Building Relationships and Collaborating with Other Agencies What Advocates and Service Providers Need to Know

Building Relationships and Collaborating with Other Agencies What Advocates and Service Providers Need to Know
Duration: 60 Minutes
Module 1 Module 1
Recorded on: 2024-04-09
Unit 1 Presentation Materials: Building Relationships and Collaborating with Other Agencies What Advocates and Service Providers Need to Know
Unit 2 Transcript: Building Relationships and Collaborating with Other Agencies What Advocates and Service Providers Need to Know
Unit 3 Workbook: Building Relationships and Collaborating with Other Agencies What Advocates and Service Providers Need to Know
Unit 4 Recording: Building Relationships and Collaborating with Other Agencies What Advocates and Service Providers Need to Know

Various entities interact with sexual assault and child abuse victims from the first call to investigation to court proceedings. With this in mind, a unified front from the various entities victims are dealing with is imperative. By forging strong relationships and partnerships between law enforcement, healthcare providers, victim advocates, and other stakeholders, mitigating further victimization is made possible.

Discussing how Prince George County made this possible is Gary Cunningham and Cheryl Banks. Gary is the current Director of Safety and Security for Prince George’s County Public Schools and previously served the Prince George’s County Police Department working on sexual assaults and child abuse among others. Meanwhile, Cheryl is currently an instructor for the National Organization for Victim Assistance Victim Assistance Academy and an advisor for NOVA’s National Advocacy Leadership Center.

Specifics of the discussion covered:

  • An overview of Prince George’s County, Maryland, and the Prince George’s County Police Department’s challenges.
  • How victims are subjected to further victimization when they aren’t getting the quality of service they need.
  • An overview of how the collaboration between Gary’s community policing efforts and Cheryl’s hospital-based Sexual Assault Center started.
  • A glimpse into the “profile” of victims and perpetrators.
  • The case journey for victims, from incident to trial, involves
  • The multiple stakeholders that victims come in contact with throughout the journey from incident to trial underscoring the need for coordinated care to ensure justice and support for victims.
  • How trauma profoundly impacts victims, altering brain functions and hormone responses, with prolonged or repeated exposure as seen in complex trauma, intensifying these effects.
  • How victims of complex trauma tend to disclose their experiences not until later in life due to normalization and shame.
  • How trauma manifests behaviorally for victims of child abuse and sexual abuse.
  • How perpetrators use threats allowing sex abuse to continue and getting victims to keep it as a secret.
  • How trauma affects law enforcement professionals with a “slow burn” effect.
  • The role of victim advocates in the collaborative approach which significantly influences victim cooperation and case outcomes.
  • The value of education across stakeholders to better support victims.
  • Building trust between partners to facilitate collaboration, and with victims to get them to be more forthcoming with information.
  • An overview of the different branches of the criminal justice system that must work together.
  • How collaboration makes way for improved accountability and better justice outcomes.
  • Points to consider when working with partners that look into the limitations of the system and the agencies, making better client experience a goal, setting realistic expectations, and meeting client expectations.
  • Activities to take part in to fortify inter-agency collaboration.
  • How collaboration allows for better problem-solving, accountability, and understanding between entities.
  • The importance of focusing on a common goal for all entities which is an improved criminal justice system experience and service for the survivors.
  • Ideas to engage stakeholders in training despite staffing issues.



Click here to view and register for other upcoming Victim Advocate/Assistance webinars and recordings on the JCH Platform.


Resources and Handouts


Audience Comments

  • “Great topic! I loved hearing from the law enforcement side of things and some of the downfalls that the helping professionals have encountered.”
  • “Much needed and valued information with AWESOME Presenters!!!!”
  • “This was a valuable webinar with practical information on collaborations.”
  • “Very informative and to learn how an entire forensic sexual assault unit was developed.”
  • “This was a great topic for training and I don’t think you could have found better presenters. I love how they collaborated on the presentation and switched off seamlessly from point to point. It is clear they have been working together for a long time and formed a strong partnership in this matter.”
  • “Great to hear how all the agencies are important and need to work together on these cases.”
  • “As a new victim advocate, I found this webinar informative, and advancing my knowledge and training as a developing victim advocate. This webinar helped me to understand how to create collaborative relationships with other agencies.”
  • “I continue to learn about advocacy and active listening and appreciate the courses you offer.”
  • “Great training – I haven’t been disappointed yet… Thank you”
  • “The presenters were very informative. I learned a lot from their presentation. Would love to attend another presentation where both of them are presenters. They are doing amazing work!!!”




NACP and D-SAACP Advocates can earn 1 CEU by attending this webinar through the National Advocate Credentialing Program (NACP)® and the DoD Sexual Assault Advocate Certification Program (D-SAACP). Founded in 1975, the National Organization for Victim Advocacy (NOVA) is dedicated to the professionalization, leadership and future of the victim advocacy field. To learn more about NOVA, visit





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