Summer Learning: Podcasts

Are you looking for an easy way to advance your professional knowledge during these long summer days?

Check out the extensive library of podcasts from FUTURES. From thinking about new ways to tell a story about domestic violence, to delving into the the unique issues facing a survivor who is HIV positive, to our new podcast for survivors, each episode offers insights and new ways to think about you, your work and your role in ending violence.

So pull up your favorite podcast streaming app and put the following podcasts in your queue.

The Accidental Educator
The way we present information is almost as important as the information itself. With so many new tools available, we have more opportunities to reach new audiences. The Accidental Educator teaches listeners how to become podcasters. From details about the best microphones to use, to how to tell a compelling and ethical story, this short series makes it easy to start a podcast of your own.

Who should listen?

  • An advocate educator who wants to expand they way they communicate

How long are the episodes? 

  • About 20 minutes long

What you’ll learn includes:

  • Best equipment to make a podcast
  • Where to start
  • Setting up your home studio

Check out an episode! How to Make a Podcast Pt.1

Aspiring Leaders Lab
This podcast series explores diverse leadership strategies that inspire professional growth. Hosts talk to leaders who share stories of resilience, leadership and passion as they seek to prevent and respond to gender-based violence.

Who should listen? 

  • Anyone at any level who wants to take on leadership responsibilities in order to strengthen programs for survivors

How long are the episodes? 

  • About 30 minutes long

What you’ll learn includes: 

  • Strategies to manage leadership change
  • Goal setting
  • Skill development 

Check out an episode! Advocating for Yourself to Advance Equity and Inclusion in Services for Survivors

Expanding the Continuum
This podcast explores the intersections of HIV and intimate partner violence. Discussions are around educating health care providers to better understand and meet the unique needs of survivors who are HIV positive.  

Who should listen? 

  • Health care professionals 

How long are the episodes? 

  • 20-60 minutes long

What you’ll learn includes:

  • Best ways to care for survivors who are HIV positive 
  • Accessing PrEP for survivors
  • Best ways to support aging HIV survivors 

Check out an episode! Building Partnerships Between HIV Care and Domestic Violence Programs

The purpose of this podcast is in its name. It’s all about how advocates can pivot in their thinking and adjust domestic violence programming to better serve children and families, especially of color, who have experienced violence.

Who should listen? 

  • Advocates working to end violence against children and families

How long are the episodes? 

  • 20-60 minutes long

What you’ll learn includes:

  • Ways to support parents
  • How to engage young people
  • Serving immigrant and undocumented adult and child survivors

Check out an episode! Beyond Pride: Paracticing Meaningful Care for LGBTQ Survivors

The Warm Line
This podcast provides a place for survivors to find solidarity, compassion and information.

Who should listen? 

  • Survivors of domestic violence, stalking, sexual assault or harassment

How long are the episodes? 

  • 20-60 minutes long

What you’ll learn includes:

  • What to do you do if you’re experiencing gender-based violence
  • Identifying economic abuse
  • What it means to become a survivor

Check out the first episode and be on the lookout for more! What to Know Pt 1: The Language

The Accidental Public Speaker: Moving Through the Anxiety to Deliver an Impactful Speech

Title: The Accidental Public Speaker: Moving Through the Anxiety to Deliver an Impactful Speech 

Date: Wednesday, July 10, 2024 

PowerPoint Slides (English)

Toolkit (English)

Diapositivas de PowerPoint (Español)

Caja de Herramientas (Español)

Recording w/ ASL and Spanish Interpretation

Note: the PowerPoint slides in the recording are in Spanish. Please download the English PowerPoint slides to view along with the recording.

Presenter: Aaron Polkey, Futures Without Violence 

Hosts: Abby Larson and Kennedy Brooks, Futures Without Violence 


Have you been called on to speak publicly at an event but found yourself too nervous or scattered to engage the audience effectively and get your point across?  

Are you seeking strategies to manage this anxiety and boost your confidence when speaking on gender-based violence and other relevant issues? 

Have you ever wanted to learn how to craft clear and compelling messages that resonate with diverse audiences? 

Join us for an engaging webinar where we’ll explore these questions together. Through interactive discussions and practical exercises, you’ll gain some of the tools you need to deliver a powerful speech and drive positive change in gender-based violence prevention and community engagement.  

Learning Objectives: 

As a result of this webinar, participants will be better able to: 

  1. 1. Reflect on nonverbal communication skills, including body language, gestures, and vocal tone, to convey empathy, confidence, and expertise effectively.
  2. 2. Employ practical strategies and techniques to manage anxiety and nervousness associated with public speaking. 
  3. Deliver clear and impactful presentations while demonstrating composure and effectively engaging with the audience.

Questions? Please contact Kennedy Brooks at


This project was supported by Grant No. 15JOVW-22-GK-03994-MUMU awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this document are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women.


The Accidental Public Speaker: Moving Through the Anxiety to Deliver an Impactful Speech

Title: The Accidental Public Speaker: Moving Through the Anxiety to Deliver an Impactful Speech 

Date: Wednesday, July 10, 2024 

PowerPoint Slides (English)

Diapositivas de PowerPoint (Español)

Accidental Public Speaker Toolkit (English) and (Español)

Recording w/ ASL and Spanish Interpretation

Note: the PowerPoint slides in the recording are in Spanish. Please download the English PowerPoint slides to view along with the recording.

Presenter: Aaron Polkey, Futures Without Violence 

Hosts: Abby Larson and Kennedy Brooks, Futures Without Violence 


Have you been called on to speak publicly at an event but found yourself too nervous or scattered to engage the audience effectively and get your point across?  

Are you seeking strategies to manage this anxiety and boost your confidence when speaking on gender-based violence and other relevant issues? 

Have you ever wanted to learn how to craft clear and compelling messages that resonate with diverse audiences? 

Join us for an engaging webinar where we’ll explore these questions together. Through interactive discussions and practical exercises, you’ll gain some of the tools you need to deliver a powerful speech and drive positive change in gender-based violence prevention and community engagement.  

Learning Objectives: 

As a result of this webinar, participants will be better able to: 

  1. 1. Reflect on nonverbal communication skills, including body language, gestures, and vocal tone, to convey empathy, confidence, and expertise effectively.
  2. 2. Employ practical strategies and techniques to manage anxiety and nervousness associated with public speaking. 
  3. Deliver clear and impactful presentations while demonstrating composure and effectively engaging with the audience.

Questions? Please contact Kennedy Brooks at


This project was supported by Grant No. 15JOVW-22-GK-03994-MUMU awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this document are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women.


Risk Factors for Abuse Against Older Adults: What Judges Should Know

Title: Risk Factors for Abuse Against Older Adults: What Judges Should Know

Date: Thursday, July 11 ,2024

Time: 9:00 am- 11:00 am PT / 10:00 am-12:00 pm MT/11:00 am-1:00 pm CT / 12:00 pm-2:00 pm ET

Register Today!

PowerPoint Slide Available Soon

Description: Dr. Jennifer E. Storey, PhD, is an Associate Professor in Forensic Psychology in the School of Psychology at the University of Kent, UK. Her research focuses on the assessment and management of violence including older adult abuse, stalking, and intimate partner violence. Hon. Janice Martin (Ret.) is a retired judge from Kentucky and veteran faculty of the Enhancing Judicial Skills in Abuse in Later Life Cases Workshop (EJS-ALL), a project of Futures Without Violence and the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges.

Dr. Jennifer E. Storey’s focus on older adult abuse has resulted in the development of a violence risk assessment tool for older adult abuse called the Harm to Older Persons Evaluation (HOPE). She is also working on projects related to older adult homicide, risk factors for older adult abuse, and how to decrease risky decision making among older adults to reduce their vulnerability to financial abuse. During this webinar, Dr. Storey will utilize a case example to navigate participants through a discussion of factors that increase vulnerability for abuse amongst the older population, as well as factors that increase an individual’s potential to cause harm against older adults. Dr. Storey will discuss the HOPE risk assessment instrument and provide an opportunity for judges to consider how the risk data applies to judicial decision-making in cases of abuse.

Learning Objectives: 

As a result of this webinar, you will be better able to:

  • Identify factors that increase vulnerability for abuse amongst older adults;
  • Apply knowledge of risk related to abuse of older adults to judicial determinations.


Dr. Jennifer E. Storey

Hon. Janice Martin (Ret.)

Target Audience:

Judges, Judicial Officers, Court Staff, Attorneys, Advocates, others working with older adults


Please contact Jennifer Talancon –

This project was supported by Grant No. 15JOVW-22-GK-03995-MUMU awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed by program faculty and in program materials, including curriculum outlines, PowerPoint slides, handouts, contents of binders and CD-ROMs, and other program documents, are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women.

Social & Structural Determinants of Elder Mistreatment: What Courts Should Know

Title: Social & Structural Determinants of Elder Mistreatment: What Courts Should Know

Date: Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Recording Coming Soon

PowerPoint Slides

Description: Americans are living longer and healthier lives, yet social and structural factors continue to impact the safety and access to supports and services for older adults. In this webinar, Social Scientist E-Shien (Iggy) Chang will discuss her research on the social and structural determinants of elder mistreatment and Judge Tamara Curry will discuss the judge’s role in addressing these barriers in the courts and beyond.

Learning Objectives: 

As a result of this webinar, you will be better able to:

  • Discuss the prevalence of elder abuse in the United States and the factors that contributed to an increase during the pandemic.
  • Identify conditions that impede help-seeking for older adults who are experiencing abuse and consider how the court can mitigate those obstacles
  • List several strategies for enhancing the court’s accessibility for older adults.


Hon.Tamara Curry (Ret.)

Iggy E-Shien Chang, Ph.D., Assistant Professor in Gerontology in Medicine

Target Audience:

Judges, Judicial Officers, Court Staff, Attorneys, Advocates, others working with older adults


Please contact Jennifer Talancon –

This project was supported by Grant No. 15JOVW-22-GK-03995-MUMU awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed by program faculty and in program materials, including curriculum outlines, PowerPoint slides, handouts, contents of binders and CD-ROMs, and other program documents, are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women.

Mental Health Awareness Month: How to Support Young People

It’s Mental Health Awareness Month and we have work to do. 

1 in 5 youth have or will experience mental illness in their lifetimes, according to the CDC.

Since 2022, FUTURES has partnered with the National Council for Mental Wellbeing and Big Brothers Big Sisters of America and Founding Investor Harry’s on Team: Changing Minds. The idea is to educate more trusted adults to recognize the signs if a young person is suffering from mental health challenges and connect them to support.

Together, we connected more than 900,000 young people to adult mentors and coaches to respond to mental health needs. These are trusted peers and adults in young people’s lives who are engaged in pastimes youth love (like video games, mentoring, and sports) – ensuring that there is help for a young person facing mental health challenges.

You can become a responder, too, by taking the Team: Changing Mind’s 45-minute online course to learn how to identify, understand, and respond to youth mental health challenges. 

For Mental Health Awareness Month, we want to share with you what we’ve learned in the past two years about youth and mental health.

It can take years for youth to get mental health support. 

  • Teens rarely come to us for support. While half of mental health challenges show up by age 14, it takes another 10+ years for most people to access help (NAMI). For male-identified youth, it often takes even longer… if help comes at all.

Racism, sexism, homophobia, and transphobia create additional barriers to accessing care.

  • Beyond the direct impact of discrimination, bullying, and violence, these forces create systemic barriers to care.
  • Black and Latinx youth were nearly 14% less likely than white youth to receive treatment for depression, although they were just as likely to have a major depressive episode. (SAMHSA)
  • 60% of LGBTQ+ youth who wanted mental health care in the past year were not able to get it. (Trevor Project)

We must address the crisis of connection, online and IRL. 

  • The age of social media and the wake of Covid have taken their toll. One study showed that 65% of men aged 18 to 23 feel that “no one really knows [them] well.”
  • The same study saw nearly half of men (48%) respond that their online lives are more engaging and rewarding than their offline lives. 

But there’s hope: Anyone can support youth mental wellbeing through simple, everyday actions.

Checking in with and affirming youth makes all the difference. Research shows that young people are much more likely to get help when someone they know and trust reaches out. Consistent adult support buffers against substance use, mental health challenges and suicidality. 

Further, LGBTQ+ youth who had access to spaces that affirmed their sexual orientation and gender identity reported lower rates of attempting suicide than those who did not, according to the Trevor Project.

Here’s a four-step plan you can use right away to support a young person experiencing mental health challenges:

  1. Ask Questions—Don’t be afraid to ask simple questions that show concern. If there are specific changes you’ve noticed, mention them. This can be as simple as “You’ve been less talkative lately, is there anything you’d like to talk about?”
  2. Listen—to understand, not to respond, and with empathy. If you’ve shown the young people in your life that you are someone they can talk to, someone that really hears them, they may be more likely to talk to you when they are having a rough time.
  3. Ask for Help—You’re a mentor, not a therapist, and you aren’t expected to have all the answers. Lean on experts (such as school counselors, your child’s pediatrician) and brainstorm others you can call in to help be a part of the support team. You’re an important piece of this puzzle, but you never have to do this alone.
  4. If you or someone you know needs help, call the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline by just dialing 988.

If you want to learn more, take the Team: Changing Mind’s 45-minute online course. And for more training, our partners at the National Council for Mental Wellbeing provide Mental Health First Aid certification through single-day courses. 

We can be part of the solution to addressing youth mental health. What are we waiting for?

During Child Abuse Prevention Month, Let’s Rethink Our Approach

One in seven. That’s the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate of how many children experienced child abuse or neglect in the past year in the United States – and the CDC notes that is likely an underestimate, because many cases are unreported.

It’s an alarming statistic for sure.

Situations of child maltreatment are complex and challenging, and no one-size-fits-all solution results in the best outcome for every child at risk. When a family is without resources, experiencing poverty, and when there’s domestic violence in the home, finding the best way forward can be especially tough.

The story of “Lisa,” reported in the Boston Globe last fall, is, unfortunately, fairly typical. Despite the fact that Lisa protected her infant daughter – who was unharmed – when the baby’s father broke down their door and attacked her, the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families cited Lisa for child neglect.

A finding like that shows up on background checks and in some cases can lead a judge to take children from domestic violence survivors. In this case, it cost Lisa a job she wanted very much and forced her into a long, difficult spiral.

When a child welfare agency cites a domestic violence survivor for child neglect, it sends the message that if you’re experiencing domestic violence, you’re not protecting your child. And that leads to harmful outcomes, including a child being separated from a parent who loves and protects her.

This is happening regularly as states make more people – beyond the medical community, teachers and law enforcement – mandatory reporters of child maltreatment. Black, Indigenous, and other families of color are harmed the most; they are over-investigated, have their children removed more frequently than white families, and are reunified at lower rates in child welfare agencies across the country.

Certainly, everyone should be concerned about child abuse and neglect – and certainly, there are cases where child protection agencies should be engaged. But there is a tremendous amount we can all do to provide support before families get stuck in a system that is overtaxed, does not provide individualized resources, and that many families experience as posing an ongoing threat to remove their children.

In Many Cases, A Better Way

There are clear, tangible ways to build protective factors for families experiencing domestic violence that can lessen the burdens and impacts of domestic violence and make it less likely the child welfare system will need to be involved.

These might include getting to know your neighbors and simply giving your phone number to someone who seems isolated and anxious, and letting her know that she can call you if she needs help at any hour. Or if a domestic violence survivor is worried about losing her housing, offer to help her fill out applications for other places to live. If she’s having car trouble or struggling to pay bus fares, offer a ride or to pick up groceries.

Simple gestures like those make people feel less alone, and that they have someone they can count on. They can help keep a situation from escalating to the point at which an adult or a child is at risk.

Policy solutions are urgently needed, too.

Too often, we blame families for the failures of our social safety net, viewing them as deficient simply because they are living in poverty. Survivors should not have to experience the trauma of a child welfare case to access essential resources like food, employment and immigration support, housing, transportation, child care, and substance abuse and mental health services, all of which can reduce stressors. Helping children and youth develop social and emotional skills at school can also help provide a path away from child welfare.

Our Bridges to Better website offers a wealth of resources that can help child welfare agency leaders, researchers and others build networks in communities that promote safety, well-being, and healing for children and their families. We are happy to share our new publication, Rethinking Protection: Alternatives to Mandatory Reporting for Survivors of Domestic Violence & Their Children and the webinar we held to share it. It describes ways to build each of five essential protective factors that help both survivors of domestic violence and their children:

  • Establishing safe and more stable conditions;
  • Building social, cultural and spiritual connections;
  • Fostering resilience and a growth mindset;
  • Creating conditions for nurturing parent-child interactions; and
  • Promoting social and emotional abilities.

This Child Abuse Prevention Month, we are asking people to consider the harms caused by creating a surveillance system that scrutinizes and monitors low-income families, families of color, and survivors experiencing domestic violence.

We hope the strategies and resources we are offering will help underscore that we can all play a role in supporting families experiencing domestic violence. If we all reach out with support for these families and encourage greater investments in the resources they need, child welfare systems will be able to focus on the extreme cases of child abuse and our communities will be healthier and stronger.

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Sexual assault is a widespread problem and happens far too often across ages, genders and cultures. 

Over half of women have experienced sexual violence in her lifetime according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And 1 in 3 women globally have experienced sexual assault, the World Health Organization reports. While women and teen girls are most at risk – 9 out of every 10 rape victims are female – men and boys, and people of all genders, are sexually assaulted.

But we know this is not inevitable. Healthcare providers, employers and advocates can adopt effective strategies to prevent and address sexual assault.

For Sexual Assault Awareness Month, we’ve compiled all our best resources to help you do this imperative work of ending sexual assault.

Healthcare Providers


For Violence Prevention Advocates

If you or someone you know needs help, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline: 800-656-HOPE or go to to chat online.

These and many more resources are available at our online store where providers and advocates can download safety cards, posters, and more for free, and order hard copies for the cost of shipping.

We hope you will use and share these materials. To stay updated on our work with healthcare communities, please join our email list.





Women’s economic security is foundational to women’s health, safety and prosperity

Women’s History Month is a time to celebrate and uplift the many women who have blazed a trail for us and fought for equality. It’s also a time to recommit to demanding more for women everywhere- more opportunity, more political power and more seats at the table where decisions are made.

As the new Vice President of Economic Security & Justice with FUTURES, I don’t want this month to end without calling attention to the way women’s economic mobility is so intertwined with women’s equality and the work I do around preventing and responding to gender-based violence and harassment in the world of work. It’s foundational to women’s health, safety and prosperity.


  • Nearly 3 in 4 survivors stay in abusive relationships due to financial insecurity
  • Women who are sexually harassed at work are 9 times more likely to quit
  • Two-thirds of all low-income workers are women

Economic opportunity and mobility are powerful protective factors to prevent gender-based violence and harassment. They also offer pathways to independence and recovery for survivors.

Here are our priorities to advance women’s economic security:

Center women working in low-paid jobs with a foundation of social support

Build a bedrock of social support so every family has the basic economic security required to work, navigate transitions and crises, and reduce disparities seeded in childhood. In addition, it’s imperative to support women pursing employment pathways of choice. That means working alongside local CBOs including housing providers that can build off benefits to support women with their employment pathways.

Drive job opportunity and equity

Expand occupational equity by fairly valuing work done by women in low-paid work (particularly women of color) and creating supportive employment pathways that provide meaningful and high-wage jobs. We can do this by supporting local coalitions made up of CBOs, local government, workforce development, workforce investment boards, CDFIs, and childcare institutions and identify barriers to employment pathways in their local communities in three key areas: care economy; green jobs; tech/other high wage employment.

Transform workplaces

Align standards, norms, policies, and incentives of individual employers and within local economies that would reflect the needs of women and families. Increase employer responsiveness to the safety needs of women through training and technical assistance and address common limitations to low-wage employment.

Economic security for all women is possible if we commit to it together. As Futures Without Violence moves forward with these strategies, I invite you to be in touch. What’s working within your economic strategies? What are potential partnerships? Where can we do better?

Happy Women’s History Month!

Ana Lόpez van Balen
Vice President of Economic Security & Justice

November Mission

Mckenzie Fedyshyn

Although for this month’s mission we are supposed to decide what change needs to be done in our schools, I have already started the process of change in my school.

Although I have already done something like this/ doing this currently, I will share my story anyway:

When I was in eleventh grade, I decided that sexual harassment was happening way too often in my school.I thought that more needed to be done. So I emailed my assistant principal and told him my thoughts. I started meeting with him weekly, to further brainstorm on what I could do. That was almost two years ago. I have completed so much since. I go to the local middle school in my city, and give presentations on sexual harassment every semester. Along with that I have made pamphlets, and I’m working on my own curriculum for when I present to the students. I have also created my own website, and I am currently working on making this into an official program, where I can go to multiple schools across NY state to speak to middle school and high school students. It’s been a long journey, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. I have been so fortunate to have so many incredible people support me,and help me along the way. I will continue to do this for as long as I can. Feel free to check out my website here:

Cool Apps To Love

These apps are ones I have used or found in the Apple App Store that promote healthy relationships. Descriptions are pulled from the apps’ descriptions given in the app store.

Couple – Relationship App for Two (Free in IOS App Store)
This app is a private experience between just the two in the couple. There are no profiles for others to see, just an app for you and your significant other. Perfect for long distance couples or any couple that wants a private, more intimate experience than social media or texting. The app allows you to send videos, voice messages, photos, and real-time messaging. There is a feature called ThumbKiss where if you and you partner touch the same part of the screen your phones will start to vibrate. You can draw together or play games through the app. You can also share and collaborate on to-do lists as well as send calendar reminders for birthdays, anniversaries and other important dates.

Relationship Kit (Free in IOS App Store)
By using the Relationship Kit you’ll discover what a healthy relationship is for you and your partner, you get an understanding of the contribution that each makes to the relationship, you strengthen the behaviors that positively contribute to your relationship to make and to keep your relationship healthy!


Story by That’s Not Cool ambassadors Stephanie, Marie and Kiara. “We are spreading the word to as many people as we can on the topic to get others involved to try to reach those who happen to have been in an abusive relationship. Check out our Instagram project @acehosa!” 


“Our HOSA (Health Occupation Student of America) Project is on Teen Dating Abuse and we are using Instagram to spread awareness about what can happen in an abusive relationship as well as the different types of abuse. We are spreading the word to as many people as we can on the topic to get others involved to try to reach those who happen to have been in an abusive relationship.

Furthermore, this project tied in with the Futures Without Violence #GIFRespect Challenge in which we posted many memes, gifs, and videos on what abusive relationships look like and how someone can get out of an abusive relationship. Overall, we want to reach as many people as we can to start a movement around our community as well as our school on being aware, concerned and educated on Teen Dating Abuse. This is what our project and Instagram account is about. Check it out on Insta – @acehosa.”

-Ambassador Kiara B.

Teen Film: Just Kidding, Just Fine And Other Lies

“This project by ambassadors Justine & Chelsea is still continuing and it has such a strong message. Everyone can relate to someone in Just Kidding, Just Fine and Other Lies.”

Just Kidding, Just Fine and Other Lies is a 74 minute movie that was written by students, filmed by North Metro Television and supported by the Anoka Country Domestic and Sexual Violence Coalition. The students’ goal is for the film to be used in community awareness, education and action initiatives. The topics addressed by the film include bullying, cyberbullying, and teen dating violence. The script is available to anyone who would like to put it on as a play. To get involved, make sure you watch the film

The Story Behind Just Kidding, Just Fine and Other Lies by Ambassadors Justine B. & Chelsea C.

Our names are Chelsea Chilson and Justine Borden and we are two people who know first hand how art can create meaningful change. When we were in 10th and 9th grades respectively, we found ourselves involved in a project that we believed would have a positive impact on the world we live in.  Our teacher, Jennifer Bobbe, recruited us to join The Voice: A Peer Education Theater Troupe. Once we got involved with an amazing show called Just Kidding, Just Fine and Other Lies, we were hooked and we have been working since then to spread the message of the show through the script, stage performances, and even a film version of it that we helped create. We believe that anyone who reads the script or watches a performance will be inspired to create their own works of art and positively impact the world they live in.

Creation of this show began in the winter 2010 when Jennifer Bobbe and The Voice were contacted by Marlene Jezierski. She asked us if we wanted to be part of a grant project devoted to ending dating violence and verbal abuse. We decided immediately that we were eager to participate.  Soon after, we received funding from the Beyond the Mirror Project and the creative process began. Ms. Bobbe worked with students at Spring Lake Park High School’s Learning Alternatives Community School to educate and learn collaboratively about domestic violence and verbal abuse. Students used various resources, including speakers, and their own personal experiences to create original works, some of which are reflected in the final draft of this show. Their stories of heartache and abuse were powerful and affecting, and provided the fodder for the first draft of the show. Ms. Bobbe took these works, stories from other students, and her own experiences and together with The Voice wove them into a story that became the show, Just Kidding, Just Fine, and Other Lies.

In November 2011, we cast the first stage production of Just Kidding, Just Fine, and Other Lies.  The cast was eager to perform and in addition to being great actors, they were also remarkable writers with stories of their own to contribute to revising the original draft. The Winter 2013 cast added their own interpretations, new characters, and cyber-bullying.  After the final scheduled performance in 2013, our co-advisor, Matthew Meier, suggested that we turn the stage performance into a movie that could be distributed and used after we graduated.  Working with TJ Tronson and his crew from North Metro Television, we were able to create a movie that we are distributing to the public as a resource and inspiration.

This show reflects the language, experiences, and emotions experienced by students who live through verbal abuse and bullying everyday. Their stories are based on actual experiences. We elected not to edit the sometimes painful and often offensive language because to do so would not be reflective of what actually occurs. We hope that as an audience you are affected, offended, and committed to take action to end bullying and verbal abuse. We firmly believe that identifying the problem is only the first step towards ending the abuse.

Watch this news segment to learn more about the students’ work.


Contact Marlene Jezierski at to request a DVD or for additional questions.

A Story A Day


Story by Emily Levenson. “BHS Stop Harassing is a student-led organization with parent advisors, working to end sexual harassment and violence in the Berkeley Unified School District (BUSD) and more specifically, Berkeley High School (BHS). The group formed in Fall of 2014, after a school administrator implied to over 3,000 students that girls’ clothing choices were directly connected to sexual harassment. A few students got together in my living room soon after to compare notes on the assembly, and we realized that we had a much larger problem on our hands than we had first anticipated. BUSD had a strong culture of sexual harassment that was not being addressed.”

“A Story A Day” is a multimedia campaign, designed to raise awareness in our community about the issues of harassment, violence, and discrimination that are taking place on a far too frequent basis. The process of reporting these incidents in our school district is really inaccessible and confusing, so we wanted to help students anonymously tell their stories so that their voices could be heard. In the beginning, we went to classrooms and had people write their experiences on color coded index cards. Each color corresponded to one of the following categories: sexual harassment/violence, dating/intimate partner violence, racial discrimination, bullying, and other forms of discrimination.

We presented some of the collected stories to our School Board, with the intention of emailing them another story daily as a constant reminded that their action was needed promptly. This was actually in direct response to a School Board member who said that the sexual harassment cases in recent years were isolated incidents – anomalies, rather than part of a larger cultural problem.

The campaign grew. Instead of just email, we began to share the stories on Instagram (@bhsstopharassing) and our website ( We received overwhelming support from the community and have been sharing students’ experiences ever since. We are (at the time of this writing) just past the 70 story mark and will continue with the campaign until significant progress is made.”

Demanding Liberation

Bukky is a high school student in Idaho and a youth activist and organizer at the Idaho Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence, a prevention organization that engages communities and youth to understand the intersections between all oppression.

My name is Bukky, I am 16 years old and I go to school in rural Idaho. I am a part of my school’s Speech and Debate program and play Varsity basketball and volleyball. I live with my parents, my older brother and my younger sister. Both of my parents have professional degrees and work in the medical field. As it shows, I have the All-American life and for the longest time, I always used that to hide myself. I thought, “If I could just blend in as much as possible, then no one would realize that I am an outsider”, and for the life of me, I didn’t want to be an outsider.

What made me an outsider you might ask? I mean, why would I be an outsider? I am an athlete, I participate in extracurricular activities, I have good grades, I’m cool with my administration and teachers; my life is good. So why would I be worried of not fitting in? Well, when you’re in the locker room and you constantly hear, “Oh wow Bukky! You’re so black. You jump like a legit monkey”. Or, when you’re in a debate round and the first thing your judge says is that your name is “too black” for them to pronounce. Or, when you’re in an American (White) History course and the topic of slavery comes up and all of a sudden, you’re Hermes for black people and fitting in is all you want, or at least, what I wanted. I decided to take everything that people said to me and swallow it, internalize it.

I soon became very self-deprecating; I hated my black skin, I hated my hair, I hated that I was automatically the antagonist in a story still being written. But eventually, something changed. I realized that my blackness was not just a felony to America: it is beauty, it is love, it is light, it is magic. When I finally realized that I can no longer stay silent, I can no longer be content with being in the shadows (because the shadows were not made for the black skin to hide behind), I felt liberated. It is my job as a person of color, especially as a woman of color, to work to prevent other individuals from thinking they are less human due to their identities. That is why I do the work I do and that is why I have to do the work I do. If other people in the same position as me hadn’t introduced me to the topics of self-love and social justice to prevent internalized racism and self-hate, I wouldn’t be the kind of person I am today: a person that demands change in every step she takes.

Changing The Culture Is An Act Of Love

Story by Kuei


My people are from the world’s newest nation of South Sudan and we carry our culture everywhere we go. I love and embrace my culture because that is what I grew up to do and I feel like it has made me the person I am today. I was born in Cairo, Egypt but my family was born and grew up in South Sudan. Even though I love my people, I think some of their values are oppressive. For example, that a woman’s goals and dreams should revolve around her being a wife and a mother and that they should obey the men in their lives, or that it is a man’s job to get at least one wife, have children and be the breadwinner for his family. Ever since I could remember, my mother was a single mom. My brothers and I did not have our dad in our lives and we watched my mother try to play both roles. She taught me the opposite of what she internalized. She taught me to be my own person and do what I want to do that would better my tomorrow.

My mother worked a lot and we lived with a lot of family. I watched a lot of unhealthy relationships that constantly went on through my life and I made an agreement with myself that I would never entertain an unhealthy relationship in my life. It did not really work well because I did not know what the signs where or how to go about it.

The reason I why I wanted to be an activist and organizer in my community is because I wanted to understand how I can be a part of different movements and I also wanted to understand the signs of an unhealthy relationship so I can share it with my family and friends. I was sick of being that girl that knew that there were messed up things in the world but didn’t do anything about it. They first thing that was on my list was to educate myself so I can help others that were my family and just people I knew. As youth in this messed up world, we are the change, we know right from wrong and we should start by projecting it.

What Is Machismo

Story by Youth Council Advisory Council member Abigail Miranda


What is Machismo?

Machismo is a predominant “traditional” belief in Latinx communities that women are inferior to men. Machismo takes forms in various ways and often is culturally ingrained within Latinx communities. Machismo within our Latinx communities is most commonly presented in sets of heavily enforced gender norms and expectations. Often coming from “La mujer tiene que atender su hombre, porque es la mujer” (“The woman has to attend her man because she is the woman”) to “No seas lloron! Sos hombre!” (“Don’t be a crybaby! You’re a man”) Machismo has established oppressive standards that are harmful to both women and men. Machismo sets a strong practice that of which “hombres” have to comply to machismo and are expected to be hyper-masculine, intimidating, aggressive, and dominant. It is a strongly practiced and harmful belief system that not only maintains sexism as a habitual practice, but also ventures into violence, sexism, transphobia, and homophobia.

Growing Up with Machismo

Growing up in a Latinx household Machismo culture when I was young was completely normalized. In fact I grew up thinking it was normal. At a young age, I was told by my relatives that my place in this world was to find a man, attend him, cook, clean, and have children. It wasn’t until I refused to follow these norms that I started to notice how detrimental and enforced machismo was within my community and at the time I wasn’t even aware that it was machismo in full effect.

I was an only child growing up but I had my cousins, Marco and Daniela, and we were practically siblings. It always bugged me growing up that Daniela and I always had to clean up after Marco. Whenever we ate it was expected for us to serve him and wash the plates after. Daniela and I always had to clean his room when it was messy, and we were expected to help him all the time. When my cousin and I questioned or complained why it always had to be us cleaning after Marco we would always receive the classic response of “Ustedes son Hembras ayudenlo” (“Ya’ll are females now help him”) but what upset me the most at the time was that he was never expected to help us when it came to anything. Often times when we argued or refused to clean and insisted Marco do some cleaning someone would step in and say “Eso es para las mujeres” (“That’s for women”) and he was left alone. That was at a pretty young age. Going into my teen years these norms were no longer sugar coated. When I refused to cook or clean it led to “hard love” with comments such as “No seas floja” (“Don’t be lazy”) or “Como piensas encontrar un hombre” (“How do you expect to find a man”). When I first was told that I wouldn’t find a man because of my cleaning or cooking skills I was very upset. I started asking questions and it always came to the response of “Sos hembra” (“You are a woman”). That was my family’s go to answer when I disobeyed the “rules”.

I remember this specific time to when I was shunned because I “dared question a man’s authority” when in reality I was speaking against a system that is oppressive to me as a person who identified as a woman. Even worse, it was my uncle who was as entitled as someone can be. It was a family gathering and as per usual, my aunts were cooking and/or attending their husbands while my uncles are watching a sport of some kind. My uncle had a couple beers and was casually throwing sexist jokes. As I walked in to get some food my uncle says “Abby can you serve me food it’ll serve as some practice for if you do get a man”. Now, I am known in my family to not stand for injustices or in their words I’m “sensitive and opinionated”. I told my uncle that he had two able legs and he can serve himself. I hear gasps and “Abby!” from all my aunts and was told to shut up and to serve my uncle. He then pulls me aside and tells me “How do you expect to find a man with your rude self” and I was lectured on how I disrespected him and how my future husband will find it disrespectful. All of the unnecessary comments, lectures, and “future advice” simply because I, a woman, refused to serve my uncle. Since then, I truly believed the situation was unnecessary.

But that’s how machismo works, it is completely unnecessary yet generations after generations have unconsciously taught and continue to teach their kids machismo which hurts my Latinx community every single day.

The Key on How to Not Give Into Machismo

Resistance. The definition of resistance varies from person to person. Resistance comes in so many forms: there is resistance in silence, resistance in art, resistance in music, and resistance in poetry. The point is, resistance is different for anyone, but we can all start by educating ourselves and then others on the harmful effects of Machismo in our community. We can all dismantle the Machismo by realizing the harmful tactics it plays and recognize that it does in fact remain ingrained in our culture. We can then ourselves decide to no longer be under machismo’s reign. And that, my friends, is the key on terminating machismos reign in our Latinx communities.


Story by Fatima Tall, an Idaho raised Slam Poet and Youth Activist/Organizer. She likes to use her Black magic and poetry to make true social change in her community. She loves being able to celebrate the many diverse voices in Idaho, whether it be at protests or poetry slams.

Youth of all shapes and forms have voices that carry truth and passion.

Yet, the youth voice is a lost voice.

It gets buried in single story stereotypes and societal norms that tells us power comes with age or in the form of a white male. This mentality suppresses true representation and causes individuals to value themselves and what they have to say less.

I was lucky enough to find and use my voice to create social change in my community. This handed me a dose of empowerment I never thought I could find in my life.

I do this work because I do not want the youth voice to wait. I want to create spaces and environments that promote youth engagement and allow youth to prosper.

Young black and brown individuals should not be silenced.

Young trans and non-binary individuals should not be silenced.

Young people should not be shamed for speaking up.

Youth have been SHAKING the very ground of social justice work since the beginning. Yet, no one really acknowledges it. From Tiananmen Square to the Arab Spring, youth have taken strides in true social change.

Young people, despite popular belief, CAN start a revolution.

This is the truth I want to share.

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Success stories: Using FVPSA ARP COVID funding to promote survivor health

Title: Success stories: Using FVPSA ARP COVID funding to promote survivor health

Date: February 29,2024

Recording w/ ASL and Spanish Interpretation

*Switch to gallery view to see the ASL interpreters. *

Description: In 2021, the Office of Family Violence Prevention and Services made a historic investment for COVID-19 testing, vaccines, and mobile health unit for domestic violence programs, tribes, and underserved communities. With a focus on increasing access to care for survivors and their families, domestic violence programs and coalitions across the country are working to promote medical advocacy for survivors and capacity building and support for the DV workforce with these funds. Join this webinar to discover how these funds are being used in innovative ways to meet the health needs of survivors! It is not too late for programs, jurisdictions, and states to draw down these funds and promote survivor health before the end of the grant in September 2025.


  • Patricia Emmanuelli, Esperanza United
  • Kevin Mahany, Family Assistance Program
  • Emily Kulow, Ohio Domestic Violence Network
  • Panel facilitation, Virginia Duplessis, Futures Without Violence

Resources shared during the webinar:

FAQ and other OFVPS Information on ARP Health Funding





A Q and A with Leila Milani on International Women’s Day About Her Global Work

What do you want people to know about the work that you do?

My top priority is increasing the United States’ investment in advancing gender equality internationally, with a focus on eradicating gender-based violence and ending child sexual exploitation. I want people to understand that violence against women comes at a physical, emotional and economic cost. But if we invest in women and their safety, we not only uplift them, we also add to a country’s GDP by three percent.

I’ve also learned in my decades of doing this work how important coalitions are. We are stronger together. In 2022, in collaboration with USAID, we were able to bring our Coaching Boys Into Men program to Tanzania to train coaches and athletes about how to promote respectful behavior among young athletes and help prevent relationship abuse, harassment, and sexual assault. One teacher, Cuthbert Nzingula, who participated in the four day training said, “I find myself as a strong mentor for my athletes, besides academics, physical fitness, and playing techniques. Now, I have a lot to share with them. I know how to influence positive behaviors and healthy relationships. I also teach them to avoid risky behaviors and prevent HIV/AIDS.”  This kind of collaboration can bring about real change in the global community.

With the myriad problems here in our own country, why should people be compelled to care about gender-equality and gender based violence abroad?

Gender inequality and violence plays a big role in all of the crises that are brewing around the globe. This sounds simplistic, but as Martin Luther King Jr. said, “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” The truth is, what happens overseas impacts us here too.

What inspires you to continue doing this work?

On a trip to Kenya this summer I visited a small village of shepards where most of the young girls don’t attend school. I was there to talk to the community about how educating a young girl can increase her family’s financial well-being. A 10-year-old girl came up to me and showed me the book she was reading. She was so excited to tell me that she wants to be a doctor.  She’s a shepherd living without running water or electricity, and she was so excited that she could read and hopes to continue her education.

Why is International Women’s Day important through the context of your work?

It’s an opportunity to uplift the issue and educate the public around gender equality and gender-based violence internationally and encourage more people to learn and care about it.

Hopefully more people might use their voices to engage in the work and contribute to advancing it, whether it’s helping fund a young girl to get an education overseas, which could be very little money, or donating to an organization like FUTURES. All of it matters and all of it adds up. I hope International Women’s Day will inspire people to come to our website, follow us on social media and learn more.

What’s one thing you can’t live without?

My Faith.  As a Bahá’í, I believe every individual is a member of the body of humanity. Each is essentially noble, possessing a unique soul. We are all co-stewards of one planet.  We all are responsible to ensure all enjoy fundamental rights. This belief is what gives me the drive and commitment to continue this work even in face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles.

Centering Survivor Dignity: Applying the Wisdom of Social Movements to Address Health Needs

Title: Centering Survivor Dignity:  Applying the Wisdom of Social Movements to Address Health Needs

Last Tuesdays with the National Health Resource Center on Domestic Violence

March-August 2024



March 26th, 2024:

April 30th, 2024

June 25th, 2024

July 30th, 2024

August 27th, 2024


All sessions will take place at 11am PT / 12pm MT / 1pm CT / 2pm ET (60 mins)


Spanish and ASL interpretation will be provided for all sessions–session 1 on March 26th will be presented in Spanish with English interpretation. Please note any additional accommodatations needed in the registration form.


In recent years health and social service programs have prioritized addressing social needs– such as personal safety, housing, food and income– as a strategy to promote health and well-being. In addition to domestic violence advocacy services, survivors often seek resources to meet other social needs. In this 4-part webinar series, we will learn from programs implementing strategies that promote economic justice, housing stability, food sovereignty, and harm reduction. Presenters will share their insights, experiences, and tools for addressing these issues on the ground and through policy-level strategies, with a focus on building more inclusive, equitable, and safe communities.

Learning Objectives:

As a result of this series, participants will be better able to: 

  • Describe the importance of meeting the social needs of survivors as one strategy to center dignity
  • Name individual, community and policy-level strategies that are working to improve health and wellbeing for survivors
  • Consider the needs of their own programs to implement or support similar projects



Webinar 1: Food Sovereignty for Farmworkers

Date: Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Description: For decades, farmworker women, or campesinas, have been the backbone of California’s agriculture. Due to immigration status, lack of formal education, and abusive work conditions, campesinas have been susceptible to violence in the fields and in their homes. Lideres Campesinas has led a dynamic movement dedicated to advocating for the needs of farmworker survivors and communities by organizing to create healthier working conditions, safer environments, and engaged women leaders. This webinar will highlight some of the on-the-ground, hands in the earth, work that Lideres Campesinas does to organize survivors of violence, support healing both the earth and interpersonal trauma through ancestral gardening techniques and farmworker-owned land projects, and connect the struggle for environmental justice and food sovereignty to anti-violence work.



Webinar 2: Harm Reduction for Survivors

Date: Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Description: The overdose epidemic affects survivors and their loved ones in many different ways. We’ll discuss how domestic violence programs can advocate for survivors who use drugs by investing in harm reduction and fighting against stigma, and explore the bigger picture of how the overdose epidemic impacts survivors of domestic violence.



Webinar 3: Economic Justice for Immigrant Survivors

Date: Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Description: Economic justice is vital for all survivors, and immigrant survivors also face rapidly growing anti-immigrant policies, as well as additional obstacles such as language barriers, immigration status, and lack of access to traditional support networks. Investment in resources including employment, housing, and financial assistance is essential. This session features insights on guaranteed income programs for immigrant survivors and an innovative culinary workforce training rooted in cultural storytelling.


Webinar 4: Cultivating Food Justice with Elders

Date: Tuesday, July 30, 2024

Description: Elders are often the holders of food histories, growing practices, and wisdom- yet many are disconnected from growing opportunities, healthy food access, and community engagement which can leave them vulnerable to food, wealth, and health disparities. In this webinar, we’ll cover what food justice is and the critical importance of advancing equity to ensure the just inclusion of elders in our food systems and growing spaces, and ways that food can be a driver to fostering resilience in the present and prevention of abuse in the future.


  • Qiana Mickie, Food Systems Leader & Speaker 

Webinar 5: Housing Justice for Indigenous Survivors

Date: Tuesday, August 27, 2024

Description: Historical and systemic injustices have led to housing instability and homelessness among Indigenous communities. Providing safe and culturally appropriate housing options ensures that survivors have the support and resources they need to heal and rebuild their lives free from violence, while also acknowledging and respecting their unique cultural identities and connections to land and community. We’ll hear from two Indigenous housing justice programs as they share their approaches to empowering survivors and creating safer spaces within their communities.



Please e-mail:


Why is Black History Month important and other questions: A Q & A with Virginia Duplessis

What do you want people to know about the work that you do?

Everyone has a unique and important role in ending domestic violence – and the health care system has a really special responsibility. That’s because there are a lot of survivors who will never call a hotline and never go into a shelter, but they will go to a doctor for themselves or their kids. That’s an incredible opportunity for a health provider to talk with survivors to let them know that they’re not alone and that there is help available.

People really believe their doctors and they may think, “Well, if my doctor is talking to me about this, it must be important.” So if a health care provider brings up  the importance of healthy relationships and how violence can affect your health, people really take it to heart.

What’s the hardest thing about your job?

Right now the healthcare system is experiencing a lot of burnout and turnover as a result of all the pressures of COVID. That means that it can be hard to convince them to prioritize talking about intimate partner violence with all their patients. It can feel like we are asking them to do something extra. So we have to work really hard at showing them why it’s so important to talk about these things. We want to make sure providers recognize that when they have patients who are experiencing relationship violence, it’s impacting their health. For example, maybe a survivor is not able to take a daily medication because their partner is hiding their prescriptions. If the provider just keeps telling the patient they need to take their medication, but not finding out WHY they are not taking their medication and coming up with an alternative, there is unlikely to be a change. Without addressing the violence, they’re not able to fully address their health needs.

What inspires you to continue doing the work?

I have a lot of inspirations. Right now  our Survivor Leadership Cohort is inspiring. It’s a program where we bring together 10 survivors of domestic violence from around the country for support, networking and working together to improve health policy and program to be more survivor-friendly. Hearing their stories and seeing their strengths is very inspiring. It reminds me why I come to work every day. It’s so important to be guided by their experiences, and really helps center me and my work. 

Why is Black History Month important through the context of your work?

The past couple years, people have been talking a lot about health equity and about how Black people are disproportionately impacted by high maternal mortality and infant mortality. We also know that Black women are at higher risk of experiencing lethal violence at the hands of a partner. Black History Month provides a great opportunity to highlight how health services and health outcomes are different for people who have experienced discrimination on both personal and system levels. It’s important to take a look at the specific health conditions, health problems and also health solutions for Black people. 

It’s also exciting to be able to promote the great work that’s happening by organizations lead by  and focused on the experiences of the Black community, and to be able to learn lessons from them about what’s working and how we can help reduce the disparities that we experience in health care.

What’s one thing you can’t live without?


Meaningful Engagement and Partnership with Lived Experience Experts of Human Trafficking, Domestic, and Sexual Abuse: Roundtable Webinar

Title: Meaningful Engagement and Partnership with Lived Experience Experts of Human Trafficking, Domestic, and Sexual Abuse   

Date: Wednesday, March 6, 2024

Recording w/ ASL and Spanish Interpretation, Live Closed Captioning

PowerPoint Slides

Presenter Bios


Description: Survivors and lived experience experts of human trafficking, domestic abuse, and sexual abuse have diverse capacities and skills to share as direct service professionals and other rolesThis webinar will explore strategies for engaging and empowering survivors of human trafficking in various capacitiesLived experience experts and advocates will share their experience in fostering partnerships and lessons learned through their journeyParticipants will gather strategies for collaboration and to empower lived experience experts to thrive in diverse capacities.

Learning Objectives: 

As a result of this webinar, participants will be better able to: 

  • Consider possible avenues to intentionally engage lived experience experts and support the development of their skills and abilities. 
  • Apply strategies to engage lived experience experts meaningfully, through information, inquire, involvement, collaboration, and empowerment. 
  • Explore approaches for partnering with survivors as employees, based on lessons and perspectives of lived experience experts.  
  • Discuss possible barriers for employing lived experience experts and exchange survivor-centered practices and compensation strategies. 
  • Identify strategies, tools, and resources to partner with lived experience experts. 


Perla Flores, JD, MPA (She/Her/ Ella), Senior Division Director, Community Solutions  

Siberia Moreno (She/Her/ Ella), Case Manager, Thriving Self-Sufficiency Pilot, Solutions to Violence Division, Community Solutions 

Chris Ash (They/Them), Survivor Leadership Program Manager Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking (CAST)

Sheri Combs (She/Her), Director of Community and Youth Engagement, Covenant House of New Orleans, Covenant House New Orleans 

Target Audience:

Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Program Staff and Boards, Anti-Human Trafficking Program Staff and Boards, Taskforce members, other interested individuals


Please contact Vivian Baylor –

This project is supported by Grant# 15JOVW-21-GK-02211-MUMU, awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this publication/program/exhibition are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women. 

Reimagining Aging: An Afrofuturist Approach to Healing Elder Abuse and Advancing Racial Justice

Title: Reimagining Aging: An Afrofuturist Approach to Healing Elder Abuse and Advancing Racial Justice 

Date: February 14, 2024

Time: 11:30 am PT / 1:30 pm CT / 2:30 pm ET (90 minutes)

Recording w/ ASL and Spanish Interpretation

*Switch to gallery view to see the ASL interpreters. *

Presenter Bios 

PowerPoint Slides – English

Diapositivas de PowerPoint – Español

Description: Embracing an Afrofuturist lens and grounded in an anti-oppression framework, we will begin with an exploration of the unique challenges faced by elders of color, including abuse, neglect, and discrimination. Presenters will guide participants through critical conversations, dialogue, and strategic planning to gain insights into the impact of social and cultural factors on aging and elder abuse. Participants will explore strategies to address these issues and engage in reflective discussions around principles and practices of Afrofuturism and the intersections of race, age, and power dynamics. **Please come prepared to actively participate!**

Presented by UBUNTU Research and Evaluation

UBUNTU Research and Evaluation fosters research-based accountability to create an equitable world.  

Here is Why: 

  • We need to build an active bridge between the theory and praxis of collective liberation.  
  • We need to practice talking about liberation more in our day-to-day activities.  
  • We need to know that being Black is not a problem.  
  • We need to create and support Black-owned and Black-led institutions.  
  • We need to live as unencumbered by anti-Blackness as possible.  
  • We need to embrace Black aliveness. 


  • Deja Taylor
  • Koren Dennison


Please contact Vivian

Supporting Survivors of Trafficking with Intellectual Disabilities: Prevention and Response Through Multi-Systems Collaboration

Title: Supporting Survivors of Trafficking with Intellectual Disabilities: Prevention and Response Through Multi-Systems Collaboration 

Date: January 25, 2024

Time: 11:00 am PT / 1:00 pm CT / 2:00 pm ET (90 minutes)

Recording with Closed Captioning and ASL Interpretation

Enable gallery view for the ASL Interpretation. Some of the ASL interpretations are incomplete. Please enable closed captions to ensure you receive accurate information.

Presenter Bios 

PowerPoint Slides 

Resource List


Description: Individuals with intellectual disabilities (ID) are at a disproportionately higher risk of experiencing domestic violence, sexual violence, and human trafficking. Unfortunately, due to the marginalization of individuals with ID, victims/survivors are often not recognized or offered appropriate support and services. The webinar will explore vulnerability factors facing the ID community and how organizations can work collaboratively to offer person-centered support to those who have experienced trafficking. 

Learning Objectives: 

As a result of this webinar, participants will be better able to: 

  • Identify individual and systemic factors influencing the vulnerability of individuals with ID to exploitation and trafficking 
  • Recognize indicators of possible trafficking, and subtle nuances in presentation when interacting with a victim/survivor with ID 
  • Initiate and facilitate multisystem collaboration 
  • Explore methods of balancing institutional responsibility for ensuring safety and respecting individual autonomy 
  • Apply (employ) survivor-centered response practices when working with survivors of human trafficking, domestic violence, and sexual assault with intellectual disabilities.  


Katherine Antall, MS is the Human Sexuality Specialist at The Cuyahoga Board of Developmental Disabilities. With a commitment to supporting survivors of sexual exploitation who have intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), Katherine plays a vital role in their empowerment and recovery. Her expertise extends to consulting for multidisciplinary teams, where she leverages her knowledge to enhance the quality of care and services provided to survivors with I/DD.  Katherine’s engaging presentations shed light on the crucial intersection of trafficking and I/DD, raising awareness and facilitating dialogue on this critical issue. Additionally, Katherine is a passionate researcher, conducting qualitative studies to further understand and combat trafficking within the I/DD community.  

Susan Kahan, MA, LCPC

As a member of the clinical staff at the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Institute on Disability and Human Development, Susan provides individual and group therapy for children through adults on a broad range of mental health, developmental, and behavioral concerns, specializing in trauma.  Susan provides consultation around the country on disability-related topics including trauma and trauma-informed care, sexual abuse and human trafficking, sexuality and healthy relationships, and crisis intervention. In addition, Susan is certified in forensic interviewing, with additional certification in interviewing people with disabilities and people who do not speak.  Susan provides training and consultation for law enforcement, trauma centers, disability agencies, professionals, schools, and families.  

Target Audience:

Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Program Staff and Boards, Anti-Human Trafficking Program Staff and Boards, Taskforce members, other interested individuals


Please contact Vivian Baylor –

This project is supported by Grant# 15JOVW-21-GK-02211-MUMU, awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this publication/program/exhibition are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women. 

The Time to Act Is Now – Intimate Partner Violence & the Black Maternal Health Crisis Can’t Wait Any Longer

There are two public health crises that are claiming the lives of black women at an alarming rate. Black families and communities across this nation have been devastated by pain and loss attributed to the intersection of two critical issues: intimate partner violence (IPV), often better known as domestic violence, and the painful issue of maternal deaths and pregnancy and infant loss. It is a harsh reality that many survivors of intimate partner violence live at the intersections of physical, emotional and sexual violence, mixed with the increased risk of infertility, miscarriages and even death due to serious physical violence and reproductive coercion.

Pregnancy is an especially risky period for IPV as abuse can start or intensify during pregnancy. Each year, an estimated 324,000 women in the United States are harmed by their intimate partners. IPV during pregnancy can harm both maternal and infant health.
In addition, the ongoing maternal health crisis – which disproportionately impacts Black women – demands sustainable funding, policies, resources and support for Black birthing survivors, who lack access to reproductive and maternal care services. Additional considerations must be made to further support survivors who may be marginalized due to other intersecting identities, or who may be living in rural/frontier communities that have limited or no access to obstetric providers or services.

The intersection of intimate partner violence (IPV), racism, and mortality among birthing people remains one of the least explored and under-resourced topics. Approximately, 45 percent of Black women experienced physical violence, sexual violence, or stalking from their intimate partner, which is significantly higher than the national average of IPV experienced by women of all races (approximately 27 percent). At the same time, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that black women have the highest maternal mortality rate in the United States — 69.9 per 100,000 live births for 2021, 2.6 times the rate for white women. Factors related to systemic, institutional, and historical racism perpetuate poor health outcomes and elevated risk for IPV for Black birthing people. Those factors include inequitable access to quality health care, education,and housing, as well as high rates of poverty and lifelong experiences of bias and discrimination, as well as violence and trauma.

IPV, racism, and maternal mortality are interconnected, interrelated, and yet preventable.

We need policymakers to take bold steps to institute change for those impacted by IPV and the maternal health crisis, by addressing social determinants of health and providing equitable, quality and comprehensive care to ALL birthing people and their children.

We are calling on our nation’s leaders to:

  • Publicly acknowledge that structural and racial disparities contribute to and exacerbate the maternal health crisis for Black birthing people.
  • Support increases to Family Violence Prevention Services Act (FVPSA) funding, which serves as one of the primary federal funding streams dedicated to supporting emergency shelters and related assistance for survivors of IPV and their children.
  • Advocate for policies that support the health of birthing people:
    • Require states to implement the Medicaid postpartum extension from 60 days to 12 months, which will provide new parents and babies critical support post delivery.
    • Pass the Black Maternal Healthcare Momnibus Act.
    • Expand telehealth services to bridge gaps in health care, especially gynecology and obstetric services within maternity care deserts.
    • Pass Preventing Maternal Deaths Reauthorization Act – to continue federal support for state-based maternal mortality review committees (MMRCs), preserving maternal health throughout pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum, and addressing disparities in maternal health outcomes and finding solutions to enhance health care quality and outcomes while preventing future mortalities.

The time to act is now.

To find out more about the work Futures Without Violence is engaged in to address the intersections of racism, IPV, and health outcomes for Black birthing people, visit our Safety & Justice for Black Birthing People Coalition page.

Turning Outrage Into Action to End Violence Against Women and Girls

Recent news headlines about the horrific mass rapes committed against women and girls in Israel and in Sudan have brought much needed attention to the issue of sexual violence during wartime.

The terrible truth is that rape is one of the most commonly perpetrated, and under-prosecuted, war crimes.

With the world facing the highest number of conflicts since the Second World War, the UN reports that an alarming number of women and girls worldwide are experiencing gang rape, sexual slavery and other forms of sexual violence. Today, there are 20 “situations of concern” where sexual violence is a threat to women and girls, including conflicts in Ethiopia, Haiti, Myanmar and Ukraine. (more…)

Lessons Learned from Judicial Education on Elder Abuse

Title: Lessons Learned from Judicial Education on Elder Abuse

Date: November 29, 2023

Link to Presenter Bios

Webinar Recording

Closed Captioning Transcript

PowerPoint Slides


Judicial education on abuse in later life and elder abuse is essential for judges sitting on all types of cases because elder abuse may be present in a civil, criminal, family, probate or even juvenile court context. Elder abuse is underreported and cases may not present as one might expect. This session will highlight some of the prevailing themes in judicial education on this topic and provide a snapshot of what judges are facing in various jurisdictions in responding to cases of elder abuse before them.

Learning Objectives:

As a result of this presentation, you will be better able to:

  • Describe the importance of access to judicial education on abuse in later life and elder abuse for judges across the U.S.
  • Identify fundamental components of judicial education that are an essential foundation for judges presiding over cases where abuse in later life is present
  • Consider how key learnings from the CA judicial education replication of the Enhancing Judicial Skills in Abuse in Later Life Cases apply to your own continuing education as a judge or judicial officer

Presenters: Judge Mark Juhas and Candace Heisler, Esq.


Questions? Please contact Vivian Baylor Email:

This project was supported by Grant No. 15JOVW-22-GK-03995-MUMU awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this website/publication/program/exhibition are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice, the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, or Futures Without Violence.

Why We’re All In For Kids

The conditions that promote lifelong health and well-being start early in a child’s life.  But children are growing up in uncertain and stressful times. In school, kids experiencing traumatic stress are 2.5x more likely to fail a grade and score lower on standardized tests.

Communities and local leaders have the solutions, yet siloed systems limit access to comprehensive, integrated, and holistic service provision. People get stuck with inflexible and restricted service options, and children suffer.

We need breakthrough thinking to reimagine and create the experiences and conditions that help children, families, communities, and society thrive and prosper. So we started All In For Kids, in partnership with our founding donors and partners.

All In For Kids is an innovation incubator that leverages what actually works for kids. Our partners develop and design responsive early childhood ecosystems of healing and caring from deep within their community. 

All In For Kids and our partners are co-designing solutions that break down the barriers. Everyone in the early childhood ecosystem of care—from policymakers and educators to healthcare providers and more—has a role in healthy outcomes.

Too often, outside organizations and policymakers call for solutions that don’t consider this interdependency, focus too much on individual-level solutions, and do not lead to the best outcomes for kids. All In For Kids shifts that power—and resources, along with it—into the hands of the community. 

All in For Kids grantee First 5 Monterey County is an inspiring example of this concept in action. They provide robust supports for families with young children, but they recognized their work was incomplete without also advancing families as advocates and leaders. Their political education and mobilization work is now a model that they are sharing through the Parent Power Blueprint.

By investing in community-driven solutions, All In For Kids is making systems-level changes to sustain the services, policies, and practices that result in holistic well-being across generations.

In early October, California leaders who work to make life better for families every day came together to share, learn and dream about health and behavioral health innovations with our All in For Kids partners. There was important collaboration and storytelling in the room, and we hope to see more of this at our future roundtables. 

The fact that racial disparities in economic, educational, health, and social outcomes for our children and their families still exist is a direct testament that what we are currently doing is not working or is not enough. 

Children deserve our boldest, most creative thinking and actions, and their parents deserve our authentic partnership. Our grantees work across systems and lift up parent and community voices because that’s where our most imaginative and effective solutions come from. 

From prenatal to school age and beyond, All In For Kids envisions a world where young children and their families have the support they need to thrive. 

Would you like learn more and receive updates? contact us here

Alum Campus Fellow Leadership Program

My name is Megan Beine and I was a Campus Fellow in the Futures Without Violence Campus Leadership program at Eastern Washington University for the 2022-2023 school year alongside my partner, Nicole Smith. This was an extremely valuable and growing experience for us that came with many struggles and rewards as we bumped up time and time again against our college’s academic bureaucracy in our attempts to lift up student voices and concerns surrounding violence and prevention efforts on campus.

At the beginning of the school year, a string of sexual assaults in our residence halls left us, and the rest of the campus community feeling very unsettled about the ways our university was handling, or attempting to prevent instances of violence, on campus. Knowing the statistics surrounding campus sexual assault, we understood that the cases that were being reported were only the tip of the iceberg, but it seemed that beyond a few emergency alerts there was no genuine conversation with the students surrounding issues of consent, safe sex practices, healthy relationships, or bystander intervention tactics that could help move the conversation forward beyond telling young women to “not walk alone at night”. We were concerned about the implications this response could have for other students and survivors. Further, we wanted to address and understand these specific instances of violence within the larger framework of sexual violence and prevention work so that it could improve the health of our campus community overall. Nicole and I began to set up meetings with the key staff and faculty members who seemed to be most invested in these issues to bring our thoughts to the table. Although they were sympathetic to our concerns, for the most part, they told us from their experience, students were simply not interested in discussing issues of violence on campus. “Good luck trying!” We were very disheartened by this assessment of our student body, but ultimately decided that we should go directly to the source.

We decided to set up a series of presentations during classes that professors would let us invade for an hour or two. We discussed the statistics surrounding campus sexual and domestic violence as well as general demographics. We outlined consent practices, the intersections between health and violence, bystander intervention and prevention tactics, the confidential and non-confidential resources that are available to students, and ended with some discussion questions to gauge how students were feeling on this issue. We were pleasantly surprised by the depth of perspective students had surrounding this topic; they had a wealth of knowledge and ideas surrounding what could be done to make them feel safer and more supported by the university as a whole. Their ideas centered around having an open dialogue in new student orientations, employee training and dorm rooms surrounding issues of prevention and violence, as well as making the community and university resources available to them as accessible and known as possible–especially given that multiple students stated they did not know so many resources were available to help them. This response led us to believe that the problem was not that students were uninvested in these conversations, but that our institution did not understand how to engage with them on these issues in effective ways.

Throughout these presentations, many students told us that it was the first time on campus that they were having an open conversation, not only about violence on campus, but how to prevent it within their everyday interactions. This is where we truly saw the value and necessity of campus advocacy and programs like the Campus Leadership Program. Although our university was making some effort to create events, panels, and spaces to discuss issues of violence and prevention, it was done from a top down approach that students did not want to engage with. We felt like these events felt like another “to do” item for students, leading to poor attendance and ultimately leading the university to give up on trying to engage the student population. Our university is likely not the only one with this problem, and this is where campus advocacy can fill the gaps and create peer leadership and relationships that are longer lasting and more influential on the campus culture as a whole. In the end, we need campus advocacy and programs like the Campus Leadership Program to help students thrive, and to keep universities accountable for creating safe learning environments for their students. Title IX is the bare minimum universities can offer, and survivors deserve the world of love, support, and effort from their campus community.

The Health Resource Center has many helpful resources for campus advocates and campus health centers. Request yours today!

We must not remain silent in the face of hate and violence

[NOTE: This blog post was updated on 12/1/23 to reflect updated information on the number of causalities since the start of the conflict.]

We must not remain silent in the face of hate and violence. 

That’s the wisdom shared by every organization that addresses violent extremism, and it’s something we’ve learned over many years of work at Futures Without Violence. We also know that speaking publicly in support of people who are the targets of violence and hate demonstrates that rejecting hate is the responsibility of each one of us.

I also believe that every human being should be protected from violence and harm, and anyone being harmed deserves our compassion. Full stop.


What do ageism, elder abuse and domestic violence have in common?

Fewer older survivors access domestic violence services: We can change that.

Which of the following are examples of ageism?

  • When you turn 55, you start calling yourself old and worrying about the new fine lines on your face.
  • All the romantic relationships on your favorite Netflix show are between people in their 20s.
  • You give a bouquet of flowers to an older woman sitting alone in the park because she looks lonely.

The answer is all of the above.

The first example is internalized ageism – how we feel about aging.
The second is cultural ageism – the stereotypes that we see in the media.
The third is sometimes called “benevolent ageism” – when people think they are being kind, but they are actually patronizing and infantilizing older adults.

According to The World Health Organization, ageism is the most prevalent and socially acceptable form of bias. Globally, one in two people hold ageist attitudes toward older adults.

Today on Ageism Awareness Day, we’re thinking about the intersection of ageism, elder abuse and domestic violence.

One white women on the left and a woman of color on the right sit at a table looking at each other.

Arlene Groh (left), STAGES plenary speaker and founding member of Waterloo Region’s Elder Abuse Response Team, and Toi Dennis (right), STAGES workshop presenter from the CVLAP Elder Justice Initiative

The World Health Organization estimates that 1 in 6 older people have experienced some form of violence. Age stereotypes play a key role in perpetuating abuse of older adults, as well as in hindering their access to appropriate care and support.

Our elder abuse work at FUTURES focuses on adults aged 50 and above because we know this is the point at which fewer older survivors access domestic violence services. This is also the point when survivors over 50 do seek help, they are often either not believed or dismissed.

Consider a fourth example of ageism:

  • You hear about a man who became so frustrated with caring for his wife who has Alzheimer’s, he grabs her and shakes her. In the conversation, several people lament the challenges of caretaking.

Negative stereotypes and bias can lead to harmful consequences, including violence against and abuse and neglect of older people. In this example, the woman with Alzheimer’s is seen as burdensome, and therefore his abuse is perceived as an excusable act of frustration.

Ageist attitudes contribute to structural ageism, which shapes legislation, policies, and practice. This is why there are so few domestic violence services tailored for older people. Educating people about the reality of ageism is a first step in changing systems that often disregard, stereotype and overlook older adult domestic violence survivors.

Elder abuse may have been happening for many years, or it may start because of new relationships, or changes in existing relationships like health conditions. Similarly to gender-based violence, there are individuals who are responsible for the violence, but underlying structural and cultural factors enable and perpetuate it. In the context of elder abuse, ageism serves as one such factor.

As part of my job with FUTURES, I educate judges on elder abuse. Many judges don’t recognize their own ageist assumptions. A judge once questioned the credibility of a grandmother who was brutally beaten and raped by her grandson. The grandson was found guilty, but the judge thought the victim must be lying because no one would want to rape someone of her age. This troubling sentiment reflects a fundamental misunderstanding about sexual violence but also deeply held assumptions about age. These assumptions limit options for older survivors and send the message to older adults that no one will believe them anyway.

So what can we do to meet the true wants and needs of older adults?

FUTURES created Strategies to Advance Greater Elder Safety (STAGES), a project to foster collaboration across disciplines to address abuse in later life. We met with stakeholders, community partners, other FUTURES staff, and experts with touchpoints to older adult survivors across different systems (advocacy, social services, justice reform, restorative justice, food systems, housing, shelter, substance use and harm reduction, tribal jurisdictions, among others). The answer became clear: older adults want options beyond what is currently available to them.

STAGES will continue to work with communities around the US to help support prevention and restorative options for older survivors of abuse and exploitation. Our goal is to change ageist attitudes in every community so that older people are seen as valued members of our communities deserving of dignity, structural supports, services, and healthy violence-free lives.


Leading Educational Support Groups Webinar Series

Title / TítuloLeading Educational Support Groups Webinar Series / Impartición de grupos de apoyo educativo

Date / Fecha:

Description / Descripción:

In part one, we’ll talk about creating a welcoming environment where everyone can feel safer to ask questions, share openly, and engage in meaningful reflection. We will learn techniques to reduce anxiety, and how to facilitate group agreements and norms that promote relationship building, inclusivity, and mutual respect. / En la primera parte, hablaremos sobre cómo hacer que un entorno sea acogedor donde todas, todos y todes puedan sentirse a salvo para hacer preguntas, hablar de forma sincera en público y participar en una reflexión significativa. Aprenderemos técnicas para reducir la ansiedad, y cómo facilitar acuerdos y normas grupales que promuevan el fomento de interrelaciones, de la inclusión y del respeto mutuo.

Part two will cover writing lesson plans for educational support groups. We will explore the art of skillfully posing open-ended questions that inspire self-reflection and deep conversations. We will share techniques for designing groups based on your community’s needs and structuring lesson plans with flexible agendas to meet the unique needs of each group. / En la segunda parte hablaremos sobre cómo escribir planes de lecciones para grupos de apoyo educativos. Exploraremos el arte de plantear hábilmente preguntas abiertas que inspiren la autorreflexión y las conversaciones a fondo. Hablaremos de técnicas para diseñar grupos basados en las necesidades de su comunidad, y estructuraremos planes de lecciones con tablas de contenido flexible para satisfacer las necesidades únicas de cada grupo.

It doesn’t matter whether you’ve done this before or this is your first time, these sessions will help you build on your experience by learning from each other! / No importa si usted ya ha participado previamente, o si es la primera vez que participa: ¡estas sesiones le ayudarán a aprovechar su experiencia al mismo tiempo que aprende de sus pares!

Learning Objectives / Objetivos de aprendizaje:

Part One Learning Objectives / Objetivos de aprendizaje de la primera parte:

By the end of this 45-minute webinar, participants will be better able to / Al final de los 45 minutos de este webinario, los participantes podrán:

  1. Recognize the importance of establishing psychological safety within educational support groups / Reconocer la importancia de establecer un entorno de seguridad psicológica dentro de los grupos de apoyo educativos.
  2. Describe strategies to create an environment that encourages curiosity, open sharing, and meaningful reflection among group participants / Describir estrategias para crear un entorno que fomente la curiosidad, la participación en voz alta y la reflexión significativa entre los participantes del grupo.

Part Two Learning Objectives / Objetivos de aprendizaje de la segunda parte:

Following this 45-minute webinar, participants will be better able to / Al final de los 45 minutos de este webinario, los participantes podrán:

  1. Describe the nuances of designing lesson plans with a support group component / Describir los matices del proceso de diseño de planes de lecciones con un componente del grupo de apoyo.
  2. Practice the art of asking open-ended questions to facilitate reflection and dialogue among support group members / Practicar el arte de hacer preguntas abiertas para facilitar la reflexión y el diálogo entre las demás personas del grupo de apoyo.
  3. Identify techniques for creating a safe and supportive space that encourages personal sharing and emotional processing within a learning context / Identificar qué técnicas usar para crear un espacio seguro y de apoyo que fomente la participación sincera, así como del proceso emocional, dentro de un contexto de aprendizaje.

Presenter / Presentador:

Juan Carlos Areán, Ph.D

Juan Carlos Areán, Ph.D., works as a Program Director at Futures Without Violence. For more than 30 years, he has led psychoeducational groups, workshops, trainings, and healing circles for men, fathers, and people who cause harm / Juan Carlos Areán, Ph.D., es director de programas en Futuros Sin Violencia (Futures Without Violence). Durante más de 30 años ha facilitado grupos psico-educativos, talleres, capacitaciones y círculos de sanación para hombres, padres y personas que usan violencia de género.

Elena Josway, Host / Cofacilitadora

Abby Larson, Host / Cofacilitadora

Vivian Baylor, Tech / Encargada de tecnología


Questions / ¿Preguntas? Please contract Vivian Baylor Email: / Póngase en contacto con Vivian Baylor al correo electrónico

This project was supported by Grant No. 15JOVW-22-GK-03994-MUMU awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this document are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women. / Este proyecto cuenta con el apoyo de la subvención número 15JOVW-22-GK-03994-MUMU, otorgada por la Office on Violence Against Women (Oficina para la Prevención de violencia contra las mujeres), del Departamento de Justicia de EE. UU. Las opiniones, hallazgos, conclusiones y recomendaciones expresadas en esta publicación son las de los autores y no reflejan necesariamente los puntos de vista de la Oficina sobre la Prevención de violencia contra las mujeres del Departamento de Justicia.

New Resources to Help Pediatricians Support IPV Survivors

We’re excited to share several new resources that can help pediatric healthcare teams support intimate partner violence (IPV) survivors and their children. This includes updated clinical guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), as well as training and practice resources from The National Health Resource Center at Futures Without Violence.

Pediatricians know that supporting parents and other caregivers is a critical part of how they support children’s health and wellbeing. Pediatric healthcare settings provide unique opportunities for families experiencing IPV to access support and resources. Research suggests that even when IPV survivors don’t see a doctor for themselves, they continue to bring their children to the pediatrician. Also, talking about IPV in the context of how it impacts children’s health and providing resources for IPV during a child’s health visit is something that most parents find acceptable.

It can be challenging to address IPV during a pediatric health visit. There are a lot of things to cover during that visit, and sometimes it’s hard to know what to say or how to say it when it comes to talking about IPV. The following resources provide guidance on best practices to support IPV survivors and their children while ensuring safety.


Resources To Help You Support Children, Youth and Families This School Year

Each year, back-to-school brings a mix of excitement and anxiety for children and families. This year, due to the pandemic, the epidemic of gun violence, and other factors, students are returning to school as we face a youth mental health crisis that Surgeon General Vivek Murthy has called “the defining public health issue of our time.” LGBTQIA+ youth, racial and ethnic minorities, those traumatized by violence, youth with disabilities, and those in underserved communities are at particular risk.

That’s why, here at Futures Without Violence, we’re reaching out to help. Our Hanging Out or Hooking Up safety card urges teens and young adults to reflect on how they are treated by the people they date, and shows how to support friends experiencing relationship abuse.

For those who work with youth, we’ve created:




And our resources for college communities include:

We hope you will use and share these materials. Thank you, as always, for all the ways you support our work!


Title: Building Collaborative Responses to Trafficked Victims of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault

Date: November 14-16, 2023

Location: New Orleans, LA

Description: This training will focus on improving collaborative responses for adult/youth domestic violence and sexual assault victims who have also experienced human trafficking.  The 2-day training will provide multidisciplinary participating teams with effective skill-building to identify, assist and promote safety for trafficked survivors; promote peer exchange to share innovation and help problem solve; and improve team coordination and recruitment of new partners to enhance services that increase survivors’ access to social services, health care, legal, and criminal resources that promote their healing and justice.

Please apply in multidisciplinary teams by September 18, 2023

For questions, including on your team configuration, please contact: Vivian Baylor at

As a result of this training participants will be better able to:

  • Strengthen multi-disciplinary collaborative strategies in responding to youth and adult trafficked survivors with domestic violence and sexual assault experiences.
  • Define and clarify professional and organizational roles and responsibilities in responding to trafficked survivors.
  • Recognize the ways human trafficking can intersect with domestic and sexual violence.
  • Provide a survivor-centered and trauma-informed collaborative response to trafficked survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, considering equity, inclusion, and accessibility.
  • Create a collaborative action plan to address human trafficking in the context of domestic violence and sexual assault.

Who is invited to attend?

  • Multidisciplinary teams comprised of different organizations (teams of 2-4) which may include but are not limited to: domestic violence/sexual assault program staff, healthcare staff, attorneys/legal experts, law enforcement, anti-human trafficking programs, and task force members, and other community-based programs. It is recommended that team members have at least 1-2 years of anti-HT experience.
  • At least one of the team members needs to represent a DV/SA organization.
  • Teams with diverse decision-makers with at least one designated lead person.
  • OVW grantees and their OVW grantee partners can participate and use their OVW travel funds to send grant-funded staff and partners to this training, with prior approval from their OVW Program
  • Priority will be given to groups that have recently started or would like to enhance their existing collaborative efforts to improve support for HT survivors, through an anti-human trafficking task force, coalition, or other multidisciplinary partnership.

How to apply:

  • Teams interested in participating must submit an application. If you are using OVW funds to participate, please obtain approval from your OVW program specialist. Due to space limitations of up to 12 multidisciplinary teams, your application is not confirmed until you receive an acceptance letter from FUTURES’ staff. Click here to view the online application & printable flyer.

Training Format:

  • Interactive and innovative educational sessions
  • Cross-professional sessions on building collaborations
  • Case analysis and application
  • Peer exchange


  • Kiricka Yarbough-Smith, Human Trafficking Consultant, North Carolina
  • Perla Flores, Program Director, Community Solutions/South Bay Coalition to End Human Trafficking
  • David Ryan, Chief of Police (Retired), Westchester County Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force, NY
  • Sheri Combs, Covenant House New Orleans, Greater New Orleans Human Trafficking Task Force
  • Vivian Baylor, Futures Without Violence
  • Mónica Arenas, Futures Without Violence

Training Schedule:

  • Tuesday, November 14, 2023: 8:30 m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday, November 15, 2023: 8:30 m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, November 16, 2023: 8:30 m. – 12:00 p.m.


The training is provided free of charge. Participants are responsible for their own meals, lodging, travel arrangements, and costs associated with attending.  Accommodations are available at the government rate of $151/night plus 16.20 % tax + $2 occupancy fee.  Logistics information will be provided upon confirmation.

Please do not make any flight or other travel arrangements until you hear from us that OVW has approved the program and that you have been accepted as a participant. Also in the interim, please ensure that your OVW program manager has approved expenditures from your award to attend the workshop.

For questions, including on your team configuration, please contact: Vivian Baylor at

This project is supported by Grant No. 15JOVW-21-GK-02211-MUMU, awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice.  The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this publication/program/exhibition are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Justice, Office 

Centering LGBTQ Survivors in Employment

Centering LGBTQ+ Survivors: Mitigating Barriers and Discrimination in Employment

DescriptionFutures Without Violence, LA LGBT Center and You Are More Than  (YAMT) will host a webinar discussing the barriers and discrimination LGBTQ+ survivors face in employment. The webinar will focus on four main aspects related to LGBTQ+ survivors in employment including (1) barriers faced by survivors, (2) safety planning when applying for jobs and within the workplace, (3) employment discrimination, and (4) best practices service providers can employ when working with LGBTQ+ clients to ensure their employment needs are met.

Panelist: Aaron Polkey (he/him) Associate Director and Senior Attorney at FUTURES, Amanda Gould (She/They) Senior Program Manager -LA LGBTQ Center, Aims Babich (They/Them) Consultant and Mental Healthcare Worker- YAMT

Learning Objectives: As a result of this webinar, learners will be better able to: 

  • Name specific examples of the barriers LGBTQ+ individuals face when obtaining and maintaining safe and sustainable employment; 
  • Describe supportive services they can provide to minimize barriers; 
  • Analyze current organizational and professional practices from an inclusive lens; and 
  • Adapt to the unique needs that LGBTQ+ survivors face when navigating the pre-employment and employment process

When: Thursday June 29, 2023 

Time: 1-2:30 EST/10-11:30 PST

Recording Link

Reimagining Financial Literacy for Survivors

Title: Re-imagining Financial Literacy for Survivors

Description: Financial literacy is considered a key component of economic empowerment for many service providers in the anti-trafficking and domestic violence field. However, topics like budgeting, savings and managing credit do not always meet the immediate financial needs of survivors. During financial literacy awareness month, this webinar will highlight a panel of service providers who have expanded and reimagined their approach to financial literacy to support survivors. Panelist: Shafeka Hashash (Economic Security Project), Em Jackson (FreeFrom), Kayla Bright & Quintina Sonnie (Survivor Ventures), and Sarah Gonazlez & Carolyne Ouya (Futures Without Violence

When: Wednesday Apri 19, 2023 Time: 10:00-11:00pm PST/ 1:00-2:00pm EST

Recording Link.

Passcode: geMu!Qi1


  • Webinar Guide
  • Money, Mental Health & Wellness Panelist: Quintina Sonnie (Survivor Ventures)
  • Description: Quintina is the housing program director and also runs her own business called conscious choice creation. She discusses how trauma lives in the body and how we make unconscious decisions based on traumatic experiences. Kontina gives the example of her own experience of being exploited and forced into a job where she had to make choices without much choice. The choice has been taken away from her and she wants to regain her freedom of choice.
  • Recording Link
  • Passcode: *2^jtAz9

Stalking, Trafficking and Economic Security

They Won’t Leave Me Alone: Intersections of Stalking, Trafficking, Economic Security

Description: This workshop will explore the intersections between stalking, trafficking and economic security. Participants will explore how stalking tactics are used to force and coerce individuals into sex and labor trafficking, prevent survivors from engaging in legal protections, and sabotage economic opportunities. Participants will also explore safety planning best practices to support survivors in the workplace and beyond. The primary audience for this session is victim-service provider agencies, workforce development professionals, and employers. Speakers: Carolyne Ouya (Promoting Employment Opportunities for Survivors of Trafficking – PEOST), Olivia and Suzanna (Workplaces Responds), Monica Player, Esq. and Maria Jose Fletcher, Esq. (BWJP)

Date: Thursday January 26, 2023 Time: 10:00-11:00pm PST/ 1:00-2:00pm EST

Recording Link

Passcode: d3b?7#E4


Helping the health care community lead in preventing abuse

There was a time when emergency department staff routinely treated domestic violence survivors and then sent them right back home to face further abuse, without the ability to offer referrals or other help.

When few OB/GYNs knew that pregnant women are at vastly elevated risk of homicide, often at the hands of a current or former partner.

When few physicians or nurses talked to young people about sexual coercion and rape.

For decades, Futures Without Violence has been working to change all that.

Our goal has been to ensure the health care community can become not just allies, but leaders, in the work to end abuse. And to support this change, we’ve created tools, trainings, and protocols that allow health care providers to support survivors of violence, promote prevention, and advance quality, equitable health care for all.

The Accidental Educator Podcast

The Accidental Educator

Introducing a new podcast, The Accidental Educator, for gender-based violence programs interested in learning how to start their own podcast!

The Accidental Educator is a podcast for advocates who want to change how we teach about gender-based violence. We invite you to experience our “How to Make a Podcast” podcast. In our first two episodes we follow our host, Abby, as she learns how to get started with pre-production and planning out the theme and content, what gear she needs, how to use audio editing platforms, and how to edit the episode into a cohesive story. We also talk with local domestic and sexual violence programs about their podcasting strategies and how they make their podcasts relevant to the communities they serve. Make sure to check out the episode’s accompanying resource guide to learn more about podcast production.

accidental educator podcast cover (3)


Out now on most streaming platforms!

Google Podcasts
Podcast Addict
Amazon Music
and more!





This series is presented in English with transcripts available. If you require other accommodations, please email us!



Please e-mail us at  

Presented by the Institute for Leadership in Education Development (ILED) a project of Futures Without Violence

This project was supported by Grant No. 15JOVW-22-GK-03994-MUMU awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this document are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women.

Celebrating Pride, Building Community and Resilience

As members of the Children, Youth and Teens program, we’re proud to be part of the groundbreaking work Futures Without Violence has done for decades to prevent violence, create healthy families and communities, and facilitate healing for many of us who have been deeply impacted by violence.

This month, as we celebrate Pride, we’re also proud that our work includes partnering with and supporting LGBTQIA+ communities.

In the Children’s Program, we work to stop violence affecting children and youth and build conditions and experiences for them to thrive. This includes working with professionals to help them support LGBTQIA+ young people to feel safe, seen and loved, and to know that safety and love are possible for them in all kinds of relationships – with peers, community, romantic partners, and themselves

This work is both an imperative and a personal commitment for both of us.

Lonna, a queer mother raising two queer children, one Black and one white, has felt joy and heartache as she watched her kids grow, noticing how they see themselves in a world that treats them differently because of their race and their queer+ identities.

Lonna knows firsthand how important it is for kids to have role models in school, in their communities, and in the stories they read and hear that represent them in the fullness of their intersectional identities. Otherwise, the lack of visible, relatable examples force our kids to wonder if there is something wrong with them, if they are alone. And it creates distinct barriers to seeking help when they need it.

In the Children’s Program at FUTURES, we use the acronym ACE to remind those of us who work with LGBTQIA+ youth about some fundamentals to creating inclusive, welcoming environments. It includes:

  • Affirming queer and trans youth with all their intersecting identities;
  • Connecting with them and making them feel seen, helping them access other connections, and pushing for LGBTQIA+ representation – all to help break isolation, support resilience, build community and safety, and inspire joy; and
  • Empowering them by lifting their stories and voices, providing gender- and sexuality-affirming care, and building better learning spaces. This will help grow and sustain their resilience.

For DJ, the ACE framework resonates because of how isolated they felt as a young, Black and queer person. As a teenager, they weren’t seeing other Black, queer people in their communities or represented in books or on TV. So they wrote a letter to their family, explaining these intersecting identities, afraid that they were alone. They never shared the letter, but it was a marker of the resilience that would help them connect with other Black, queer people on their journey –people who are proud of their voices and openly share their stories.

Feeling safe. Belonging to a community. Having your stories told. It’s critical for all young people, especially LGBTQIA+ youth of color.

These days, our work is harder than it should be due to the anti-LGBTQIA political backlash that makes celebrating Pride this year feel more important than ever. And even without the politicization of our very lives, the lack of public models of healthy queer relationships is already a challenge for those of us working to help young people grow up with nurturing and caring relationships. If you only see examples of healthy relationships in a community you’re not a part of, it’s hard to create those relationships for yourself.

But we can ALL work to change that, to create conditions and experiences that help all young people feel affirmed, connected and empowered. Try on the ACE framework in your daily practice to center the needs of young LGBTQIA+ people.

With support from many extraordinary partners, FUTURES has created resources to help professionals who work with young LGBTQIA+ people, including safety cards, posters, tips to make health settings LGBTQIA+ inclusive, and more. You can see them here.

We encourage you, also, to check out the work of some amazing organizations, including:

We also recommend the book, Gender Euphoria: Stories of Joy from Trans, Non-binary and Intersex Writers and the It Gets Better project’s LGBTQ+ Glossary. These resources can help you interrupt the isolation and fear many young people in your community might be feeling right now.

Our stories are our power, and we invite you to reflect on how your own experiences inform and affect how you show up in your communities.

June – Pride Month – will end this weekend but our commitment to showing up for the young LGBTQIA+ people in our communities will continue. We hope yours will too.

Lonna Davis is a White queer mother and Vice President for Children and Youth Programs at FUTURES. DJ Peay is a Black, trans person and serves as the Communication and Administrative Specialist in the same program.

Engaging Men: One of the Secrets to Our Success

As Father’s Day approaches, everyone at Futures Without Violence thanks the dads, granddads, uncles, father figures, and all the men who are helping us transform culture that too often emboldens harassment, assault, and abuse.

Many years ago when I began doing this work, I realized that much of the language being used in the urgent effort to prevent and respond to the crisis of domestic violence painted all men as the problem.

But I, along with the pioneering women and men I was privileged to have as partners, knew many men who wanted to be part of the solution. So our team at FUTURES began the important work of engaging men. We talked to supportive men from all walks of life – and more importantly, we listened. We made sure to invite, not indict them. And with their help, and help from allies who had been making hard-fought progress for years, we built on our shared goal to stop violence and make families and communities safe.

Our work with men has been groundbreaking and transformative. For more than a decade, our Coaching Boys Into Men program, the public policies we shaped and advanced, and our work with health care providers, business leaders, and judges, have been made possible by our brilliant, dedicated partners who are people of all genders.

So, too, is our Team: Changing Minds initiative, with Harry’s as the founding sponsor, which responds to the national mental health emergency so many youth are facing today.

Right now, with our country hurting and deeply divided, engaging men in the work to build a violence-free world is more important than ever. Those who promulgate hate are amplifying the language of violence against women, racism, anti-Semitism, and anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric as they recruit young men to their cause.

We began working with men to stop violence. Today, we do it also to preserve our democracy and our country.

Our commitment will not waver.

The Crisis of Guns, Intimate Partner Violence and Maternal Health

National Gun Violence Awareness Day was launched in 2015, following the tragic murder of Hadiya Pendleton, a 15-year-old Black girl killed by a stray bullet in Chicago’s Kenwood neighborhood. It was just one week after she spoke at President Obama’s second inauguration.

It’s become a “new normal” to turn on the TV, listen to the chilling details of another shooting and feel the anxiety, suffering and pain of those impacted by violence.

Nothing about this is normal. This is not okay.

Today is a day for remembering, and for taking action. And while the anniversaries of a number of tragic mass shootings captured headlines last month – including the lives viciously taken by a white supremacist targeting black shoppers at the Tops Supermarket in Buffalo, NY and the one-year anniversary of the Uvalde school shooting – I’m thinking about another headline. One that brought the reality of firearm and maternal deaths due to intimate partner violence to the forefront.

Last month in Dallas, 26-year-old Gabriella Gonzalez was shot and killed by her boyfriend in a parking lot after she returned from seeking an out-of-state abortion due to Texas’s six-week abortion ban. Family members reported that the boyfriend had a history of abuse, including a previous assault charge for violence against a family member.

It’s a tragedy and also a reminder of a stark reality: guns are lethal for pregnant women.

In fact, homicide is the leading cause of death for women who are pregnant or have recently given birth in the United States. Black women, Native American and Alaska Native women, and younger women bearing a disproportionate burden of those deaths.

Pregnancy can often intensify the level of violence experienced within an abusive relationship. In addition, according to Harvard’s Karestan Koenen and Rebecca Lawn, as was the case in Texas, “laws restricting women’s access to reproductive and abortion care services can place women at further risk, since control over a woman’s reproductive choices often plays a role in intimate partner violence.”

How do we move forward?

Step one is to fully close the boyfriend loophole and ensure abusers cannot access firearms. The availability of a gun in a household where domestic violence is present further exacerbates the power and control dynamic commonly used by abusers to inflict coercive control over their partners. Our federal and state legislators need to take action and should not ignore the realities of individuals who may be suffering in silence, behind closed doors, in abusive relationships.

A second step would be to improve reproductive health access and support during pregnancy, especially for those most at risk of domestic violence. Due to the increased risk of violence during pregnancy, especially gun violence, access to a full range of quality reproductive care is vital for survivors. Healthcare providers can play a critical role in screening for violence, offering support, and offering referrals. Together, we can take immediate steps to support funding for existing programs that address these intersections, fund research to better understand the linkages and improve access to health care for low-income women.

Finally, we can advocate for legislation and funding that will increases access to domestic violence and sexual assault services and support such as the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act and Post-Partum Medicaid coverage, which addresses the rise in maternal mortality and supports preventable causes of death due to homicide, overdose and suicides.

It is also critical to support the development of partnerships between health care and community-based support services, which can aid in screening survivors for domestic violence and providing quality, culturally-specific, trauma-informed resources to help.

It’s my hope that one day, we will no longer as a country need a National Gun Violence Awareness Day where we are strategizing on how to keep guns out of the hands of abusers and how to protect our children from mass shootings and violence within their communities.

But for that to happen, we must act now.

Responding to the national youth mental health emergency

The headlines are everywhere: Anxiety and depression among teens is skyrocketing. If you’re a parent, or work with young people, you won’t be surprised to hear that the American Academy of Pediatrics declared a national emergency in child and adolescent mental health.

What can be done?

We can expand what help looks like and who it comes from by activating those who youth trust most, like a coach, a gaming friend, or an older peer. That’s at the heart of the unprecedented national response network we’re building to put mental health support just a click, call, or connection away from millions of teens and young adults – with a focus on boys and men of color. 

It’s been a year since we shared the news that a collaboration between Futures Without Violence, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, and the National Council for Mental Wellbeing had won the Harry’s Open Minds Initiative search for the next great idea to improve mental health in the United States. As we wrap up our first year, we wanted to let you know how much Team: Changing Minds, with Harry’s as our Founding Donor, has already accomplished. 

We’re engaging the trusted peers and adults in young men’s lives who are active in pastimes they love (like video games, mentoring, and sports) to identify signs of mental health challenges, provide help, and offer other assistance and connections to young people.

Our goal is to transform how mental health support is delivered to young people in this country  – helping to augment (but not replace) the critical role mental health providers play. Team: Changing Minds instructors are training more than 20,000 mental health responders who have the potential to reach hundreds of thousands of young people.

And our work has just begun. Team: Changing Minds will scale up over the next few years, helping many more people learn to recognize the signs of mental health challenges and connect young people to support earlier, before those challenges become crises. We aim to shorten the average 10+ year time period it takes most young people to access help for mental health challenges. 

This work could not be more important at this moment when so many teens and young adults are hurting so much. So as Mental Health Awareness Month wraps up, we wanted to update you about the innovative work we’ve got underway.

Interested in getting involved in Team: Changing Minds? Let us know

Strategies To Improve Maternal Health And Safety

The leading cause of death during pregnancy and immediately after birth in the United States? It’s not sepsis, hypertension, or hemorrhage. It’s homicide, often at the hands of a current or former partner.

Couple that with our country’s appalling – and worsening – rate of maternal mortality, and you have a full-blown crisis that’s taking a terrible toll.

That’s why we’re working so hard, in so many ways, to improve maternal health in this country. That begins with our long-term, transformative work to show physicians, nurses, and other health care providers how to safely talk with their patients about domestic and sexual violence, and how to intervene effectively with those at risk.

Our Connected Parents, Connected Kids materials are helping home visitation and early childhood staff address domestic violence among their clients. Research from home visiting programs has shown that as many as half of low-income mothers visited have experienced abuse. The harmful impact on their physical and mental health, and that of their children, is well documented.

Connected Parents, Connected Kids addresses the barriers and difficulties staff experience in addressing domestic violence, offering strategies and tools that help them provide support when a client discloses abuse. That kind of intervention can make a big difference!

And we’re working tirelessly to convince Congress to pass the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act of 2023, which was re-introduced in both chambers this week. The United States has the highest maternal mortality rate of any high-income country and there are painful disparities, with Black and Native American/Indigenous women much more likely to die during and after childbirth than those who are white.

The problem has been getting worse, not better, in recent years and the new restrictions on abortion care, which are affecting miscarriage care in some states, threaten to make it worse still.

But there is hope. Four in five pregnancy-related deaths in this country are preventable, and the 13 evidence-based bills in the Momnibus Act will help prevent them. That’s why we’re pressing so hard to convince Congress to pass it.

Working together, with the right interventions and support, we can ensure pregnancy and childbirth are a time of joy and celebration.

Won’t you join us?


Access, Care, and Support for Survivors of Sexual Violence and Coercion: A SAAM Panel for Healthcare Providers

Date: Tuesday, April 25th, 2023

Having meaningful access to trauma-informed healthcare is an important part of wellness and healing for survivors of sexual violence. For Sexual Assault Awareness Month, we are hosting a panel discussion that will focus on equipping healthcare providers with the knowledge necessary to minimize barriers to care, effectively supporting patients who have survived sexual violence, and fostering a safe and supportive environment. Participants will learn about CUES, a universal education approach to addressing intimate partner and sexual violence in health settings that ensures that all patients get information about available resources.

Speakers and Panelists:
  • Alisa Zipursky, Survivor Activist, Author of Healing Honestly
  • Bianca Palmisano, MSN, RN and Trauma-informed Care Educator
  • Megha Rimal, Program Specialist, Futures Without Violence National Health Initiatives
  • Virginia Duplessis, Associate Director, Futures Without Violence National Health Initiatives

Acceso, atención y apoyo a las víctimas de violencia y acoso sexual:
Un panel del SAAM para profesionales de la salud

Fecha: Martes 25 de abril 2023

El acceso adecuado a una atención médica informada sobre traumas es una parte importante del bienestar y la recuperación de las víctimas de violencia sexual. Para el mes de la sensibilización sobre la violencia sexual, organizamos un panel de expertos que se centrará en dotar a los profesionales de la salud de los conocimientos necesarios para minimizar las barreras a la atención, apoyar eficazmente a los pacientes que han sobrevivido a una agresión sexual y fomentar un entorno seguro y de apoyo. Los participantes aprenderán sobre CUES, un enfoque de educación universal para abordar la violencia sexual y doméstica en los centros de salud que garantiza que todos los pacientes reciban información sobre los recursos disponibles.

Grabación próximamente!

Ponentes y panelistas:

  • Alisa Zipursky, Activista Sobreviviente, Autora de Healing Honestly (Sanar de verdad)
  • Bianca Palmisano, Maestra en Enfermería, Enfermera Titulada y Educadora en Atención Informada Sobre Traumas
  • Virginia Duplessis, Directora Asociada, Iniciativa Nacional de Salud para un Futuro sin Violencia
  • Megha Rimal, Especialista En Programas, Iniciativa Nacional de Salud por un Futuro sin Violencia

El evento contará con interpretación simultánea en español y en lenguaje de señas (ASL) y también con subtítulos en inglés.

Biden/Harris Budget Proposal Makes Unprecedented Commitment to Violence Prevention

In its budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2024, the Biden/Harris administration shared its vision and priorities for the nation. Consistent with President Biden’s longstanding commitment to preventing domestic and sexual violence and helping survivors heal, the budget would make major investments in programs that prevent violence and support both adult and child victims of abuse. In our view, the domestic and international investments the administration is proposing are badly needed and very wise. 

At Futures Without Violence, we are particularly pleased that the administration wants to make major investments in some of our top priorities, including the Violence Against Women Act, Family Violence Prevention and Services Act, and some vitally important prevention programs and housing supports for survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking. Specifically, the budget includes:  

  • $ 1 billion for the Violence Against Women Act, including new funding for restorative justice programs. This is a $300 million (43%) increase over what was included in the FY 2023 federal budget, which was the highest funding level in history; 
  • More than $519 million for the Family Violence Prevention and Services, which is double last year’s appropriation; and  
  • $30 million for the Children Exposed to Violence initiative at the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. That would be a $20 million increase. 

Supporting Economic Justice

The Biden/Harris budget funds several groundbreaking programs and makes investments that would boost the economic security and safety of women, which is critical to helping survivors of domestic violence live safely and independently of their abusers.  

It would restore the full Child Tax Credit, which cut child poverty in half in 2021, to the lowest level in history, when it was adopted temporarily as part of the American Rescue Plan. The administration would expand the credit from $2,000 to $3,000 per child per year for children six years old and older, and to $3,600 per child per year for children under age six. It would also make the Child Tax Credit fully refundable, so that it no longer excludes children in the lowest-income families. It would once again allow families to receive monthly advance payments, so they can pay their bills, rather than waiting to get their tax credit all at once when they file their taxes.  

The administration also proposes to create a national paid family and medical leave program, providing up to 12 weeks of paid leave so working people can take time off to care for a new child or a seriously ill loved one; heal from their own serious illness; deal with a loved one’s military deployment; or find safety from domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.  

The Biden/Harris budget proposal makes another major investment in child care.   

Stopping Violence Worldwide

The administration’s budget proposal would make the largest commitment ever to addressing gender-based violence and gender equity worldwide, providing nearly $3 billion to advance gender equity and equality internationally.   

FUTURES co-chairs the Coalition to End Gender-Based Violence Globally and leads much of the appropriations work for the coalition, so we were especially grateful to see the largest commitment ever to preventing and responding to gender-based violence, not less than $250 million.  

At FUTURES, we will work with the administration to build awareness among members of Congress about the enormously positive impact these investments would have in making our country, and our world, safer and stronger.  

Sign up to join our Network here to stay apprised of developments on the FY 2024 budget and other FUTURES policy priorities. 

Celebrating history (and making more progress) for women

It’s Women’s History Month, a time to mark the progress women have made, and what’s still needed, to achieve a world where women and all people can live free from violence, with real opportunities to prosper and thrive. 

We have made much progress since FUTURES was launched 35 years ago, a time when women earned about 66 cents for every dollar a man earned, and domestic violence was still thought of by many as a “private matter.” FUTURES has worked since then to shape public policy’s response to violence, change social norms, advance economic security and opportunity for women, engage boys and men in violence prevention, and more 

Often, progress is made incrementally. But we look for innovations that have the potential to be transformational. I want to share a few things we’re especially excited about right now. 

Economic Innovation

When Congress passed the CHIPS and Science Act, it was widely hailed as a bipartisan triumph that would provide a badly needed economic boost to our country. Now, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo has mandated companies that benefit from CHIPS must provide affordable child care, an innovative use of federal resources to ensure women can access these high-paying jobs and leverage public dollars to help companies address the childcare crisis 

Here's the truth:CHIPS won't be successful unless we expand our labor force. We can't do that without affordable child care. That's why we're requiring companies that recieve funding to tell us how they plan to provide affordable child care for workers

This Women’s History Month, we’re hailing leaders like Secretary Raimondo – innovative women with their finger on the country’s pulse who are helping vulnerable families become economically stable. She understands, as we do, that when you advance economic opportunity, you strengthen families and communities, and help prevent violence. And at FUTURES, we’ll continue to advocate for a recovery that centers the needs of women, survivors, and families so that we can build an economy that works for all.

Building a Culture of Hope

Too many people believe that violence is inevitable. But we know violence is preventable. That’s why we’re building the Courage Museum, a design lab for the deep, transformative human change needed to prevent violence before it happens.  

Award-winning women filmmakers and educators are among the world-class architects, designers, scientists and subject matter experts who are creating an immersive experience that features changemakers throughout history who have acted with courage to create change. The experiences of women and girls in all their diversity will be central to the stories we are telling. 

Once it opens in 2025, the Courage Museum will be unlike any other place – a tribute to those who persevered against gender-based violence, hate crimes, childhood trauma, and gun violence, and a thought-provoking, transformational laboratory for social norms change. 

Vote for FUTURES! 

Do you want to support us to continue making history? We are proud and grateful that CREDO has selected Futures Without Violence as one of the beneficiaries of its generous grant during Women’s History Month. Please, take a moment to vote for us at this link, so we can benefit from their support for our critical work. 

Thank you, as always, for sharing and supporting our work. 

Strengthening Domestic and Sexual Violence Programs to Support Trafficking Survivors: Intersections, Equity, Cultural Humility, and Collaborations

Title: Strengthening Domestic and Sexual Violence Programs to Support Trafficking Survivors: Intersections, Equity, Cultural Humility, and Collaborations

Date: March 15, 2023

Time: 12:00 pm PT / 2:00 pm CT / 3:00 pm ET (90 minutes)

Link to Bios

Webinar Recording

Closed Captioning Transcript

PowerPoint Slides

Resource List


Systems of inequality increase vulnerability to human trafficking, domestic, and sexual violence. Supporting survivors of human trafficking requires an intersectional and equity-centered lens to decrease barriers to accessing resources.  This webinar will review the ways that human trafficking can intersect with domestic and sexual violence, how to engrain equity and cultural responsiveness in your support of survivors, and the power of collaborative relationships to better support and serve survivors.

Learning Objectives:

As a result of this presentation, you will be better able to:

  • Identify the various ways human trafficking can intersect with domestic violence and sexual assault.
  • Apply principles of equity in supporting survivors of human trafficking and domestic and sexual violence.
  • Identify strategies to support survivors of human trafficking within domestic and sexual assault organizations, and in collaboration with others in your community.


Kiricka Yarbough Smith

Kiricka is the former Director of Human Trafficking Programs at the North Carolina Council for Women and Youth Involvement, where she has worked since 2015. She also serves as a consultant for the Office for Victims of Crime at the U.S. Department of Justice, as a faculty member for Futures Without Violence, and as a consultant and trainer for the Office on Trafficking in Persons at the Administration for Children, Youth and Family, and the National Human Trafficking Training and Technical Assistance Center at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Trained as a social worker, Kiricka addresses human trafficking at its intersections with other issues, including mental health, developmental disabilities, substance abuse, domestic violence, sexual violence, and child advocacy. She has over 20 years of combined experience working in these areas. Kiricka is the former Human Trafficking Program Manager at the NC Coalition Against Sexual Assault, and a former Investigator for Project No Rest at UNC-Chapel Hill’s Administration for Children and Families. She also served as the Chairperson of the NC Coalition Against Human Trafficking from 2014-2019. As a 2021 Human Trafficking Leadership Academy Fellow, Kiricka helped develop recommendations to address institutional inequities and barriers to accessing services for survivors of human trafficking and communities of color.

Target Audience:

Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Program Staff and Boards, Anti-Human Trafficking Program Staff and Boards, Taskforce members, other interested individuals.

Questions? Please contact Vivian Baylor Email:

This project is supported by Grant# 15JOVW-21-GK-02211-MUMU, awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this publication/program/exhibition are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women.