Protecting Victim Service Providers Against Workplace Violence

Planning for victims’ and survivors’ safety is a critical component of victim services. Learn about simple safety steps that Victim Service Providers can use in our everyday lives.

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Credit Offered
1.5 CNE Credits
Planning for victims’ and survivors’ freedom from violence is a critical component of victim services. Advocates’ safety is also a vital part of overall safety planning. Yet advocate safety can be a complex matter. Training, research, and evaluation often focus solely on the safety of victims and survivors we are privileged to serve. Without addressing advocate safety, are we missing the true impact of striving to build a deeper and more comprehensively resilient perspective of safety for all involved in the victim assistance reality. Simple steps will be shared that Victim Service Providers can use in our everyday lives. These are not meant to be all-encompassing; simply thought-provoking, to help promote conversation and understanding of what additional training might be helpful.
Tanya Grassel-Krietlow
Tanya grew up on the Lower Brule Reservation, where her mom was born and raised. Tanya spent 30 years working with Native Americans and their families through various ports of entry to become the FAST Initiative Grant Manager with the South Dakota Network Against Family Violence and Sexual Assault. Tanya’s work experience includes a counselor at an off-reservation boarding school, probation officer on tribal lands, tribal health, tribal environmental programs, and adult education at a tribal community college. All cultivated skills that allow her to do this incredible work with tribal partners, and those who serve tribal members, in South Dakota.

Gayle Thom
Gayle Thom was honored to work for 10 years responding to violent crime scenes in Tribal communities, assisting victims, survivors, and their families through the investigative and often through the prosecution phases of the criminal justice system. She served on the FBI’s nationwide Rapid Deployment and Evidence Response Teams that responded to critical incidents across the country; such as Ground Zero after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, and the Red Lake Nation school shooting. Gayle was the first FBI direct-service Victim Specialist, implementing the program in what DOJ calls “Indian Country”. The program has now grown to 40+ FBI Indian Country VSs. She also was privileged to help implement the CAP Crash Assistance Program for the South Dakota Highway Patrol, and assisted with developing the first Victim Assistance Academy training for Bureau of Indian Affairs.
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