Best Practices in Documentation Parts 1 & 2 – Getting to the Bare Essentials Part 1

It can be a tough balancing act to document enough to meet funding requirements, yet to not keep information that could be used against a survivor who has accessed services. In this two part webinar, we will provide guidance and tools for safe ways to keep case notes and required information for reporting purposes while also minimizing potential risk for harm to survivors. Part one of the webinar will focus on record-keeping philosophies, statistics and funding requirements. Part two will break down the nuts and bolts of writing good case notes and best practices for maintaining and destroying survivors’ files.

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Best Practices in Documentation Parts 2

It can be a tough balancing act to document enough to meet funding requirements, yet to not keep information that could be used against a survivor who has accessed services. In this two part webinar, we will provide guidance and tools for safe ways to keep case notes and required information for reporting purposes while also minimizing potential risk for harm to survivors. Part one of the webinar will focus on record-keeping philosophies, statistics and funding requirements. Part two will break down the nuts and bolts of writing good case notes and best practices for maintaining and destroying survivors’ files.

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Case Law and Domestic Violence in Georgia

Case law can have a significant impact on civil and criminal cases involving family violence, often setting precedent for how future cases will be decided and influencing how law enforcement, prosecutors, and attorneys carry out family violence investigations. Case law arises when appeals courts issue rulings that provide either new interpretations or clarifications of existing laws. This webinar will explore recent civil and criminal case law that impacts the lives of survivors, as well as the work of advocates and other professionals who respond to cases of family violence.

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Connecting the dots during crisis calls…responding to survivors’ needs for safety, information and resources

A crisis call can be a pivotal moment in intervention with a survivor of domestic violence—it’s often the first point of contact between a survivor and the domestic violence program and opens the door for future advocacy and services. Yet, sometimes the purpose of a crisis call can be murky when a survivor doesn’t talk about violence in her relationship, doesn’t seem concerned for her safety, or calls with a question seemingly unrelated to abuse. Calls like these can make it challenging for hotline staff to identify danger indicators and assess the need for safety planning and other services.

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Economic Abuse: What you need to know

Research indicates that financial abuse occurs in 98% of abusive relationships, while at the same time, survivors often report that concerns over their ability to provide financially for themselves and their children is one of the top reasons for staying in or returning to an abusive relationship. Financial abuse is one of the most powerful methods of keeping a survivor trapped in an abusive relationship and deeply diminishes her ability to stay safe after leaving an abusive relationship. Webinar participants will learn about the basics of financial abuse, the three categories of financial abuse and the potentially long term effects it can have on survivors. Speakers include Allison Smith-Burk, GCADV’s Director of Public Policy.

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Engaging the Faith Community in Your Coordinated Community Response To Domestic Violence

Webinar participants will learn strategies for how to “hook” the faith community and get them interested in this topic, suggestions for approach, tips and strategies for successful trainings events, building and sustaining ongoing relationships or initiating conversations. Speakers include Rev. Victoria Ferguson-Young, Founder & Executive Director of The Kindred Moxie Network, Inc. She brings close to 8 years of experience as a faith leader and an advocate to end domestic violence in several capacities. Victoria graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree from Howard University and a Master of Divinity with Honors from the Morehouse School of Religion at the Interdenominational Theological Center.

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Engaging the Media to Change Social Norms

Media reports often minimize the complexity of domestic violence and unwittingly perpetuate domestic violence stereotypes. Much of the language the media uses to explain domestic homicides in headlines and articles falls short – or worse, skews the homicide to be presented as the result of a “troubled relationship” rather than the result of a violent abuser who is seeking the ultimate form of power and control over his partner – death. Often, domestic violence homicides are framed within the context of a “lover’s quarrel” or a “crime of passion” or the batterer’s behavior is explained as he “snapped” or was “acting out of character.” The implications of this type of reporting of domestic violence are long lasting for both the community at large and victims of domestic violence. Webinar participants will learn more about the impact media has on the public’s perception of domestic violence, strategies for how to increase engagement of journalists on this topic, suggestions for approach, tips and strategies for successful media contacts, as well as building and sustaining ongoing relationships or initiating conversations with journalists. Speakers include Advocate and Community Educator Kit Gruelle, Impact and Outreach Coordinator for the Private Violence Film Project.

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Federal and State Confidentiality Requirements for Domestic Violence Programs

The principle of survivor confidentiality is central to the services provided by domestic violence programs. Yet survivors and the advocates who serve them often encounter a web of agencies asking for private, personal identifying information. A coordinated community response is key in creating safety for survivors, but this coordination often opens pitfalls for violation of survivor confidentiality. This webinar series will provide certified domestic violence programs with a comprehensive overview of confidentiality best practices, including federal and state laws regarding confidentiality, best practices in documentation and data collection, and how to safely collaborate with other agencies and individuals in the community. The series begins with the first webinar, “Federal and State Confidentiality Requirements for Domestic Violence Programs.” This webinar will address common questions about federal and state laws regarding survivor confidentiality that impact state certified domestic violence programs, clarify the protections and limitations provided by Georgia’s Advocate Privilege law, review the certified shelter standards relevant to confidentiality, and emphasize the guiding philosophy and ethics of survivor confidentiality requirements.

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Firearms Surrender Protocols Webinar

Firearms are responsible for the majority of domestic violence deaths in Georgia, accounting for 66% of all domestic violence fatalities in 2014 and 56% of reviewed fatalities from 2004-2014. Federal law prohibits those convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors and those subject to a qualifying TPO from possessing firearms and ammunition. While several states have passed clarifying legislation assisting in the implementation of the Gun Control Act and issues surrounding the collection, storage and release of firearms, Georgia has not. Community partners in DeKalb County have developed a protocol that removes firearms and ammunition from those who are convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors through a surrender process to the DeKalb County State Court Probation Department. 

Webinar participants will learn more about the federal Gun Control Act, challenges with state implementation, the DeKalb County Firearm Surrender Protocol process, steps the community took to create the protocol, successes and challenges of the protocol, and suggestions for implementing a similar protocol in other areas of the state. Speakers include Jennifer Waindle, Supervisor, DeKalb County State Court Probation, and Jennifer Stolarski, Chief Assistant, DeKalb County Solicitor-General’s Office.

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Helping Survivors Navigate Credit and Debt Issues: Tools for Economic Safety

Research indicates that financial abuse occurs in 98% of abusive relationships, while at the same time, survivors often report that concerns over their ability to provide financially for themselves and their children is one of the top reasons for staying in or returning to an abusive relationship. Understanding the basics of credit and how to manage debt are important to helping a survivor work toward economic security. A survivor’s credit and debt load can impact not only her ability to borrow, but also her ability to secure housing and utilities, employment, and even car insurance rates. Barriers to these vital economic supports can make it extremely difficult for a survivor to gain independence, safety, and long term security.

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Promoting Wellness: Women’s Health and Domestic Violence Advocacy

Domestic violence has an impact on many parts of a woman’s life, including her health. This webinar will discuss specific ways domestic violence impacts women’s health, including how it can impact pregnancy. We will also explore why it’s important for advocates to provide basic health advocacy, simple steps that can be taken to strengthen the health advocacy currently being done and how to improve the healthcare response to domestic violence in your community by building relationships with local healthcare providers.

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Tools for Economic Safety: How to Help Survivors Access and Apply for Public Benefits

Research indicates that financial abuse occurs in 98% of abusive relationships, while at the same time, survivors often report that concerns over their ability to provide financially for themselves and their children is one of the top reasons for staying in or returning to an abusive relationship. There are many public benefit programs that can provide relief and support for survivors as they work toward financial independence, but accessing and applying for these programs can be confusing and overwhelming especially to a survivor experiencing trauma. 

This webinar, presented by Callan Wells, Benefits Hotline Supervisor from the Georgia Legal Services Program, and Allison Smith-Burke, Director of Public Policy for the Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence, offers the following information in order to prepare advocates in assisting survivors to access these programs.

 

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Safety Planning Demystified – Part One: How to Bring Survivor Safety into Everyday Interactions

Safety planning with survivors can be a daunting task – safety planning templates are often long and detailed, and once they are completed may be filed away and rarely looked at again. Many advocates may not see safety planning as a part of their role with a survivor depending on their position within the agency. The best safety planning, however, is not long and involved, but occurs in small pieces and changes over time with the survivor’s circumstances. It allows the survivor to guide the process and respects her decisions. Thorough and practical safety planning also considers ALL of the ways in which a survivor’s safety can be compromised, not just by the abuser’s actions, but by other factors such as the survivor’s loss of income, emotional stress, or the actions of the survivor’s friends and family. 

In this 3-part webinar series, we will look at the many opportunities for advocates in all roles to incorporate safety planning during even brief interactions with survivors. We will focus on safety planning that is both trauma-informed and survivor led. We will brainstorm creative and unique strategies for safety planning beyond the standard forms and checklists. 

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Safety Planning Demystified - Part Two: How to Bring Survivor Safety into Everyday Interactions

Safety planning with survivors can be a daunting task – safety planning templates are often long and detailed, and once they are completed may be filed away and rarely looked at again. Many advocates may not see safety planning as a part of their role with a survivor depending on their position within the agency. The best safety planning, however, is not long and involved, but occurs in small pieces and changes over time with the survivor’s circumstances. It allows the survivor to guide the process and respects her decisions. Thorough and practical safety planning also considers ALL of the ways in which a survivor’s safety can be compromised, not just by the abuser’s actions, but by other factors such as the survivor’s loss of income, emotional stress, or the actions of the survivor’s friends and family. 

In this 3-part webinar series, we will look at the many opportunities for advocates in all roles to incorporate safety planning during even brief interactions with survivors. We will focus on safety planning that is both trauma-informed and survivor led. We will brainstorm creative and unique strategies for safety planning beyond the standard forms and checklists. 

 

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Safety Planning Demystified - Part Three: How to Bring Survivor Safety into Everyday Interactions

Safety planning with survivors can be a daunting task – safety planning templates are often long and detailed, and once they are completed may be filed away and rarely looked at again. Many advocates may not see safety planning as a part of their role with a survivor depending on their position within the agency. The best safety planning, however, is not long and involved, but occurs in small pieces and changes over time with the survivor’s circumstances. It allows the survivor to guide the process and respects her decisions. Thorough and practical safety planning also considers ALL of the ways in which a survivor’s safety can be compromised, not just by the abuser’s actions, but by other factors such as the survivor’s loss of income, emotional stress, or the actions of the survivor’s friends and family. 

In this 3-part webinar series, we will look at the many opportunities for advocates in all roles to incorporate safety planning during even brief interactions with survivors. We will focus on safety planning that is both trauma-informed and survivor led. We will brainstorm creative and unique strategies for safety planning beyond the standard forms and checklists. 

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Safety Planning Demystified - Part Four: How to Bring Survivor Safety into Everyday Interactions

Safety planning with survivors can be a daunting task – safety planning templates are often long and detailed, and once they are completed may be filed away and rarely looked at again. Many advocates may not see safety planning as a part of their role with a survivor depending on their position within the agency. The best safety planning, however, is not long and involved, but occurs in small pieces and changes over time with the survivor’s circumstances. It allows the survivor to guide the process and respects her decisions. Thorough and practical safety planning also considers ALL of the ways in which a survivor’s safety can be compromised, not just by the abuser’s actions, but by other factors such as the survivor’s loss of income, emotional stress, or the actions of the survivor’s friends and family. 

In this 4-part webinar series, we will look at the many opportunities for advocates in all roles to incorporate safety planning during even brief interactions with survivors. We will focus on safety planning that is both trauma-informed and survivor led. We will brainstorm creative and unique strategies for safety planning beyond the standard forms and checklists. 

 

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Community Partnerships and Confidentiality

The principle of survivor confidentiality is central to the services provided by domestic violence programs. Yet survivors and the advocates who serve them often encounter a web of agencies asking for private, personal identifying information. A coordinated community response (CCR) is key in creating safety for survivors, but this coordination often opens pitfalls for violation of survivor confidentiality. In the last of this 3 part webinar series, we will explore how to safely collaborate with other agencies and individuals in the community. 

This webinar will include guest presenters from member programs who will share real examples of collaboration in action. The webinar will outline a survivor-centered approach to creating collaborative community partnerships. We will review the differences in confidentiality requirements between partner agencies and identify the roles of various agencies within a collaboration. Most importantly, this webinar will guide programs in developing strategies for meaningful and productive agency collaboration while adhering to confidentiality requirements.

 

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Mobile Advocacy Programs: How to Get Started and Keep Going!

Join us for a presentation from Laura Horsley and Marci Chenoweth from Eve's Place in Arizona! Eve's Place has a one-of-a-kind mobile advocacy program that provides support services for victims of domestic and sexual abuse as well as teen dating abuse . Their services are provided in urban, rural and tribal areas. This service delivery model eliminates transportation as a barrier to receiving support from trained advocates by increasing access points for victim/survivor in the community. Services include case management, safety planning, danger assessments, legal advocacy , support groups and transportation. 

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Practicing Cultural Humility and Defining Underserved Populations

As advocates, we know that domestic violence is a social problem that impacts all communities and cultures. What is sometimes overlooked are the differences between communities as far as how they are affected by domestic violence and what services or interventions would be the best fit for the families living within them. The practice of cultural humility creates the opportunity for domestic violence programs to explore these differences in a positive, empowering and respectful way. 

Another challenge for domestic violence programs is knowing how to overcome cultural barriers in order to offer services to all who are in need. Too often, programs are prepared in theory to offer culturally competent services, but this willingness is never tested because some communities are not reaching out for services. How can programs know who they are reaching within their service areas, and who is being underserved or not reached at all? 

 

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An Introduction to Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is an issue that many of us have encountered either personally or through a friend or family member, but few people fully understand why and how domestic violence happens.  For those of us who work with survivors of domestic violence, the question we hear most often is “why would anyone stay in an abusive relationship?” Many myths and misperceptions surround this issue, and as long as we are focused on the wrong questions, we will never be able to find the right answers to end domestic violence. This e-learning module seeks to shed light on the root cause of domestic violence and to invite people to join the movement to create a world in which everyone is safe in their intimate relationships.

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Valuing Victim Liaisons: Enhancing Victim Safety through Family Violence Intervention Programs

Victim safety is an integral component of Family Violence Intervention Programs (FVIPs). Victim Liaisons play a key role in upholding victim safety by connecting victims with resources, explaining the FVIP process to victims, and strategizing with victims and FVIP providers on safety considerations. This 90-minute webinar, presented in partnership by the Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the Georgia Commission on Family Violence, will offer an overview of the history and role of Victim Liaisons in Georgia, build on advocacy skills and resources to enhance your work as a Victim Liaison, and provide recommendations and tips for successfully integrating advocacy and intervention into your Victim Liaison-FVIP partnership. This webinar is ideal for new Victim Liaisons, or for programs who are considering adding the role of Victim Liaison to their staff. 

 

 

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Strangulation and Domestic Violence: Saving Lives by Improving Our Response

Strangulation is highly prevalent in abusive relationships, yet it often goes unreported by survivors and undetected by law enforcement and other professionals working with survivors, leaving those who use this tactic of physical abuse unaccountable and risking the lives of survivors. Attempts to strangle, sometimes referred to as “choking,” not only raise red flags about the potential for future homicide, but they can also cause serious short- and long-term physical and mental health problems, including delayed death. 

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Concussion and Domestic Violence

When physical abuse in a domestic violence relationship escalates, injuries sustained by the victim can sometimes go undiagnosed and untreated. One of the most concerning injuries that can be overlooked is a concussion or traumatic brain injury. When domestic violence advocates know the warning signs of a concussion or brain injury and ask the right questions, they can help the survivor to access important medical care. The Concussion Institute at Gwinnett Medical Center- Duluth’s presentation will include concussion education and awareness, signs and symptoms, and concussion management. 

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Introduction to Legal Advocacy Part I: Legal Advocacy, Georgia Laws & Systemic Barriers

This two-part module is intended for domestic violence advocates whose primary roles are legal advocacy. Legal advocates emerged to address barriers within legal systems, to help domestic violence survivors navigate legal processes more successfully and to empower survivors through information.  Part one of the Legal Advocacy 101 module focuses on the purpose and roles of legal advocates, Georgia family violence and stalking laws, interventions and barriers to receiving help within the legal system, as well as restrictions related to advocate privilege, confidentiality and unauthorized practice of law. Part one should take approximately one hour to complete.

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Introduction to Legal Advocacy Part II: Temporary Protection Orders, Intersecting Systems, Immigrant Considerations & Relationship-building

This two-part module is intended for domestic violence advocates whose primary roles are legal advocacy. Legal advocates emerged to address barriers within legal systems, to help domestic violence survivors navigate legal processes more successfully and to empower survivors through information.  Part two of the Legal Advocacy module focuses on the types of TPOs in Georgia, the process for obtaining a TPO, and the legal advocate’s role throughout; common intersecting court cases, unique considerations and protections when working with immigrant survivors, and the importance of relationship-building and collaboration as a legal advocate.

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Through Their Eyes: Best Practices for Professionals Working with Children Exposed to Domestic Violence

Many professionals that work within Georgia’s child-centered industries provide services, support and care to children impacted by domestic violence. Between 2010 and 2014, approximately 62,000 children in Georgia were present at the scene of family violence. These children are seeing, hearing and experiencing domestic violence in a variety of ways that impact the way they understand themselves, their families and the environment around them. Professionals working with this population of children fulfill many responsibilities that are connected to children and youth feeling safer, more empowered and less burdened by feelings of shame, blame and guilt.

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Best Practices In Serving Transgender Survivors of Domestic Violence

Advocates have long known that Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) can happen to anyone regardless of their gender, race, socioeconomic status, cultural background or education level. While this is also true for the LGBT community, transgender people experience rates if IPV at a much higher level than is seen in the population overall.  

According to a report issued in 2015 by the National Center for Transgender Equality, 54% of Transgender people surveyed had experienced some form of IPV in their lifetime, and Trans Women of Color in particular are at much greater risk of both IPV and gender-based violence.  Domestic violence programs offer many services that can alleviate these risks, but it is essential that advocates have an understanding of Transgender identity, terminology, experiences, and unique barriers in order to be accessible.

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Racial Justice and White Aspiring Ally-ship in the Domestic Violence Movement

The complex barriers to leaving an abusive relationship are significantly increased for victims of domestic violence who are people of color. According to the Violence Policy Center’s 2018 report, Black women were killed by a male offender at a rate twice as high as White women in 2016. In addition to this alarming statistic, there still remains a lack of representation of people of color in leadership positions throughout the domestic violence movement. In order to best meet the needs of people of color who are victims of domestic violence, those of us who strive to be White allies must be willing to look at the intersections of racism, oppression and victimization in our work.

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