professionals in 46 states and 21 nations. He has published numerous articles and book chapters, and he writes a popular blog on The Huffington Post. Dr. Adams is a commissioner on the Massachusetts Governor’s Council on Sexual and Domestic Violence and director of the National Domestic Violence Risk Assessment and Management Training Project. His book, Why Do They Kill? Men Who Murder Their Intimate Partners, was published by Vanderbilt University Press in 2007. Dr. Adams is an experienced expert witness in family and criminal court cases involving allegations of domestic violence.

Gabriela (Gaby) Núñez-Santiago, M.A., is a bilingual/bicultural mental health counselor and expressive arts therapist. She completed her undergraduate education at the University of Puerto Rico in Mayagüez and her master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Expressive Arts Therapy at Lesley University in Massachusetts. Through her clinical internships at Casa Myrna Vazquez and at Newton-Wellesley Hospital’s Domestic and Sexual Violence Program, she began to work in service survivors of domestic and sexual violence, with a focus on Latinx communities. She has worked at Emerge as an Abuser Education Counselor, primarily within the “Latino Program”, and as the Partner Contact Coordinator. She is the Support Group Coordinator at The Network/La Red, a partner abuse program specializing in serving LGBTQ, poly, and SM survivors. She also co-facilitates an ongoing support group for Spanish-speaking survivors of domestic violence at REACH Beyond Domestic Violence. Ms. Núñez-Santiago is committed to anti-violence and anti-oppression work, prioritizing the centering and uplifting of those who are marginalized due to their intersecting identities.
Show Summary Show Host Biography September 26, 2018 1 hour Listen/View Webinar
View PowerPoint (PDF, 457 KB)
Summary: Multidisciplinary Sexual Assault Response Teams (SART) are highly regarded as achieving success in communities, improving responses for victims, and increasing prosecution rates. The newly updated SART Toolkit is an online manual that supports SARTs in all aspects of their work, from building a team to responding to victims. The SART Toolkit connects teams with information on topics, resources, and access to experts. In this session, we will walk through what this resource is and how to use it.
Host Biographies:

Christina Presenti joined the National Sexual Violence Resource Center as the Sexual Assault Response Team project coordinator in March 2016. Before that, Ms. Presenti provided leadership at the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, the Family Violence Prevention Specialist Program, and the New Hampshire Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program. Ms. Presenti volunteered, and later worked at her local domestic and sexual violence support center, Bridges, in Nashua, New Hampshire, where she established a transitional housing program and served as a domestic violence specialist. Both positions spurred a love and appreciation for systems work leading to clear protocols for service providers and consistent outcomes for victims. Ms. Presenti holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Global Studies from Assumption College.

Karla Vierthaler is the advocacy and resource director for the National Sexual Violence Resource Center. She supports the provision of technical assistance to the Nation on a wide range of sexual violence prevention and intervention topics. She has been an advocate in the movement to end sexual violence for 20 years. Ms. Vierthaler previously worked for the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape, where she developed training and technical assistance resources that address sexual violence in populations that are historically underserved, including adults in later life.
Show Summary Show Host Biography August 22, 2018 1 hour Listen/View Webinar
View PowerPoint (PDF, 380 KB)
View Handout (PDF, 199 KB)
View Handout (PDF, 309 KB)
Summary: Vicarious trauma (VT) is related to secondary traumatic stress. The victim experiences primary traumatic stress, yet as a victim service provider who uses controlled empathy, you can become secondarily traumatized. By attempting to remain objective, your inner sense of who you are, and your beliefs about feeling safe and trusting others, can change. From not being able to sleep to feeling overwhelmed and not keeping boundaries, VT symptoms can hurt you. It's important to know what contributes to VT, such as professional isolation after hearing trauma-related narratives and being empathetic.
Host Biography:

Barbara Rubel, M.A., B.C.E.T.S., D.A.A.E.T.S., is a nationally recognized keynote speaker and trainer on topics related to survivors of homicide victims, victim relations training, and helping victim service professionals identify their strengths to build their resilience. Ms. Rubel’s humorous and upbeat style offers a delightful composite of experience, research, and practical application that promotes self-compassion and wellness. She is the co-author of the OVC Compassion Fatigue training curriculum, author of the book But I Didn’t Say Goodbye: Helping Children and Families After a Suicide, and author of the continuing education course book Nurses, Death, Dying, and Bereavement: Providing Compassion During a Time of Need.
Show Summary Show Host Biography July 18, 2018 1 hour Listen/View Webinar
View PowerPoint (PDF, 370 KB)
Summary: Victim service providers and academic institutions can create mutually beneficial relationships in which subject matter expertise, learning experiences, data, and best practices are developed, exchanged, and improved upon. This session explores how to initiate relationships between these types of organizations, strengthen existing collaborations, and ensure that the working relationship is fair and productive to all parties.
Host Biography:

Keisha Varnell is the Title IX coordinator at Jackson State University, where she facilitates campus-wide trainings and investigations of interpersonal violence incidents on campus. Ms. Varnell has been working in the field of interpersonal violence for more than 13 years, and she facilitates speaking engagements and training sessions on domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, diversity, and LGBTQ issues. She serves as chair of the University S.M.A.R.T. (Sexual Misconduct/Assault Response Team), which is charged by the University to develop campus-wide sexual assault and interpersonal violence policies, trainings, and programs. Ms. Varnell is a member of the VAWA (Violence Against Women Act) Campus Consortium through the Institutions of Higher Learning in Mississippi. Ms. Varnell serves on a Community Task Force through the FBI that focuses on special victim crimes such as sexual assault and human trafficking. Prior to her work in higher education, Ms. Varnell was the state training coordinator for the Mississippi Coalition Against Domestic Violence for 7 years, and she chaired a statewide campus task force. She received a master’s degree in Public Health-Health Education and Promotion and is certified as an Interpersonal Violence Prevention Education Specialist.
Show Summary Show Host Biography June 20, 2018 1 hour Listen/View Webinar
View PowerPoint (PDF, 770 KB)
Read Q&A (PDF, 209 KB)
Summary: Social media and technology can be powerful tools to connect with and assist crime victims, but they can also be tools used against victims and survivors. Learn ways to manage social media and technology successfully when working with victims and strategies victims can use to help increase their online safety and privacy.
Host Biography:

Erica L. Olsen, M.S.W., is the project director of the Safety Net Project at the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV). Since joining NNEDV in 2007, Ms. Olsen has advocated on behalf of survivors of intimate partner violence by educating victim service providers, policymakers, and technology companies on the issues of technology abuse, privacy, and victim safety. She has provided more than 185 trainings to more than 10,000 technologists, attorneys, law enforcement members, victim advocates, and other practitioners in the United States and internationally. Through the Safety Net Project, Ms. Olsen works with private industry, state and federal agencies, and international groups to improve safety and privacy for victims in the digital age.
Show Summary Show Host Biography May 23, 2018 1 hour Listen/View Webinar
View PowerPoint (PDF, 388 KB)
Summary: Assisting survivors of domestic violence can often involve multiple legal jurisdictions. In many cases, these survivors may also have protection orders that need to be enforced. The Full Faith and Credit (FFC) provision (18 U.S. Code § 2265) of VAWA requires that protection orders issued in one jurisdiction must be recognized and enforced in other jurisdictions, but enforcement across state, tribal, or territorial jurisdictions can sound daunting to survivors as well as service providers. The effective enforcement of protection orders across jurisdictional lines is essential to the safety of victims. This session will discuss the legal concept of FFC; what interjurisdictional enforcement may look like for survivors and abusers; and help advocates navigate some of the challenges associated with interjurisdictional enforcement of protection orders under FFC.
Host Biographies:

Greg Fiebig is a consultant providing expertise on preventing school shootings and implementing safety plans for houses of worship. During his 40-year career as a law enforcement officer, supervisor, and police academy commander and instructor, he actively investigated, apprehended, and prosecuted violators and assisted the victims of the crimes. Most recently, he instructed the Criminal Justice Management bachelor’s degree program at the Union Institute and University in Cincinnati, Ohio. Mr. Fiebig has written curricula on domestic violence and provided training for police, courts, and victim service agencies since 1982. He was instrumental in writing the departmental policy on the response to domestic disputes and domestic violence for the Hamilton County (Ohio) Sheriff’s Department. He is a retired supervisor of the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department in Cincinnati. He also worked as the crime prevention officer for Xavier University, regional training director for the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services in Ohio, and police academy commander for the State of Ohio Peace Officer Training Commission.

Kari Kerr, M.A., L.P.C., has worked for the Community Violence Intervention Center (CVIC) in Grand Forks, North Dakota, for more than 20 years, holding a variety of positions. Currently, Ms. Kerr is the director of community innovations, overseeing major collaborative projects, including the Grand Forks County Coordinated Community Response Project and New Choices, CVIC’s 27-week offender treatment program. She also oversees the education and professional training conducted by CVIC and developed through the latest research and best practices in the areas of violence and trauma. Ms. Kerr has provided national training for the National Center for Campus Public Safety, the National Sheriff’s Association, and the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, and she is a frequent presenter at statewide training events in North Dakota, including as an instructor at the North Dakota Law Enforcement Academy and the North Dakota Victim Assistance Academy. Ms. Kerr’s background is in direct service with victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, working as an advocate and supervisor for several years before moving into violence prevention and training work.
Show Summary Show Host Biography April 18, 2018 1 hour Listen/View Webinar
View PowerPoint (PDF, 344 KB)
Summary: Stalking is generally defined as a course of conduct (rather than a one-time act) directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person fear. This course of conduct may be a combination of overtly criminal acts and otherwise nonthreatening behaviors, all of which frequently intersect with domestic violence and/or sexual assault. In this session, providers will learn how understanding these links improves their response to victims and the provision of appropriate victim services.
Host Biography:

Mark Kurkowski is a 25 year veteran of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department. Mr. Kurkowski has 21 years of experience investigating incidents of intimate partner violence, stalking, and sexual assault, while he was assigned to the Domestic Abuse Response Team (DART Unit), The Grants To Encourage Arrest Program, and the St. Louis Regional Domestic Violence Prevention Team. Mr. Kurkowski has nine years of experience as an investigator and supervisor on the Greater St. Louis Major Case Squad, a multijurisdictional investigative unit focused on homicide investigations.
Show Summary Show Host Biography March 21, 2018 1 hour Listen/View Webinar
View PowerPoint (PDF, 497 KB)
Summary: For many boys and men, the harm of the initial betrayal of domestic violence and sexual abuse is compounded by the lack of a compassionate response from their friends, family, and community. This session will focus on holistic and trauma-informed solutions that take into account the unique challenges and sensitivities in responding to the behavioral health needs of male survivors of domestic violence and sexual abuse.
Host Biography:

Jim Struve has been a practicing social worker since 1976. He is a licensed clinical social worker in private practice in Salt Lake City, providing psychotherapy services to individuals, couples, and groups. With special attention to mindful presence in the healing relationship, Mr. Struve works with a wide range of client issues, specializing in trauma (including male and female survivors of sexual victimization), sexual and gender diversity, and dissociative disorders (including Dissociative Identity Disorder). Mr. Struve was a founding member of in 1988. He is manager of the independent Weekends of Recovery retreat program for male survivors of sexual assault. In 2010 he received the Richard Gartner Outstanding Clinical Services Award.
Show Summary Show Host Biography February 21, 2018 1 hour Listen/View Webinar
View PowerPoint (PDF, 1.07 MB)
Summary: In this session targeted to sexual assault clinicians, providers will learn about the prevalence of strangulation associated with intimate partner violence, the physiology of strangulation, and patient care considerations.
Host Biographies:

Cheryl Re, R.N., B.S.N., SANE, is the associate director of the Adult Adolescent Massachusetts Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) Program. She is responsible for overseeing the statewide delivery of care for adult and adolescent patients 12 years of age and older in 30 designated SANE hospitals across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. She is also the co-director of the National TeleNursing Project, a pilot project funded by the National Institute of Justice and the Office for Victims of Crime that uses audio and video telemedicine technology for Massachusetts TeleSANEs to provide expert consultation to clinicians caring for sexual assault patients in underserved communities across the Nation.

Lieutenant Daniel Rincon is a 26-year veteran of the Scottsdale (Arizona) Police Department, where he served as the Domestic Violence Unit supervisor for more than 5 years. Prior to his career in law enforcement, Lt. Rincon served in the United States Navy for 4 years and the Arizona Department of Corrections for 2 years. He served on the East Valley Domestic Violence Fatality Review Board (Phoenix Metropolitan Area), and currently serves as faculty for the Training Institute on Strangulation Prevention at the National Family Justice Center Alliance in San Diego, California. Lt. Rincon has been a commissioner on the Arizona Governor’s Commission to Prevent Violence Against Women since 2012.
Show Summary Show Host Biography January 24, 2018 1 hour Listen/View Webinar
View PowerPoint (PDF, 444 KB)
Read Q&A (PDF, 211 KB)
Summary: Merely understanding the concept of trauma-informed programming is not enough; this understanding must be integrated effectively into all levels of programming. In this session, providers will hear from survivors and learn about effective tools and processes to help them apply trauma-informed theories to day-to-day practice.
Host Biographies:

Aubrey Lloyd has 18 years of nonprofit experience working with populations affected by domestic violence, substance abuse, mental health issues, and poverty. This experience focused on delivering training; creating and maintaining community partnerships, programs, and curriculum development; and managing programs. For the past 8 years, she has designed and implemented programs for multidisciplinary teams and nongovernmental and community-based organizations using her subject matter expertise in human trafficking, trauma-informed victim assistance programming, connections between human trafficking and addiction, domestic violence and sexual assault, homelessness and runaway youth, and early childhood adverse conditions and abuse.

A life-long resident of Northern Virginia, Joe Samaha graduated from Bishop Denis J. O’Connell High School and from American University in Washington, D.C. He married Mona in 1982, and the couple had three children: Omar, Randa, and their youngest, Reema. Reema, an 18-year-old freshman at Virginia Tech University, was one of 33 victims of the Virginia Tech shootings that took place on April 16, 2007. Since the Virginia Tech shootings, Mr. Samaha has been a tireless advocate on behalf of the Virginia Tech families and survivors, as well as victims of other mass shooting tragedies. He has served as president of the Virginia Tech Victims (VTV) Foundation (501c3) for 9 years. With several legislative and programmatic accomplishments related to school and higher education safety and response to victim needs, VTV CARE is the foundation’s latest effort to create an endowment that will assist victims with their financial needs for continued long-term physical and trauma-related therapy.

2017 Recordings


2017 Recordings


View Expert Q&A sessions from 2017.

Expand All
Topic Date Length Training Materials
Show Summary Show Host Biography November 15, 2017 1 hour Listen/View Webinar
View PowerPoint (PDF, 1.37 MB)
Summary: The Office for Victims of Crime (OVC), in partnership with the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) and Indian Health Service (IHS), held a National Roundtable Discussion on Sexual Assault in Indian Country with a multidisciplinary group of professionals with expertise in developing, implementing, or enhancing a sexual assault response in tribal communities. Through the report generated from that discussion, OVC, OVW, and IHS seek to share lessons learned and practical guidance from the roundtable participants, including tribal governments and responders to sexual violence.
Host Biographies:

Theresa Friend, CNM, MSN, is the Indian Health Service (IHS) national forensic nurse consultant addressing the health care response to victims of violence. Prior to taking this position in 2015, she lived and worked on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota for 35 years. As a midwife, her clinical background includes reproductive health, STD/HIV care, and domestic and sexual violence across the lifespan. Holding a master’s degree from Yale University, she received Yale’s Distinguished Alumni Award for improvement of health care to native women, and has been recognized by IHS for building partnerships aimed at health promotion/disease prevention and expanding access to care. Ms. Friend is grateful for the support of her spouse and daughter, both members of the Oglala Sioux Tribe.

Tatewin Means, JD, is an indigenous woman from the Sisseton Wahpeton Dakota and Oglala Lakota nations in South Dakota. Ms. Means grew up on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and later moved to Rapid City. She received her bachelor's degree from Stanford University in Environmental Engineering with a minor in Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity. She then returned to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and worked for Oglala Lakota College as the environmental lab manager for the Lakota Institute for Science and Technology. While there, she began graduate studies in Lakota Leadership and Management. She then went to law school and received her juris doctorate with a concentration in Human Rights Law from the University of Minnesota Law School.
Show Summary Show Host Biography October 26, 2017 1 hour Listen/View Webinar
View PowerPoint (PDF, 455 KB)
Summary: Image exploitation is a distinct form of sexual abuse involving the nonconsensual creation, possession, or distribution of an image or images depicting the victim as nude, semi-nude, engaged in consensual sexual activity, or being sexually assaulted. All forms of image exploitation expose the victim to immeasurable trauma of essentially infinite duration by permanently invading the victim’s autonomy and security. In this session, we will describe various forms of image exploitation, including the dynamics of the behavior and the potential for harm, and discuss the ways that law enforcement and prosecutors can use existing laws to hold offenders accountable.
Host Biography:

Jane Anderson, J.D., is an attorney advisor with AEquitas: The Prosecutors' Resource on Violence Against Women. In that role, Ms. Anderson presents on trial strategy, legal analysis and policy, and ethics. She provides technical assistance and case consultation for prosecutors and allied professionals; authors and develops resources, publications, and curricula; and consults on the development of protocols and policies that improve responses to crimes of violence against women. Prior to joining AEquitas, Ms. Anderson served as an assistant state attorney in Miami-Dade County, Florida. As a prosecutor, she tried many of the state's first human trafficking cases, including related sexual assault, child abuse, and money laundering crimes.
Show Summary Show Host Biography September 27, 2017 1 hour Listen/View Webinar
View PowerPoint (PDF, 510 KB)
Summary: People who have experienced trauma, violence, and oppression are more than just these experiences. Like all of us, they are people who often face multiple challenges, they juggle multiple identities, and they have interests and relationships that sustain them. The term "victim-centered" means putting the person seeking services truly at the center of the work, which starts with engagement and recognizing that they are whole people, not just victims or survivors. These approaches require attention, openness, connection, and a capacity to engage and partner authentically with the person seeking assistance to support their well-being, which includes, but goes beyond their safety. These approaches also require examining how systems—programs and services—may inadvertently create barriers to engagement and erode well-being. In this session, we will explore empathy, transdisciplinary collaboration, the art of presence in a collaborative response to family violence, and how to shift from a focus on problems to supporting well-being for those experiencing family violence.
Host Biographies:

Maureen Lowell has worked in the field of family violence since 1985, first in child welfare, then in domestic violence work, and then in a teaching capacity. Her primary work has been as a licensed marriage and family therapist, a perspective she brought to training and teaching over the years. Ms. Lowell began teaching a course on family and community violence in the Justice Studies Department at San Jose State University in 2001. In 2009, she became project director of the Institute for Collaborative Response for Victims of Family Violence, a project funded through the Office for Victims of Crime. The project involved working with students across disciplines to respond more effectively to family violence through interdisciplinary collaboration. Currently, she is developing and launching a certificate program based on that project. Ms. Lowell and other accomplished faculty anticipate launching the inaugural cohort for this program in 2018.

Anna Melbin has more than 20 years of experience working with nonprofit organizations and on state and federal policy issues. As the director of strategic capacity building at the Full Frame Initiative (FFI), she leads the organization’s work with diverse partners and systems to orient themselves around well-being by applying the Five Domains of Well-being framework. In this role, Ms. Melbin shapes and implements FFI’s strategy for supporting partners to strengthen their practices with a well-being focus, and she manages FFI’s well-being training, technical assistance, ongoing coaching, and other forms of capacity building. She also leads a project in California to build the capacity of communities to learn from what goes well, not just from crises, and she led FFI’s multi-year project documenting how survivors and other stakeholders understand success for domestic violence survivors.
Show Summary Show Host Biography August 23, 2017 1 hour Listen/View Webinar
View PowerPoint (PDF, 2.13 MB)
Summary: It takes courage to help child and adult victims of sexual abuse, assist survivors of acts of terrorism and mass violence, fight fires that may have taken people's lives, or respond to shootings and other crime scenes. It also takes commitment to do this work in spite of the personal, physical, emotional, and mental impact it can have. This session will focus on how OVC’s Vicarious Trauma Toolkit (VTT) can help you to—
  • Conduct an assessment of your agency's current capacity as a vicarious trauma-informed organization.
  • Bring leadership and staff together to review your existing capacity, identify gaps, and prioritize needs.
  • Locate resources and tools in the VTT and Compendium of Resources to help meet your identified needs.
  • Develop a comprehensive plan to become a vicarious trauma-informed organization that addresses exposure to single incidents of crime or violence and acts of mass violence and terrorism.
Host Biographies:

Janet E. Fine, M.S., is the project director for Northeastern University’s National Vicarious Trauma Toolkit project, funded by the Office for Victims of Crime, and a senior consultant for Organizational Resilience International, LLC. She also serves as a training and technical assistance provider for the State Victim Assistance Academy Resource Center at the National Center for Victims of Crime. She has held various direct service and leadership positions in victim services and children’s advocacy centers at the local, state, and national levels for 35 years.

Lisa A. Tieszen, M.A., LICSW, is a resource coordinator for Northeastern University's National Vicarious Trauma Toolkit project and a senior consultant for Organizational Resilience International, LLC. She also serves as a content expert for the State Victim Assistance Academy Resource Center at the National Center for Victims of Crime. She is in private practice as a clinician, consultant, and trainer in Brookline, Massachusetts.
Show Summary Show Host Biography July 26, 2017 1 hour Listen/View Webinar
View PowerPoint (PDF, 1.05 MB)
Summary: Incidents of mass violence and terrorism present unique challenges to the communities in which they occur. These incidents require a coordinated, cross-sector approach among federal, state, local, and tribal governments; private entities; and nonprofit organizations to drive an effective response. This session will address how to create and maintain partnerships, address resource gaps, develop victim assistance protocols, and use the protocols after an incident of mass violence or terrorism.
Host Biographies:

Krista Flannigan, J.D. is a crisis management consultant specializing in victimization issues related to high profile victimization, including mass violence. She trains nationally on coordinated community response for victims who are participating in high profile mass violence trials, as well as the impact of mass violence on victims and communities. Ms. Flannigan is an instructor and the director of the Institute for Crime Victim Research and Policy at the Florida State University College of Criminology. The Institute collaborates with victim service professionals to provide policy and practice recommendations and research and evaluation evidence. She was the director of the Community Justice Unit in the Denver District Attorney’s Office and was the director of the Victim Services 2000 program.

Herman Millholland is the founder of Millholland & Associates, an independent consulting firm with extensive management experience specializing in assisting criminal justice, for-profit, and not-for-profit organizations that serve crime victims and survivors. Management development has been his primary focus when assisting organizations with executive-level leadership, strategic planning, and staff development strategies. His services include assisting organizations with financial and grants management, legislative analysis, training and technical assistance, organizational and board development, governance, fund development, and management strategies to support the organization’s values, vision, and core mission strategies.  
Show Summary Show Host Biography June 21, 2017 1 hour Listen/View Webinar
View PowerPoint (PDF, 569 KB)
Summary: This session will address lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer or questioning (LGBTQ) youth; young men who have sex with men; and young women who have sex with women who are victims of human trafficking, experiencing homelessness, or engaged in survival sex. The session will discuss the delivery of trauma-informed, gender-sensitive, and inclusive services, and how service providers can advocate to improve their experiences with law enforcement, the criminal justice system, and the child welfare system.
Host Biography:

Meredith Dank is a research professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City. Dr. Dank is an authority on the topic of human trafficking; conducted research in 10 countries; and participated in a White House stakeholder meeting on victim services for survivors during the Obama Administration. Her current studies include Capturing Human Trafficking Victimization Through Crime Reporting and Measuring Modern Slavery in the Indian State of Bihar.
Show Summary Show Host Biography May 24, 2017 1 hour Listen/View Webinar
View PowerPoint (PDF, 610 KB)
Summary: Alcohol-impaired driving is a crime. Its perpetrators are criminals. And, most importantly, victims of drunk drivers and other impaired driving crashes are crime victims and deserve to be treated no differently than any other crime victim. This session will focus on how to help law enforcement support and integrate victim assistance services within their agencies and, thereby, provide both crisis and longer term assistance to victims of DUI/impaired driving crashes and all crime victims.
Host Biographies:

Dan Eddy is the executive director of the National Association of Crime Victim Compensation Boards, a position he has held since 1988. He implements national training and technical assistance activities for all state crime victim compensation programs and operates an information and resource center for compensation programs and the general public. From 1984–1988, he served as crime victims project director for the National Association of Attorneys General. He is a graduate of Harvard College and the University of Maryland School of Law. He received the Donald E. Santarelli award for contributions in public policy from the National Organization for Victim Assistance in 2001, and the Ronald Reagan Public Policy Award from the U.S. Department of Justice Office for Victims of Crime in 2008.

Colleen Sheehey-Church joined MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) in 2005, a year after her 18-year-old son Dustin drowned when the car he was riding in, driven by a teen with alcohol and drugs in her system, crashed into a river, trapping Dustin in the vehicle. Before becoming national president in 2015, Ms. Sheehey-Church served on MADD’s National Board of Directors beginning in 2010. As a devoted volunteer for MADD Connecticut serving on the State Advisory Board, she spoke at Victim Impact Panels and in high schools, and urged legislators for stronger drunk driving laws with her husband, Skip. Her tireless advocacy on a local, state, and national level resulted in her being named national president.

Sheriff John Whetsel began his law enforcement career in 1967, joined the Choctaw Police in 1973, and served as Choctaw Chief of Police for 21 years before being elected Oklahoma County Sheriff. He retired after serving as Sheriff for 20 years. He has an associate’s degree in Police Science, a bachelor's degree in Government and Sociology, and master’s studies in Criminal Justice. Sheriff Whetsel wrote many law enforcement articles and was a guest on the Phil Donahue Show, Larry King Live, Dateline, NBC Nightly News, Hard Copy, Front Page, America’s Most Wanted, and You Be the Judge. He is nationally recognized as a traffic safety advocate.

Tim Woods is the director of the Grants and Contracts Division at the National Sheriffs’ Association (NSA), where he has worked since 1997. A nonprofit, constituent organization headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, NSA has approximately 20,000 members and represents the more than 3,000 sheriffs in the United States. Mr. Woods has also been the project director on more than 25 federal grants while at NSA. Prior to joining NSA, he was the director of Networking and Outreach on the National Institute of Justice’s National Criminal Justice Reference Service contract with Aspen Systems Corporation (now Lockheed Martin/Leidos) in Rockville, Maryland (1994–1997).
Show Summary Show Host Biography April 19, 2017 1 hour Listen/View Webinar
View PowerPoint (PDF, 610 KB)
Summary: Providing comprehensive health care to survivors of sexual assault is critical to minimizing the long-term consequences of this traumatic experience. That is where a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) can help. This session will focus on how to start or improve a SANE program in your community with OVC’s SANE Program Development and Operation Guide.
Host Biographies:

Susan Chasson, M.S.N., J.D., SANE-A, is a family nurse practitioner and certified nurse midwife at the Merrill Gappmayer Family Medicine Clinic, and she is the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) coordinator for the Utah Coalition Against Sexual Assault. As the statewide SANE coordinator, she provides education and assistance to health care providers and other professionals to improve the immediate response to victims of sexual violence. As a volunteer, Ms. Chasson has worked on projects to reduce sexual violence, including developing primary sexual violence prevention strategies for nurses and helping to write an amicus brief to the Maine Supreme Court to maintain immunity for reporters of child abuse.

Jennifer Pierce-Weeks, R.N., SANE-A, SANE-P, Education Director for the International Association of Forensic Nurses (IAFN), working with project partners, developed and implemented IAFN's 40-hour online Sexual Assault Forensic Examination adult/adolescent training program with a 16-hour clinical skills workshop through a grant from the National Institute of Justice. Ms. Pierce-Weeks regularly presents nationally on a variety of forensic nursing-related topics, including child and adult sexual assault, intimate partner violence, strangulation, child maltreatment, and Sexual Assault Response Team development.
Show Summary Show Host Biography March 22, 2017 1 hour Listen/View Webinar
View PowerPoint (PDF, 581 KB)
Summary: Organizations that serve these youth should be well grounded in trauma-informed care. This session will address how to mitigate the risk for both (re)victimization and criminal offending, the victim/offender overlap, responding to youth victims of crime, and the complex ethics and mandatory reporting requirements involved in this work.
Host Biographies:

Mitru Ciarlante has more than 25 years of leadership in programs advocating for child and youth victims. She created a comprehensive children’s advocacy program model, started a statewide children’s advocacy task force, established peer education programs, and organized a statewide youth activist network. Working through her consulting firm (ACT for Change) and as director of the Youth Initiative at the National Center for Victims of Crime, Ms. Ciarlante has experience creating trauma-informed, direct service program models and curricula for responding to childhood victimization. She received extensive training from the Child Trauma Academy and the National Child Traumatic Stress Network.

Angela Downes is an attorney. Her work focuses on public service, policy, and legislative efforts to protect the public trust. She provides training, policy expertise, and technical assistance to nonprofit agencies on the interpersonal violence issues of child abuse, child protection, domestic violence, human trafficking, and elder abuse. As a senior program attorney with the Vera Institute of Justice, an organization dedicated to working with government agencies, Ms. Downes worked with prosecutors and district attorneys' offices to improve the criminal justice system through technical assistance, policies, resolution of conflict, programs, and advocacy.
Show Summary Show Host Biography February 15, 2017 1 hour Listen/View Webinar
View PowerPoint (PDF, 681 KB)
Summary: Now that the VOCA Final Rule has been released, many more nonprofit agencies can apply for funding to assist unserved and underserved victims. The VOCA Final Rule released some previous restrictions in the VOCA Victim Assistance Guidelines, but this does not necessarily mean every state’s statutes, rules, and/or policies have changed. This session will provide some best practices on how to navigate this complicated state system to maximize your agency’s ability to build capacity in your organization and increase services to our most vulnerable victim populations.
Host Biography:

Grace Call brings extensive experience working with victims of crime to enhance programs across the Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center and deliver technical assistance to justice reinvestment states. Prior to joining the CSG Justice Center, she was a visiting fellow at the Office for Victims of Crime at the U.S. Department of Justice, and directed the VOCA Victim Assistan


If you would like to access Guest Host sessions prior to January 2017, please view them on the OVC website.

Expert Q&A is a national forum designed to help victim service providers communicate with national experts and colleagues about best practices for assisting victims of crime. Each month, a new topic will be presented online, and one or more subject matter experts will be available to answer your questions on this issue.

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All sessions are recorded, so you can watch them anytime at your convenience.


What is Expert Q&A?

Expert Q&A is a national forum designed to help victim service providers communicate with national experts and colleagues about best practices for assisting victims of crime. Each month, a new topic will be presented online, and one or more subject matter experts will be available to answer your questions on this issue.

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