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Vermont Network Against Domestic and Sexual Violence

The Vermont Network Against Domestic and Sexual Violence is committed to uprooting the causes of violence so every last Vermonter thrives. The Network connects survivors of domestic and sexual violence with a member organization either in their local county, and/or statewide for LGBTQ survivors, so they can get the services and support they need.  Services of the 15 member organizations include confidential crisis intervention, hotline, shelter, legal advocacy, financial and personal advocacy, hospital advocacy, information and referrals, support groups, and community education, among others.

As part of this work, the Network Office coordinates the Discussing Intimate Partner Violence and Accessing Support (DIVAS) Program, which offers education and support to incarcerated women who have experienced physical and sexual abuse. Advocates from Network programs facilitate the educational groups at Northwest State Correctional Facility and Tapestry.

DIVAS groups offer information about domestic and sexual violence, an opportunity to discuss the impact and effects of violence and abuse, and community resources. The groups provide a space for reflection, offering participants an opportunity to explore and transform the negative effects of violence in their lives. DIVAS groups are also a place where women can consider the relationship between abuse they have experienced and criminal behavior in which they have engaged. Advocates help participants develop strategies for their safety and independence upon community re-entry and support them in establishing supports and connections to services outside the facility.

Service area: The Network provides services throughout the state of Vermont, and the DIVAS program is offered to women who are incarcerated the Northwest State Correctional Facility and the Tapestry program.
Work with: The Network works with survivors of domestic and sexual violence and their loved ones, member programs, and allied professional groups. The DIVAS program works with women who self-identify as survivors of sexual violence and/or intimate partner violence and who are incarcerated in the state of Vermont.
Services for survivors during incarceration include: The Network provides information and referrals to the nearest member program via phone and by mail and a directory of affiliated rape crisis centers on the Network website. DIVAS provides education and support groups at the Northwest State Correctional Facility and Tapestry, along with information and referrals to community sexual and domestic violence programs. DIVAS also offers one-on-one advocacy to women incarcerated at the Northwest State Correctional Facility, with an emphasis on re-entry planning and support, including Network programs and other community resources.
Services for survivors after release include: Services of the Network programs are available to all survivors of sexual assault, including those who have been incarcerated. DIVAS works with incarcerated survivors prior to their release in order to bridge survivors with Network programs and other community supports.
Services for loved ones include: Loved ones are able to access Network programs for support services. Services offered as part of the DIVAS program are only available to women who are incarcerated.
Fees: Free
Additional Information: Other services of the Network Office include: membership services and outreach, prevention education, training, and public policy advocacy. For more information on the DIVAS program, contact Liese Brown, Legal Project Specialist, at 802-223-1302, ext. 109 or liese@vtnetwork.org; or contact Heather Holter at heather_holter@tds.net.