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Charlotte Amalie
Tuesday, August 16, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesNot for Profit: Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Council

Not for Profit: Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Council

The first domestic violence conference held on St. Croix, in 1986, led to the formation of the V.I. Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Council. The organization, which has the goal of reducing domestic violence, has since expanded its efforts to all three islands.

Lynn Spencer, DVSAC executive director, said the organization was an offshoot of the Women’s Coalition, and over the years it has blossomed.

“We are serving 5,000 to 6,000 people yearly,” Spencer said.

The council’s goal is to heighten awareness and coordinate education, prevention and response efforts to reduce the incidence of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking and dating violence and to make these crimes socially and culturally unacceptable.

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Domestic violence is defined by the organization as “the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior perpetrated by an intimate partner against another.”

To accomplish its goals, DVSAC promotes programs and activities whose purposes are to support the reduction and eventual elimination of domestic violence and sexual assault.

DVSAC brings service provider agencies together. The organization has contracted outreach specialists providing training and education on domestic violence, sexual assault, conflict resolution, and their sub-topics. And they hold annual conferences and seminars.

The organization provides training for professionals on domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. It partners with different agencies to increase public awareness and to educate the community-at-large. DVSAC also serves as a resource for materials on issues relating to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. It also partners with and provides technical assistance to victim service providers

Free presentations are offered to educate community groups, faith-based congregations, businesses, professionals, and schools. Topics are selected by requesting agencies and tailored to meet their needs. The presentations are; Domestic Violence, Respect and Self-Esteem, Comfortable Touch/Uncomfortable Touch, Incest ,Child Abuse, Sexual Assault, Date Rape, Teen Dating Violence, Violence Prevention, Sexual Harassment, and Conflict Resolution

Spencer implemented the People’s Court Watch Program that provides volunteers who observe civil and criminal proceedings from an impartial perspective. It aims to provide constructive recommendations to the criminal justice system for the safe and fair treatment of victims. People going through the court system are provided with information on how the justice system works.

She said about two years ago she started the Greet and Meet program for the faith based community, in response to recognition by clergy and church members recognition of the physical and emotional needs they have to respond to in the community. They want to know the issues and problems in domestic violence, and they are aware of the need to do more on the prevention side. She said the program has been well received.

Spencer, who has been with DVSAC since 2002, is retiring soon but said she will volunteer with the Greet and Meet and the People’s Court Watch programs.

DVSAC is comprised of representatives from local law enforcement, human services, prosecution, court, hospital, clergy, victim service providers, and other government and non-governmental agencies. There are 9 staff members regular and contracted.

“Domestic violence touches everybody,” Spencer said. “It’s a community issue. This has to be addressed by all of us … I have a vision of everybody living in harmony."

DVSAC is funded by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women, to advance its goal of supporting state coalitions to serve as a collective voice to end violence against women. The organization works with clients at the St. Thomas/St. John Family Resource Center and Women’s Coalition of St. Croix.
Those who want to gather more information or volunteer can call 1-340-719-0144.

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The first domestic violence conference held on St. Croix, in 1986, led to the formation of the V.I. Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Council. The organization, which has the goal of reducing domestic violence, has since expanded its efforts to all three islands.

Lynn Spencer, DVSAC executive director, said the organization was an offshoot of the Women's Coalition, and over the years it has blossomed.

“We are serving 5,000 to 6,000 people yearly,” Spencer said.

The council's goal is to heighten awareness and coordinate education, prevention and response efforts to reduce the incidence of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking and dating violence and to make these crimes socially and culturally unacceptable.

Domestic violence is defined by the organization as “the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior perpetrated by an intimate partner against another.”

To accomplish its goals, DVSAC promotes programs and activities whose purposes are to support the reduction and eventual elimination of domestic violence and sexual assault.

DVSAC brings service provider agencies together. The organization has contracted outreach specialists providing training and education on domestic violence, sexual assault, conflict resolution, and their sub-topics. And they hold annual conferences and seminars.

The organization provides training for professionals on domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. It partners with different agencies to increase public awareness and to educate the community-at-large. DVSAC also serves as a resource for materials on issues relating to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. It also partners with and provides technical assistance to victim service providers

Free presentations are offered to educate community groups, faith-based congregations, businesses, professionals, and schools. Topics are selected by requesting agencies and tailored to meet their needs. The presentations are; Domestic Violence, Respect and Self-Esteem, Comfortable Touch/Uncomfortable Touch, Incest ,Child Abuse, Sexual Assault, Date Rape, Teen Dating Violence, Violence Prevention, Sexual Harassment, and Conflict Resolution

Spencer implemented the People's Court Watch Program that provides volunteers who observe civil and criminal proceedings from an impartial perspective. It aims to provide constructive recommendations to the criminal justice system for the safe and fair treatment of victims. People going through the court system are provided with information on how the justice system works.

She said about two years ago she started the Greet and Meet program for the faith based community, in response to recognition by clergy and church members recognition of the physical and emotional needs they have to respond to in the community. They want to know the issues and problems in domestic violence, and they are aware of the need to do more on the prevention side. She said the program has been well received.

Spencer, who has been with DVSAC since 2002, is retiring soon but said she will volunteer with the Greet and Meet and the People's Court Watch programs.

DVSAC is comprised of representatives from local law enforcement, human services, prosecution, court, hospital, clergy, victim service providers, and other government and non-governmental agencies. There are 9 staff members regular and contracted.

“Domestic violence touches everybody,” Spencer said. “It's a community issue. This has to be addressed by all of us ... I have a vision of everybody living in harmony."

DVSAC is funded by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women, to advance its goal of supporting state coalitions to serve as a collective voice to end violence against women. The organization works with clients at the St. Thomas/St. John Family Resource Center and Women’s Coalition of St. Croix.
Those who want to gather more information or volunteer can call 1-340-719-0144.