Military-Connected Victims’ Rights Advocates

Military Members & Families Project

Military Members & Families Project

One aspect of NCVLI’s work is an effort funded by the DOJ Office on Violence Against Women, called the Military Members & Families Project.  This Project is a partnership of NCVLI and the National Organization for Victim Assistance (NOVA) designed to provide specialized training and technical assistance (TTA) for criminal justice and allied professionals who respond to military members (active duty, reservices, guard members, and veterans) and military family members, who have been the victim of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and/or stalking.  The NOVA/NCVLI Project Team is working to provide TTA that builds and strengthens military-civilian partnerships and coordinated community response (CCR) teams that facilitate trauma-informed, survivor-centered services and legal advocacy tailored to the unique needs of this violence.  


In Spring 2022, the Project will launch an online, interactive “Toolkit for Advocating for Military-Connected Victims”! Check back soon.

For more information about the Military Members & Families Project, please contact one of the Project team:

    • NOVA:  Claire Ponder-Selib, NOVA Executive Director ( or Angela Duhon, NOVA Director of Military/Civilian Victim Services Program (
    • NCVLI: Please request TTA from NCVLI here.  For more information about the “Toolkit for Advocating for Military-Connected Victims,” please contact NCVLI at (subject line: “Toolkit for Advocating for Military-Connected Victims”).

Military-Connected Victims Trainings

Select Past Trainings

November 30, December 1 & December 2, 2021 – Military-Connected Victims Virtual Training Course (Alaska, California, Hawaii and Washington)

This training course, created in partnership with the NOVA, was an interactive, multidisciplinary course, featuring several subject matter experts that focused on cross-collaboration and coordinated community response (CCR).  Topics included survivor voice, reporting options, risk assessments, safety planning, victims’ rights, financial recovery and military investigation.

October 26, 2021 – Military and Civilian Victims’ Rights Attorneys & Their Respective Roles

This training, facilitated by NCVLI, hosted a panel of expert victims’ rights attorneys—both military and civilian—from across the nation who have provided representation to victims on and off installation.  The SMEs discussed similarities and differences between Victims’ Legal Counsel (VLC) or Special Victims’ Counsel (SVC) and civilian victims’ rights attorneys; and how victim service professionals can help survivors activate their rights by connecting them with a lawyer or by enhancing their representation of military-connected victims.  Watch the Recording.

Presented by:  Lieutenant Colonel Lauren A. Shure, Deputy Division Chief of the Special Victims’ Counsel Division; Major Joshua Mikkelsen, Associate Professor, The Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center and School; Lieutenant Commander Alexandra Nica, Victim Legal Counsel; and Russell P. Butler, Adjunct Professor, University of Baltimore Law School.

Facilitated by:  Meg Garvin, MA, JD, MsT, Executive Director of NCVLI and Clinical Professor of Law; and Desiree Staeffler, Victims’ Rights Fellow with NCVLI.

September 28, 2021  Trauma, IPV and Mental Health Advocacy

This Brown Bag, hosted by NOVA, held a discussion on how victim advocates and mental health professionals can work together to enhance safety, empower clients and normalize help seeking behaviors.  Watch the Recording.

Presented by: Deidra Saina, LCSW (for this event, Ms. Saina did not represent the U.S. Air Force in any capacity and presented as an independent clinical social worker and victim advocate.)

July 1, 2021 – Military & Civilian Victims’ Rights 101

This training, facilitated by NCVLI, provided foundational knowledge on victims’ rights in military and civilian criminal justice, including discussion on jurisdictional issues that military-connected crime victims often encounter and an overview of which victims’ rights can be asserted in each justice system.  Watch the Recording.

Presented by:  Captain Phillip N. Walters, former Victims’ Legal Counsel; and Meg Garvin, Executive Director of NCVLI and Clinical Professor of Law.

Facilitated by:  Desiree Staeffler, Victims’ Rights Fellow with NCVLI.

This work is funded by an award to NCVLI under a subgrant from the National Organization of Victim Assistance (NOVA) pursuant to Grant No. 2019-TA-AX-K019 awarded to NOVA by the Office on Violence Against Women. The opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the contributors and do not necessarily represent the official position of the U.S. Department of Justice.