Trainings for Lawyers and Advocates

Examples of Trainings Offered by the VRLC

What Do You Say After Hello?

Conducting an initial interview with sexual assault survivors requires a specialized skill set. In this workshop, participants will refine those skills as they explore the step-by-step process involved in conducting an effective holistic legal intake interview. Emphasis will be on issue spotting sexual assault survivors’ most urgent needs and seven areas of civil law that may offer solutions to those needs. The workshop will provide tips, present strategies, and suggest best practices for identifying and addressing a sexual assault survivor’s unique concerns.

Serving Sexual Assault Victims Who Are Minors

Serving sexual assault victims who are minors can be a challenging process. Participants will learn the unique issues that arise when working with minor victims, as well as how the legal rights of minors differ from those of adults. The workshop will also provide suggestions for navigating the complexities of victim privacy and mandatory reporting, concrete tips for working with teens, and a framework for identifying and addressing the special considerations that should be made when working with victims who are minors.

Public Benefits: Remedies for Sexual Assault Survivors

In the aftermath of a sexual assault, many survivors find it difficult to work, jeopardizing income needed for food, rent, healthcare, and other bills. In this workshop, participants will learn how public benefits can provide a valuable safety net that makes it easier for sexual assault survivors to get their lives back on track after an assault. Participants will be provided with an overview of the types of public benefits available, information on how to determine eligibility, and strategies for helping survivors access the benefits for which they qualify.

Serving Immigrant Victims of Sexual Violence: A Holistic Approach

Sexual violence is a familiar occurrence in the lives of many immigrants—and while advocates, lawyers, crisis counselors, healthcare providers, and law enforcement officers have become increasingly aware of sexual assault occurring against immigrant community members, they often lack the training, tools, and community partnerships necessary to best serve immigrant victims. In this workshop, participants will learn about the ways in which immigrants are particularly vulnerable to sexual assault and why a holistic approach is essential for advocates and others serving victims of sexual violence within immigrant communities. Participants will be able to identify the risk factors for sexual violence specific to immigrant communities (along with the barriers that may complicate access to services), assess the civil legal needs of immigrant victims, and develop the strategies and community partnerships necessary to address those needs.

Hard Choices, Hard Times: Serving Survivors from the Streets

There is a complex and dialectical relationship between homelessness and sexual violence. Homeless women are at increased risk for sexual assault, while, at the same time, victims of sexual assault are more likely to become homeless. Addressing sexual assault in homeless communities requires an understanding of this relationship as well as the barriers homeless survivors confront when seeking services. In this workshop, we will explore the importance of forming unique community partnerships and educating victims about their legal rights and the civil and criminal remedies available to them. Participants will learn about the connection between sexual violence and homelessness and become familiar with innovative strategies to address homelessness and sexual victimization using a survivor-centered, legal advocacy approach.

Justice is More Than Jail: Using the Civil Legal System to Help Meet Sexual Assault Victims’ Most Urgent Needs

Legal advocacy and representation in the civil justice arena is a critical complement to the remedies and rights available to sexual assault victims through the criminal justice process.  Advocates and lawyers have an important role to play in identifying the full range of victims’ needs and in ensuring that the victim service provider community can meet those needs. After completing this interactive workshop, participants will be able to identify some of the unique issues confronted by victims of non-intimate partner sexual assault, and better understand what advocates, lawyers, and other responders can do to access civil remedies to promote victim healing and recovery. The workshop will address victims’ rights and remedies in the employment, housing, privacy, education, immigration, safety, and other arenas, and provide participants with the opportunity to explore how to “issue spot” victim needs and develop strategies to meet them.

Preventing the Second Assault:  What Lawyers, Advocates and Other First Responders Can Do to Protect and Promote Survivors’ Privacy Rights

Privacy is one of the most significant issues for victims of sexual assault.  For victims of non-intimate partner sexual assault, keeping personal information out of the hands of the offender is a particularly potent issue. This workshop will provide an overview of privacy issues for sexual assault victims, discuss the difference between confidentiality and privilege, identify the myriad ways in which victims’ privacy is deliberately and/or inadvertently compromised, offer tips for how service providers can be proactive to help prevent disclosure, and provide sample tools programs can adapt for their own use.