Part II - Participant Application

Advocates and officers and others entering the work of supporting victims and ending violence in our communities are often naturally empathetic, caring, or social justice-minded and/or want to make the world better through their efforts. This same trait that is so valuable to the work can also make them even more vulnerable to vicarious trauma. How can they find balance? How can they remain engaged and committed to what they do, while also maintaining their own internal well-being and positive world view?

The North Carolina Victim Assistance Network (NCVAN) is pleased to announce scholarships for two special retreat and training events just for victim advocates, law enforcement, and others who work directly and on the local level with victims of violent crimes, including domestic and sexual violence, child abuse and homicide, in their communities.

Through two days of retreat-based training and somatic and respite activities, the Summer and Fall NCVAN Resiliency and Training Retreats on Vicarious Trauma will give participants an opportunity to understand vicarious trauma by processing/integrating that understanding on personal level, towards reclaiming joy in the work, so crucial to the sense of wholeness that sustains our collective work to address and end violence.

The Summer NCVAN Resiliency and Training Retreat on Vicarious Trauma takes place Sunday, June 25 through Tuesday June 27, 2017 on the North Carolina coast at the beach. The Fall Resiliency and Training Retreat will take place Sunday, October 22 through Tuesday, October 24, 2017, west of Asheville on a mountain top.

Registration for the Summer NCVAN Resiliency and Training Retreat on Vicarious Trauma at the coast is currently open and closes June 5th. See end of article for application instructions. Registration for the Fall NCVAN Resiliency and Training in the mountains opens August 15th and closes September 20th.

NCVAN Resiliency and Training Retreats on Vicarious Trauma are part of the NCVAN’s Advanced Academy and funded through the Governor’s Crime Commission. They are offered free-of-charge to state-recognized organizations committed to victim work, including lodging at the events.

In return for offering the training free-of-charge, leadership within the organizations shall commit to participate in three webinar/conference call sessions over the course of 3 months on the subject of the dynamics of vicarious trauma and preventing and addressing individual and organizational trauma, including reading materials in preparation for the calls.

In selecting staff to nominate, executive directors and supervisors should consider the following: Staff who have worked directly with victims for at least three years, staff who are especially committed to victim advocacy, and staff who may be vulnerable to vicarious trauma from chronic or acute exposure to violence or witnessing systemic biases in the work.

Participants will be accepted through an application process. Executive directors or law enforcement supervisors who have advocates, officers, or other first responders in mind, should complete applications on behalf of their staff members, to be followed up by a survey by the potential participants. Executive directors are encouraged to nominate two staff people to attend the training together. Board members or additional leadership are invited to join executive directors in the conference calls.

NCVAN Credit hours will be offered to both staff and leadership who complete the sessions, which can be counted towards Council for Women requirements. For those who have been certified through NCVAN’s Victim Service Practitioner Certification Academy, hours may be counted toward re-certification.

* 1. Information About You:

* 2. Since you first started working with victims three or more years ago, what of the following have you noticed experiencing? (Check any/all that apply.)

* 3. Expound as desired on these questions:  What do you find the most challenging aspects of your work?  What types of cases or situations drain or trigger you the most? Do you feel that a specific case has acutely impacted you?  How much does the accumulation of stories and situations affect you in your work and life?

* 4. Why would you like to attend this retreat?  Why do you believe it is needed?

* 5. What did you originally love or enjoy about your work? What gave you energy or helped you sustain your work?

* 6. What types of experience do you think would help you the most right now in obtaining respite? What hopes do you have for the retreat and training?

* 7. If you could improve the your work conditions or those of your peers, what would you suggest to help?  What would help you process or prevent vicarious trauma in your work setting?

* 8. This retreat will engage participants in group, partner and individual activities designed to help us begin our own vicarious trauma in an introductory way as we learn about it. What is your familiarity with group processing work? What thoughts or concerns might you have, if any, in participating in group processing and learning activities? How would you feel about participating in somatic or movement activities?  Do you have prior experience in yoga or meditation activities?

* 9. If you are accepted into the retreat and training, we will notify you on June 12th. If you are accepted, will you be able to commit to attending the entire program, Sunday June 25th at 4:00 p.m. through Tuesday, June 27th at 5:00 p.m.?  The retreat and training are free to all participants, along with lodging. We will have group meals together.  We would like a firm commitment from those to whom we grant the space. Is anything tentative in your schedule those dates? Would you be able to commit to and participate in all scheduled activities?

* 10. If there are any special considerations you would like us to know about your stay, please provide details below, including, for example, physical, emotional, dietary, or logistical considerations.  Thank you!

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