Author Archive

Baltimore prosecutor on woman reporting rape: ‘Seems like a conniving little whore’ from the Washington Post, 8/11/16

August 12th, 2016 No comments


“The Justice Department unearthed the exchange in a sprawling Aug. 10 report on the Baltimore Police Department, which found rampant discrimination against black residents, a tendency to use excessive force and a rash of illegal arrests.

“Toward the end of the 167 pages was another bombshell: Officers frequently dismissed or mishandled sexual assault complaints. They often neglected to interview suspects or send DNA evidence to laboratories. Between 2010 and 2014, authorities tested rape kits in just 15 percent of adult-victim sexual assault cases.”

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How can my agency be better prepared to support survivors of sexual violence who are refugees or asylum seekers?

August 1st, 2016 No comments

Screen Shot 2016-08-01 at 8.15.02 AMby Jill Merriman, formerly with the National Sexual Violence Resource Center and currently founder of the Global Sexual Violence Resource Network *

We know that sexual violence affects every nation, population, and culture. But conflict and displacement can heighten vulnerabilities and diminish protective factors, increasing refugees’ and asylum seekers’ risk of experiencing sexual violence while decreasing or interrupting their access to vital survivor services.

Refugees and asylum seekers are integral members of our communities. The United States resettles more refugees than any other country on earth – more than 69,900 in the federal fiscal year 2015 alone. These individuals often have unique needs that organizations – including those conducting sexual violence prevention and response – should address. Read more…

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!

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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Special Announcement: World Elder Abuse Awareness Day 2016

June 7th, 2016 No comments


World Elder Abuse Awareness Day(WEAAD) has been recognized annually on June 15 since 2006. On this day, communities throughout the country and around the world promote visibility and understanding of abuse and neglect of older persons by sharing information about abuse, neglect, and exploitation in later life and promoting the resources and services that work to increase victim safety and improve offender accountability. By supporting this awareness effort, we can begin to shift common perceptions and attitudes that contribute to the stigma that often prevents victims from coming forward and seeking support.

NRCDV applauds and lifts up the work of our partner, the National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life (NCALL), to address and prevent abuse in later life during WEEAD and throughout the year. Learn more about NCALL’s special events for WEEAD 2016 and ways you can get involved at:

NRCDV is pleased to announce webinars and new and updated resources in recognition of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day 2016! Read on.

How can my organization support trans sexual assault survivors?

June 1st, 2016 No comments

by Jennifer Benner, MPP, Resource Development Specialist at the National Sexual Violence Resource Center

Screen Shot 2016-05-25 at 3.17.31 PM

Transgender: “An umbrella term that encompasses a wide range of people whose gender identity or expression may not match the sex they were assigned at birth” (FORGE, 2012).

Transgender is not a sexual orientation, as trans-identified people may identify as straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, etc. (Human Rights Campaign, n.d.). In this post we will use the language of trans, transgender, gender nonconforming, and gender non-binary interchangeably to reflect how individuals self-identify with regard to gender. We honor and recognize the complexity and multiplicity of gender identities and that not everyone identifies as male or female or uses other language to describe themselves. These words are used in their broadest meanings in an attempt to be inclusive of all identities.
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