Welcome, Announcements and a Cultural Offering

Monika Johnson-Hostler, Executive Director at NCCASA, will welcome folks to the 2021 Biennial Conference, Exploring Emergent Strategies for Long-Term Transformation, as well as provide announcements for the day.

Chucho Ruiz Vai Sevoi of the Eudeve Tlamanalcah peoples will be sharing a Cultural Offering in the form of ceremonial & traditional songs that invoke ancestral wisdom and healing.

Teams and organizations, like individuals, can be harshly impacted by trauma. Organizational trauma may result from a single devastating event, from the effects of many deleterious events, or from the impact of cumulative trauma over time. The pain and shock of trauma are reverberating through many of our teams, agencies and first responder units. We come together with the knowledge that trauma has happened, to take steps for healing, and to build resilience for moving forward.

What exactly is that quality of resilience that carries people, teams, and communities through traumatic times and helps them bounce back after adversity? We will come together and share stories of resilience and how to help individuals and teams thrive. We will explore individual and team Strengths and Shadows to champion our strongest positive qualities, and to shine light on qualities that are too often denied and hidden. This highly experiential workshop will offer you opportunities to build your own resilience, and provide you with tools to share with others.

The World Health Organization estimates that one out of three women have experienced violence from an intimate partner or sexual violence from a non-partner during their lifetimes. While there has been no significant research, on the characteristics of those who work in victim services and violence prevention, we also know that many survivors work in our agencies. In order to create just communities free from sexual and intimate partner violence, we have to start by taking care of our own-our staff and volunteers. This workshop will give supervisors the opportunity to discuss the challenges and barriers to effectively manage the various needs of survivors in the workplace. We will focus on concrete strategies to improve survivor-employee performance and policies to promote workplace safety. We will aim to go beyond “self-care” and instead look at practical workplace accommodations to help all employees reach their full potentials and to help agencies retain valued staff.

The backlog of rape kits in the US is likely in the hundreds of thousands (End the Backlog, 2021). With over 16,000 kits, some from over 40 years ago, North Carolina has one of the highest recorded backlogs in the country. In 2018, the North Carolina Department of Justice (NC DOJ) was awarded a $2-million Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) grant. The funding has been used to complete a sexual assault kit (SAK) inventory; develop a comprehensive, statewide approach for addressing previously unsubmitted SAKs; and increase trauma-informed sexual assault investigations and prosecutions. Two members of the NC DOJ SAKI team, SAKI Victim Advocate, Cynthia Clark, and SAKI Sexual Assault Victim Policy Strategist, Juliette Grimmett, will share with participants an in-depth background and timeline of the NC DOJ SAKI Project in North Carolina. Using an intersectional framework, they will address the trauma involved in re-engaging survivors, and recommendations on how to do so in a trauma-informed and culturally sensitive way. Participants will have the opportunity to: explore the NC SAKI dashboard; process the systemic, historical, and cultural reasons that lead to the current backlog; learn about free victim notification tools and financial resources for SAKI survivors; and brainstorm actions they can take in their communities to prevent a future backlog. This workshop is appropriate for advocates, law enforcement, DAs, college and university staff, counselors, SANE, and anyone else who directly works with sexual assault survivors as well as anyone interested in the SAKI project itself. It is considered intermediate as it will be necessary for participants to have an understanding of rape kits, intersectionality, and the systems involved when sexual assault occurs,

In the public health field, “evidence-informed” and “evidence-based” have specific meanings. As violence prevention professionals strive to have their curriculum be recognized as grounded in evidence, it becomes more and more important for us to understand what that means and how to translate research into practice. In this 90-minute webinar, attendees will learn the differences between emerging practices, promising practices, and best practices, and important steps to take to create an evidence-informed strategy.