The Advocates of Color Network seeks to empower victims and domestic violence advocates that identify as a person of color by enhancing the quality of culturally specific services provided by the statewide licensed domestic violence programs. This network is comprised of domestic violence advocates, activists, and allies who identify as a person of color and who are committed to ending domestic violence. The ACN serves as a resource to the statewide domestic violence network by addressing the intersectionality of racism and domestic violence, policy issues and the impact on domestic violence victims of color and their children, and the elements of oppression and how it perpetuates domestic violence in marginalized communities.
The Behavioral Health Initiative is comprised of domestic violence advocates and behavioral health providers from across West Virginia. The focus of this committee is on public policy, cross-disciplinary training on the intersection of domestic violence, mental health and substance abuse, and the establishment of collaborations designed to offer trauma-informed cross-delivery of services to people who have been victimized by domestic violence and who experience mental health / substance abuses issues.
The WVCADV Certificate of Advocacy Project helps to assure competent delivery of services throughout the state by increasing capacity to assess and respond to complex individual and family circumstances through a comprehensive training and credentialing program for advocates employed in licensed domestic violence programs. Certification also strengthens credibility of and need for advocacy services in other systems; criminal justice, social services, law enforcement, health care, education, etc. The WVCADV Certificate of Advocacy is recognized and honored throughout the State of West Virginia.
WVCADV’s Certificate of Advocacy requires a minimum of 2 years employment with a WV licensed domestic violence program and 100 hours of completed training with at least 80 hours provided through WVCADV’s training program or pre-approved by WVCADV as relating to the 16 basic core curriculum areas.
Following initial certification and in increments of two years, the Certificate of Advocacy Program process requires an on-going certification of 30 training hours provided or approved by WVCADV.
For a copy of the complete Certificate of Advocacy Manual, contact (304) 965-3552.
Survivors with Children Workgroup
This statewide multidisciplinary Workgroup:
Looks at how state law and policy helps and/or hinders safety of victims of domestic violence and their children;
Educates leaders on changes in law and policy when needed;
Receives input from “front-line” workers on effective strategies, emerging issues, and areas of concern;
Develops cross-disciplinary training on the co-existence of domestic violence and child abuse;
Produces guiding principles for working with families experiencing domestic violence in a way that supports and creates safety for victims and holds batterers accountable for abusive behaviors.
The following initiatives and products were developed through the work of this statewide initiative:
The Home Visitation Project is an initiative which works cooperatively with the West Virginia Home Visitation Program to enhance the effectiveness of early childhood home visiting programs in offering safe and helpful responses to families in crisis due to domestic violence (DV). The Project helps with the federal home visitation benchmark addressing DV and includes training for home visitors on the dynamics of DV, strategies for screening and on-going assessment, the impact of DV on the health and well-being of children and adults, resources and referrals, home visitor safety, parent/caregiver education and other aspects of responding to families in need. The committee is also developing a handbook with practice guidelines, tools and other helpful information for use in a variety of early childhood home visitation programs in the state.
The Health Partnership is a statewide advisory committee consisting of representatives from WVCADV member programs and various health agencies in West Virginia. Partners on the committee include DHHR Bureau for Public Health programs, hospitals, other health care representatives and domestic violence (DV) advocates from community-based programs. The Health Partnership focuses on education and training, policy and practice, public awareness, issue-specific concerns such as the intersection of HIV and DV, reproductive coercion and the development of training tools and initiatives designed to improve health care response to domestic violence in West Virginia.
The West Virginia Legal Assistance to Victims Partnership provides direct civil legal assistance and advocacy services statewide to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and dating violence. The partnership supports the work of 14 regional direct service teams of attorneys and advocates providing comprehensive, coordinated services to assist victims in attaining long-term self-sufficiency and independence from abuse. A team response is used to promote victim safety and maximizes options for self-sufficiency and empowerment. The partnership provides ongoing opportunities for training and relationship building between WVCADV and Legal Aid of West Virginia on the local and statewide level.
The Rainbow Justice League (formerly the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) Advisory Council) consists of domestic violence advocates from member programs and representatives from allied organizations. The purpose of the Rainbow Justice League is to meet quarterly to address the issues and concerns of the LGBT community, increase understanding of diversity and inclusivity, and enhance culturally specific services from member programs to victims of domestic violence. The RJL is committed to promoting the human and civil rights needs of the LGBT community, address educational/training needs for member program staff and seek to eliminate heterosexism within the LGBT community experienced by victims of domestic violence.
WVCADV assists with the West Virginia State Victim Assistance Academy (WVSVAA), which is a comprehensive, fundamental educational opportunity for victim assistance providers, victim advocates, criminal justice professionals and allied professionals.
The Academy is a week-long intensive course of study designed to improve the level knowledge and skills and consistency of victim services in West Virginia. Through education, the WVSVAA will build the capacity of providers to serve those victimized by crime; encourage cutting-edge thinking about the ways we can help victims regain control of their lives; and focus on a victim centered multi-disciplinary response.