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  • Vicarious Trauma
  • Volume 9 | Winter 2008

commission activities and programming

National Civil Law Custody Institute

For Legal Assistance for Victims (LAV) Grantee Attorneys of the United States Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women (OVW)

San Diego, CA
March 27-28, 2008

This two-day Institute will provide attorneys who represent victims in contested civil protection order cases and family law case involving custody with an opportunity to develop and improve their litigation expertise in the representation of victims of domestic violence, dating violence and sexual assault. 
Registration is limited to current Legal Assistance for Victim (LAV) grantee attorneys of the U.S. Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women (“OVW”).  Registration will be closed at 50 participants and is on a first come, first served basis.  There is no registration fee to attend the Institute and grantees may use OVW funds to cover travel costs to attend.

If you have any general questions about this Institute, information updates, and registration information, please visit the Commission’s website [].  If you are an OVW grantee and you have specific questions about the parameters and terms of your grant or funding, please contact your OVW program manager.

Commission on Domestic Violence Partners on Two New Exciting ABA Projects

Thanks to generous one-year funding from the American Bar Association Enterprise Fund, the Commission on Domestic Violence is a part of several collaborative projects with other American Bar Association entities to develop international and domestic resources and leadership for attorneys representing victims of human trafficking, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) victims of domestic violence. 

National Leadership and Training to Provide Civil Legal Assistance to Victims of Trafficking

With its ABA partners, the Section on Individual Rights and Responsibilities, Commission on Immigration, Rule of Law Initiative, Commission on Youth at Risk and Center for Pro Bono, the Commission on Domestic Violence is leading a national and international effort to increase and improve trainings and resources for attorneys providing civil legal representation to victims of human trafficking.  In particular, the Project partners plan to accomplish the following activities in the next year:

  • Develop training and resource materials regarding best practices for providing civil legal assistance to human trafficking victims
  • Host an international training institute on provision of civil legal assistance to victims of trafficking
  • Launch a pilot pro bono project to expand the civil legal assistance to victims of trafficking and to serve as models domestically and internationally; and
  • Launch a web-based resource center that provides access to technical assistance, training and educational resources for attorneys handling civil trafficking cases.

Legal Assistance and Education for LGBT Victims of Domestic Violence

Lead by the ABA Section on Individual Rights and Responsibilities, the ABA Commission on Domestic Violence, ABA Criminal Justice Section, and the ABA Youth at Risk Commission will develop education and outreach materials for lawyers and the public regarding the legal needs of LGBT victims of domestic violence and related crimes   Examples of materials include legal intake and screening tools, trainings on litigation techniques and remedies for pro bono and legal services attorneys, and a website dedicated to providing education and resource materials about legal rights and remedies available to LGBT victims of domestic violence.  The Project partners will also host three in-person trainings to provide practice information and opportunities for peer-to-peer exchange on issues including litigation skills, privacy, and other unique abuse to LGBT survivors including “outing” and abuse related to HIV and AIDS status, civil protection orders, criminal protections, immigration law, family law, tribal issues, integration of serving sexual assault survivors, and providing culturally-appropriate services.

To facilitate these projects, the Commission has recently hired a full-time Project Coordinator, Amanda Kloer.   For more information about either of these projects or to provide information or express your interest in assisting the Commission with these important efforts, please contact Amanda Kloer at or (202) 662-1697.