The District’s Collaborative Training & Response for Older Victims

 Amy Mix from  Legal Counsel for the Elderly  and NVRDC's Merry O'Brien discuss DC TROV on the  Senior Zone  radio show on September 25, 2017.

Amy Mix from Legal Counsel for the Elderly and NVRDC's Merry O'Brien discuss DC TROV on the Senior Zone radio show on September 25, 2017.


Update from Quarter 1 of Fiscal Year 2018
(October 2017 through December 2017)

NVRDC continues to be committed to expanding the community's ability to respond to victims of abuse in later life through its DC TROV project. This year, DC TROV encompasses three initiatives: housing-related case management to senior survivors through a subgrant to the District's Alliance for Safe Housing (DASH), provision of legal assistance through an Elder Justice Legal Fellow at Legal Counsel for the Elderly (LCE), and the continued coordination of the DC TROV multidisplinary response team, which has been in operation for the past four years and includes police, prosecution, victim services, and aging partners who work to enhance outreach, education, and collaboration on elder cases.

In FY18 Q1, the Elder Services Advocate was able to assist 25 older survivors who have minimal, fixed, to no income to local organizations, private landlords, and transitional programs to gain housing stability, post-abuse. The Elder Justice Legal Fellow was able to provide legal services and full representation to 13 older clients. In one particularly egregious case, she assisted a client whose home health aid was financially exploiting and neglecting the senior, had legally married the senior, and moved the client out of their home. She worked with the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit to make sure the perpetrator could not operate as a home health aid in the District in the future, and worked with the Home and Community Based Ombudsmen to correct the damage and help the senior recover.

In addition to providing direct service, DC TROV continues to lead efforts to educate and collaborate with professionals. In November, DC TROV partners offered a training at St. Luke's Episcopal Church to leaders of all faiths on how to recognize and respond to signs of elder abuse, particularly when they interact with home bound seniors during visits. In many cases, seniors will turn to faith leaders first for assistance when experiencing abuse, so this training was a step to forging a partnership with the faith community. DC TROV plans to hold additional trainings for this audience in the coming months, so stay tuned for details.


For more information or to learn how to join or support the effort, please contact Elder Justice Coordinator and Grants Administrator Merry O’Brien at merry@nvrdc.org.


Victim Legal Network of DC

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Update from Quarter 1 of Fiscal Year 2018
(October 2017 through December 2017)

This quarter VLNDC has seamlessly transitioned from the pilot phase into providing full services to victims of crime in DC seeking legal assistance.  In this quarter alone, the network assisted 33 different individuals with 66 legal needs in receiving services either from within network members, or external resources.  While a little more than half of these individuals were referred by member organizations, Alexandra Smith, the VLNDC Navigator, executed the rest of the intakes. Ms. Smith utilizes a trauma informed—but succinct—intake process to obtain only the key information necessary to determine the right legal organization to address a caller’s needs.  

Through VLNDC’s unique hub and spoke model—where the navigator is at the hub of all of the member organizations who are on the wheel—service providers are able to substantially increase their access to other legal service providers in DC without having to know various service areas themselves. This information is centralized within the Navigator who processes and places cases according to services provided, and organization capacity information.  This also results in victims accessing services in an unprecedentedly short time frame.  For example, a crime victim who required assistance for a family law issue contacted Ms. Smith for services. Within 48 hours of conducting the intake (a concise 30 minute process over the phone), the victim’s case had been considered for services by four organizations, and finally accepted by the fifth.  In a traditional setting, this victim would have had to conduct five different intakes—which would have taken weeks—before possibly being placed within the fifth organization. VLNDC is excited to see its growth as the network expands in the coming quarter with more outreach and recruitment.

Please contact NVRDC’s VLNDC Project Coordinator, Jabeen Adawi, for more information about NVRDC’s role in the VLNDC project at jabeen@nvrdc.org.


The Identity Theft Assistance Project

Update from Quarter 3 of Fiscal Year 2017
(April 2017 through June 2017)

NVRDC is pleased to announce it was awarded continuation funding for its identity theft project from the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region (CFNCR). A press release can be found here

These funds allow NVRDC advocates and attorneys to continue assisting victims of identity theft, fraud, and financial exploitation. This is especially crucial in cases where the perpetrator has also committed violent crimes such as domestic violence, elder abuse, and sexual assault against the victim. In these cases, when a victim's personal identifying information has been compromised, NVRDC offers supportive case management, advocacy and free legal services to address any potential identity theft and/or fraud. This may include providing guidance to victims on reporting and halting the identity theft, reporting to law enforcement, obtaining an ID theft report, completing an FTC ID theft affidavit, communicating with credit agencies, exploring legal options, dealing with financial institutions, requesting a "credit freeze," and accessing other options for recovery. 

NVRDC first launched the Identity Theft Assistance Project in 2015, with support from CFNCR through its Identity Theft Assistance Corporation (ITAC) Fund. The project allows NVRDC to ensure services to victims of identity theft are provided by competent staff and partners through a series of internal and external trainings which has elevated the community's response to financial crime survivors. This training effort has included producing a roll-call film for the Metropolitan Police Department and providing training to over 100 advocates and allied professionals on screening and referring victims of domestic violence who have compromised personal identifying information. 

In May, NVRDC traveled to Dallas to present at the Conference on Crimes Against Women (CCAW) on "Integrating Identity Theft Safety Planning into Your Work with Survivors of Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence and Other Crimes." The presentation explored protocols victim service professionals can implement to increase their organization's ability to provide assistance to survivors of financial and violent polyvictimization, as well as steps victim service organizations can take to train and collaborate with allied professionals, using the model NVRDC has created. 

NVRDC looks forward to continuing and growing the project in the coming year. For more information on the ITAP project, please visit our website.

For more information about ITAP, please contact Special Projects Coordinator Merry O'Brien at merry@nvrdc.org.


NVRDC welcomes all survivors, regardless of sexual
orientation, gender, gender identity or expression,
race, ethnicity, religion, immigrant status, or ability.