The Center on Victimization and Safety at the Vera Institute of
The Center on Victimization and Safety at the Vera Institute of Justice is pleased to announce the Bridging the Gap Webinar Series, a webinar series on sexual assault and domestic violence against people with disabilities and Deaf individuals.The Bridging the Gap Webinar Series will explore emerging and enduring issues at the intersection of violence and disability; highlight promising practices for serving survivors with disabilities and Deaf survivors; and foster a network of support to end violence against people with disabilities.This webinar series is designed for practitioners and policymakers interested in addressing sexual and domestic violence against people with disabilities and Deaf individuals. This webinar series is open to any recipient of U.S. Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women funding, their subcontractors and partners, as well as organizations interested in becoming a recipient.Each webinar in this series is FREE, but does require registration for each individual webinar. If you have additional questions, you may email us or call us at 212.376.3096.The “Picture Guide to the Exam after Sexual Assault” series was developed as a part of the Illinois Imagines project to support survivors with disabilities during the forensic exam. We know that some women with disabilities may not have had access to gynecological care in the past, and the pelvic exam provided with the healthcare exam and evidence collection process may be her first. This can add a lot of stress, fear, and additional trauma to an already overwhelming experience. Additionally, medical staff and victim advocates may not have experience responding to the needs of survivors with disabilities. With these thoughts in mind, three sets of pictorial guides and support materials were developed (one for medical staff, victim advocates and self-advocates) to provide education and support. This webinar will focus upon:• How the tools were developed• How to use the tools• How to access the tools
Project CARE (Community, Accessibility, Responsiveness, Education) is a collaboration of two disability service provider and four victim-service provider partner agencies located in Hamilton County Ohio. Project CARE is united by the vision that women with disabilities who are victims and survivors of violence are empowered to access services that are welcoming, comprehensive, and pose no barriers. CARE was first funded in 2007 and received continuation funding in 2011. This Webinar will review importance of screening as research reveals that when individuals are screened for abuse, they are 4 X more likely to use an intervention and 2.6 X more likely to exit the abusive relationship. As disability service providers typically do not have formal policies and practices to screen for types of interpersonal violence, it is important for your Collaborations to recognize the need to create and implement a Screening Initiative to enable disability-agency sites of change to use best practice to comfortably and professionally screen for signs of domestic violence, stalking, sexual/physical assault, and financial/emotional abuse, prior to the need to develop a safety plan for survivors with disabilities. This webinar will explore the ground-breaking work of how to: develop a screening assessment protocol to assist disability service professionals and violence prevention agencies; involve self-advocates with disabilities to ensure the needs of survivors with disabilities are met; address confidentiality and mandatory reporting requirements; and, provide helpful guidelines to put the issue in context that normalizes the screening process.
The “Picture Guide to the Exam after Sexual Assault” series was developed as a part of the Illinois Imagines project to support survivors with disabilities during the forensic exam. We know that some women with disabilities may not have had access to gynecological care in the past, and the pelvic exam provided with the healthcare exam and evidence collection process may be her first. This can add a lot of stress, fear, and additional trauma to an already overwhelming experience. Additionally, medical staff and victim advocates may not have experience responding to the needs of survivors with disabilities. With these thoughts in mind, three sets of pictorial guides and support materials were developed (one for medical staff, victim advocates and self-advocates) to provide education and support. This webinar will focus upon: how the tools were developed, how to use the tools, and how to access the tools.
Prosecutorial effectiveness is commonly measured by conviction rates, largely because they are readily available. But, are conviction rates an accurate measure of success? For difficult cases, like sexual assaults, conviction rates do not capture the quality of the prosecution strategies or the relative difficulty of the cases taken forward. Experienced prosecutors know they won’t win every case. In fact, some would argue that if you aren’t losing any cases, you aren’t trying the right ones. With a singular focus on high conviction rates, far too many cases go unprosecuted because of fears that the cases won’t be won, which results in sex offenders escaping justice and communities and victims being less safe. So, how can success in sexual assault prosecution be measured, if not by conviction rates? Is there a better way of measuring the effectiveness of practices in these cases that would allow us to improve and sustain them?This presentation will discuss promising sexual assault prosecution strategies as well as measuring effectiveness in a way that does not rely solely upon conviction rates. The presenters will discuss other, more meaningful performance measures, and will describe how they can be used to more accurately measure and sustain effective prosecution practices.Allied justice system professionals including but not limited to prosecutors, law enforcement officers, community-based service providers, and judges are encouraged to register for this webinar.
On April 23, 2014, at 2 p.m. (eastern time), in commemoration of National Child Abuse Prevention Month, the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention will cosponsor a Web Forum discussion with David Corwin, M.D., and James Henry, MSW, Ph.D., on the implications of adverse childhood experiences for practitioners. Dr. Corwin is a Professor in the Pediatrics Department at the University of Utah, where he directs Forensic Services. He also is President of the Academy on Violence and Abuse, which is dedicated to increasing health professionals' knowledge and skills in preventing, recognizing, and intervening with those harmed by violence and abuse. Dr. Corwin has lectured and consulted nationally and internationally on child abuse issues. One of his primary focuses is on evaluating, mitigating, and preventing the adverse health effects associated with experiencing violence and abuse across the lifespan.Dr. Henry is Cofounder and Project Director for the Western Michigan University (WMU) Children's Trauma Assessment Center. He has more than 17 years of experience as a child welfare and protective services worker. Dr. Henry is on the Steering Committee for the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) and is cochair of the NCTSN Child Welfare Committee. Previously, he worked as a professor in WMU's School of Social Work, developing and providing trauma-informed instruction and teaching courses in child sexual abuse, child welfare, and advanced treatment of children.Visit the OVC Web Forum now to submit questions for Drs. Corwin and Henry and return on April 23 at 2 p.m. (eastern time) for the live discussion. Click here for instructions on how to participate.
Most training on sexual assault of people with disabilities typically focuses on issues such as the following:•Definitions, descriptions, and characteristics of various disabilities•Legal requirements (e.g., compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act)•Physical accessibility issues•Communication guidelines (e.g., language use, communication aids and services)•Etiquette, respect, and empowermentThese are critically important areas, and the primary message of such training is often to "see the person, not the disability." Police officers are taught to approach victims with disabilities and the investigation "like they would in any other case." The hope is that victims who have a disability will be treated with the same respect as other victims, and this is an important goal we all need to support.However, when training for law enforcement focuses solely on respect, police officers are left wondering what they should actually do when they are assigned to investigate a crime against a person with a disability. How do they approach the victim, craft an investigative strategy, and gather and document the relevant evidence? How do they effectively communicate with victims, and ensure they are doing everything they can to protect victims' safety while still respecting their self-autonomy? How do they access and utilize the people, technologies, and resources that might be available to help?This webinar is designed to answer some of these questions.
Social media offers an exciting platform from which to explore new strategies and opportunities to further our sexual assault prevention efforts. This webinar will focus on various social media tools and how they may be employed to challenge social norms, attitudes, and beliefs that condone sexual violence. We will look at a number of powerful social media advocacy campaigns across the globe that are enhancing sexual assault prevention efforts and discuss tips for conducting effective media advocacy in communities across the state of Tennessee.Conducted By: Katie Czerwinski, Program Specialist.
The National Center for Victims of Crime, with funding from the Office on Violence Against Women, announces a new webinar in a series addressing untested sexual assault kits: Into the Lab: Mandatory Testing of Sexual Assault Kits. Illinois (in 2009) and Texas (in 2011) enacted state laws mandating the testing of sexual assault kits (SAKs). Both laws required audits of the untested sexual assault kits that had languished for years in evidence storage rooms as well as timely testing of all sexual assault kits moving forward. This webinar, presented by Cara Smith and Torie Camp, will describe how the Illinois and Texas laws came about, key aspects of both states' laws, results of the statewide audits, and impact of the laws on the criminal justice system and victims of sexual assault. Speakers will discuss barriers to passage of these laws, challenges to implementation, and wish lists for improvement.If you have any questions about this Webinar, please email Ilse Knecht or Torie Camp, or by phone at 512-940-6932.
On April 30, join JDI for a webinar for advocates who want to provide services for survivors in prisons, jails, and youth facilities.This webinar will educate rape crisis advocates and other community-based service providers on the criminal justice system and the culture of corrections. Presenters will give an overview of different types of confinement facilities and how the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) standards apply to each type.Drawing on their extensive experience working with corrections officials, JDI staff will discuss different approaches in the adult and youth systems, goals of corrections officials regarding maintaining safety and security, and common misunderstandings between corrections officials and advocates.This webinar will help advocates find common ground with corrections officials working in their communities, ensuring incarcerated survivors can get the help they need.
Working with Youth means working with feelings and emotions of everything they have seen and heard and may not be able to articulate because they do not understand. This webinar takes a look at Youth development and suggest some tools and skills to help adolescences "get out of their own way".
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