SVAA Resource Center

Supporting state victim assistance academies through training and technical assistance.

About the SVAA Resource Center

What is the SVAA Resource Center?

The State Victim Assistance Academy (SVAA) Resource Center is a new national training and technical assistance effort to further and support the vital work of SVAAs across the country, whether just starting, already in operation, or looking to expand.

Our vision is to build on the past experiences of SVAAs to provide a system of foundational and continuing training for victim advocates to strengthen the network of victim service providers.

What are our goals?

Building on the work of OVC TTAC, we aim to:

  • promote SVAAs as an essential component of high quality victim response,
  • work with SVAAs to assemble an array of culturally competent and trauma-informed curricula and resources, and
  • develop strategies to sustain SVAAs over time.

We will connect with SVAAs and help them connect with each other to share resources and evolving trends in the field, ask questions, and share successes. Our plans include a private chat network, video profiles, web meetings, an e-newsletter, an interactive website, and an updated online learning community. We look forward to engaging SVAAs and allies in this collaborative effort as we build Communities of Practice across the country. 


What is a Community of Practice?

Briefly, a Community of Practice is a group of people who come together to share expertise and resources around a common interest.

The SVAA Community of Practice operates on several levels:

  • At the national level, the SVAA Advisory Board monitors the field of victim services for emerging needs, as well as existing research, tools, resources, and best practices. By promoting SVAA resources throughout their respective networks, and convening twice yearly to discuss the latest developments in the victim services field, they help broadly advance SVAAs across the country.
  • At the state level, SVAAs will be encouraged, through the participation of a diverse and inclusive Steering Committee, to collaborate with a variety of state and local victim services and other stakeholders including, but not limited to, healthcare practitioners, clergy, journalists, criminal justice professionals, and many others.    
  • At the individual SVAA level, a diverse student body and faculty will learn, share, and build relationships, growing a supportive and comprehensive network that will result in state-of-the-field care and resources for victims.

Who are the team members?

The SVAA Resource Center is operated through the National Center for Victims of Crime and incorporates a team of expert consultants. Our efforts are informed by the members of our Advisory Board.

National Center for Victims of Crime

  • Carolyn Hoffmann, LGSW
    Project Director: SVAA Resource Center
    Social worker experienced in providing direct services as well as working with local and national partners to build collaborative systems to support victims.

 Expert Consultants

  • Kevin Becker, Psy.D.
    Director of Training & Technical Assistance
    SVAA TTAC consultant since 2013; Former founding member & director of Massachusetts SVAA for 9 years; licensed psychologist specializing in trauma for 25 years; Executive Committee, Steering committee and faculty of MVAA for 10 years.
  • Janet E. Fine, MS
    Leader in Victims Rights and Children’s Advocacy Center Movements for over 30 years; Former ED of Massachusetts Office for Victim Assistance; Founding member, Executive Committee, Steering committee and faculty of MVAA for 10 years.
  • Katherine Manners, M.Ed., LMFT
    Consultant, trainer, clinician and program director specializing in homicide bereavement services and vicarious trauma for over 30 years; Clinical Coordinator of Vicarious Trauma & Resilience program for victim services professionals; Founding member, Executive Committee, Steering committee and faculty of MVAA for 10 years.
  • Lisa Tieszen, LICSW
    Licensed social worker, specializing in domestic and sexual violence and vicarious trauma for over 35 years; Founder of multiple hospital-based domestic violence advocacy programs in Boston; Founding member, Executive Committee, Steering committee and faculty of MVAA for 10 years.