Domestic violence, sexual violence, and victims of crime programs, are at particular risk for organizational trauma caused by the empathic and intense nature of our work. Often, our organizational culture adds to the intensity, through the demands of our workload and the way we communicate with one another through formal and informal structures. The intensity of our organizational culture, and the passion and dedication which advocates bring to the work, is part of our strength, but it also creates increased vulnerability to organizational trauma.
There are things we can do to build our resilience against organizational trauma and manage it when it occurs. A strong core identity, organizational esteem, facilitating structures and processes, hopeful and energetic leadership, and positive connection to peer agencies can all help to protect an organization.”
To that end, NYSCADV has compiled some resources around self-care, well-being, and resilience in response to advocates’ need for support during these challenging times. Compiled below is an upcoming webinar by NYSCASA, available recorded webinars, toolkits, and additional resources to help advocates take care of themselves and to support the work that they are doing. This list is by no means exhaustive and we welcome your input if you have been utilizing resources that you have found successfully promote a culture of self-care and community care in your workplaces. Please feel free to send resources to us at so that we may grow this collection and share among the domestic violence community.
- NYSCASA: Calm in the Chaos on November 17, 2020 at 11AM EST
- Register here: Wouldn't it be nice to be able to feel calmer and happier no matter what's going on around you? It's not as hard as you may think. This workshop will teach you simple, quick, easy ways to get calm and be happy. You don’t have to meditate for an hour a day to change your life. Many of these techniques take one minute or less. We don’t realize how much power we have over how we feel. Simply changing what we do with our body and our mind, can transform how we feel in deeply profound ways. Do Not Miss This!! It may be one of the most valuable things you do all year.
- Praxis International: Supporting Advocate Wellbeing: Virtual Gathering on November 10, 2020 3:30-5:00PM EST
- Register here: 2020 has drastically affected the way we all live and work. Advocates are at the front lines of the movement to end gender-based violence, yet so much has happened this year that the challenges and pressures, especially for those with marginalized identities, are immense. Over these past months, you have affirmed that connecting as advocates is more important than ever right now. We encourage you to connect again with us on November 10th; to join us for a time of respite, a pause to care for yourself as you so lovingly care for survivors. You deserve time for yourself, we hope to see you on November 10th.
AVAILABLE RECORDED WEBINARS
- NRCDV: Dealing with Loss and Uncertainty: Self-compassion, Resilience, and Narrative. A Series. Click Here.
- Webinar I of the Self-Care & Healing During COVID-19 Webinar Series – Part I of the Self-Care & Healing During COVID-19 webinar series will walk participants through the dynamics of grief as we deal with loss and uncertainty, and as we let go of the shame and guilt related to it. Through discussion and group exercises, participants will gain practical skills to help bring self-compassion into their daily lives.
- Webinar II of the Self-Care & Healing During COVID-19 Webinar Series – Part II of the Self-Care & Healing During COVID-19 webinar series will focus on the impact of trauma and will explore how to center hope, healing, and resilience for ourselves and our community. The presenters will introduce a holistic healing approach involving culture, spirituality, civic action and collective healing.
- Webinar III of the Self-Care & Healing During COVID-19 Webinar Series - Part III of the Self-Care & Healing During COVID-19 series will bring our expert presenters from Part I and II together to discuss how to move forward during and after COVID-19. The panelists will focus on building effective and sustainable self-care practices, and will share tools for short-term and long-term healing. Each one will offer a unique perspective on the impact of trauma and strategies for restoring peace, joy, hope, and healing in our lives and communities.
- NRCDV: #Care4Advocates: COVID-19 Resources to Support Advocates’ Well-being. Click Here.
- Advocacy during COVID-19 is difficult. NRCDV has compiled resources in response to the identified need for advocates to feel supported and valued, especially as they put themselves at risk to support survivors’ safety. Self-care is so much more than candles, bubble baths, chocolate and roses. It’s being able to freely connect with the things, people and places that gives you joy. It’s having the ability to prioritize ones’ emotional, mental, physical and spiritual well-being. Self-care is best achieved in a supportive environment that allows individuals to bring their whole selves into the space. All individuals. All identities. All lived experiences. Self-care is about showing up for yourself and others. Self-care is self-preservation. Self-care is not optional for black and brown survivors, advocates and preventionists; it is necessary for survival in oppressive systems
- NRCVD: Keeping Your Cup Full: Self-Care is Essential to Trauma Informed Advocacy. Click Here.
- Self-care is essential to providing trauma-informed advocacy. This webinar will offer strategies for dealing with daily work related stress, will increase awareness of the issue of vicarious trauma, and will provide ideas in order to gain organizational support to help sustain and support those working with survivors of trauma.
- NRCDV: Keeping Your Cup Full is Essential to Trauma Informed Advocacy Part II. Click Here.
- How are you really doing? Are you tired and feeling there are not enough hours in a day? Adequate self-care is vital to sustaining long-lasting careers as a victim advocates. Through storytelling, Vanessa Timmons discusses strategies for managing work related stress and addresses the importance of taking time to address the emotional and physical damage caused by compassion fatigue.
- National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma & Mental Health (NCDVTMH): Guide 1: The Social, Emotional, and Relational Climate and Organizational Trauma. Click Here.
- The ACRTI Implementation Support Guides are intentionally focused toward program leaders and contain resources and strategies to support organizational change. This first guide focuses on organizational trauma and the social, emotional, and relational aspects of our organizations. It offers leaders information, opportunities for reflection, and strategies to support transformation.
- National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma & Mental Health (NCDVTMH): Tools for Transformation: Becoming Accessible, Culturally Responsive, and Trauma-Informed Organizations — An Organizational Reflection Toolkit. Click Here.
- Check out this resource from NCDVTMH’s Tools for Transformation: Becoming Accessible, Culturally Responsive and Trauma Informed Organizations. It focuses on how we can talk with survivors about what helps them which can give us as advocates an opportunity to create relationships based on listening, learning and offering them what feels familiar and has been successful in the past. It is useful for advocates to reflect on the questions outlined in this resource, as well.
- NYC Anti-Violence Project: Showing Up For Ourselves And Each Other: Community Care And Safety Planning In Times Of Crisis. Click Here.
- NRCDV: TA Bundle: Smiles for the Soul: The Advocate’s Scrapbook of Strength, Wisdom & Wellness. Click Here.
- There are many reasons why we chose to work in the movement to end gender-based violence. For some, it might have to do with their own experiences of survival, for others their commitment to helping build a better world. No matter our reasons, we can all agree that this work can take a toll on our minds and bodies. Advocates bear witness to the emotional pain that survivors endure, and although we are part of many powerful and inspirational moments that deeply impact our lives, we are also vulnerable to secondary traumatic stress. Additionally, some advocates have to maneuver added stressors like triggers, institutionalized racism, intolerance, silencing and many other roadblocks that can contribute to a sense of hopelessness and lack of meaning. We must address vicarious trauma by leaning on each other, reflecting on why we do this work and how we can implement changes that sustain it. This Technical Assistance (TA) Bundle includes TA Questions (TAQs), podcasts, and webinars from NRCDV featuring resources and personal stories from advocates and survivors on self-care, resilience and best practices for sustaining our passion and well being.
- Office for Victims of Crime: Vicarious Trauma Toolkit. Click Here.
- The Vicarious Trauma Toolkit (VTT) was developed on the premise that exposure to the traumatic experiences of other people—known as vicarious trauma—is an inevitable occupational challenge for the fields of victim services, emergency medical services, fire services, law enforcement, and other allied professionals; however, organizations can mitigate the potentially negative effects of trauma exposure by becoming vicarious trauma-informed. The VTT includes tools and resources tailored specifically to these fields that provide the knowledge and skills necessary for organizations to address the vicarious trauma needs of their staff.
- Human Kind Workshop: Notes on Mind-Body Practices for Self-Reflection and Self-Care. Click Here.
- National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma & Mental Health (NCDVTMH): Fingerhold Practice for Managing Emotions & Stress* Click Here.
- The fingerhold practice is a simple technique that combines breathing and holding each finger. Practicing fingerholds can help to manage emotions and stress. It is a useful practice for both adults and children, and you can use the technique for yourself and/or with another person.
- National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma & Mental Health (NCDVTMH): Self-Compassion Break Exercise (NCDVTMH and Kristin Ness). Click Here.
- National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma & Mental Health (NCDVTMH):Guided Breathing. Click Here.
- National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) Coloring Pages. Click Here.
- Mindful Breathing. Click Here.