What do advocates need to provide victim-defined advocacy?
Knowledge and Skills: a wide range of information, the ability to know what is relevant to each victim and how to share it with her. Core content includes: Domestic & family violence; victim-defined safety planning; effects of violence on children, child development, parenting; cultural responsiveness; community services, legal options, government programs, services and interventions for those who batter.
Advocate-defined supervision, learning opportunities, and support: this work is difficult and challenging. It affects everyone who does it. VDA is a process that requires an openness to learning and change. Advocate support and growth must be part of the way the work is done.
Flexible policies and practices: the opportunity and discretion to customize advocacy for each victim. The organization’s mission, resources, and responsibilities guide the boundaries of this flexibility. Are advocates partners in advocacy? Do mandates, rules, and eligibility criteria further the organization’s mission?
Collaboration and community connections: comprehensive solutions require a network of people, resources, and perspectives. Advocates can’t do it alone.
A mission-effective comprehensive solutions organization: every aspect of the organization functions to support victim-defined advocacy. The organization is run by facilitative mission-effective leaders.