Author Archive

#DVAM2016 Special Announcement (September 2016)

September 12th, 2016 No comments

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This October, the Domestic Violence Awareness Project of the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence (NRCDV) is building upon conversations from 2015 around Awareness + Action = Social Change by offering key awareness activities and action steps for propelling us forward together. We are elevating the voices of survivors, lifting up resiliency and healing as a transformative response to domestic violence, supporting self-care in advocacy, revisiting the passion that fuels our movement, and embracing new directions for bold and intentional social change work.

Join us every Tuesday in October at 3pm EST/12pm PST for a special #DVAM2016 event!
Read the full Special Announcement and access our shareable flyer for a full listing of all NRCDV’s #DVAM2016 events.


National Call of Unity RSVP
Keep Your Cup Full Webinar
#WhyICare Twitter Chat RSVP
Girls for Gender Equity Webinar
DVAM Downloadble Artwork
DVAM Events Calendar
Create a #DVAM2016 Twibbon


What are best practices for family reunification after child sexual abuse?

September 1st, 2016 No comments

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

paper house and family

One in four girls and one in six boys have been sexually abused before the age of 18 (Dube et al., 2005) and over a quarter of male victims have experienced their first rape at or before age 10 (Black et al., 2011). Most of these children were sexually abused by someone they knew. For children it is estimated that 34% of rapes or sexual assaults reported to law enforcement were perpetrated by a family member, and for children under six the percentage is higher at 49% (Synder, 2000).
Read more…

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.
Read more…