Vermont Victim Assistance Academy


What is the Vermont victim assistance academy (VVAA)?

The Vermont Victim Assistance Academy (VVAA) is an introductory educational opportunity designed to improve the quality and consistency of victims’ services in Vermont.  The VVAA integrates core concepts and best practices that encourage a victim-centered, multidisciplinary, collaborative approach to supporting those whose lives have been impacted by crime.  By cultivating participants’ knowledge, skills and attitudes, we build the capacity of our community to recognize, respect and respond to the needs and experiences of crime victims in our state.

This 64-hour course on victims' rights, services and experiences of crime and its aftermath was developed by local professionals with expertise in a variety of disciplines that encompass the network of support to victims and survivors of crime in Vermont.  The VVAA is designed as a practical, interactive training founded on the principles of adult education (see below).  It is open to those whose work and lives intersect with victims and survivors of crime. 

Click here for a list of VVAA main content areas and “Core Concepts”


The Academy strives to be a transformative learning experience for new and seasoned professionals.  At the end of the eight days the participants will have a "toolbox" containing the following:

  • Working knowledge of the Criminal Justice System and alternative responses to crime
  • Effective communication skills
  • Sensitivity to victims of crime
  • “Lenses” for identifying root causes of oppression
  • Understanding of the dynamics of domestic and sexual violence
  • A wide variety of collaborative skills to best serve crime victims
  • Analysis of crime prevention and systems improvement
  • An extensive collection of resources and referral options
  • Action plans for post-training work
  • CEUs, Academic Credit, Advocate Credentialing Program

The VVAA is cost-effective and high quality training that stands to energize participants and improve services to victims of crime throughout Vermont.  This course benefits not just its participants, but also the agencies, organizations and communities that support their involvement.  The VVAA offers the following opportunities to participants, which enhance organizational efficacy, quality of services you provide, and relationships you cultivate in your community:

  • Trauma-informed and victim-centered practices
  • Responsiveness to victims from underserved populations
  • Networking across disciplines
  • Collaborative approach to service provision
  • Well-trained staff with certifications by the NASW, Vermont State Colleges, and/or NOVA
In collaboration with staff from the Community Engagement and Training Department of VCCVS, training sessions are taught by seasoned professionals whose knowledge and skill draws on extensive work in various disciplines encompassed by victim services, from organizations such as:
Spectrum Family Services
Victim/Survivor Community
Vermont Attorney General's Office
VT Network Against Sexual and Domestic Violence
VT Police Academy/Law Enforcement Acencies
Deaf Victim Advocacy Services
Community Justice Centers
Disability Rights Organizations
Vermont Department of Corrections
Safe Space/Pride Center of Vermont
Department for Children and Families
Youth Justice Centers
Mental Health Services
Victim Services Programs
VVAA participants come from many programs, agencies, organizations and communities.  In the past, many participants have come from the following:
State’s Attorney’s Offices Higher Education (students & admin.)
Domestic and Sexual Violence Programs Faith Community Providers
Advocacy Programs Disability Services
Child Welfare Programs Economic Services
Youth Justice Programs Community/Parallel/Restorative Justice Programs
Department of Corrections Elder Services
Law Enforcement Agencies Mental Health Services
Probation and Parole Boards Medical Services
Court Diversion Programs Communication and Information Services
Department of Children and Families Victims and Survivors of Crime
Public School Systems Community Members
2016-2017 VVAA PROGRAM

Waterbury State Office Complex – State of Vermont

Fox Conference Center – Rooms Cherry A, B & C

103 South Main St, Waterbury VT 05676

Google Map

The VVAA coincides with the academic calendar year.  It is a total of 64 hours and occurs in four, 2-day sessions on the following dates:

Session I: Wednesday, November 2 – Thursday, November 3, 2016, 8:30am-4:30pm

Session II:  Monday, January 23 – Tuesday, January 24, 2017, 8:30am-4:30pm

Session III: Monday, March 20 –Tuesday, March 21, 2017, 8:30am-4:30pm

Session IV: Monday, May 15 – Tuesday, May 16, 2017, 8:30am-4:30pm


Click here for a breakdown of content topics by Session

Program Costs

The total course fee per sudent is $250.  Each participant must pay the nonrefundable Confirmation of Enrollment amount of $50 in order to reserve a place in the VVAA. Waivers are available for those who are unable to pay the remaining course fee of $200, either partially orin full. To request a course fee waiver, please answer the related questions included in the participant application.

NOTE:  Students participating for course credit (VT State Colleges) are not eligible for a course fee waiver and there is an additional administrative fee of $100 per credit.
Application Information
We are introducing a new application process.  Please click the link below to find more information about the program this year, like associated costs, participant commitments, and application information.  Applications for 2016-2017 are due by Friday, September 23, 2016.


For more information, contact



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