Specific Topics of Interest for Advocates

The empowerment, strength-based, trauma-informed, and culturally responsive approaches described in other resource sections provide a strong foundation of practice for any advocate. This section includes resources to help advocates apply these fundamental concepts to specific challenges and considerations for victims.

Advocating for Individuals Involved in Complex Systems

Do-It-Yourself Personal Protection Order (PPO) 
This is an excellent tool to walk victims through a PPO.

When the Batterer is a Law Enforcement Officer: A Guide for Advocates  
Detailed guide from the Battered Women’s Justice Project to prepare advocates for the complexities victims face when their batterer is a police officer.

Sexual Violence in the Military: A Guide for Civilian Advocates  
Detailed guide from the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.

Victim Advocate Guide: Intimate Partner Violence and Combat Experience 
Guide from the Battered Women’s Justice Project preparing advocates to understand the stress reactions of people returning from combat and their relationship to IPV in order to provide effective information and referrals to victims whose partners have been exposed to the trauma of combat and are exhibiting violent or abusive behavior.

Empowering Survivors: Legal Rights of Immigrant Victims of Sexual Assault 
Extensive manual that focuses on legal rights and options for immigrant survivors of sexual assault perpetrated by intimate partners, family members, acquaintances, employers, coworkers and strangers.

Victim Assistance Training Online (43 hours)
A foundational web-based victim assistance training program from the Office for Victims of Crime Training and Technical Assistance Center that offers victim service providers and allied professionals the opportunity to acquire the essential skills and knowledge they need to more effectively assist victims of crime. Victim Assistance Training Online has four sections: Basics, Core Competencies and Skills, Crimes, and Specific Considerations for Providing Victim Services.

Domestic Violence, Sexual Violence, and Housing

Opening the Door: An Advocate’s Guide to Housing and Sexual Violence  
Detailed guide from the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.

Safe Housing Partnerships

Website for the federal Domestic Violence and Housing Technical Assistance Consortium that provides useful resources and tools to advance work at the critical intersection of domestic violence, sexual assault, homelessness, and housing.

Domestic Violence Housing First Toolkit

This toolkit is designed to provide materials and resources for organizations to use when developing or implementing the DVHF approach.

Creating Safe Housing Options for Survivors: Learning From and Expanding Research

This document provides a brief overview of the current and expanding evidence behind best practices in helping domestic violence survivors obtain safe and stable housing. It begins with evidence for three common core components of this work: mobile advocacy, flexible funding, and attending to safety. It then provides evidence for how services should be provided: survivor-driven, trauma-informed, and voluntary.

Human Trafficking

A Scan of the Field: Learning About Serving Survivors of Human Trafficking – English

Guide from the National Latin@ Network detailing how domestic and sexual violence organizations serve human trafficking survivors.

A Scan of the Field: Learning About Serving Survivors of Human Trafficking – Spanish
Guide from the National Latin@ Network detailing how domestic and sexual violence organizations serve human trafficking survivors.

Human Trafficking Task Force E-Guide
This e-Guide is a comprehensive source for law enforcement, victim service providers, and prosecutors for the latest findings, tools, and resources on all aspects of human trafficking. Developed in partnership by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) and Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), this Guide is a resource to support established task forces and provide guidance to agencies that are forming task forces. Its purpose is to assist in the development and day to day operations of an anti-human trafficking task force and to provide fundamental guidance for effective task force operations.

Identity Theft

Identity Theft Victim Assistance Online Training: Supporting Victims’ Financial and Emotional Recovery (3-4 hours)

A user-friendly e-learning tool that will teach victim service professionals and allied professionals knowledge and skills to more effectively serve victims of identity theft and assist with their financial and emotional recovery.

Mental Health and Substance Use

Getting Safe and Sober: Real Tools You Can Use 
PDF manual for developing support groups for women coping with substance abuse, interpersonal violence and trauma.

TOOLKIT: Mental Health Coercion and Substance Use Coercion in the Context of Intimate Partner Violence 
Toolkit for Screening, Assessment, and Brief Counseling in Primary Care and Behavioral Health Settings.


Advocating for Victims of Stalking (90 min) 
This webinar addresses common tactics used by perpetrators, identifies stalking-specific risk assessment tools to better determine the level of threat to victims, identifies the intersection of stalking and sexual violence, and discusses effective safety planning strategies particular to survivors in rural areas.

Responding to Stalking: A Guide for Advocates 
A guide from the Stalking Prevention, Awareness, and Resource Center for advocates to recognize stalking and best help victims by identifying stalking behaviors, creating safety plans, filing PPOs, and helping victims navigate the criminal and civil justice systems.

Victimization Across the Lifespan

Online Elder Abuse Training for Legal Service Providers (4 hours)
Interactive Web-based training program for legal aid and civil attorneys has four modules that offer a variety of information, tools, and resources to identify and respond to elder abuse, including Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, Financial Fraud and Exploitation, Ethical Issues and Practical Strategies, and What Every Legal Services Lawyer Needs to Know About Elder Abuse.

Polyvictimization in Later Life (6 hours)
Web-based training presented in five modules. The purpose of the training is to strengthen awareness of polyvictimization in later life and to provide knowledge and skills of professionals to address the needs of victims. The training addresses the context of polyvictimization; victims and perpetrators of polyvictimization; best practices to work with older adults affected by polyvictimization using trauma-informed, ethical, and culturally appropriate practices; and the latest research and best practices to serve this population.

Serving Teen Survivors: A Manual for Advocates

Manual from the National Sexual Violence Resource Center that provides an overview of the unique issues facing young people who are sexual violence survivors.  Also included are tip sheets on working with teen survivors, information on confidentiality and mandated reporting laws, information on the teen brain, an annotated bibliography of recent research, and more.

Reaching and Serving Teen Victims: A Practical Handbook  
Guide from the National Center for Victims of Crime on the unique barriers facing teen victims of all crimes.

Linking the Roads: Working with Youth Who Experience Homelessness & Sexual Violence

A guide from the National Sexual Violence Resource Center that focuses on adapting advocacy skills to help young people who experience homelessness and sexual violence build resiliency and lessen their traumas. It has three aims: (a) to provide an overview for the intersections between identity, trauma experiences, and resiliency among youth who are homeless; (b) to highlight core skills and techniques for advocates; and (c) to discuss how to tailor these skills in order to improve services for youth who identify as LGBTQ.

Working with Older Survivors of Abuse: A Framework for Advocates  
Toolkit from the National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life providing a brief overview of elder abuse and abuse in later life, descriptions of seven key guiding principles as well as minimum guidelines and practice strategies for advocates to consider in their work with older survivors. 

Runaway and Homeless Youth and Relationship Violence Toolkit  

Toolkit from the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence developed by and for advocates in the runaway and homeless youth and domestic and sexual assault fields to help programs better address relationship violence with runaway and homeless youth.

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