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A critical aspect of judicial response to domestic violence and sexual assault is responding to the needs of victims/survivors. This area encompasses a wide range of topics, including trauma-informed justice systems, safety planning, confidentiality, child custody and victim-centered response. In this area, judges can find resources and assistance on many foundational victim/survivor issues.

Immigrant Survivors of Domestic And Sexual Violence in Your Courtroom: Family Court and Civil Protection Order Cases

This webinar for judicial officials will provide an overview of how immigration issues related to domestic violence intersect with civil proceedings. At the end of this webinar, participants will be better able to:

  • Explain the dynamics of immigration-related abuse
  • Examine how immigration issues may impact judicial proceedings related to DV/SA, including the U visa certification process
  • Assess how criminal and civil findings intersect with an immigration matter

Protecting Survivors’ Economic Security in Later Life: Divorce, QDROs, and Coercive Control

Concerns about long-term economic security can make it difficult for survivors of domestic violence to leave abusive relationships, and abusers often exhibit economic control and coercion over victims. We’ll explore how survivors can obtain part of a former spouse’s retirement benefit at divorce through a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO), and how abusers exercise coercive control by hindering QDRO access. This session will help advocates working with an increasingly aging population to better understand the role that retirement benefits play in promoting survivors’ long-term economic security, to identify legal resources specific to retirement, and to support survivors seeking to obtain a portion of an abuser’s earned retirement benefit at divorce. Judges will also benefit from an increased understanding of how access to retirement benefits promotes survivors’ long-term economic stability and greater awareness of how the QDRO process operates once parties have left the courtroom.

Protecting Victims and Communities in Domestic Violence Cases: Collaborative Strategies

Is your community doing all it can to prevent firearms-related violence perpetrated by abusers in DV cases? Are you encountering challenges to implementing existing state, tribal, and federal firearms restrictions? Learn about strategies for effective implementation at all stages of civil and criminal domestic violence cases, as well as a new national project, the Firearms Pilot Site Initiative, through which the NCJFCJ and other national experts will provide communities with in-depth TA, training, and other support.


  • Opens in new windowChild Support and Domestic Violence: A Guide for Courts

    Domestic violence survivors often struggle with financial stability and providing for their children post separation. In fact, economic instability is a driving factor in why many survivors return to abusive relationships. While survivors may be entitled to access child support, it is often a confusing process that can put them at risk for further abuse. This guide outlines how courts can work with child support agencies to provide survivors with the support they need to make informed, voluntary decisions about whether to pursue child support, and to make the process safe and effective for those survivors who choose to pursue it.

  • Opens in new windowFact Sheet: The Role of Faith in Working with Criminalized Black Women Survivors of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault

    Acknowledging the role of faith, spirituality and/or religion is crucial to enhancing cultural responsiveness and understanding the diverse needs of many people. For many who identify as Black and/or African-American, faith-based experiences are essential to cultural and personal identity. Unfortunately, many faith communities do not notice or understand the prevalence of Black women's victimization through domestic violence and sexual assault and subsequent criminalization of their trauma responses. This fact sheet outlines how faith communities can better support criminalized Black women survivors in their own communities and suggests that broader community-based anti-violence efforts should incorporate faith-based organizations into their responses.

  • Opens in new windowIntimate Partner Sexual Abuse: A Guide for Listening and Responding to Survivors

    This guide provides a brief overview of best practices for advocates working with survivors of intimate partner sexual abuse.

  • Opens in new windowUnderstanding the Needs of Criminalized Survivors

    Black women are disproportionately represented in the justice system and face a host of barriers, including histories of domestic violence and sexual assault. This document will outline the specific needs of criminalized Black women and offer strategies for stakeholders working with them.

  • Opens in new windowCriminal Domestic Violence Case Processing: A case study of the five boroughs of New York City

    A cross-borough comparison of prosecution and court processing practices for misdemeanor domestic violence cases. The study explores the views of different stakeholders--judges, defense attorneys, prosecutors and victim advocates--with most expressing support for a specialized domestic violence court model but concern for issues of victim safety and recidivism.

  • Opens in new windowVictim Contact in Abusive Partner Intervention: The Importance of Collaboration

    Centering survivor voices and victim safety are crucial components of abusive partner intervention work. One way many programs across the country do this is by using victim contact or victim notification processes in which providers work closely with advocates to inform victims about the program and connect them to relevant supportive services, among other things. This document highlights programs with victim contact processes, addresses safety challenges inherent in this work, and offers considerations and best practices for safe and effective implementation.


  • Opens in new windowAn Integrated Approach: A Court's Innovative Response to Domestic and Sexual Violence

    Domestic violence can involve physical, emotional, financial and sexual abuse and require litigants to participant in multiple cases in many courtrooms before many judges. The Manhattan Integrated Domestic Violence Court streamlines the process by combining a family's cases in one courtroom before a single judge. By doing so, the court promotes greater victim safety and makes it easier to link litigants to services and monitor compliance with court orders.

  • Opens in new windowSpotlight on Victim Safety

    Complainants in domestic violence cases have unique needs, so the prompt and effective provision of services to victims is of paramount importance. What follows are key principles for ensuring victim safety gleaned from the operation of domestic violence courts in New York.

  • Opens in new windowProject SAFE

    Project SAFE works to improve the services offered to criminalized black women who are survivors of intimate partner violence and sexual assault.

  • Opens in new windowWhat Victims Really Need: A Conversation with Author and Victim Advocate Susan Herman

    Susan Herman, who served for seven years as the executive director of the National Center for Victims of Crime, talks about her book Parallel Justice for Victims of Crime.

  • Opens in new window'Victims, Not Perpetrators': Ohio's Changing Actions to Change Habits Court

    Judge Paul M. Herbert of the Changing Actions to Change Habits Court in Ohio's Franklin County Municipal Court explains how a problem-solving approach to prostitution treats offenders as victims, giving them the support and links to social services they need to escape a cycle of exploitation and abuse.

  • Opens in new windowYouthful Offender Domestic Violence Court: Working With Teen Victims and Abusers

    Judge Miriam Cyrulnik explains how the court—the first of its kind in the country—addresses the unique needs of adolescent domestic violence victims and perpetrators.

  • Opens in new windowCentering Survivor Voices in Abusive Partner Intervention

    Juan Carlos Areán is joined by Carmen Pitre, executive director of the Sojourner Family Peace Center, and Cheryl Davis, former program director of the Colorado Domestic Violence Offender Management Board. They discuss the importance of centering survivor voices in abusive partner intervention work both at the community-based and system level. They highlight the value in forging mission-driven partnerships between victim services providers, abusive partner intervention program, and other system players and offer strategies to safely center survivor voices and experiences in the work, such as hosting multi-disciplinary case staffings, offering surrogate victim impact sessions, and including survivors in the curricula review and staff training processes.