Where to start? Helpful resources focused on enhancing sexual assault services in dual/multi-service organizations

By Meagan Schorr, OCADSV Sexual and Domestic Violence Program Coordinator

This article is the first piece in a multi-effort series of work to come. Over the upcoming year, OCADSV will be working intentionally around our ability to support strong SA services in dual/multi-service community-based programs. This includes OCADSV staff receiving on-site technical assistance from the Resource Sharing Project (RSP), attending a national training, and working with community-based member programs to develop specialized trainings focused on developing and enhancing strong SA services in Oregon.

If you have questions, ideas, or would like to be involved in this work, please email meagan [AT] ocadsv [DOT] org or call 503-230-1950 ext. 200. Thanks!

Within the last 15 years, the Resource Sharing Project, the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, sibling coalitions, and others have developed valuable resources for the SA/DV field focused on how we can ensure SA services are internally and externally strong within dual/multi-service organizations. These resources provide guidance on prevention, intervention, and systems change programming specific to SA services.

Within this first piece of the series, the goal is to provide an overview of several strong resources currently available regarding enhancing SA services in dual/multi-service organizations. Whether your program is in its initial phase of developing SA services or if you have been providing strong services for years, this article will provide information that can support your SA work.

The SADI! What is it? Where can I learn more?

In 2017, the Sexual Assault Demonstrative Initiative (SADI) final report was released. The purpose of this OVW funded initiative is to enhance dual/multi-service community-based programs SA services. The SADI focuses on sexual assault outreach, services, and community partnerships.

Over a 4-year period, 6 sites from across the United States engaged in a process of assessment, planning, and implementation of newly developed and improved community-driven SA services and organizational capacity building. While the SADI worked directly with 6 sites, the key lessons learned from this initiative are applicable to other dual/multi-service community-based programs.  Additionally, the SADI provides technical assistance providers, such as OCADSV, with valuable information in enhancing our own ability to engage in SA work and support member programs. This spring, RSP staff will be coming to work with OCADSV around this topic- more to come in the spring!

You can find the entire SADI final report here: https://www.nsvrc.org/publications/nsvrc-publications/sexual-assault-demonstration-initiative-final-report

Additionally, the key findings (a shorter, 5-page document) can be found here: http://www.resourcesharingproject.org/sites/resourcesharingproject.org/files/Key%20SADI%20Lessons%20Overview.pdf

Building Comprehensive Sexual Assault Services Programs (an excellent resource that is also part of the SADI)

Another helpful tool that came out of the SADI is a document titled ‘Building Comprehensive Sexual Assault Services Programs’. This piece discusses the differences between providing core SA services and comprehensive SA services within an organization. Core services are those more basic services and focus around immediate survivor needs. Comprehensive services include both core services and those services that provide additional opportunities for in-depth survivor healing and community prevention.

Follow this link to learn more (this document provides an extremely helpful comparison chart of core and comprehensive services across service types!): http://www.nsvrc.org/sites/default/files/nsvrc_publications_article_sadi_building-comprehensive-sexual-assault-programs.pdf

Opening the Doors: Building Strong Sexual Assault Services in Dual & Multi-Service Advocacy Agencies (2nd Edition)

In 2016, RSP released an updated edition of the ‘Opening the Doors’ guide which outlines 10 components of dual/multi-service organizations that provide strong SA services. This guide notes that these components, in addition to other resources, can serve as the building blocks to creating and sustaining strong SA advocacy and community activism.

Below you will find the 10 components, to read more about each component please visit: http://www.resourcesharingproject.org/opening-our-doors-building-strong-sexual-assault-services-dualmulti-service-advocacy-agencies .

Additionally, the National Sexual Violence Resource Center provides an assessment tool around these 10 components you can access here (take this quiz to find out how your organization is doing around SA!): https://www.nsvrc.org/podcasts/podcast-partnerships/opening-our-doors-building-strong-sexual-assault-services-dual-and

Strong dual/multi-service agencies:

  1. have a mission, strategic plan, and specific goals established for their sexual violence programs
  2. have strong leadership that is committed to addressing sexual violence
  3. understand the connections between sexual violence and oppression and work to end both
  4. provide services to the full continuum of sexual violence survivors, including adult, youth, and child survivors
  5. provide comprehensive sexual assault services that meet long-term and short-term needs of sexual violence survivors
  6. provide specific advocacy training on sexual violence and core service provision
  7. have a plan that is both proactive and responsive to vicarious trauma experienced by staff and volunteers
  8. work with systems
  9. listen to the community
  10. speak to the community about sexual violence

OCADSV is excited to continue to strengthen our capacity to provide robust SA services support to our member programs. If you would like to share how you have created and sustained strong SA services, have ideas for specific trainings, or are interested in making changes within your organizations, please email meagan [AT] ocadsv [DOT] org or (503) 230-1951 ext. 300.