ANDVSA Quarterly
News from the Alaska Network on Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault for Partners and Supporters
Dear Friends,
As I write to you today, winter is softly and soundlessly falling here in Southeast Alaska, on the traditional lands of the Áak’w and Taakhu Kwáan of the Tlingit Nation. I want to thank you for your continued care and contributions offered throughout nearly a year of a deadly and debilitating pandemic. Yet, while we have faced a world that many could never have imagined, we have responded with courage and resolve in ways many of us could never have imagined. We have seen our neighbors extend incredible generosity to keep one another safe, fed and housed.
In spite of the relentless challenges, ANDVSA member agencies and community-based partner organizations have continued to provide compassionate care, advocacy services, and safe housing to victims and their families. Victim advocacy agencies endure due to their fierce imagination and commitment to their missions. As community-based agencies mobilized to provide services in rapidly evolving conditions, ANDVSA likewise responded with ways to support these agencies in their work.
Beginning in March 2020, ANDVSA compiled weekly briefings where we shared with agencies relevant COVID-related information. We organized listening sessions with Senator Murkowski’s office when she wanted to learn about on-the-ground experiences. When agencies realized the gravity of continuing operations during the pandemic - that we had real concerns and were navigating issues with life and death consequences - we called on Dr. Zink, State of Alaska Chief Medical Officer. Both Senator Murkowski and Dr. Zink listened and heard our collective concerns.
With federal funding intended to provide immediate relief to domestic and sexual violence programs, ANDVSA mobilized $35,000 in personal protective equipment such as hand sanitizer, quality masks, and disinfectant wipes as well as technology (computers, phones, cameras, etc.) to 19 agencies, including two federally recognized tribal coalitions, Healing Native Hearts Coalition and Yupik Women’s Coalition. These resources help protect advocates and allow advocates to provide remote services for victims and their families.
We organized planning and coordination meetings with partners, Alaska Native Women’s Resource Center and Alaska Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault while also hosting peer roundtables among victim advocates to share, learn, mobilize and support each other. We attempted to enact – to make real – some of our key beliefs:
  • Every human being has the right to be safe and free from violence.
  • The elimination of interpersonal and societal violence is most effectively advanced through networking and coalition building at the local, state, and national levels.
  • Community engagement is intrinsic to the creation of a safe and just society.
  • Societal change is achieved through community involvement and prevention efforts.
Even now, all of us have something to contribute. Whether it be sending cards of encouragement, offering your services to the victim services’ organization in your community, advocating with your local elected officials on issues you think are important, or financially supporting a program, we all can take action to support our neighbors. Community involvement is about being a good neighbor and, at its core, being a good neighbor is simple.
It’s about caring and acting. Together.

Warm regards always,

Carmen Lowry
Executive Director
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2020 Highlights
New members

As a statewide coalition, ANDVSA relies on the contributions and collaboration of member programs. In 2020, ANDVSA welcomed Bay Haven and Emmonak Women's Shelter as members of the network and ANDVSA’s operating board. These programs operate in rural Alaska providing critical advocacy and support services. Welcome to the new members and thank you for your important work to serve survivors in your communities. 
Bay Haven
The Native Village of Hooper Bay is the largest traditional Yup'ik Eskimo community in the Yukon-Kuskokwim (Y-K) Delta, outside of Bethel, Alaska. Hooper Bay serves as a sub-regional hub for the communities of Hooper Bay, Chevak and Scammon Bay for medical care, public safety law enforcement and state court services. Bay Haven offers comprehensive services and support for victims of domestic violence and/or sexual assault in Hooper Bay and the surrounding sub-region. Services include victim advocacy, legal assistance, referral services, community education, and domestic violence/sexual assault prevention activities. The shelter holds up to 12 clients and their children and is staffed 24/7 with victim service advocates and community outreach workers trained in trauma-informed services.

Emmonak Women's Shelter (EWS)
Emmonak Women’s Shelter is a nonprofit organization in the Yup’ik village of Emmonak, Alaska. (EWS) began with grassroots in 1979, a group of women volunteered and got together to talk about the great need for a safe place for woman and children, they began with designating safe homes between each other’s.
In 1981, the Shelter moved into its first building when the Emmonak City Council granted them the use of the old community hall. In March of 1984 the City of Emmonak and local Tribal Council funded EWS a building to use for a safe shelter, the Emmonak Women’s Shelter committee celebrated the Grand Opening with a ribbon cutting, potluck dinner, and an evening of eskimo dancing. Today, Emmonak Women’s Shelter is funded by OVC/OVW and FVPSA. EWS services 12 villages in the region, the program is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. EWS provides room and meals, counseling and guidance services, community education, and a 24-hour crisis intervention telephone line. Emmonak is off the road system, the residents either fly to Emmonak, or during the summer/fall months, they travel by boat and during the winter months they travel by snow machine to get to EWS. Emmonak Women’s Shelter stands with survivors with love, honor, and respect. 

Congratulations, Christine Pate!
In October, Legal Program Director Christine Pate was awarded the 2020 Jay Rabinowitz Public Service Award. This award is given each year by the Board of Trustees of the Alaska Bar Foundation to an individual whose life work has demonstrated a commitment to public service in Alaska. Christine has led ANDVSA's pro bono program since its inception 22 years ago. Under her leadership, the ANDVSA Legal Program has served over 2,000 survivors and their families throughout the years. Congratulations, Christine, on this well-deserved award!
Staying Connected Virtually During COVID-19

Every year, we look forward to in-person trainings and visits to local programs. Many trainings moved online this year due to the pandemic. While we missed the opportunity to connect with advocates and partners in-person, embracing virtual trainings allowed us to be flexible to address specific needs as they arose and allowed for more participation across the state.

- Introduction to Advocacy: To support the on-boarding of new volunteers and employees, ANDVSA held a virtual training in May, “Introduction to Advocacy”, which oriented participants to the world of DVSA services, including safety planning, advocacy-based counseling and current and emerging thinking on how to support survivors. 

- Advanced Training: With the move to virtual training, a scheduled training on the intersection of services for mental health, trauma and substance use was opened up to programs across Alaska. Over 115 people attended the training, with one participant reflecting, "The information presented in this training was both invaluable and meaningful. It will allow me to create a stronger environment of openness and hope for my clients with the knowledge gained."

- Legal Advocacy and Wellness Sharing: The annual LAWS training normally brings together around 40 advocates and presenters in Anchorage for a three day training. With the move to virtual, 85 people from across the state were able to attend. In order to be more restorative than draining for participants, the training included many breaks and wellness activities, including learning about traditional teas and mindfulness practices. One attendee shared, "I liked time for breaks and to connect, this was the best virtual meeting I had attended all year."

Learn More
Learn more about ANDVSA's work over the past year by reading our Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2020.
Get Involved
Raise Awareness and Prevent Teen Dating Violence

February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month (TDVAPM) and ANDVSA has launched a new website for youth engagement, Throughout the month and beyond, there are many opportunities for youth to get involved in preventing violence and creating positive change in their communities. Go to the website to see and add upcoming events for youth to get involved. Follow LeadOn on Facebook and Instagram and share messages that we all deserve healthy, respectful relationships, teen dating violence is never ok, and help is available. Visit love is respect for more information about supporting teens to have safe and supportive relationships.
Become a Volunteer Attorney

ANDVSA’s Legal Program provides free legal assistance to low-income victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in divorce, child custody, protective order, and other civil proceedings through staff attorneys and volunteers. Volunteer attorneys provide victims with real tools that they need to maintain safety, and there are many ways to volunteer! Attorneys can take all or part of a case representing a victim in court, mentor new attorneys, or host the Information and Referral Hotline every other Tuesday.

Find out more about becoming a volunteer on the ANDVSA website and read about our past volunteer attorneys of the month.
Connect with Your Community Program

Interested in volunteering or finding a job working to end violence? Now is a great time to get involved. Find open opportunities on ANDVSA's job board or visit your local program's website for more information. Find a list of local programs here.

ANDVSA is hosting a two day training on February 23 & 24 to orient new volunteers and staff at programs to the world of domestic violence/sexual assault services. Email or call 907-586-3650 for more information about the training.
With the start of the new year comes a treasured Alaska tradition, registering to receive your PFD! When you register this year, consider donating to your local domestic violence & sexual assault program or ANDVSA.