Part II - Participant Application

Advocates 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 offer two special retreat and training events. This one in June is just for victim advocates from local programs who work directly with victims of violent crimes, including domestic and sexual violence, child abuse and homicide. The second retreat takes place in late July for executive directors and supervisory staff.

Through three days of retreat-based training and somatic and respite activities, the Summer NCVAN Resiliency and Training Retreats on Vicarious Trauma are to 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 events take place in peaceful, natural surroundings and incorporate creative and healing activities in the learning. Each participant will have their own room to foster reflection and solitary time to replenish.

Important Details:

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, including 3 nights lodging (meals included) and the training itself, and provided for to state-recognized organizations committed to victim work. 

In selecting staff to nominate, NCVAN will consider the following: 1) Advocates who have worked directly with victims for at least a year (2 years preferred) with preference for those whose primary function is working full-time with victims or crime. (Exceptions are made for those working with surviving loved ones in cases of homicide.); 2) Staff who are especially committed to victim advocacy; 3) Staff who may be vulnerable to vicarious trauma from either chronic or acute exposure to violence or witnessing negative impact of systemic biases in the work. 4) Participants who commit to attend the ENTIRE program, start to finish, Sunday afternoon to Wednesday afternoon.
Accepted participants will be notified May 25th. 

Credit hours are offered to both participating staff and leadership towards re-certification for the NCVAN Victim Services Practitioner Certification Academy and can also be counted towards CFW training requirements.


* 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 May 25th. The retreat and training are considered in some ways to be "process" work, with each component being connected to the others. For this reason If you are accepted, will will ask and only accept you on your commitment  to attending the ENTIRE PROGRAM, Sunday, June 3 at approximately 3:00 p.m. through Wednesday afternoon, June 6.   The retreat and training are free to all participants, along with lodging, Sunday and Monday nights. 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 fully commit to 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 below, if you choose.  Some rooms are designed for people with a physical challenges. The kitchen would also like to design meals to avoid food allergies and to accomadate vegetarians, etc. It is our wish that you safely enjoy meals and have a comfortable and accessible time while at the retreat.  Thank you!