Tuesday, April 12, 2011

OVC News and Program Updates, First Edition

OVC Announces Inaugural Edition of OVC News & Program Updates

OVC is pleased to announce the availability of the first edition of OVC News & Program Updates. This newsletter is anticipated to be a valuable tool for sharing information about OVC’s strategic planning, initiatives, events, and other items of special interest. This edition of OVC News & Program Updates highlights—

  • Victims’ voices.
  • Outreach to underserved victims.
  • National Crime Victims’ Rights Week.
  • Vision 21: Transforming Victim Services.
  • The Tribal Victim Assistance in Alaska Fellowship.
  • 12th National Indian Nations Conference.
  • and much more!

You are invited to join OVC in building an ongoing, lively conversation among OVC, its grantees, service professionals, and others who share our mission of promoting justice and healing for victims. Share OVC News & Program Updates with your colleagues and send suggestions for future issues to Keely McCarthy, an OVC Fell

Screenshot of OVC News & Program Updates Newsletter

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Monday, April 11, 2011

Immigrants and Refugees are among the least likely to report crimes to the police... If victims and witnesses of crime are afraid to report, how else can we reach them?

The New Neighbors Project is offering a free workshop in your community!
“Victim Services: 101”
April through September, 2011
Sponsored by the Vermont Center for Crime Victim Services
Adjusting to a new way of life in Vermont should not mean having to stay silent about crime. Please join us for “Victim Services: 101,” an informational workshop that will give an overview of victim services, for such crimes as:
  • Domestic violence
  • Sexual violence
  • Child abuse/neglect
  • Robbery
  • DWI
  • Assault
  • Sex and labor slavery/trafficking
  • Wage theft

This training will include:

  • Increasing awareness of victim support services
  • When must the police become involved?
  • Victimization in immigrant and refugee communities
  • Closing gaps in victim service provision to immigrant and refugee communities
  • Immigration relief options for victims of crime
  • Responses to your pre-submitted questions and concerns relating to crime victim services

Your community’s understanding will help open channels of support for victims of crime in Vermont.

For more information and/or to sign up for “Victim Services: 101,” please contact:
Barbara Whitchurch

Project Director


Mandy Park

Community Outreach Coordinator


(802) 241-1250 x 110

Friday, March 18, 2011

Legislation for U.S. Child Victims of Sex Trafficking

Much Needed Legislation For U.S. Child Victims Of Sex Trafficking: Excitement was brewing on Capitol Hill yesterday as, Senators Wyden (D-OR) and Cornyn (R-TX) Reintroduced the 2010 Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking (DMST) Deterrence and Victims Support Act of 2010 (H.R. 5575).… The Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking Deterrence and Victims Support Act of 2011 has a new breath of life and is stronger than ever. The 2011 will provide crucial funds for services and shelter, and see that victimized children are not criminalized. It is estimated that more than 100,000 children are victims of sex trafficking each year in the United States according to recent estimates. The bill, if passed, calls for the establishment of six shelters to be placed across the U.S., which would provide a much needed safe haven for minors trafficked and sold into sexual slavery. Currently there are approximately some 50 designated beds in the country for U.S. sex trafficking victims, a number that cannot be comprehended for those fighting to support the 100,000 victimized youth each year. [HSEC-3.10; Date: 17 March 2011; Source: http://www.examiner.com/human-rights-in-washington-dc/much-needed-legislation-for-u-s-child-victims-of-sex-trafficking

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Webinar: "How U- and T-Visas can Assist Trafficking Victims"

HHS Rescue & Restore to Host WebEx Training:

“How T and U visas Can Assist Trafficking Victims

Thursday, March 24, 2011

2:00 – 3:00 p.m. (Eastern Time)


The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is hosting a series of free, online WebEx training sessions on a variety of topics related to human trafficking. The information session on Thursday, March 24, will focus on T visas and U visas for trafficking victims and address the following:

· Who can apply for a T or U visa;

· How to obtain a T or U visa;

· The benefits of T and U visas for trafficking victims; and

· Access to federally funded benefits and services via the T visa.


Ms. Rosemary Hartman, Adjudications Officer, Office of Policy and Strategy, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Department of Homeland Security (DHS)

Mr. Scott Whelan, Adjudications Officer, Office of Policy and Strategy, USCIS, DHS

The Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA) offers protection for trafficking victims by allowing foreign victims of severe forms of trafficking in persons to apply to DHS for immigration relief, including the T nonimmigrant status (T visa) or U nonimmigrant status (U visa).

In her role at USCIS, Ms. Hartmann manages policy development and implementation of immigration relief for victims of human trafficking, the T and U nonimmigrant status, and the Special Immigrant Juvenile status for abused, abandoned and neglected immigrant minors. Mr. Whelan manages policy development and implementation of immigration relief for victims of human trafficking and other qualifying crimes through the U nonimmigrant status.

How to Register:

To register for the Thursday, March 24th, 2:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) training session, please click on the link below (or place it into your Internet browser):


Multiple participants from an organization are encouraged to register one individual for the session; participants can view the training through one computer and a speaker phone.

For those of you not familiar with WebEx trainings, all you need is access to a computer, the Internet, and your phone. After you register, the WebEx system will send you a confirmation e-mail with login information for both the web and the teleconference portions. Please save the confirmation email because it includes the following information:

Toll-free phone number and participant passcode for the audio portion of the training session; and

Web site link and passcode (same as the phone passcode) so you can view the PowerPoint (ppt) presentation as it is being presented. The ppt will advance automatically during the training session.

As part of the WebEx session, you can ask the presenter questions. Once on the call, the technician will guide you on how to ask questions orally. The speaker will answer questions during the last 15 minutes of the presentation.

We look forward to your participation!


Maggie Wynne

Director, Anti-Trafficking in Persons Division

Rescue & Restore


National Human Trafficking Resource Center • 1-888-3737-888

Monday, March 14, 2011

New Neighbors Play Launches Performance Series

A family has to leave their homeland and move to Vermont. At first, it is hard to adjust because things are so different here. Then, just as they begin to get settled, the father is robbed while walking home from work. The family is frightened and confused. Should they call the police?

Living the Good Life in Vermont was created by the Awareness Theater Company of VSA Vermont to help refugees and immigrants understand their rights when crime happens to them....and to help Vermonters understand the feelings and experiences of our new neighbors!

The play, which was written and directed by Emily Anderson, will be performed at local community venues, schools, and houses of worship across the state this spring, summer and fall. It is approximately 1/2 hour long, and there will be a question and answer period after each performance. Interpreters will be available for performances in specific cultural communities.

We can incorporate a performance of the play into a larger community or school event. To book a performance in your area, contact Ian Williams: ian.williams@ccvs.state.vt.us or 802-399-9997.

To view a short psa about the play, visit http://www.cctv.org/node/102214

A video will also be available soon, free of charge, with translation into nine languages. To reserve a copy, contact Barbara Whitchurch: bwhitchurch@ccvs.state.vt.us

U.S. Auditors to Crack Down on I-9 Compliance

This month, the Obama administration announced that it has created an audit office to crack down on employers who hire undocumented immigrants. According to ICE, this action is a result of leads and other reports alleging the employment of unauthorized workers, payment of unfair wages or other unlawful working conditions.

Monetary penalties for knowingly hiring and continuing to employ foreign nationals who are unauthorized to work in the U.S. are in the thousands of dollars. In certain instances, there can be criminal fines in addition to the civil penalties as well as the potential for imprisonment for individuals who verify the I-9 documents.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Talk: Solidarity with Immigrants

Solidarity with Immigrants
Arizona to New Hampshire

Rev. Liana Rowe
Tuesday, March 8, 7:00 p.m.
The Church of Christ
at Dartmouth, Sanborn Room (soup and bread potluck at 6:00)

Rev. Liana Rowe, a minster of the Southwest Conference
of the United Church of Christ, is a resident of N.
Phoenix, Arizona who has been working for humane
immigration policies for more than ten years.
She sits on the Board of Directors for Humane Borders, a
humanitarian organization that maintains water stations in
remote desert regions of Southern Arizona. She has also
been active with Somos America/We Are America
Coalition in advocating for human and civil rights in
Arizona. Rev. Rowe was 2011 recipient of the City of
Phoenix Martin Luther King, Jr. Living the Dream

Friday, March 4, 2011

New York Times: Police Chiefs Express Reluctance to act as "Immigration Enforcment"

Police Chiefs Wary of Immigration Role

As many state legislatures consider laws to expand the role of local police departments in immigration control, police chiefs across the country say they are reluctant to take on these tasks and want clear lines drawn between local crime-fighting and federal immigration enforcement, according to a new report by a police research group.

Dozens of police department commanders who participated in the report recommended that local officers should be explicitly prohibited from arresting people solely because of their immigration status, and should have orders to protect victims and witnesses regardless of that status.

The report, issued on Thursday by the Police Executive Research Forum, cites worries among police chiefs that if they are pulled into immigration enforcement, a job that was limited until recently to federal agents, their ties to immigrant communities will be eroded, with the result that crimes would not be reported and witnesses would be afraid to cooperate in investigations.

While police chiefs have spoken out against efforts to increase their immigration role in cities like Phoenix and Los Angeles, which have been embroiled in debates on the issue, the report makes clear how widespread the concerns are among commanders. Top officers from Salt Lake City, Topeka, Kan., Elgin and Peoria, Ill., Framingham, Mass., and Miami were among the chiefs and sheriffs supporting the recommendations in the report.

Arizona has gone furthest among the states to authorize local police departments to participate in an immigration crackdown, with a law passed last April. It ordered officers to question anyone they stopped about immigration status based on a “reasonable suspicion” that the person was an illegal immigrant. The Obama administration sued Arizona over the statute and federal courts have suspended its central provisions.

Despite the federal challenge in Arizona, similar bills have been introduced this year in at least 19 state legislatures. They have advanced through some stage of approval in Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, South Carolina and Nebraska.

The Police Executive Research Forum, based in Washington, provides policy research to the chiefs of the country’s largest law enforcement agencies. Its report started with recommendations that police chiefs initially made at a meeting in Phoenix in July 2009. The researchers then looked more closely at six cities where police chiefs became embattled because of immigration disputes in their communities.

While local police officers generally have not been authorized to enforce federal immigration law, the chiefs recommended that arrests based only on immigration status be prohibited by order. They said departments should reinforce policies that civil rights must be protected regardless of a person’s immigration status.

The chiefs called on federal immigration authorities to separate out criminal warrants from civil immigration warrants, which are not based on crimes, in law enforcement databases that police routinely use to check backgrounds of people they arrest.

“I’m trying to avoid my police officers getting into the immigration enforcement business,” J. Thomas Manger, the police chief of Montgomery County, Md., said in an interview Thursday. “It’s counter to my mission,” said Chief Manger, one of the commanders whose role in an immigration debate was highlighted in the report.

He said one of his biggest efforts was to gain the trust of immigrant communities in the county. “If folks think for one second that if I report I was assaulted, the police will deport me, there will be an increase in unreported crime and people won’t testify,” he said.

Chief Manger said he would not advocate any policy that would lessen enforcement against immigrants who committed crimes. Montgomery County “is not a sanctuary jurisdiction by any means,” he said. “If there are criminal warrants, we lock them up as quick as we find them.”

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Training of Trainers March 7, 2011

Each year, the Vermont Center for Crime Victim Services offers a free Training of Trainers to our Academy Trainers, as well as others in the larger victim services community who might be interested. Below you will find a short description of the day. Please feel free to pass this along to your colleagues or anyone who might be interested.

2011 Training of Trainers

Hazen's Notch Conference Room
Summit Learning Center, State Office Complex, Osgood Building
Waterbury, Vermont

10 :00 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
March 7, 2011

In this 5 ½ hour training, participants will review and analyze such training techniques as:
Creating Clear and Achievable Goals
Group Management Skills
Effective Facilitation Skills
Participants will also have the chance to practice these techniques in this interactive learning environment.

To register or for more information, contact:
RocĂ­o C. Mora, Training & Technical Assistance Coordinator
Vermont Network Against Domestic& Sexual Violence
(802) 223-1302 ext. 109

The 2011 Advanced Victim Assistance
Academy: Training of Trainers is sponsored by the VT Network Against Domestic and Sexual
Violence, and the VT Center for Crime Victim Services.

Directions to the Summit Learning Center:

From I-89 (North or South):
Take Exit 10
From 89 South, turn Left onto Rt 100 South
From 89 North, merge (Right) onto Rt 100 South
Head towards Waterbury on Rt 100 South
At the Stop sign at the bottom of the hill turn Left. This is still Rt 100 South and it also becomes Main St. Follow Main St through 2 sets of lights. At the second set of lights, turn Right onto Park Row St. Continue straight through the stop sign. The State Office Complex will be on your left. Look for parking in the large parking lot on your right. After you park, the large building that you will see is Osgood and the Summit Learning Center is on the ground floor.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Film on Child Sex Trafficking to be Shown at St. Michael's College

FILM: “Playground: the Child Sex Trade in America”

Screening and Discussion with the Filmmaker

Monday, March 7, 2011, 7:00 p.m.

McCarthy Arts Center, St. Michael's College

While traveling to the Philippines in 2001, filmmaker Libby Spears gained first-hand knowledge of the horrific practice of trafficking human beings for sexual exploitation. She dug a little deeper and discovered that most of these victims were young children. She was further astonished to find the involvement of the United States and the degree to which the U.S. was influencing the global demand and growth of the sex-trafficking industry. This powerful yet poignant film will be followed by a discussion with the filmmaker.There is no admission cost.

Contact Laurie Gagne for more information: lgagne@smcvt.edu

Monday, February 7, 2011

A Painful Aspect of our Work

One of the most distressing aspects of our work with refugees, immigrants and asylees is the task of identifying a survivor of torture. However, this also opens up an opportunity for that person to receive support and the prospect of healing.

A recent report from the Florida Center for Survivors of Torture points out that one step in identifying a survivor of torture is knowing the condition of the country they are coming from. They are creating a series of country condition reports in the hope of increasing our ability to recognize and effectively work with torture survivors.

The first two of these reports, on the Democratic Republic of Congo, and on Cuba, are available at the following links:



If you have questions about serving survivors of torture through your program, the New England Survivors of Trauma and Torture (NESTT) has resources for you. Contact them at:

2 Colchester Avenue, Burllington, VT, Department of Psychology - University of Vermont
Tel: 802-656-5715 - 802-565-5715