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Because most citizens come in contact with victims, even if they don't know it, one priority of OVA's training programs is to prepare communities to work and communicate effectively with victims and treat them with dignity and respect. Educational workshops are offered across the Commonwealth, including inside state prisons.
OVA is available to travel to your county or provide online training to discuss victims' rights and services, facilitating juvenile restorative conferences, and more. To schedule a training, please email OVA at RA-OVAinfo@pa.gov or call 800.563.6399.
Check out the Resilient Voices program, which offers a brilliant array of survivor speakers for your events.
Intimate Partner Violence Trainings
Through funding from the PA Commission on Crime and Delinquency, OVA is currently offering 2 specialized trainings for probation and parole professionals.
- Trauma Informed Approaches
Using trauma informed and healing centric approaches when engaging survivors of intimate partner violence can improve engagement and health outcomes. It can also increase access to ongoing care and reduce long teram costs for survivors.
- Technology Facilitated Stalking
Technology can be a major tool used to further intimate partner violence. Its vast uses can be one of the most challenging behaviors to document and curb. Understanding the motivations and the tools available is one step we can take toward ending this abuse.
More information available here.
Child Sexual Exploitation Training
The virtual training is designed to assist service providers who engage survivors and offenders of sexual assault, harassment and commercial exploitation of youth. Service providers are taught how to utilize the materials developed by the trainers and best practices for engaging survivors whose trauma stems from sexual abuse. You can watch the full training here
OVA partners with the PA Department of Corrections to bring various classes to state correctional facilities across the state. Impact of Crime Class (voluntary) and Victim Awareness Class (mandatory) are two of those offerings.
Programs are aimed to raise awareness of the long term effects that crime has on victims/survivors, their families and communities. They are designed to increase the level of accountability and empathy, while often providing a healing platform for survivors to share their experiences.
Additionally, OVA staff and crime survivors take part in Day of Responsibility events on an annual basis. Activities generate dialogue around issues of redemption, restoration, rehabilitation and responsibility to prepare those who are close to release and to plant roots of these concepts for long serving offenders.
Inmates who have participated in trainings have remarked:
"Having victims come into class and reveal their personal stories served to give us inmates a behind the scenes look at the destructive nature our criminal conduct inflicts upon the innocent victims and the aftermath harm crimes cause."
"I have been enrolled in various treatment programs for offenders but no other program had such a profound effect on me."
Historically, OVA has assisted a group of inmates serving life sentences at SCI Phoenix who developed their own peer-to-peer mentoring program, aimed at encouraging accountability and healing.
Inmates have also donated to MADD to pay for autopsy reports, donated to local victim service organizations, and reimbursed survivor speakers for mileage and lodging expenses when traveling to speak to their class.