The V Word

Advocating to end sexual and domestic violence


January 2010

Recent Rape Cases

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Last night we had two rape cases reported and two victims in the Emergency Room. Through the progress we have made with law enforcement and medical personnel, these victims can feel more comfortable reporting, getting evidence collected, and prosecuting. Those things are not enough. Victims need the support of a hotline, clothing to wear home from the hospital, crisis support from trained crisis advocates, and counseling.

It costs $376 to provide services to one victim for crisis emergency response. It costs $150 to provide legal advocacy for one victim. And it costs over $1200 to provide trauma counseling services and support for victims for 8 weeks.

As more victims report and seek services, we need to be able to have services available for them.

Donate today to help us serve victims of violence and consider adding to that donation a few dollars more to help us provide prevention so we may have fewer victims.

Thank you for your support as we work together to end violence.
Carol Olson,
Executive Director

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Speak Out!! Legislative Advocacy Day

It’s time to speak out!

Next Wednesday, January 27th, is an opportunities for you to get involved in the public policy work of the  Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance.

Legislative Advocacy Day!

Members from across the Commonwealth will come to Richmond to meet with their legislators and educate them on:

Funding for services that support children and youth who have been exposed to sexual or domestic violence (through an increase in the marriage license fee) 

All of the children that could be forced to testify against their parents if a particular bill passes

Why it is time to have a comprehensive review of Virginia’s protective order laws rather than passing many small fixes

A stalking bill that could help make it easier for offenders of stalking to be charged

One barrier to reporting for immigrant victims and witnesses of crime, and how they can help remove it

We really hope that you will get involved.  Please do and contact the Action Alliance staff to find out how you can support these issues. 

Contact the Action Alliance at: and click on “Legislative Advocacy Day January 2010 Register online” You will receive an agenda, directions and other information once you register.

We hope to see you next week!

Virginia Sexual & Domestic Violence Action Alliance Legislative Advocacy Day in Richmond, January 27, 2010! Join us in educating members of the General Assembly about sexual and domestic violence issues. Go to to register

Virginia’s Hospital Protocol for the Treatment of Sexual Assault Victims

On behalf of the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance (Action Alliance) and the Virginia Chapter of the International Association of Forensic Nurse Examiners (VAIFNE), we are pleased to announce that “Virginia’s Healthcare Response to Sexual Assault: Guidelines for the Acute Care of Adult and Post-Pubertal Adolescent Sexual Assault Patients” is now available at May take a few minutes to download. Please be patient.

In 2007, the Governor’s Commission on Sexual Violence recommended the development of a consistent healthcare response to sexual assault. Subsequently, a multidisciplinary team of dedicated healthcare providers, criminal justice professionals, sexual assault victim advocates, and survivors of sexual assault was convened to commence this effort.

These new guidelines are the culmination of their efforts, replacing “Virginia’s Hospital Protocol for the Treatment of Sexual Assault Victims” that was developed in 1990. This new document incorporates recommendations from professionals across Virginia, as well as information from relevant state and national resources on the management of sexual assault patients and the collection of forensic evidence. Recognizing that not all communities or facilities can sustain forensic nursing programs, these guidelines were developed to assist all healthcare providers.

It provides: Guidance and tools for clinicians providing care to sexual assault patients; Guidance for healthcare facilities developing or enhancing policies for the provision of medical and forensic services; and Guidance to communities working to establish a coordinated community response to sexual assault. While these guidelines were developed for healthcare professionals, we know that the healthcare sector is just one component of a comprehensive response to sexual assault. It is hope of the committee that these guidelines will be a valuable resource and tool in our efforts to establish policies, procedures, and practices that promote a quality, consistent, and compassionate response to sexual assault patients in your community.

reprinted from the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance

Help Protect Crime Victims, Promote Community-Based Policing, and Ensure a Safer Virginia for All!

Join advocates from around Virginia on Tuesday, January 12, 2010, from 12:00pm-1:00pm, for a state-wide conference call to mobilize support for reintroduction and passage of the Victim Witness Bill (last session’s SB 1436), in the Virginia General Assembly. This critical legislation would keep police from asking victims and witnesses of domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse, and other crimes about their immigration status – bolstering trust between police and immigrant communities, and reassuring victims and witnesses that they can come forward without fear. The call, hosted by the Tahirih Justice Center, Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance (Action Alliance), and CG2 Consulting, will provide an overview of the Victim Witness Bill and discuss the many ways that advocates can get involved in this year’s campaign.

Many of you are members of the Virginia Alliance for Sensible Community Police (VA-SCOPE), and know how close our hard work came to getting the bill passed last year.

This year WE NEED YOUR HELP to spread the message and rally support! Please RSVP for the call to by Monday, January 11, 2010.

January is National Stalking Awareness Month – Training at W&M

To register for the below conference, go to Questions can be
directed to Shawna Gray

FREE – January 22, 2010 – 9AM-5PM
The College of William & Mary
Presented by the National Center for Victims of Crime: Stalking Resource
Sponsored by the York County Violence Against Women Task Force & Sexual
Assault Services of the College of William & Mary

January is National Stalking Awareness Month, a time to focus on a crime
that affects 3.4 million victims a year. Stalking is a crime in all 50
states and the District of Columbia, yet many victims and criminal
justice system professionals underestimate its seriousness and impact.
Stalking is difficult to recognize, investigate, and prosecute. Unlike
other crimes, stalking is not a single, easily identifiable crime but a
series of acts, a course of conduct directed at a specific person that
would cause that person fear. Communities that understand stalking,
however, can support victims and combat the crime.

This training will offer practical information about recognizing
stalking and understanding its impact on the victim. This training
offers two “tracks.” The first track is primarily aimed toward law
enforcement, prosecutors, and other professionals who work within the
criminal justice system. The second track is primarily aimed toward
community advocates, school personnel, and mental health counselors.
The training also includes a session on creating a coordinated community
response to stalking.

The training is located on the campus of the College of William & Mary
at the Sadler Center. This training is free. Registration includes a
parking pass, continental breakfast, and an afternoon snack. Lunch is
‘On Your Own.’ Parking is readily available at the W&M Hall Parking
lot, which is about a 3-5 minute walk from the Sadler Center. Anyone
who has accessibility needs can be accommodated in a closer lot, if

Pre-registration for this training is required.
To register, go to,
click on the date of the training, and select ‘REGISTER.’ Directions
and maps will be emailed to registrants prior to the event, along with a
parking pass.

In-service credits for Law Enforcement have been requested.


7:30-8:30AM Registration

7:30-8:30AM Continental Breakfast

8:45AM Welcome

9:00AM Stalking: Prevalence, Lethality, and Impact
Recent national data indicates that 3.4 million people are stalking in
one year in the United States; yet stalking is a crime that is often
misunderstood, minimized or missed entirely. This session will address
the dynamics of stalking, including stalking behaviors and the impact on

Participants will be able to:
1. Define stalking and list common stalking behaviors.
2. Give general statistics on the prevalence of stalking.
3. List potential harms victims can experience, including homicide, and
reasons all stalking cases should be taken seriously.

10:15AM Break

10:30AM Break-out Sessions
Breakout 1: Investigating/ Prosecuting Stalking
This session will address considerations for the investigation and
prosecution of stalking. Information relevant to first responders as
well as detectives will be covered and well as tips for prosecutors.

Participants will be able to:
1. Identify components of an effective investigation, including victim
interview, suspect interview, determining crime scene, and collection of
2. Provide victims and service providers with information on documenting
3. Identify necessary corroborating evidence for improved prosecution
of stalking cases.

Breakout 2: Teens and Stalking
This session will address issues unique to stalking among teens. We
will provide a review of recent research on the use of technology in
stalking and harassment against teens. The session will also include
discussion on other ways dating violence and stalking are affecting
teens in our country and an exploration of the social trend of
normalization of stalking in youth and teens.

Participants will be able to:
1. Identify stalking behaviors (not necessarily criminal) amongst youth
and teens and the different dynamics of the stalking of teens.
2. Understand the use of technology in teen dating relationships and how
technology can be misused to stalk and abuse teens.
3. Recognize the ‘parent/adult knowledge gap’ in the use of technology
and other teen stalking behaviors and discuss ways to close that
knowledge gap.

11:45 PM Lunch on Your Own

1:00PM – 2:15PM Break-out Sessions:
Breakout 1: Working with Stalking Victims
The session focuses on the impact of stalking on victims and how those
working with stalking victims can assist with safety, documentation,
advocacy, and support.

Participants will be able to:
1. Determine the different legal system responses available to stalking
victims (e.g., criminal – various charges, state statutes and civil
remedies – protective orders and civil tort claims).
2. Identify four main areas of need for stalking victims: safety,
advocacy, documentation and support.
3. Advise stalking victims to disengage from stalker and engage in risk
reduction behaviors.
4. Apply best practices of advocacy model to working with stalking
Promote use of logs and other documentation/evidence collection
techniques when working with stalking victims.

Breakout 2: The Use of Technology to Stalk
This session focuses on how stalkers have used technology such as
computers, video cameras, and global positioning systems to stalk.
Evidence collection and safety considerations will be discussed.
Participants will be able to:
1. Name several different types of technology and how it is used in
stalking, including how technology is used to advance other stalking
2. Discuss how technology might impact their work and how to integrate
that knowledge into investigation, evidence collection, and safety
3. Articulate challenges posed by technology and needed system changes.
Identify areas where their stalking laws might be deficient in covering

2:15 PM – 2:30PM Break

2:30PM – 3:45PM Breakouts
Breakout 1: Threat Assessment/ Safety Planning
The session will provide simple tools that responders can use to assess
the threat posed by a stalker. Participants will learn how to identify
and respond to various risk behaviors and how to work with victims to
develop a safety plan.

Participants will be able to:
1. Define threat assessment (e.g. analysis of situation that may
demonstrate which individuals pose what risk at what times).
2. Identify elements of victim-centered threat assessment (based on
victim experience, level of fear, history of behaviors, etc.).
3. Determine most dangerous time for victims (separation, when PO
served, significant life event, increased contact with victim).
4. Practice safety planning with stalking victims.

Breakout 2: Stalking on Campus
Research indicates that stalking is all too prevalent on college
campuses. This workshop will explore the nature of stalking on campus,
including the intersection of stalking and sexual assault. We will also
discuss steps campuses can take to respond to stalking on campus,
including policy development, educational programming, and working with
Participants will be able to:
1. Discuss how stalking on campus differs from stalking in general.
2. Recognize the link between stalking and sexual assault on campus.
3. Identify resources for victims on campus and in the community.
4. Develop a framework for a campus response to stalking.

3:45PM – 4:00PM Break

4:00PM – 5:00PM Developing a Coordinated Community Response to Stalking
This session will examine the elements and benefits of a coordinated
community response (CCR) to stalking, including the steps necessary in
developing a CCR. Examples will be shared from communities who have
created a stalking CCR.

Participants will be able to:
1. Identify benefits of developing a CCR to stalking (why CCRs are
particularly beneficial to helping stalking victims).
2. Apply practices/systems of other CCRs, task forces, network groups to
development of stalking specific CCR.
3. Discuss elements of success in Links in Chain video example.
4. Develop initial design for local CCR to stalking.
5. Determine which members of local community would be assets in their

5:00PM Dismissal

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