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Expert Q&A
title

Developing a Co-Response to a Mass Violence Incident During a Community Crisis

Date: September 16, 2020Length: 1.25 hours

Summary:

What does a community do when one day they experience a mass shooting and the next day the same community is hit with a devastating tornado? Preparing a comprehensive response to incidents of mass violence or terrorism includes planning for the possibility that an incident could occur when another community crisis is taking place, such as a natural disaster or health response. While all communities have natural disaster response plans and some are prepared for incidents of mass violence and terrorism, we seldom consider that a co-response (responding to two incidents at the same time) may be necessary. This session discusses some of the points of consideration when creating a co-response plan, including suggestions and challenges.

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Supportive Services Available to Survivors of Sexual Assault in the Military – A Military- and Community-Based Collaboration

Date: August 19, 2020Length: 1.25 hours

Summary:

This session provides information on understanding sexual assault reporting options in the military, in addition to immediate and long-term support services available to survivors. This session ensures that sexual assault victim advocates have a better understanding of potential gaps in services, as well as assistance, support, and interventions available to victims.

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Non-Fatal Strangulation: Recognizing the Injuries and Connecting Victims to Care

Date: July 15, 2020Length: 1.25 hours

Summary:

Non-fatal strangulation is an insidious form of violence that often goes unreported. This session is an opportunity for advocates, law enforcement, and other allied professionals to increase their awareness and understanding about the serious health, neurological, and emotional effects of non-fatal strangulation within the context of domestic violence and sexual assault. Victims of non-fatal strangulation are at higher risk of death, so it is essential for those working with victims to recognize possible indicators of strangulation injuries and understand the critical importance of referring for medical assistance, even when no visible injuries are present.

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The U.S. Department of Justice National Elder Fraud Hotline To Assist Victims of Financial Fraud

Date: June 17, 2020Length: 1.25 hours

Summary:

Launched in March 2020 and managed by OVC, the hotline is available to assist older adults who may be victims of financial fraud in reporting fraud to the appropriate agencies. As a result of the session, participants will be able to identify services available to victims through the hotline and identify resources and approaches for referring potential victims of financial fraud for additional support.

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Vicarious Trauma in First Responders

Date: May 20, 2020Length: 1.25 hours

Summary:

In this session, participants will learn about strategies to recognize and respond to work-related trauma exposure and how this exposure may impact successful working relationships with victims of crime in their communities. The session also highlights resources available to first responders to address secondary traumatic stress and vicarious trauma.

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Sustainability Planning

Date: April 15, 2020Length: 1.25 hours

Summary:

Is your organization positioned to continue providing high-quality services to victims of crime while navigating the ebb and flow of resources, changes in organizational assets, and shifting community partnerships? These are just a few factors essential to sustainability, which is defined as the capacity of a program or organization to accomplish long-lasting success and stability. Find out more about starting or expanding your organization’s sustainability planning efforts.

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Helping Survivors of Multiple Victimizations

Date: March 18, 2020Length: 1.25 hours

Summary:

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.

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Innovative Practices for Family Justice Centers

Date: February 19, 2020Length: 1.25 hours

Summary:

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 allows the audience to inquire about innovative practices within the Family Justice Center model.

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Increasing Community Awareness of Labor Trafficking

Date: January 15, 2020Length: 1.25 hours

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.

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Courageous Spirit: The Effects of Historical Trauma on AI/AN Communities

Date: November 20, 2019Length: 1.25 hours

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.

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Domestic Violence High Risk Teams

Date: October 16, 2019Length: 1.25 hours

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.

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What Really Is the Best Mental Health Approach to Victims of Mass Violence?

Date: September 18, 2019Length: 1.25 hours

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 helps providers to understand how powerful this information is in decreasing anxiety and fear of the development of mental illness.

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Service Animals and Emotional Support Animals in Victim Services

Date: August 21, 2019Length: 1.25 hours

Summary:

During this session, practical information is 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.

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The Future of Victim Services

Date: July 17, 2019Length: 1 hour

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.

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Identifying Signs of Elder Abuse or Neglect

Date: June 12, 2019Length: 1 hour

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.

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Law Enforcement Response: Approaching Your Work with a Trauma-Informed Lens

Date: May 29, 2019Length: 1 hour

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.

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The Mental Health Consequences of Sexual Assault

Date: April 17, 2019Length: 1 hour

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 provides 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 addresses the role of service providers, friends, family, and other loved ones in supporting survivors.

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Expanding Outreach to Victims of Identity Theft and Cybercrime

Date: March 20, 2019Length: 1 hour

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.

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Serving Victims of Teen Dating Violence

Date: February 20, 2019Length: 1 hour

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 identifies warning signs of teen relationship abuse and explores the effect relationship abuse has on teens.

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Housing, Addiction, and Human Trafficking

Date: January 29, 2019Length: 1 hour

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 discusses the intersection between housing, substance use, and addiction, and explores the impact of the opioid crisis on the already limited appropriate and available housing supply for victims of trafficking.

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Effective Telenursing Response to Sexual Assault

Date: November 14, 2018Length: 1 hour

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.

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Batterer Intervention Programs and Victim Safety

Date: October 24, 2018Length: 1 hour

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.

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Navigating the SART Toolkit

Date: September 26, 2018Length: 1 hour

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.

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Addressing Vicarious Trauma for the Individual

Date: August 22, 2018Length: 1 hour

Summary:

In this session, victim service providers discuss what contributes to vicarious trauma and learn how vicarious trauma is related to secondary traumatic stress.

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Forging Relationships Between Victim Service Providers and Academic Institutions

Date: July 18, 2018Length: 1 hour

Summary:

Learn how 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.

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Technology, Social Media, and Victim Safety

Date: June 20, 2018Length: 1 hour

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.

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Interjurisdictional Enforcement of Protection Orders

Date: May 23, 2018Length: 1 hour

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.

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The Intersection of Stalking, Sexual Assault, and Domestic Violence

Date: April 18, 2018Length: 1 hour

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.

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Assisting Male Victims of Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse

Date: March 21, 2018Length: 1 hour

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.

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Strangulation and Intimate Partner Violence

Date: February 21, 2018Length: 1 hour

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.

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What You Need To Know From Survivors About Trauma-Informed Programming

Date: January 24, 2018Length: 1 hour

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.

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Developing and Implementing a Response to Sexual Assault in Tribal Communities

Date: November 15, 2017Length: 1 hour

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.

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Prosecuting Image Exploitation

Date: October 26, 2017Length: 1 hour

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 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.

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Victim-Centered Approaches to Family Violence

Date: September 27, 2017Length: 1 hour

Summary:

This webinar explores 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.

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Organizational-Level Response and Planning for Staff Compassion Fatigue/Vicarious Trauma

Date: August 23, 2017Length: 1 hour

Summary:

This session focuses 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.

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Addressing the Impact of Trauma When a Mass Violence Incident Occurs

Date: July 26, 2017Length: 1 hour

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.

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The Vulnerabilities of LGBTQ and Homeless Youth to Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation

Date: June 21, 2017Length: 1 hour

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.

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Serving Victims of Impaired Driving and DUI Crashes

Date: May 24, 2017Length: 1 hour

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.

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Building an Effective SANE Program

Date: April 19, 2017Length: 1 hour

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.

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Working with At-risk Youth with High Levels of Trauma and Risk for (Re)Victimization

Date: March 22, 2017Length: 1 hour

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.

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Applying for VOCA Formula Funds on the State Level: How To Navigate the New Final Rule, Increased VOCA Funding, and the State Administrating Agency Applications

Date: February 15, 2017Length: 1 hour

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.

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Addressing Substance Abuse When Responding to Survivors of Human Trafficking

Date: January 27, 2017Length: 1 hour

Summary:

Substance use can be a coping mechanism for a trauma response to being trafficked; however, it can also be the mechanism that ensures control by traffickers on human trafficking (HT) victims/survivors. This session will address procedures, for example: How does addiction play a role for survivors of HT experiencing trauma? What should service providers know about substance abuse when responding to survivors of HT or investigating HT? How to balance the substance abuse with the victimization and the trauma that occur?

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