This 9:30 minute audio podcast by PreventConnect highlights the work done by Binghamton University in New York. The University has worked with Greek Life, Athletics, and a wide variety of students across the campus to implement the 20:1 sexual assault prevention and bystander intervention programs.
This is a Power Point describing some of the new laws as regards domestic and sexual violence that will become effective in Virginia as of 7/1/12.
A Practical Guide for Creating Trauma-Informed Disability, Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Organizations was developed through the Violence Against Women with Disabilities and Deaf Women Project of Wisconsin. It is designed to highlight and explore effective trauma-informed conditions or core values that victims, survivors and people with disabilities are finding essential for safety and healing. This document is a guide, not a manual. It is designed to lead readers on a journey of exploration into the context of these conditions to promote dialogue and understanding, and spur implementation of strategies for domestic violence, sexual assault and disability organizations to become more trauma-informed.
The Victims Services Section of the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) conducted this project with a grant from the United States Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women. The purpose of this project was to study the effectiveness of Virginia’s Family Violence Arrest Laws, implemented in 1997, use the information gathered to revise the domestic violence curriculum for law enforcement in Virginia, and update the Sample Directives Manual General Order 2-32 (the model domestic violence policy for Virginia law enforcement agencies). Published by DCJS June 2004.
Created by the National Clearinghouse for the Defense of Battered Women, the Toolkit is designed to support thoughtful approaches and strategic change on behalf of victims of battering who are facing criminal charges, serving sentences, and/or reentering your community after jail or prison. It is our hope that the Toolkit will encourage your advocacy organization and community to create or further enhance safe, fair, and just responses to victim defendants as a key part of your response to domestic violence.
Community-based advocates engaged in systems advocacy are the primary audience for the Toolkit. It is not designed to provide basic information about battering—it is not a “Domestic Violence 101” resource—nor is it a primer on how to start, manage, and sustain a coordinated community response. Such information can readily be found elsewhere, including in the Toolkit’s links and references. Regardless of whether and to what degree your advocacy organization is currently involved with victim defendants, the discussion and tools included here will benefit your work on behalf of victims of battering overall. The Toolkit provides encouragement and support to assess your work with victim defendants and develop a plan of action for what your community can do to keep victims of battering out of the criminal legal system as defendants and better assist those who do become involved.
The Toolkit provides ideas, strategies, and techniques for addressing the need and challenges related to making victims of battering charged with crimes visible and central in a community’s response to battering. It is organized in five sections:
1. Advocacy on Behalf of Battered Women Charged with Crimes: Why It Matters
Section 1 presents the big picture: the connection between battering and women involved in the criminal legal system and the factors contributing to their over-representation among women defendants, while too often remaining invisible to advocates and interveners.
2. Look Inward First: Advocacy for Victims of Battering Charged with Crimes
Effective systems advocacy on behalf of victims of battering charged with crimes requires a first step of self-assessment by community-based advocates. As advocates, we must get our own houses in order. What are we doing on behalf of victim defendants? Do victim defendants reach out to us? Do we reach out to them? What are the supports for and barriers to advocacy on behalf of victim defendants? Section 2 includes a self-assessment survey that can be adapted to examine current policy and practice in your organization.
3. Prepare for Distinct Challenges
Section 3 identifies several distinct and interconnected challenges to system advocacy on behalf of victims of battering charged with crimes. It suggests strategies to help advocates and, ultimately, the community response address (1) the magnified risks related to battering for victim defendants, (2) the need to understand women’s use of violence in context, (3) the criminal law as a problematic tool to address battering, and (4) how to welcome a defense-based perspective when systems advocacy has traditionally been so closely tied to prosecution.
4. Changing Criminal Legal System Practice
Providing a safe, effective, and just response to all victims of battering, including those charged with crimes, starts with knowing what is happening in our communities. What do we know about victims of battering charged with crimes? What might we change to help minimize the number of victims getting arrested and provide a better response to those who are charged or incarcerated? Section 4 includes templates and tools for gathering the information that helps answer these questions. It also identifies specific actions at each step of the criminal case process that will help keep victims of battering out of the system as defendants in the first place and provide a safe, effective, and just response to those who do become involved.
5. Resources and References
Section 5 recaps the various references and citations included throughout the guide. It provides links to specific publications and other tools available via the National Clearinghouse for the Defense of Battered Women. It also includes resources specific to coordinated community response and connections to jurisdictions working to address issues related to victims of battering charged with crimes.
Again, the Toolkit supports systems advocacy on behalf of victim defendants. It helps position advocates to influence CCR partners and criminal legal system agencies to adopt practices that keep victims of battering out of the criminal legal system as defendants and ensure that victims who are charged with crimes encounter knowledgeable interveners that can provide a “battering-informed response.” A battering-informed response means that practitioners at every step of the way, from patrol officers to probation agents, are prepared and authorized to act in ways that identify battering and that reflect an understanding of the pervasive reach of battering in our society and the ways in which criminal legal system agencies can reduce that harm. This understanding includes recognizing and reducing the harm caused when victims of battering are charged and incarcerated.