Over the past 20 years providing services to victims of violence in lower-middle income countries, IJM has identified the critical need for improved trauma-informed care for survivors who engage with the criminal justice system. If those who come forward to report crimes experience re-traumatization at the hands of untrained and inexperienced police, prosecutors, and courts, other survivors and their advocates will be reluctant – or refuse – to engage the justice system.
A trauma-informed process is crucial for survivors of sexual assault: global studies show that sexual violence causes trauma and increases the risk of the victim being exposed to traumatic events in the future. Moreover, if authorities fail to engage in a trauma-informed manner, testimonial and other evidence may be invalidated and the prosecution undermined. Trauma-informed care is an approach and framework for how organizations and service providers engage with and respond to survivors of trauma. Trauma-informed care equips professionals to understand the experiences and behaviors of survivors, to address challenges in a way that empowers recovery, and to identify when survivors need additional care.
IJM’s Trauma-Informed Care (TIC) Training Manual is designed to build the capacities of professionals to effectively conduct their work with survivors of violence and abuse with a trauma-informed approach. It is intended to serve a wide range of professionals, with a focus on those who engage with survivors in their criminal justice and recovery process, including law enforcement officials, prosecutors and lawyers, judges, social service providers and community leaders. Each of the training modules in the Facilitators Guide is tailored to the specific work of the various criminal justice stakeholders. A comprehensive Power Point accompanies the Facilitators Guide.
The Training Manual is an adaptation of the “Trauma-Informed Care Manual” developed in 2014 by International Justice Mission (IJM), Child Protection Network, Consuelo Zobel Alger Foundation—Raul Almazar, and Republic of the Philippines Department of Social Welfare and Development. IJM collaborated with Dr. David Wang from Biola University on the adapted manual. The Trauma-Informed Care curriculum is implemented in IJM’s overseas programs in Asia, Africa and Latin America.
Once copyright and licensing have been obtained (June 2020) the curriculum will be made publicly available to justice practitioners and service providers around the world.