IMage of people working togetherTechnical Assistance
to OVW Grantees

The Sexual Violence Justice Institute has been formally working with grantees of the Office on Violence Against Women since 2007 to support and assist grantee's work in improving the community and criminal justice response to sexual violence. Our focus on the multidisciplinary response has engaged grantees across several grant program areas, which can vary between grant cycles. While our projects sometimes vary, our main focus does not: a victim-centered, offender focused response to sexual violence that engages the best each individual responder and response agency has to offer. With nearly twenty years of experience working with teams, we understand the complexity of addressing sexual violence issues within a multidisciplinary context.

Our current OVW Technical Assistance projects serve the following OVW grantees:

  • Rural Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault, and Stalking Assistance
  • STOP (Services, Training, Officers, and Prosecutors) Violence Against Women Formula Grants to States
  • Grants to Encourage Arrest Policies and Enforcement of Protection Orders

Key features of our work often cross grant programs and periods (scroll below for more information). They include:

Rural SART/CCR Project

SVJI's support for OVW Rural grantees aims to increase the capacity of rural sexual assault response teams (SARTs) and coordinated community response (CCR) initiatives to design and implement their own strategies for improving the criminal justice response to sexual violence by 1) providing technical assistance for local and state level team leaders that addressess the "what" and the "how" that sexual violence response can be improved by multidisciplinary teams, and 2) building the competency and confidence of rural team leaders through the design and hosting of a National Institute for Team Leaders.

Project partners include: Florida Council Against Sexual Violence, West Virginia's Foundation for Rape Information and Services, Minnesota Indian Women's Sexual Assault Coalition, Praxis International, AEquitas: The Prosecutor's Resource on Violence Against Women, Chief Paul Schnell of Paul Schnell and Associates and the Maplewood Police Department, and the International Association of Forensic Nurses.

Click here for more information for Rural Grantees.

Assistance to STOP Grantees

Under the STOP Program, the Violence Against Women Act provides formula grants to states to enable each state to develop its own approach to addressing violence against women. A primary focus of the STOP Program is to "promote coordinated, multidisciplinary approaches to enhancing advocacy and improving the criminal justice system's response to violent crimes against women." Sexual assault response teams (SARTs) can provide effective ways of addressing this purpose, but it's not always clear to state funders why some teams are more successful than others in advancing system improvements around sexual assault.

Grounded in decades of work with STOP funded teams, SVJI has designed a project to help STOP Administrators better know and understand 1) the elements of effective sexual assault response teams (SARTs) and other multidisciplinary initiatives, 2) the technical assistance and training from which these collaborative initiatives can benefit, 3) what it takes to create a statewide ecology to support active local SARTs, and 4) how this ecology can foster greater sophistication in proposals to address sexual violence.

Click here for more information for STOP Administrators.

National Institute for Team Leaders

Connect. Sustain. Lead. SVJI recognizes that SART leadership requires a unique blend of skill and expertise. How do you influence change when you cannot always direct it? How do you re-energize a veteran team? How does a team know if it’s making a difference? When is the team the place to solve a problem and when isn't it? What kind of leader does a given team need?

National Institutes help team leaders address these questions on their way to developing strategies to promote victim-centered responses to sexual assault in their local communities. Meetings are typically 2 1/2 days featuring plenaries, interactive sessions built around co-horts, and peer to peer exchanges. Information about the next Institute will be available soon. Contact us to be put on a distribution list to receive Institute-related announcements.

Directed Support to State and Territorial Level Team Leaders

SVJI continues to build a virtual network of state- and territorial-level coordinators to facilitate the exchange of ideas, resources, and questions that guide our work. This web-based commuinty is a place for state and territorial leaders to give and get ideas, resources, and information for supporting their unique work.

If you provide training and technical assistance to sexual assault response teams or similar collaboratives addressing sexual assault across your state or territory, please contact us to join this growing network.

Webinar Series for Teams and Team Leadership

We understand that there are unique aspects to addressing sexual assault in a multidisciplinary context. Our webinars address issues around the function, design, and work of teams or explore sexual assault related topics through the multidisciplinary lens. We often feature stories and examples from teams speaking to their techniques, successes and challenges in advancing system improvements.

Past webinars have included: 

  • Overview of the Protocol Development Cycle 
  • Starting S(M)ART 
  • Managing Conflict and Agreement on Teams 
  • Responding to False Allegations 
  • Anonymous Reporting 
  • What Can We Talk About? Case Conversations for Teams
  • Beyond Protocols: How SARTs Can Influence the Justice-Making Process for Sexual Assault Victims/Survivors

Webinars are offered quarterly on the first Tuesday of the month.  Upcoming topics include: The Role of the Team Leader, Working with Native Communities, Protocol Development, Responding to Deaf and Hard of Hearing Victims, Increasing Access to the Forensic Exam and Responding to Alcohol Facilitated Sexual Assault. Click here for the calendar and registration information.

Webinars are currently free to OVW grantees. Email us to join our distribution list to receive webinar invitations.



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