Centering Survivors with Incarceration Histories Online Learning Community

During this month’s meeting, we are privileged to welcome back Ashley McSwain. In addition to directing Community Family Life Services, a DC-based service provider for incarceration-impacted women, Ashley is a professor of social work and teaches university-level courses on grant-writing. In Friday’s meeting, she will discuss tips and myths about grant-writing, review components of success applications, and be available for Q&A. 

These monthly virtual learning community meetings provide a space for service providers, advocates, and directly-impacted people working and living at the intersection of victimization and incarceration to share and learn from each other about promising practices for working with survivors with incarceration histories.

For information on the learning community, including how to join this month’s meeting, please contact Kaitlin Kall at kkall@vera.org.

Expanding Our Response: Identifying, Engaging, and Serving Crime Survivors from Underserved Communities

Through a highly interactive and engaging process, learn how you and your program can better reach survivors from underserved communities. Together, we will explore topics, such as: Who is being served by your program and who is not, Barriers to services and what you can do to remove them, Steps you can take to strengthen partnerships, build trust, and engage
communities, Healing-informed, culturally responsive approaches to services, and Resiliency among survivors and advocates. You will leave the training with an action plan to help you take what you learn and make practical changes in your work and program.

This training series is designed for victim advocates who work with a range of victims and survivors across the lifespan. Advocates in systems such as law enforcement, prosecution, and probation, as well as community-based advocates working from organizations such as culturally specific victim services, domestic violence and sexual assault services, homicide, or gun violence services are encouraged to attend.

This training series is designed for victim advocates who work with a range of victims and survivors across the lifespan. Advocates in systems such as law enforcement, prosecution, and probation, as well as community-based advocates working from organizations such as culturally specific victim services, domestic violence and sexual assault services, homicide, or gun violence services are encouraged to attend.

Training is FULL.

Serving Formerly Incarcerated Survivors of Sexual Assault: A Webinar for Advocates and Victim Service Providers

Despite the significant progress ushered in by the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) of 2003 and the subsequent federal PREA standards, many survivors of sexual abuse – whether the abuse occurred before they became incarcerated or while they were serving time – return home after their incarceration having never received any help or services. In this webinar, presenters from the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center and Neighbors in Action will provide practical guidance on how to support staff to become “incarceration-informed” and feel comfortable working with formerly incarcerated survivors. They will share insights about how to reach and build trust with this population of survivors, including how to talk with these survivors about their trauma in supportive, culturally competent ways.

Reaching Victims Who Have an Incarceration History: A Webinar for Service Providers

Crime victims who have a history of incarceration carry both the trauma of suffering violence and the burden of stigma that comes from having spent time behind bars. This stigma can create real barriers to healing. In this webinar, victim service providers from rural Iowa and Newark, New Jersey will discuss how they have worked intentionally to open their doors to formerly incarcerated survivors, support their staff to work with this population, and create trauma-informed programs that reach more survivors in their communities.

Expanding Our Response: Identifying, Engaging, and Serving Crime Survivors from Underserved Communities

Through a highly interactive and engaging process, learn how you and your program can better reach survivors from underserved communities. Together, we will explore topics, such as: Who is being served by your program and who is not, Barriers to services and what you can do to remove them, Steps you can take to strengthen partnerships, build trust, and engage
communities, Healing-informed, culturally responsive approaches to services, and Resiliency among survivors and advocates. You will leave the training with an action plan to help you take what you learn and make practical changes in your work and program.

SPOTLIGHT ON: Casa de Esperanza

Casa de Esperanza – National Latin@ Network for Healthy Families and Communities is the national institute on domestic violence focusing on Latin@ communities. As a leading, national Latin@ organization, Casa de Esperanza puts community at the center of everything we do. Founded in 1982 to provide emergency shelter for Latinas and other women and children experiencing domestic violence, today, we continue providing critical and innovative services and support in our Minnesota Twin Cities communities, ranging from family advocacy and shelter services to leadership development and community engagement opportunities for Latin@ youth, women and men, to informing the work of the National Latin@ Network to shape public policy, research, and best practices in the field.
 
The National Latin@ Network provides training and consultations to practitioners and activists throughout the US, as well as in Latin America. We engage in federal and state public policy advocacy and conduct research on issues that affect Latin@s in the US and abroad. We produce practical publications and tools for the field, disseminate relevant, up-to-date information and facilitate an online learning community that supports practitioners, policy makers and researchers who are working to end domestic violence.

PROMISING PRACTICES: Ayuda’s Victim Services Interpreter Bank

Deaf woman communicating with another woman
On March 1, 2019, Ayuda, a legal, social, and language access provider in Washington D.C., who is also a subject-matter expert providing support on the National Resource Center for Reaching Victims, launched a Victim Services Interpreter Bank (VSIB) in Maryland with funding from the Maryland Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention. There are many limited-English proficient and Deaf/Hard of Hearing residents in Maryland who fall victim to sexual assault, domestic violence, human trafficking, hate crimes, the death of a loved one due to homicide, and many other crimes. These individuals may need a forensic medical exam, therapy, counseling, safety planning, relocation assistance, and other vital services. Ayuda believes that a language barrier should not prevent these survivors from receiving compassionate and thorough assistance. 
 
VSIB is made up of victim-centered, trauma-informed interpreters who are potentially available 24 hours a day to assist in delivering required services. VSIB also arranges to have documents translated for victim service nonprofits when communicating with clients in writing in languages other than English. VSIB was created to help remove linguistic barriers so that the needs of LEP/Deaf crime victims could be effectively met. 
 
If you would like to know more about Ayuda’s work and model you can visit Ayuda’s website and Ayuda’s Language Access Program’s Facebook page. You can also contact Ayuda’s Language Access Program at InterpreterBank@Ayuda.com.