Acting Director Allison Randall of the Office on Violence Against Women Delivers Remarks at 23rd Annual International Family Justice Center Conference (2023)

Remarks as Prepared for Delivery

Good morning, everyone! I am so excited to be here with you today in San Diego, the sacred, traditional and continuing homeland of the Kumeyaay people.

It is crucial that we acknowledge the original and rightful and ongoing stewards of this land. However, that acknowledgment is meaningless if not accompanied by action and by following the leadership of the Tribal advocates who are the mothers of this movement and who still guide the way.

Because being guided by the people who are on the ground building coordinated community responses (CCRs) – in other words, everyone in this audience today – is why we are here.

At the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW), we want our grants and policies to reflect the communities and, especially, the survivors they serve, to ensure that we are working to end to gender-based violence.

I so appreciate the work that Alliance for HOPE International President Casey Gwinn does to center hope and resiliency.

We know that telling survivors what to do or setting goals for them does not give hope. Instead, you give hope by helping survivors figure out what they want and finding pathways to achieve their goals.

I love hope as an outcome measure because hope is 100 percent, by necessity, survivor-centered. Hope looks different for different survivors.

Increasing hope means meeting survivors where they are and letting survivors lead.

To quote Lavon Morris Grant, a leader in our field and survivor herself, “We have to give survivors what they are asking us for, not what we think we should give them.”

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Whatever your profession, you are hope-givers if you help survivors make their own choices and find their own way forward.

But don’t forget about your own hope, too!

To quote our Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta,

“Whether in government or elsewhere, you will find opportunities to uncover and reckon with hard truths ... To drive change where there is injustice. And to heal a nation that craves hope and decency.

“But there will also be times when the weight of the work, and the work left to do, will feel overwhelming. Stay hopeful. Remember that hope is a discipline; you must practice it every day.

“The beauty of this country and the promise of our legal framework is not that we are perfect, but that we never stop trying to live up to our highest ideals. We can change. We can make progress when people work to close the gap between what the law guarantees on paper and what people experience in their lives.”

Without hope, we can’t get there.

Hope drives us forward to create steady, incremental change, even when we see tragedies and see survivors running into the same barriers again and again.

And hope empowers us to create big, systemic change that removes those barriers, and to have the resiliency every day to keep fighting.

Over the past 30-plus years, Family Justice Centers (FJCs) have certainly changed and progressed, and today, FJCs operate in 44 states and 25 countries.

I love going to visit FJCs because it’s always a whole room full of people who absolutely embody a coordinated community response and who are really broadening that concept to include more systems and more partners.

Thank you all for your commitment to creating wraparound, multi-disciplinary services for survivors of domestic and sexual violence.

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Creating a community of services is not simple – these collaborations can be challenging to form and even more difficult to sustain. I know that one on a visceral level!

But you are proving it can be done and done well – responding to what you are hearing from survivors, pivoting in the midst of COVID, helping survivors navigate the aftermath of what they have suffered, and holding offenders accountable.

OVW’s vision is a world where survivors have options and choices in their journeys to hope and healing.

A dynamic family justice center framework does just that – offers survivors the ability to choose, and helps reduce barriers to justice and safety by providing multifaceted services under one roof.

Many of you are also creating access points beyond that one roof, so you can meet survivors where they are – both literally and figuratively.

For example, the Tri-County Family Justice Center of Northeast New Mexico reports that their OVW grant funding gave them “…the ability to expand and provide services that were not available before in the extremely rural tri-county… We are able to go to the client when necessary, and clients have a choice of where they can go to get services…”

We have been able to expand our programs at the main office and offer more cultural, spiritual, and holistic programs, which are tailored to the area.”

Over the past year – as we’ve returned to more regular travel – I have been so fortunate to visit some amazing FJCs across the country.

The last time I was doing site visits to FJCs was 2018, and of course they were doing great work, but I’m so impressed with how FJCs have grown in just the last four years – years that have been tough for all the different professions who are represented here today.

In Asheville, North Carolina, the Buncombe County Family Justice Center is engaged in tangible racial equity work, which includes economic justice and improving law enforcement responses. The FJC is run by the county, so they are an integral part of the county’s plan.

Buncombe County FJC used their OVW grant to partner with both a domestic violence and a sexual assault service provider to provide two full-time Intake Specialists. These Intake Specialists serve as the first point of contact for survivors seeking services at the FJC.

They welcome survivors into their client rooms – client rooms that are so welcoming and allow survivors to stay in one place while whichever professionals those survivors want to see come to them.

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At Denton County Friends of the Family, in Texas, a victim service provider takes the lead, and I was moved to tears by their presentation.

The FJC has done so much analysis and relationship-building to figure out how to move the needle for survivors in their community. That includes economic self-sufficiency, but economic self-sufficiency doesn’t come out of nowhere.

Survivors need jobs – Denton County Friends of the Family developed strategies to connect survivors with good jobs.

Survivors need to get to those jobs – the FJC found options to provide transportation, even in a semi-rural area without good public transportation.

Of course, survivors can’t work without childcare and childcare is wildly expensive – so the FJC found a way to pay for it.

But Denton County Friends of the Family eventually ran into a barrier because there are almost no qualified childcare providers in the county, particularly not ones that operate beyond normal business hours. I think they said there were two.

That conversation was about nine months ago and I’m willing to bet they’ve found a solution to the childcare issue by now, because they were so focused on systemic change, problem-solving and bringing culturally specific organizations and population-specific organizations to the center of their work, such as their homicide reduction strategy.

In Louisiana, we visited the New Orleans Family Justice Center and their formidable founder, Mary Claire Landry, and saw their medical clinic and onsite alternative medicine and wellness services. Amazing!

The New Orleans Family Justice Center is also implementing a police outreach follow-up project, called the Advocacy Initiated Response or AIR Program. The program aims to increase victim safety, provide linkages to resources and disrupt violence in the community by having FJC advocates contact identified victims directly after an incident to provide risk assessments, assist with case management and referrals, meet immediate needs and connect survivors with the FJC.

If you are not already an OVW grantee, I encourage you and your communities to partner with us at the Office on Violence Against Women. We are an office full of advocates and survivors, not bureaucrats.

We are always looking to welcome new grantees and we currently have solicitations open for applications on our website.

We have lots of resources, like updated guidance on how to improve law enforcement response to sexual assault and domestic violence by identifying and preventing gender bias, plus links to tons of training and technical assistance to make that happen.

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I know you all embody the principles in that guidance so it might be a helpful organizing tool for you, or you might find useful resources through our Law Enforcement Training and Technical Assistance Consortium – LETTAC – which provides a portal you can use to find and request resources.

Many of our grant programs help reduce violent crime and homicides by emphasizing the effectiveness of a coordinated community response, and FJCs often convene all the parties and ensure they work as a true CCR.

This matters, because what these systems and advocates can accomplish together is so much more than the sum of their parts.

Another OVW grantee, the Parish of Ouachita, Louisiana, said,“While our area still has a much higher rate of domestic violence than the nation, the rate of domestic violence in Ouachita Parish has dropped 35 percent since the opening of the FJC in 2005.

“Because of the [OVW] funds, our area has [also] seen a reduction in homicides. Recent data showed that there has been a drop of roughly 70% in domestic violence homicides since 2011. After recent review of 2016/2017 domestic violence homicide statistics, it [was] determined that this reduction has been maintained for six years.

“This proves that collaboration [between] the FJC, [the] CCR [Team] and [the] community is saving lives while being firm about holding batterers accountable for their actions.”

As new challenges arise in addressing violence and abuse, OVW will continue to work together with all of you in mutual respect to produce the best outcomes for survivors.

Thank you all for practicing hope as a discipline every day in your own lives and for your commitment to creating opportunities for hope for survivors and for communities who might otherwise feel despair in the face of seemingly barriers to justice.

Thank you for your commitment to find new ways to work together to bring the most vulnerable communities from the margins to the center – and to start initiatives with those communities at the heart of the work, not just add them in later.

Thank you for expanding access to justice, particularly because access to justice means something different to every survivor and you have to be so agile in response.

And thank you to the Alliance for hope for bringing us all together and giving us the tools and the inspiration to make it all happen.

You give us hope at OVW because we know that together we can end domestic and sexual violence. Let’s go change the world!

(Video) Access to Justice for Survivors of Sexual Harassment, Assault, and Misconduct


Who is the director of OVW? ›

Allison Randall

Allison has been actively involved in domestic violence and sexual assault issues for nearly three decades, beginning her career as a direct service provider in North Carolina and Florida domestic violence shelters.

What is the VAWA law? ›

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) is a federal law that, in part, provides housing protections for people applying for or living in units subsidized by the federal government and who have experienced domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking, to help keep them safe and reduce their likelihood ...

What are the statistics of VAWA? ›

Impact of VAWA

Rates of violence against males declined 54%, from 1.8 per 1,000 aged 12 years or older to 0.8 per 1,000. The number of victims of intimate partner violence declined, from approximately 2.1 million victimizations in 1994 to around 907,000 in 2010.

What does OVW stand for? ›

Office on Violence Against Women (OVW)

Is OVW still around? ›

Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW) is an American professional wrestling promotion and former developmental territory based in Louisville, Kentucky. The company is currently run by Al Snow, Matt Jones and Louisville mayor Craig Greenberg.

Where is OVW wrestling? ›

Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW) is an American independent professional wrestling promotion based in Louisville, Kentucky.

How long does a VAWA petition take? ›

It takes an average of 15–40 months (or about 1–3 years) for USCIS to process and approve VAWA green cards. This article explains the case approval process with USCIS and what happens after your case is approved.

How long does VAWA status last? ›

USCIS will issue a Prima Facie Determination Notice to VAWA petitioners who qualified and fulfilled requirements. When you receive such a notice, it is valid for 150 days. You can use it and present it to the government agencies providing public benefits to qualifying victims of domestic violence.

Do I have to be legally married to apply for VAWA? ›

In order to qualify for a self-petition as the abused child of a US citizen or legal permanent resident, you must be unmarried at the time of filing the self-petition and remain unmarried until it has been approved. It is okay to get married after your self-petition is granted.

What is the 2 year rule for VAWA? ›

VAWA petitions filed within 2 years of the divorce must include evidence that the marriage was legally terminated, such as a final divorce decree or annulment and that the termination was connected to the battery or extreme cruelty.

Does USCIS investigate VAWA? ›

Does USCIS Investigate VAWA? Filing for a VAWA green card is a little more complicated than submitting a few forms and paying the application fee. The USCIS will investigate your claims, which is why including sufficient evidence with your petition is crucial.

Is it easy to get approved for VAWA? ›

VAWA Self-Petitions Usually Require a Lot of Supporting Evidence. The process of petitioning for a green card through VAWA requires only two steps—but that doesn't mean it's easy. To get your case approved, you will need to submit a lot of evidence about both you and your abuser.

What does the acronym word stand for? ›

An acronym is a word formed by abbreviating a phrase by combining certain letters of words in the phrase (often the first initial of each) into a single term. Common examples of acronyms include NASA (an acronym for National Aeronautics and Space Administration) and FOMO (a slang acronym for fear of missing out).

Why is it called Ohio Valley Wrestling? ›

While many fans know it best as WWE's developmental system, Ohio Valley Wrestling actually started in 1993 as the National Wrestling Alliance affiliated NWA Ohio Valley. Founded by journeyman wrestler Danny Davis, OVW broke away from the NWA in 1997.

What is the full form of KPD slang? ›

KPD. Knobs Per Dollar (humor)

How much does it cost to go to OVW Academy? ›

Tuition for the beginner's program is $750.00 to be paid in full in advance. Classes are limited to 30 students. Those wishing to enroll if the course is full will be waitlisted for the next available opening. Attendance at OVW's Wednesday TV tapings is allowed.

Why did Big Show get sent to OVW? ›

In fact, a funny incident as recalled by wrestling veteran Jim Cornette on one of his episodes on Jim Cornette's Drive-Thru in 2022, saw Big Show and co-worker Mark Henry being sent to OVW to shed some pounds in order to recover from an injury and get in shape. At the time, OVW didn't have a scale.

Is combat zone wrestling still in business? ›

They formerly hosted events at the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the Flyers Skate Zone in Voorhees Township, New Jersey, and the Rastellies Kids Complex in Sewell, New Jersey. CZW currently runs monthly shows at The State Theatre in Havre de Grace, Maryland and at Studio Z in Blackwood, New Jersey.

Where is Shawn Michaels wrestling Academy? ›

San Antonio, Texas

Where is USA wrestling headquarters? ›

USA Wrestling
Formation1983, founded as the United States Wrestling Federation in 1968
TypeSports federation for amateur wrestling
HeadquartersColorado Springs, Colorado
4 more rows

Who is Cody Rhodes wife? ›

Image of Who is Cody Rhodes wife?
Brandi Alexis Runnels, known professionally as Brandi Rhodes, is an American professional wrestler, ring announcer, model, businesswoman and television personality. She is known for her time as the former Chief Brand Officer of wrestling promotion All Elite Wrestling, where she also performed as a wrestler.

Is VAWA a green card? ›

Under VAWA, U.S. immigration law provides pathways to green cards for survivors of abusive U.S. relatives. After self-petitioning for VAWA status, you can also become eligible for U.S. permanent resident status. Applicants of all genders, not just women, are eligible to self-petition.

Can you get deported if VAWA is denied? ›

Lying on VAWA Application Could Lead to Deportation

Even if your I-360 petition is denied based on a reason other than fraud, the USCIS can still charge you with fraud. If you are concerned that you made a mistake on your application, it's best to ask USCIS for an opportunity to explain this.

What happens after your I-360 is approved? ›

After Your I-360 Receives USCIS Approval

After USCIS approves your I-360, you can begin to prepare your application to adjust your status (receive a green card). The main form for this is USCIS Form I-485, and more detailed instructions are found in How to File for Adjustment of Status (a Green Card) Based on VAWA.

What percentage of VAWA cases approved? ›

(70 % or 6,412 petitions approved and 30% or 2,712 petitions denied).

Can I work while my VAWA is pending? ›

In the meantime, while waiting for the approval on your way to your green card, you will be free to legally work in the United States.

Can I travel while my VAWA is pending? ›

o No, please strongly advise against travel. Your client can be barred from applying to adjust status to that of lawful permanent resident if they have accrued unlawful presence and leave the United States.

Is there a VAWA interview? ›

The interview allows USCIS to verify important information about you to determine your eligibility to adust status. If USCIS determines that an interview is unnecessary, then USCIS might waive the interview and issue you a green card.

How soon after VAWA can apply for citizenship? ›

You need to wait to apply for U.S. citizenship until not only you have spent three years as a VAWA green card holder, but your abusive spouse or parent has been a U.S. citizen for three years as well.

What happens if your VAWA is denied? ›

Unfortunately, “Case Was Denied” means that USCIS has received and reviewed your VAWA green card application and decided you do not qualify. You will not receive your filing fee back, and you will not receive a green card through VAWA. USCIS will mail you a notice further explaining why it denied your case.

How long does it take to get a VAWA permit in 2023? ›

The process that the VAWA visa takes is approximately 16 to 21 months on average.

How much does it cost to file VAWA? ›

How much does it cost to file for VAWA protection? There is no fee for filing a VAWA petition. If a petitioner chooses to have a lawyer help with the petition the alien may have to pay attorney fees.

What is 3 and 10 year ban immigration? ›

Re-entry bars prevent immigrants who voluntarily leave the U.S. from returning legally for years. Legal re-entry bars, also referred to as “unlawful presence” bars or “three- and ten-year bars,” are punishments applied to undocumented immigrants who remain in the United States without authorization.

What can USCIS see? ›

This includes administrative, applicant, criminal, personnel, and other files compiled by law enforcement. The initial response to this check is supposed to only take two weeks, but it can take over a year due to the large backlogs. If no match is found, your immigration application can proceed.

What is strong evidence for VAWA? ›

Proof of Relationship and Good Faith Marriage

Birth certificates of children together. Wedding photos and other photos of spouses together (before and after wedding) Letter from employer stating changed name or listed spouse as contact. Photo IDs (with married name)

How long can you apply for citizenship after VAWA green card? ›

In addition to these pathways to legal status in the U.S., VAWA provides a shorter route to citizenship. A foreign national spouse or child of a U.S. citizen who abused them may be able to apply for citizenship within three years of getting their VAWA green card, instead of waiting for the standard five years.

How can I speed up my VAWA case? ›

The VAWA application takes a while to be approved. Typically, there is not a way to speed up the process. On a case-by-case basis, USCIS may expedite a request under very limited circumstances, but the applicant would have to submit a request for expedited processing.

How long does it take to get a work permit with VAWA? ›

Form I-360 VAWA processing times vary depending on different factors, but typically, it ranges from 18 to 24 months. Under limited circumstances, USCIS can expedite your VAWA request if you have submitted a request for expedited processing based on emergency situations.

What is an example of an apronym? ›

Also known as an apronym or reverse acronymy. Examples include SAD ("Seasonal Affective Disorder"), MADD ("Mothers Against Drunk Driving"), ZIP code ("Zone Improvement Plan"), and USA PATRIOT Act ("Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism").

Is the acronym for Bible? ›

Bible = Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth.

What is it called when you make a word for each letter in your name? ›

The term comes from the French acrostiche from post-classical Latin acrostichis, from Koine Greek ἀκροστιχίς, from Ancient Greek ἄκρος "highest, topmost" and στίχος "verse". As a form of constrained writing, an acrostic can be used as a mnemonic device to aid memory retrieval.

Why do they call it the blood round in wrestling? ›

It's where you win, you're in, you lose, you're out. Get your hand raised this round and your name's in the history books as an All American. The wrestlers know what's on the line. The name 'Blood Round' comes from the tooth-and-nail, knock-down drag-out wars we see every year during this session.

Does OVW still exist? ›

Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW) is an American professional wrestling promotion and former developmental territory based in Louisville, Kentucky. The company is currently run by Al Snow, Matt Jones and Louisville mayor Craig Greenberg.

Does Ohio have girls wrestling? ›

It was only a short time later that calls for the OHSAA to sanction girls wrestling began. The OHSWCA added a state girls dual tournament during the 2020-21 season and the OHSAA announced Jan. 13, 2022, that girls wrestling would be sanctioned as an emerging sport beginning this winter.

What does FF's mean on Snapchat? ›

Follow friday (#FF)

Including someone in a #FF post is a way of recommending their account to your followers. Learn more: 40 Daily Hashtags Explained: What They Mean and How to Use Them.

What does OTF mean on Instagram? ›

OTF is an acronym often used in social media that means only the family.

What does dt mean snapchat? ›

DT on the social media platform is short for double tap. In the Instagram app, users can “like” a post by tapping it twice, hence DT. This abbreviation is often used as a hashtag, #dt, as a way to encourage others to like one's post.

Who is eligible under VAWA? ›

WHAT IS VAWA? The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) allows abused spouses, children of U.S. Citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents (also referred to as green card holders), and abused parents of U.S. Citizen sons or daughters to apply for immigration relief separate from the abusive family member.

What evidence do I need to file for VAWA? ›

The VAWA requires proof that you lived with the abuser. Leases that include both of your names, shared utility bills, notes from your landlord or neighbors, school records and other documents that include both of your names can be used as evidence.

What benefits can I get under VAWA? ›

Immigrants (male or female) who apply for protection through the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) are usually eligible for public benefits like welfare, food stamps, and Medicaid. However, your eligibility depends on where you are in the process of applying for VAWA protection.

Does VAWA grant citizenship? ›

In addition to these pathways to legal status in the U.S., VAWA provides a shorter route to citizenship. A foreign national spouse or child of a U.S. citizen who abused them may be able to apply for citizenship within three years of getting their VAWA green card, instead of waiting for the standard five years.

Can you get a green card with VAWA? ›

VAWA provides a way for abused and battered immigrant spouses and children of U.S. citizens or LPRs to obtain their own lawful permanent residence. VAWA makes obtaining a green card possible without notifying your abuser. You can apply for a green card independently.

Do they interview for VAWA? ›

At the interview, the USCIS officer will ask you questions to confirm whether you are eligible to receive a green card, but the officer usually will not ask questions about the abuse you suffered.

What happens if a VAWA case is denied? ›

Unfortunately, “Case Was Denied” means that USCIS has received and reviewed your VAWA green card application and decided you do not qualify. You will not receive your filing fee back, and you will not receive a green card through VAWA. USCIS will mail you a notice further explaining why it denied your case.

How long does it take to get a work permit through VAWA? ›

Form I-360 VAWA processing times vary depending on different factors, but typically, it ranges from 18 to 24 months. Under limited circumstances, USCIS can expedite your VAWA request if you have submitted a request for expedited processing based on emergency situations.

What is the final rule of VAWA? ›

Accordingly, on November 16, 2016, HUD published a final rule at 81 FR 80724 (VAWA Rule), implementing VAWA 2013's provisions in its housing programs. The Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization Act of 2022 (VAWA 2022) was signed March 15, 2022, however certain provisions are not self-implementing.

What happens after VAWA is approved? ›

Your client's approved VAWA Self-Petition gives her a basis of eligibility to apply for lawful permanent residence through an adjustment of status application. However, she may have to wait until an immigrant visa (i.e., Green Card) becomes available to her (see explanation regarding the Visa Bulletin below).


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