Empowerment and Strength-Based Advocacy

Empowerment Approaches

Empowerment is the process of helping crime victims develop the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and resources necessary to regain a sense of personal control, safety, and justice. Lack of empowerment is not due to personal failing but primarily to interpersonal and social conditions, and in empowerment practice, advocates recognize that victims bring strengths and resources to the table and share power with victims to facilitate services. Empowering approaches involve helping victims achieve personal, interpersonal, and social power, which can be especially important for those who belong to marginalized and oppressed groups

Empowering Advocacy for Older Adults and People with Disabilities 
Resources website on how to promote empowering advocacy for older adults and people with disabilities using self-advocacy programs, centers for independent living, state councils on developmental disabilities, and state protection and advocacy systems.

Economic Advocacy and Empowerment
Tools for advocates to help survivors not only make informed financial decisions by increasing their knowledge of economic empowerment, but to also learn ways to help protect them from financial abuse through financial safety.

Mission-focused Management & Empowerment Practice 

Handbook outlining practices for mission-focused and empowerment-driven management (Part 1 and 2: great for program managers and executive directors) and for incorporating empowerment principles into practice (Part 3: great for advocates). This handbook was developed for domestic violence programs, but these essential elements of empowerment practice broadly apply to all crime victim advocacy:

  • Shared power
  • Respect for survivor’s strengths and resources
  • Services are survivor-driven
  • Services are flexible and individualized
  • Problems are not located within the survivor
  • Services are action-oriented and proactive

Strength-Based Approaches

Challenging the medical model in mental health care, strength-based approaches focus on client awareness of inner strengths to cope with external challenges, rather than focusing on what is “wrong” with them and their symptoms.

Embracing a Strength-Based Perspective and Practice in Education
Detailed guide overviewing what is a strength-based approach, principles of the strength-based approach, and implication so the strength-based practice in education and youth development.

ADMIRE: Getting Practical About Being Strength-Based
Short guide on the using ADMIRE (Attitude, Discovery, Mirroring, Intervention, Recording, Evaluation) to implement strength-based practices at the individual, agency, and systems levels.

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