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Advocacy & Services for Victim Defendants

A Toolkit for Systems Advocacy for Victims of Battering Charged with Crimes   NEW!

by Sue Osthoff and Jane Sadusky (December 2016)

Provides ideas, strategies, and techniques for addressing the needs and challenges related to making victims of battering charged with crimes visible and central in a community’s response to battering. Includes resources, references, as advocacy organization survey, and a data collection workbook.
[147 pages] 

Issues to Consider When Facilitating Groups with Battered Women in Jail or Prison

by Andrea Bible (March 2011)

Explores issues advocates should consider when facilitating a group with victims of battering in jail or prison, including the realities of working inside correctional facilities, and offers potential topics to address in such groups. [59 pages]

Working with Battered Women in Jail: A Manual for Community-Based Battered Women's Advocates

by National Clearinghouse for the Defense of Battered Women staff (November 2009)

Provides information and strategies to help community-based advocates provide effective and holistic support to incarcerated victims of battering. [80 pages]

In Their Own Words: Victims of Battering Talk About Being Arrested and Convicted

by Melissa Scaia (May 2017)

Presents the findings of a series of focus groups and interviews with female victims of battering who had been convicted of domestic-violence-related crimes against their intimate partners. [23 pages]

Legal Advocacy for Victim Defendants

Got Justice? Options for Prosecutors When Battered Women Fight Back

by Mary E. Asmus (May 2017)

Offers ideas and suggestions for prosecutors seeking just results in cases where the defendant is a victim of battering. Encourages practitioners not to assume a "seen one, them all" attitude toward such cases, and to find a nuanced response appropriate to the circumstances of each defendant.
[22 pages]

Victims of Battering with Concurrent Open Criminal Charges and Civil Protection Cases: Considerations for Community-Based Advocates and Civil Attorneys

by National Clearinghouse for the Defense of Battered Women staff (Last updated December 2016)

Highlights some of the legal risks faced by victims of battering who are facing criminal charges and negotiating civil court proceedings at the same time and suggests approaches to weighing the risks. [17 pages]

Expert Witnesses/Testimony

Domestic Violence Expert Testimony: Legal Settings and Issues

by Cindene Pezzell (December 2016)

Provides practicing and potential experts with basic information about the role of domestic and sexual violence expert witnesses, different types of expert testimony, and the fundamental mechanics of the court systems in which domestic violence experts most routinely testify. [25 pages]

Advocates as Expert Witnesses: Weighing Benefits and Drawbacks
by Cindene Pezzell (December 2016)

Guides community-based domestic and/or sexual violence organizations deciding whether to offer expert witness services and, if providing expert services, how to maximize the benefits for both the organization and the victims it serves.  Includes a guide on developing related policy. [28 pages]

Domestic Violence Expert Witnesses: Tips to Help Prepare for your First Case
by Scott Miller and Melissa Scaia (December 2016)

Provides tips, references, and guidance for new domestic violence expert witnesses and others who may be interested in becoming an expert witness. Written from the perspective of experts who testify on behalf of the prosecution. [25 pages]

Domestic Violence Expert Witnesses: Immigration Proceedings
by Noël Busch-Armendariz and Edna Yang (December 2016)

Provides practice tips, basic information about immigration law relevant to victims of interpersonal violence, a sample expert report, and a list of helpful citations for expert witnesses and attorneys who work on behalf of victims of interpersonal violence involved in immigration proceedings. [28 pages]

When Community-Based Advocates Testify as Experts: Understanding and Explaining Trauma
and its Effects

by Linda Barnard and Andrea Bible (December 2014)

Uses a "Q & A" format to help advocates who testify as expert witnesses understand and explain trauma and trauma responses of victims of battering and other forms of violence. Includes an extensive bibliography. [37 pages]

Domestic Violence Expert Witnesses: Overcoming Challenges in Battered Women's
Self-Defense Cases

by Karla Fisher (December 2016)

Provides information, tips, and strategies on areas of expert testimony that can be crucial in securing fair outcomes in battered women's self-defense cases. Helpful for all defense team members working on a battered woman's homicide case, including experts (both experienced and novice), defense attorneys, and other practitioners.  [49 pages]

The National Clearinghouse conducted a series of webinars about expert witness-related issues.  Click here for more information. 

Reentry Resources

Victimized Again: How the Reentry Process Perpetuates Violence
Against Survivors of Domestic Violence

by Courtney Cross (October 2013)

Describes how community supervision can decrease safety and increase violence for reentering victims of battering by eliminating or limiting viable options. [25 pages]

Three Formerly Incarcerated Women Talk About Reentry
Adapted by National Clearinghouse for the Defense of Battered Women staff
(September 2016)

Adapts an NCDBW webinar of three formerly incarcerated advocates/activists sharing their experiences of reentry and includes the speakers' insights and suggestions for advocates and other practitioners working with reentering survivors. [13 pages]

When Victims of Battering Reenter Their Communities After Jail or Prison: A Compilation of Resources for Addressing Civil Legal Issues
by National Clearinghouse for the Defense of Battered Women staff (November 2016)

Written primarily for civil attorneys working with returning victims of battering, this paper outlines civil legal and quasi-legal barriers and ways to address them. Includes a compilation of resources relevant to reentry available via the Internet. [46 pages]

The National Clearinghouse conducted a series of webinars about reentry-related issues. 
Click here for more information. 

Parental Kidnapping

The Impact of Parental Kidnapping Laws and Practice on Domestic Violence Survivors

by National Clearinghouse for the Defense of Battered Women staff (August 2005)

Explores the role that domestic violence plays in a high percentage of parental kidnapping cases and the need to illuminate that role for a fair applications of justice. [41 pages]

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