VAWnet News Blog

This area provides access to current and past news coverage on various issues related to violence against women that has national reach or impact, a full archive of VAWnet eNewsletters featuring announcements of new resources, initiatives, and events and access to our recent and archived TA questions of the month.

Leading With Compassion and Love in a Time When the World is Shaken from National Latin@ Network, 07/22/2016

July 22nd, 2016 No comments

img-icon-newsIn the wake of the Orlando shooting a few weeks ago, all I wanted was for it to not be real — for it to disappear and vanish. I wanted to talk to my family members who are both Latino and gay, but didn’t have the words. I felt numb. Then I thought about my colleagues. Was it appropriate to ask work-related questions to my coworkers who were directly and indirectly affected by this tragedy? Should I set these aside until after I checked in with them on this attack?


We need to be mindful of what we feel and what action we need to move forward, individually and collectively, with compassion and love — especially in times when our entire world is shaken. I have so many questions that can’t all be answered in one sitting, but hopefully they garner a space for reflection for you as an individual and for your organization as a whole working toward social justice.

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Vermont Pride Center Joins the Vermont Network Against Domestic and Sexual Violence from VTDigger, 07/19/2016

July 21st, 2016 No comments

img-icon-newsVermont Press Releases

Montpelier, Vermont, July 15, 2016: The Vermont Pride Center has become a member organization of the Vermont Network Against Domestic and Sexual Violence. The Pride Center provides free and confidential services to LGBTQ survivors of domestic and sexual violence, hate violence, and anti-LGBTQ bias or abuse through its SafeSpace Program. The Vermont Network is the leader of the movement to end domestic and sexual violence in Vermont, representing fifteen non-profit organizations which provide direct services for victims and survivors in communities across the state.

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Rendon takes welcome stand against domestic violence from The San Diego Union-Tribune, 07/13/2016

July 14th, 2016 No comments

img-icon-newsEarlier this month, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, D-Lakewood, took away all the committee assignments of Assemblyman Roger Hernández, D-Baldwin Park, after a judge granted a restraining order sought by Baldwin Park Councilwoman Susan Rubio, his ex-wife.


Rendon’s decision is welcomely decisive. The backlash to then-Senate President Darrell Steinberg’s slowness to punish three senators credibly accused of major wrongdoing in 2014 led to Proposition 50, a state ballot measure approved in a landslide last month that allows the Assembly or Senate to suspend members without pay and benefits with a two-thirds vote.

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NRCDV eNewsletter: Promoting Advocates’ Wellness (Summer 2016)

July 12th, 2016 No comments


“When a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to go it alone – and quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird in front.”  – Cheryl Craig

Every day we are inspired by survivors’ resilience, determination and hope. For many victim advocates, having the opportunity to support survivors can be the fuel to continue the work. However, working with survivors also comes with challenges. Especially for advocates who have experienced abuse themselves, listening to a survivor’s story can bring back traumatizing memories. Self-care is essential to advocates’ well-being, the survivors they serve and overall organizational health.

We are all aware of the consequences of poor self-care. At the organizational level, it can affect staff morale, work performance and lead to excessive staff turnover. According to Real Tools: Responding to Multi-Abuse Trauma by the Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, lack of organizational support is an important factor contributing to vicarious trauma and burnout.

Organizations wanting to promote self-care amongst their staff can simply start by “flying in V formation,” just like the geese! By flying in a V, geese create uplift for the bird immediately following. As a result, the whole flock adds at least 71 percent greater flying power than if each bird flew on its own. When the head goose gets tired, it rotates back in the wing and another goose flies point.

Supporting self-care for staff needs to move beyond a focus on encouraging individuals to be kind to themselves, it must integrate comprehensive self-care strategies into organizational policies, management practices and office routines. Organizations can learn from flying flocks of geese and promote constant communication among members, be actively supportive of their staff and model self-care especially when a member of the team needs some breathing space.

The Summer eNewsletter highlights useful and creative resources from NRCDV to encourage self-care amongst service providers working with survivors

Read on: Access the full issue for new resources and updates from the NRCDV!

New Colorado law targets repeat domestic violence offenders from The Denver Post, 06/24/2016

July 6th, 2016 No comments

img-icon-newsThe new law makes it clear that prior convictions count even when they were tried in a municipal court such as Denver, Aurora or Lakewood — a point of confusion for some jurisdictions until now.

Find out more here

How can victim advocates find balance when caring for themselves and supporting victims of gender-based violence?

June 30th, 2016 No comments

by Ivonne Ortiz for the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence


Engaging in self-care practices is important for all victim advocates. On a daily basis, advocates are exposed to trauma through the stories of the survivors that we work with – whether the stories are heard in person, in writing, over the phone or through social media. Constant exposure to any type of trauma can take a toll on an advocate’s well-being. As advocates, we carry these stories in our hearts and usually do not realize that we are also carrying the effects of compassion fatigue.
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