Nearly thirty victim advocates and allied professionals from across the state of Nebraska built their skills to better serve victim-survivors through a weeklong training academy hosted at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO).
The Nebraska Victim’s Assistance Academy (NEVAA), hosted by UNO’s School of Criminology and Criminal Justice (SCCJ), is a five-day, 40-hour accredited training academy tailored to the needs of victim service providers and allied professionals.
The NEVAA featured local experts in their field presenting the latest research, legislation, and practical resources to provide continuing professional development regarding victim services. The weeklong academy provided training in communication, empathy, interpersonal skills, professional advocacy, self-care, and understanding traumatic reactions in the brain.
Tara Richards, Ph.D., associate professor of criminal justice at UNO, and the SCCJ Victimology and Victim Studies Research Lab led the effort to host the event. “The Nebraska Victim’s Assistance Academy presents an incredible opportunity for victim advocates to learn from leading local experts, continue their education, and better understand how to serve those in our communities whose lives have been impacted by crime,” Richards said. “We’re honored to have so many community partners, criminal justice organizations, and subject matter experts on the front lines of victim advocacy joining us to provide this essential training.”
Sessions were taught by local and state social services organizations such as Project Harmony and the Nebraska Indian Child Welfare Coalition, law enforcement and criminal justice personnel including the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the District of Nebraska and Nebraska Crime Commission, and UNO faculty. Campus groups such as representatives of UNO’s Gender and Sexuality Resource Center and graduate students in criminology and criminal justice shared their expertise and assistance in the academy.
This is the first time NEVAA has been hosted at UNO. NEVAA is approved by the Supreme Court of Nebraska for legal continuing education.
About the University of Nebraska at Omaha
Located in one of America’s best cities to live, work and learn, the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s premier metropolitan university. With more than 15,000 students enrolled in 200-plus programs of study, UNO is recognized nationally for its online education, graduate education, military friendliness and community engagement efforts. Founded in 1908, UNO has served learners of all backgrounds for more than 100 years and is dedicated to another century of excellence both in the classroom and in the community.