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.

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.

Real Life Resilience- Male Sexual Abuse Survivors- Shattering the Silence
Childhood sexual abuse leaves a lifelong scar. It is difficult for male survivors to discuss the matter in public because of social stigma. Cecil Murphey, speaker, blogger and author of books like ‘More than Surviving: Courageous Meditations for Men Hurting from Childhood Abuse’, helps survivors of male sexual abuse accept reality, share their pain with compassionate listeners, and believe in the fact that they are not alone in their suffering. Linked to Spotify, but available on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, or wherever you get your podcasts. [31 minutes]

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.

An inside look at the Larry Nassar case and how a team of women won a conviction in one of the largest serial sexual abuse cases in U.S. History. Linked to Spotify, but available on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, or wherever you get your podcasts. *Content Warning: Graphic descriptions of violence* [Nine 30-minute episodes]

People Fixing the World: Convicting More Rapists
Rapists often avoid conviction and people they’ve attacked can face a traumatic journey through the legal system. But special reporting centres and courts in South Africa are improving things. The country has set up Thuthuzela Centres which are named after a Xhosa word meaning comfort. The centres aim to create a safe, empathetic and comfortable environment where people who have been raped can get all the medical and legal care they need in one place. Linked to Spotify, but available on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, or wherever you get your podcasts. [23 minutes]

PreventConnect podcasts highlight prevention themes, new research, and the voices of practitioners who have been successful in implementation, and thoughtful in the development of effective sexual assault and domestic violence prevention strategies. [100+ 15+-minute episodes]

Addressing Patient Needs while Maintaining Boundaries: A Triggered Patient Seeks Physical Comfort
This webinar from the National Child Traumatic Stress Network presents a scenario where that illustrates the complexity of the therapeutic relationship and the balance therapists must achieve for effectively supporting traumatized patients while also maintaining healthy boundaries. NOTE: You must create an account to access this webinar. [90 minutes]

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

Asylum Overview for Attorneys and Advocates (Part 1)
This is the first in a series of webinars by ASISTA about the process of helping survivors of domestic violence and/or sexual assault apply for asylum. It provides an overview of the asylum framework, helps participants with issue spotting and identifying red flags, discusses asylum’s intersections with other forms of relief (SIJS, T visa, etc.), and explains how teams of attorneys and advocates working together can best meet the holistic needs of survivors. [90 minutes]

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

Working with Elderly Victims

The Executive Office for United States Attorneys, in conjunction with the Department of Justice’s Elder Justice Initiative, presents this webinar as part of the effort to provide training on elder abuse for prosecutors, victim specialists, law enforcement, and others. A panel of experts shares their experiences working with elderly victims and advice for those hoping to serve elderly victims better.

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.

Resources for Supporting Children Exposed to DV


Domestic Violence and Children: Questions and Answers for Domestic Violence Project Advocates
This fact sheet was developed in collaboration with domestic violence project advocates from across the country who brought questions they struggle with daily in their work with families. This guide aims to enhance advocates’ understanding of how domestic violence affects children and aid in the crucial contributions advocates make to family recovery. [NCTSN, 12 pages]

Tips for Supporting Children and Youth Exposed to Domestic Violence: What you Might See and What You Can Do
This tipsheet is a starting place for understanding how advocates can better support children who have been exposed to violence in their homes and how to support parents to help their children cope more adaptively with trauma-related responses [NCDVTMH, 3 pages]

Honor Our Voices: A Guide for Practice When Responding to Children Exposed to Domestic Violence
Guide to increase the awareness and sensitivity of shelter advocates to the needs of children by providing insight into domestic violence through the eyes and voices of children, with suggestions for promising ways of enhancing services for children exposed to domestic violence [Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare, MN Center Against Violence and Abuse, Avon Foundation for Women, 38 pages]

The Needs of Children in Domestic Violence Shelters
Provides information on how trauma from domestic violence impacts children, and how best to serve these children’s needs, including the behavioral and mental health impact of domestic violence on children and parents, ways to teach positive parenting skills, assessment tools, and resources specifically for service providers working with families. [Center for Child and Family Health, 52 pages]

What Is Child Welfare? A Guide for Domestic Violence Services Advocates
This guide provides an overview of basic child welfare services, describes how domestic violence services and child welfare professionals can support one another’s efforts in working with families, and lists resources for more information. [Children’s Bureau from U.S. DHHS, 4 pages]

A Resilience Framework for Domestic Violence and Adverse Childhood Experiences
Toolkit based on best-practices on using a healing-centered approach to examine the connection between domestic violence and other childhood adversities within a resilience framework that focuses on strengths and skills [Dr. Linda Chamberlain, 65 pages]

The Connection Between Batterers and Child Sexual Abuse Perpetrators
Article outlining the overlap between domestic violence and child sexual abuse, detailing specific behavioral patterns to assist in understanding the nature of both problems and how they can interact [Lundy Bancroft]


Resources for Supporting Parents with Children Exposed to DV


Advocacy Beyond Leaving: Helping Battered Women in Contact with Current or Former Partners, a Guide for Domestic Violence Advocates
Using the familiar and concrete framework of woman-defined advocacy, this guide explains advocates’ important role in safety planning and offers practical suggestions when victims are in contact with current or former partners, including advocacy for children’s safety and well-being. [NRCDV and Futures Without Violence, 36 pages]

Guide for Engaging and Supporting Parents Affected by Domestic Violence
This guide is designed for staff in domestic violence programs and provides practical guidance for supporting parents affected by domestic violence in their parenting. Using core principles and strategies, the guide helps frame an approach that is aimed at enhancing parenting capacities and strengthening parent-child bonds. Through self-guided questions, reflection, and real-life examples, this guide offers a pathway for deepening our engagement with parents and holding sensitive conversations in the context of our relationships. [NCDVTMH, 46 pages]

Advocacy Matters: Helping Mothers and their Children Involved with the Child Protection System
Many women who have experienced domestic violence are also involved with the child protection system (CPS). Most are poor, and a disproportionate number are women of color, both immigrant and U.S. born. Being involved with CPS can be frightening, overwhelming and confusing for them. And as an advocate, you may feel as helpless as the women you are trying to assist. This guidebook is intended to understand a woman’s situation and help her navigate the road to safety, well-being, and self-sufficiency. [Family Violence Prevention Fund, 12 pages]


Other Children and DV Resources


Promising Futures: Best Practices for Serving Children, Youth, and Parents Experiencing Domestic Violence
[Futures Without Violence funded by U.S. DHHS, website]

Safe and Together Institute
Internationally recognized suite of tools and interventions designed to help child welfare professionals become domestic violence-informed

Promoting the Best Outcomes for Children in Domestic and Family Violence Cases
[Safe & Together Institute, 90 min]

Children Who Experience Intimate Partner Femicide: Their Responses and Needs
[BWJP, 90 min]

Building Trauma-Informed Services for Children, Youth, and Parents Impacted by Domestic Violence
10-part webinar series for domestic violence advocates, supervisors, and mental health clinicians working in DV programs. Through this series, participants will gain enhanced understanding and practical strategies for supporting survivors and their children to address challenges, promote resilience, and heal from the traumatic effects of interpersonal violence. [NCDVTMH, ten 90-min webinars]

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