NCVLI is responding to the emerging issue of polyvictimization through the Protecting Polyvictims’ Rights Project, funded by the Office for Victims of Crime. This free introductory webinar, Polyvictimization: What It Is and Why It Matters to Victims’ Rights, is designed for attorneys, advocates, and allied professionals who work with victims of crime.  This webinar will provide the foundation for future webinars on advanced polyvictimization topics.


Polyvictimization: What It Is and Why It Matters to Victims’ Rights

Jane Doe, a woman in her mid-20s, is assaulted. Jane has also been victimized previously; when she was a child, she was sexually assaulted by an adult and has been in violent dating relationships on and off. If Jane discloses these prior victimizations when she accesses services she may receive more holistic services that address not only the most recent assault but also her prior victimizations, and these holistic services may prove more beneficial to her healing and recovery. Yet, with this disclosure, sadly Jane may also open herself to aggressive attacks on her character, credibility, and the legitimacy of her current victimization claim.  If she accesses the justice system, she may experience invasive subpoenas for her private records related not only to the present trauma but to prior traumas, and this may lead to destructive cross-examination.

Jane is a “polyvictim” – someone who has experienced multiple victimizations of different types throughout her lifetime.  Mounting evidence shows that polyvictimization occurs at alarming rates.  Fortunately, this data is leading to new efforts to identify and respond to polyvictims. NCVLI is responding to this emerging issue through the Protecting Polyvictims’ Rights Project, funded by the Office for Victims of Crime. Join NCVLI for the Project’s Webinar Series, and learn how you can help prevent re-traumatization of polyvictims by ensuring that their rights are protected from the moment of intake through participation in the justice system.

This introductory webinar, Polyvictimization: What It Is and Why It Matters to Victims’ Rights, is designed for attorneys, advocates, and allied professionals who work with victims of crime.  This webinar will provide the foundation for future webinars on polyvictimization.

This training will include:

  • An introduction to the concepts of polyvictimization, complex trauma, and other short and long term impacts of polyvictimization;
  • Best practices for working effectively with polyvictims; and
  • And overview of how multiple victimizations may impact the assertion/enforcement of victims’ rights.

Presenters for this opening webinar are NCVLI attorneys and partner mental health professionals from across the country with expertise in victimization and trauma.


Monya Cohen, PsyD
Dr. Cohen is a licensed clinical psychologist at the John L. Gildner Regional Institute for Children and Adolescence in Rockville, Maryland.  Dr. Cohen is an individual and family therapist for 9 adolescent girls in the RICA Residential and Day Program, all of whom have a history of trauma or adverse childhood experiences.  She is also the group therapy supervisor for RICA’s Psychology Internship Program.  Dr. Cohen graduated from Argosy University in 2001.  She has completed the trauma certificate program at the University of Maryland School of Social Work and is working toward completing an advanced trauma certificate through the Institute for Advanced Psychotherapy Training and Education.  Dr. Cohen also completed a training program with the Roper Victims Assistance Academy and has presented throughout the State of Maryland on Trauma Informed Care and Trauma Across the Life Span.

Meg Garvin, M.A., JD
Ms. Garvin is the executive director of the National Crime Victim Law Institute (NCVLI) and a clinical professor of law at Lewis & Clark Law School.  Ms. Garvin is recognized as a leading expert on victims’ rights. She regularly presents on victims’ rights and participates in national forums to develop policy on victims’ rights. She has testified before Congress and the Oregon Legislature on the current state of victim law. She serves on the Legislative & Public Policy Committee of the Oregon Attorney General’s Sexual Assault Task Force, and co-chairs the Oregon Attorney General’s Crime Victims’ Rights Task Force. She served as co-chair of the American Bar Association’s Criminal Justice Section Victims Committee from 2005-2010, and has served as a member of the board of directors for the National Organization of Victim Assistance.  Prior to joining NCVLI, Ms. Garvin practiced law in a private firm in Minneapolis, Minnesota and clerked for the Honorable Donald P. Lay of the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. She received her bachelor of arts degree from the University of Puget Sound, her master of arts degree in communication studies from the University of Iowa, and her juris doctorate from the University of Minnesota.

Rebecca S.T. Khalil, JD
Ms. Khalil is an attorney with NCVLI and is the Safeguarding Child-Victims’ Rights Initiative Director.  Before joining NCVLI, Ms. Khalil was a litigation associate with Baker & Hostetler LLP in New York City, where she worked on a number of complex commercial and business litigations, including trade secret, securities, and contract cases, as well as white collar criminal defense, governmental and quasi-governmental matters, and corporate investigations.  During law school, Ms. Khalil was an extern with the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in San Jose, California.  Ms. Khalil holds a BA in History from Seattle University and earned her JD from Stanford Law School, where she was elected to the Order of the Coif.

Jerry Yager, PsyD
Dr. Yager has more than 30 years of experience in the assessment and treatment of neglected, abused and traumatized children.  He joined the Denver Children’s Advocacy Center (DCAC) in 2011 to pursue his passion of educating professionals who work with children about the impact of abuse and neglect on the developing brain.  As director of training, Dr. Yager leads DCAC’s far-reaching initiative to provide training and consultation to the professionals who work with traumatized children in many different capacities—therapists, social workers, educators, foster/adoptive parents, law enforcement officers, investigators and victim advocates—to help them understand the often difficult behaviors of child abuse victims and learn to provide appropriate and effective interventions that ameliorate rather than exacerbate the trauma.  Dr. Yager and his training team conduct workshops and provide individual and organizational consultation throughout Colorado and nationally.  Dr. Yager is a ChildTrauma fellow with the ChildTrauma Academy. In addition to supporting DCAC’s therapists with consultation on challenging cases, he maintains a small clinical caseload.  Before joining DCAC, Dr. Yager was the Executive Director of the Denver Children’s Home for nine years. He has served as president of the Colorado Association of Families and Children’s Agencies (CAFCA), was a member of the Governors Child Care Licensing Advisory Committee and Colorado’s Child and Adolescent Mental Health Systems Redesign Committee, and also served on the Kempe Children’s Center Perpetration Prevention Study Group.

Due to a high volume of registrants, registration is now full for this webinar.
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This webinar is produced by the National Crime Victim Law Institute under 2012-VF-GX-KO13, awarded by the Office for Victims of Crime, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice.The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this presentation are those of the contributors and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.