Resources Library: Justice System & Legal Options

Intersectionality of Forced Marriage with Other Forms of Abuse in the United States

Added Monday, May 02, 2016 by Action Alliance

In the United States, forced marriage can impact individuals of any age, gender, socio-economic status, ethnic or religious background.  In a 2011 survey, service providers in the U.S. (primarily legal and social service agencies in the domestic violence and sexual assault field but also including law enforcement, school and university staff, counselors and other legal professionals) reported encountering as many as 3,000 known or suspected cases of forced marriage (Tahirih Justice Center, 2011).  The current article is a follow up looking at the intersectionality of other forms of abuse and forced marriage.

Law Enforcement Domestic Violence Investigative Checklist: Responding Officer/Deputy Responsibilities

Added Tuesday, July 21, 2015 by Department of Criminal Justice Services

This checklist is intended to be used as a tool/resource for law enforcement. It describes an initial response to a domestic violence call and does not represent a complete approach to these cases. This checklist does not supersede any existing general orders, policies, or procedures, and is designed to be used in conjunction with the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) model domestic violence policy. The model policy is available on the DCJS website at

Legal Advocacy Manual 2013

Added Tuesday, July 30, 2013 by Virginia Poverty Law Center

The Legal Advocacy Manual provides victim advocates (as well as victims) with a comprehensive guide to help domestic and sexual violence victims in Virginia through some of the legal processes in which they may become involved. It provides both basic and intermediate levels of information about legal advocacy--what it is, the difference between civil and criminal justice systems, definitions of commonly used legal terms, and how to avoid the unauthorized practice of law, among other topics.  The manual offers context for the emotional, logistical, and legal hurdles involved in protective orders, criminal prosecutions, visa applications, and divorces. It is 76 pages long and is in PDF form.  Susheela Varky of Virginia Poverty Law Center updated it in June 2013 for recent changes in the law. Ms. Varky has used the manual as a resource for in-person trainings geared to victim advocates, and is available to tailor such trainings for your local Virginia domestic or sexual violence program.

Officers and Advocates: Oil and Water?

Added Monday, June 12, 2017 by Action Alliance

From End Violence Against Women International

One of our most popular articles addresses the collaboration between law enforcement and victim advocates, with the title Oil and Water?  This article was first written years ago, but it remains just as timely today.  We are therefore providing the information in a series of Training Bulletins.

In this first installment, we begin with a historical perspective and explore the role of victim advocates within the context of the criminal justice system.  In the second bulletin, we describe why some professionals are reluctant to integrate victim advocacy in their work and identify strategies for overcoming that reluctance.  Then in the final installment, we walk through an example of how advocates might address one particular challenge:  When the law enforcement investigator feels like the facts "don't add up."


Pet Abuse and the Link to Domestic Violence

Added Wednesday, February 25, 2015 by Action Alliance

Sheltering Animals for Abused Families (
SAAF (Sheltering Animals for Abused Families) Program is a partnership between the Richmond SPCA and the YWCA, with the purpose of providing a safe, temporary shelter to care for the pets of abused women and children.

Safe Havens Mapping Project – Virginia
The entities included in this listing either provide sheltering services for the companion animals of domestic violence victims, have a relationship with an entity that does, or provide referrals to such facilities.[postal_code]=&distance[search_distance]=25&distance[search_units]=mile&state=Virginia

Virginia Consolidated Cruelty Statutes

Domestic Violence and Animal Cruelty - ASPCA Resources Including What Law Enforcement Can Do About It

National Link Coalition – Working Together to Stop Violence Against People and Animals
Rich source of information and guidance.

RedRover Domestic Violence Safe Escape Grants
RedRover offers financial assistance for victims of domestic violence and their pets through our Safe Escape grant program. The goal of the program is to help families with pets safely escape domestic violence together. Grants may be provided for temporary boarding and veterinary care.

American Humane Association: Facts About Animal Abuse & Domestic Violence