In This Issue

Leaders gather in Denver

By: Adrian Sanchez, National Training Officer, Youth ALIVE! 

The annual conference for the Healing Justice Alliance/National Network of Hospital-Based Violence Intervention Program/Cure Violence replication sites remains a must-attend event for the violence prevention community. The September meeting in Denver was our eighth annual conference and our best attended yet, with over 370 attendees. 
This year’s speakers brought both inspiration and perspective to the conference theme: Treating the Symptom, Healing The Root. Our speakers included Dr. Joy DeGruy, internationally renowned educator and author, and Francisco “Cisco” Gallardo, a dynamic and well-respected leader from Denver who serves as the Program Director for Gang Rescue and Support Project (GRASP) a nonprofit and gang-intervention program in Denver. 
The conference received rave reviews, leaving attendees reinvigorated and reinvested in the work. One conference attendee shared: “This is exactly where I need to be at. Every time I come to this conference, I am reminded of the importance of continuing to learn as much as possible about my field of work. There are incredible individuals and organizations within this space, and it is important to spend time with people who do not require you to explain/justify why we choose to serve those impacted by community violence.”
To learn more about the conference>>

Program Spotlight: West Ward Victim Outreach Services: Newark, NJ

Interview with Priscilla Partlow, Project Coordinator

Briefly describe your program and the population that it serves. 
The West Ward Victims Outreach Services program provides trauma support services to young men of color ages 18-30 in Newark’s West Ward who have been impacted by trauma and victimization. Support services include mental health counselling, housing assistance, social services, legal aid, crime victim compensation assistance, and job readiness training. 
What have you found to be the biggest need for this population and how has your program addressed that need? 
The population of young men that we work with requires a great deal of help and support; however, the need that has stood out the most to us is job readiness. Many of the young men need a job but do not have the skills necessary to obtain and keep a job. Often times, they’ve never had a job and don’t have a proper identification or a resume. We work with our program participants to develop their job readiness skills in order to prepare them for the workforce. We help them to write a resume and serve as a reference for when they begin to seek employment. 

What are you proudest of regarding your work through the SMSV grant? 
When some of our participants come through our doors they are reluctant to engage with our team and share their trauma history. We understand that seeking help is not easy for our young men so we work diligently with them to build mutual trust and respect. It is extremely rewarding for our team when we achieve a breakthrough and participants begin to open up and allow us to provide support to address their trauma and any other needs they may have. 
What new relationship or resource have you found to help move your work forward?
The Newark Street Academy has been a huge partner for us. The Newark Street Academy provides GED support services to young people up to age 24. Program participants engage in a full school curriculum that prepares them to take and pass the GED exam. Participants are also paid a $10 per hour stipend while they are engaged with the program.  
In addition to GED services, the Newark Street Academy also helps participants get exposed to the broader community. Program staff takes participants to museums, sporting events, and other community events. 
FP YouthOutcry has also been a great partner for us. Youthoutcry provides therapy through the arts. Program participants enjoy working with this organization. 
What is something positive a client or partner said about your work related to the SMSV grant?
Participants consistently express how glad they are to have someone in their life that is reliable and supportive. This means a lot to our team because we know that a lot of young men in our community need someone in their life that they can count on. 
What have you learned that you will carry with you as you continue this work? 
Consistency! Consistency is very important in this work and can make or break the relationships you develop. It is difficult to build trust but it is easy to lose it so it’s important to be consistent and not make promises you can’t keep.

Hospital Network Survey

Only 9 more surveys are needed.  If you are a member of or connected to the National Network of Hospital Violence Intervention Programs (NNHVIP), the Violence Intervention Advocacy Program at Boston Medical Center welcomes you to participate in a survey for a research study. This is an anonymous quality of life survey to help understand “violence interventionists” exposure to vicarious trauma. The aims are to better understand the personal impact of violence interventionists and to ultimately develop a series of best practices that can then be implemented nationally to best support the intervention staff. This survey will take approximately 15 minutes to complete. The survey can be found at this link; if you have any questions send them to: Elizabeth Dugan

Marla Becker Scholarship

Starting a violence prevention program does not have to be daunting. Life Outside of Violence (LOV), St. Louis Area Hospital-based Violence Intervention Program, received the 2017-2018 The National Network of Hospital-based Violence Intervention Program (NNHVIP) Marla Becker scholarship. Created to honor the NNHVIP's founder, the scholarship is awarded annually to a new or emerging hospital-based violence intervention program in need of training.  The 2017-2018 award allowed LOV to send two staff to Baltimore Shock Trauma’s Violence Intervention Program in August.

“I was expecting to receive the knowledge, insight and wisdom from an existing fine-tuned similar program,” said Kateri Chapman-Kramer, project coordinator of LOV. That insight and wisdom included the importance of having all levels of involvement invested in a program- administration, medical personnel, social work, and community. 

There wasn’t just one thing LOV took from its time with Shock Trauma, instead it was a myriad of things to consider, including “Ongoing evaluation of safety, self-care and potential to engage the community on a larger scale,” Chapman-Kramer said. 

NNHVIP is accepting applications for the Marla Becker Scholarship now. Scholarship winners receive financial support to visit an established NNHVIP member program and participate in a two-day, on-site training. “Excellent experience!” Chapman-Kramer said of her time in Baltimore.

Applications are due by December 31, 2018.
What should you include in your messages about violence?

When it comes to developing strategic messages, we often don't know what to say because we're not sure what we want to accomplish. Message is never first! We suggest you think about what action you want people to take once they hear your message about violence or victims of violence. It could be a message on social media, a letter to the editor, or a face-to-face meeting with those who have the power to make the change you seek. Our formula for a successful message is simple: 1) Name the problem (be short and specific) 2) Talk about why it matters (use core values that resonate and connect with your audience) 3) Tell people what should be done to solve the issue (remind people that all problems are not intractable, and that something can be done to solve or address the problem). Remember to use plain, everyday language. People outside our professional circles may not be as familiar with concepts such as "trauma informed care." This takes time and practice, and it is worth it! If you want to learn more about developing powerful messages check out the HJA Communications Toolkit we developed for HJA collaborators, or reach out to Shaddai Martinez Cuestas at BMSG:


Newsworthiness, what makes your story about violence attractive to reporters?

Wed., November 14, 2018 | 3:00 - 4:30 pm
Hosted by Berkeley Media Studies Group (BMSG), this webinar will focus on incorporating the elements of newsworthiness into pitches for stories, and media events, with a specific focus on writing opinion pieces.

Don't miss out on this great chance to develop your skill sand get you message out. Register today.

In Case You Missed It

HJA Keynote Speaker - Dr. Joy DeGruy

If you were unable to make the conference this year, than you kissed a chance to learn from Dr. Joy DeGruy.  Dr. Joy is the acclaimed author of Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome with over twenty years of practical experience as a professional in the field of social work. She spoke at the conference about the impact of historical trauma and gave a practical insight into how this impacts American society. While there is no substitute from hearing from her in person, there are several videos on her website that are valuable as well as her acclaimed book.
In the News

Mental Health Providers Need to Reach Young Men Before More Lives Are Lost
Juvenile Justice Information Exchancge

Pam Rask: Societal violence is a public health
Tulsa World

What is the public health approach to violence — and does it work?

London violent crime 'a public health issue'
BBC News

Witnessing Violence Damages Teens' Mental Health, Just Like Being Bullied
Medical Daily

Men with history of childhood abuse may show imprint in DNA years later

Can doctors help prevent gun violence? Experts look at shootings as a public health crisis
Trauma-Informed Care Corner
By Natasha Holt, LSW
Former CIS, Healing Hurt People, Philadelphia

Healing Our Hurt
The healing process, much like the trauma that has preceded it, also occurs at both an individual and community level. Trauma healing requires us to create the space for a survivor to own what has happened to them, to be able to talk about, in his or her own words, what that experience meant for them, allowing feelings of loss and mourning for the person they were before the trauma, and understanding that the trauma has transformed them. It is important to create spaces for individuals and communities to talk about trauma, to feel allowed to say, “It’s hard. I feel scared. I don’t know what to do.” This ownership allows the survivor the chance to reach out and tell their story, and to feel heard. The trauma begins to look less like what defines them, and more a piece of the overall tapestry of their life. The aim of healing is therefore to establish reconnection and harmony within the self and the community.

This is a difficult process, not just for the trauma survivor, but also for those of us who bear witness to their stories, and are exposed to multiple traumas across our careers. Often-times, when working with individuals and communities the helping professional is focused so intently on what’s going on with our clients that we forget to pay attention to our own emotional responses to the trauma of others. The less time we spend taking care of ourselves, the more isolated we may begin to feel. We may have wonderful family and friends around us, but we don’t want to ‘burden’ them with our problems. After all, aren’t I the healer? Shouldn’t I be able to handle this? I remember asking myself at one point, “I wonder if I should see a therapist?” 

Trauma Stewardship
In the helping professions we have a names for this, vicarious or secondary trauma (experiencing trauma via proximity to others’ pain), compassion fatigue where we lose our ability to adequately assist others due to our inability to take care of ourselves, and burnout whereby through exposure to others’ traumatic experiences a shift in the way that trauma counselors perceive ourselves, others and the world occurs, again resulting in the inability for us to effectively serve others. All of these experiences have one thing in common; they are all a response to trauma exposure. So how can we better take care of ourselves to remain effective helping professionals? 

As with our clients, it’s just as important for us to establish self-care; to stay connected to our loved ones, our communities, so as not to be overcome by the trauma of bearing witness to others' suffering. This process helps us to not only help transform our clients’ experiences of trauma exposure, but also our own.

Trauma’s impact is different for each of us. We must all be willing to accept the responsibility for our healing. If we continue to wage war on each other, the healing and peace that we yearn for will be no more than a dream” (Levine, P. 1997). 

Communities and indeed Nations living near each other can break the cycle of violence that enslaves them. By using our own unique capacity to be change-makers, peace fellows each one of us, we can begin to make our communities safe for ourselves, and our neighbours. Once we establish safe communities we can continue the process of healing ourselves, and the world around us, and thus practice peace every day.
Funding Opportunities

Ford Foundation
Gender, Racial, and Ethnic Justice
Amount: Varies
Deadline: Rolling
The foundation supports efforts to strengthen the rights and influence of those who are most affected by violence and suppression, and to shift repressive power dynamics. It also seeks to promote alternative models of justice, change public perception, and shape policy. It does not fund direct services except as connected to a larger systemic reform strategy.
Open Society Foundations 
Justice Fellowship
Amount: up to $120,000
Deadline: October 22, 2018
The Open Society Foundations (OSF) is accepting applications for its Soros Justice Fellowships. Through the program, grants of up to $120,000 will be awarded to outstanding individuals to undertake projects that advance reform, spur debate, and catalyze change on a range of issues facing the U.S. criminal justice system. The fellowships are part of a larger effort within OSF to reduce the destructive impact of current criminal justice policies on the lives of individuals, families, and communities in the United States by challenging the over-reliance on incarceration and extreme punishment and ensuring a fair and accountable system of justice. All projects must, at a minimum, relate to one or more of the following U.S. criminal justice reform goals: reducing the number of people who are incarcerated or under correctional control, challenging extreme punishment, and promoting fairness and accountability in our systems of justice.
Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control - NCIPC
Research Grants for Preventing Violence and Violence Related Injury (R01)
Amount: up to $350,000
Deadline: February 8, 2019 (Estimated – RFP not yet posted)
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC) is soliciting investigator-initiated research that will help expand and advance our understanding about what works to prevent violence that impacts children and youth, collectively referred to as Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), including child abuse and neglect, teen dating violence, sexual violence, youth violence, and exposure to adult intimate partner violence. This initiative is intended to support the evaluation of primary prevention strategies, programs, or policies that target universal or selected high-risk populations. Funds are available to conduct such studies focused on preventing child abuse and neglect and at least one other form of violence affecting children and youth, including youth violence.

Research Desk

Monopoli, W. J., Myers, R. K., Paskewich, B. S., Bevans, K. B., & Fein, J. A. (2018). Generating a Core Set of Outcomes for Hospital-Based Violence Intervention Programs. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 886260518792988.
Hospital-based violence intervention programs (HVIPs) engage individuals who have experienced violent victimization in postmedical care programming, with the goal of reducing the incidence and impact of future injuries. Although there is some empirical support for HVIPs' impact on violence and crime-related outcomes, proper impact assessment is limited by a lack of systematized research on outcomes that relate to the proximal goals and activities of the programs themselves. To address this critical gap, we conducted a two-stage Delphi method to elicit and prioritize these outcomes using the wisdom and experience of those who are engaged in service delivery (i.e., HVIP community-based practitioners, program coordinators, and embedded researchers; N = 79). Through this process, respondents prioritized outcomes related to posttraumatic stress symptoms, beliefs about aggression, coping strategies, and emotional regulation, which have not been consistently measured using validated or standardized tools. Results suggest that, rather than limiting program outcomes to those related to repeat violent injury or criminality, hospital- and community-based violence prevention programs seek to improve and measure mental health and socioemotional outcomes as a benchmark for healing and recovery after a violent injury. Prioritization of these outcomes broadens the definition of recovery to include psychosocial health and well-being. In addition, inclusion of these outcomes in effectiveness studies will serve to bolster the relevance of findings, and provide support for continued development and refinement of HVIP practice.
Sheats, K. J., Irving, S. M., Mercy, J. A., Simon, T. R., Crosby, A. E., Ford, D. C., Merrick, M. T., Annor, F. B., Morgan, R. E. (2018). Violence-Related Disparities Experienced by Black Youth and Young Adults: Opportunities for Prevention. American Journal of Preventive Medicine,55(4), 462–469.
The purpose of this study is to characterize violence-related disparities experienced by young blacks in the U.S. Reducing violence experienced by blacks, particularly youth, who are at substantially higher risk, is essential to improving the health of blacks in the U.S. Data from four independent data sets for youth and adults were analyzed to examine rates of homicide, assault, injury from a physical fight, bullying victimization, and missing school because of safety concerns for non-Hispanic blacks and whites aged 10–34 years between 2010 and 2015. Disparities in adverse childhood experiences (e.g., exposure to violence and household challenges) and physical/mental health outcomes in adulthood were examined. Data were analyzed in 2017. Black adolescents and young adults are at higher risk for the most physically harmful forms of violence (e.g., homicides, fights with injuries, aggravated assaults) compared with whites. In addition, black adults reported exposure to a higher number of adverse childhood experiences than whites. These adverse childhood experiences were positively associated with increased odds of self-reported coronary heart disease, fair or poor physical health, experiencing frequent mental distress, heavy drinking, and current smoking. Disproportionate exposure to violence for blacks may contribute to disparities in physical injury and long-term mental and physical health. Understanding the violence experiences of this age group and the social contexts surrounding these experiences can help improve health for blacks in the U.S. Communities can benefit from the existing evidence about policies and programs that effectively reduce violence and its health and social consequences.
Nanney, J. T., Conrad, E. J., Reuther, E. T., Wamser-Nanney, R. A., McCloskey, M., & Constans, J. I. (2018). Motivational Interviewing for Victims of Armed Community Violence: A Nonexperimental Pilot Feasibility Study. Psychology of Violence8(2), 259–268.
The present study aimed to develop a novel, hospital-based motivational interviewing (MI) intervention for victims of armed community violence (MI-VoV) targeting patient-specific risk factors for future violence or violent victimization. This uncontrolled pilot feasibility study examined a sample of patients (n = 71) hospitalized due to violent injury at a Level 1 Trauma Center in [Location Redacted for Masked Review] between January 2013 and May 2014. Patients first participated in a brief assessment to identify risk factors for violence/violent injury. A single MI session then targeted risk behaviors identified for each patient. Proximal outcomes, including motivation for change and behaviors to reduce risk, were examined at 2 weeks and 6-12 weeks post-discharge. Distal outcomes, including fighting, weapon-carrying, and gun-carrying, and other violence risk factors were examined at 6-12 week follow-up. Ninety-five patients were offered participation, 79 (83.2%) agreed to participate, and 73 (76.8%) completed the risk assessment. Of these, 71 had at least one violence/violent injury risk factor. Behaviors to reduce risk were significantly greater at two-week and 6-12 week follow-up (ps < .05). Fighting, weapon-carrying, gun-carrying were significantly reduced at 6-12 week follow-up (p < .05). This intervention appears to be feasible to implement and acceptable to patients. A randomized controlled trial evaluating efficacy appears warranted.
Devlin, D. N., Santos, M. R., & Gottfredson, D. C. (2018). An evaluation of police officers in schools as a bullying intervention. Evaluation and Program Planning71, 12–21.
Despite existing efforts to prevent bullying, research suggests that bullying remains a serious and common problem across the United States. Therefore, researchers should continuously propose and evaluate alternative policies that may mitigate bullying as a social issue. One such strategy that has been proposed is the use of police officers in schools, best known as School Resource Officers (SROs). The current study evaluated the efficacy of SROs as an intervention against bullying in schools in the United States. Using a longitudinal sample consisting of three years of data from the School Survey on Crime and Safety (n = 480), schools that initiated, discontinued, and continued their use of SROs from one time point to another were compared to a control group of schools. The findings indicate that SROs do not have an effect on bullying in schools. Policy implications of these findings suggest that programs that focus on components such as teaching social and emotional competency skills, improving relationships between students and adults, and creating a positive school environment may be more effective in reducing bullying than a security procedure such as the use of SROs. Alternative programs should be explored to mitigate bullying and improve the well-being of students.
Purtle, J. (2018). Systematic Review of Evaluations of Trauma-Informed Organizational Interventions That Include Staff Trainings. Trauma, Violence, & Abuse, in press. doi: 10.1177/1524838018791304.
Enthusiasm for trauma-informed practice has increased dramatically. Organizational interventions that train staff about trauma-informed practice are frequently used to promote trauma-informed systems change, but evidence about these interventions’ effects has not been integrated. A systematic review was conducted of studies that evaluated the effects of organizational interventions that included a “trauma-informed” staff training component. A search was conducted in July 2017 and studies were identified in PubMed, PsycINFO, and the Published International Literature on Traumatic Stress database, limited to articles published in English after 2000. Six hundred and thirty-two articles were screened and 23 met inclusion criteria. Seventeen studies used a single group pretest/posttest design, five used a randomized controlled design, and one used a quasi-experimental design with a nonrandomized control group. The duration of trauma-informed trainings ranged from 1 hr to multiple days. Staff knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors related to trauma-informed practice improved significantly pre-/posttraining in 12 studies and 7 studies found that these improvements were retained at ≥1month follow-up. Eight studies assessed the effects of a trauma-informed organizational intervention on client outcomes, five of which found statistically significantly improvements. The strength of evidence about trauma-informed organization intervention effects is limited by an abundance of single group, pretest/posttest designs with short follow-up periods, unsophisticated analytic approaches, and inconsistent use of assessment instruments. In addition to addressing these methodological limitations, priorities for future research include understanding intervention effects on clients’ perceptions of care and the mechanisms through which changes in staff knowledge and attitudes about trauma-informed practice influence client outcomes.


This newsletter is funded in part through a grant from the Office for Victims of Crime, Project # 2015-VF-GX-K025, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. Neither the U.S. Department of Justice nor any of its components operate, control, are responsible for, or necessarily endorse, this Web site (including, without limitation, its content, technical infrastructure, and policies, and any services or tools provided).

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