DA Hosts First Virtual Crime Survivor Summit to Improve Victim Services

DA Hosts First Virtual Crime Survivor Summit to Improve Victim Services

San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan announced today that her office is hosting a first-of-its-kind crime victim and survivor summit, which will bring together victims, survivors, service providers and stakeholders. The innovative Summit will provide educational workshops and identify gaps and needs in crime prevention, protection of victims and survivor healing. The event will be held virtually on November 9, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., complete with a keynote speaker and “hope talks,” akin to TED Talks. The keynote speaker is the ‘father’ of pivotal research on the impact of early childhood adverse experiences. [TWEET THIS]

Participants will come together for presentations from victims, survivors, service providers, researchers, experts and professionals that will focus on forms of victimization and trauma, including violent loss of life, domestic violence, child abuse, sexual assault, human trafficking, elder abuse, mass threat of violence and hate crimes. The goal is to transform and improve systems of care.

“As District Attorney, my mission is to pursue fair and equal justice for all and to keep our neighborhoods safe with the protection of victims as a top priority,” DA Stephan said. “During my years of fighting in the courtroom for justice, I’ve witnessed the devastation that violent crime, such as rape, murder, domestic violence, child and elder abuse, inflicts on human beings. The effects ripple throughout life and children grow up to suffer generational trauma. Leading an office that is the largest provider of victim services in the county is a heavy responsibility, and this landmark Summit will help move us forward in transforming victim services and preventing violent crime.”

Headlining the summit is keynote speaker, Dr. Vincent Felitti, the co-principal investigator of the internationally recognized Adverse Childhood Experiences Study (ACES) and Founder of the Department of Preventive Medicine for Kaiser Permanente in San Diego. Research on ACES has found that even one adverse childhood experience of trauma can have lifelong health ramifications for survivors. Dr. Felitti will share major findings from the ACES studies and provide suggestions on how the findings can be used to inform policy and programming for victim survivor services.

In addition, the Summit will incorporate the vantage points that reflect diversity in color, ethnicity and sexual orientation. San Diego County has been at the forefront of best practices in the care for victims of crime but there are critical gaps that remain and will be addressed.

At the conclusion of the Summit, a smaller number of participants that comprise diverse and inclusive representations from each group will participate in a facilitated strategic planning session, using the model of Sequential Intercept Mapping. This model has been successfully used to help transform the intersection of criminal justice, mental health and homelessness detailed in the DA’s Blueprint for Mental Health Reform.

Many other speakers are slated to speak at the Summit, including Brent King, father of slain teen, Chelsea King, former San Diego City Attorney and pioneer of the Family Justice Center, Casey Gwinn, Fernando Lopez, executive director of San Diego Pride, as well as Kimberly Giardina, Director of Child Welfare Services in San Diego County. [TWEET THIS]