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Welcome, rural grantees! Since 1998, Praxis has been providing training, technical assistance (TA) and networking opportunities to rural communities funded by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women.

Approved trainings: Rural grantees may use their OVW set-aside training funds to cover travel expenses to attend this training and do not need to get approval from their OVW program specialist. No registration fee.

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Quick links: 
Rural Routes to Change Networking Sessions
Building Blocks--webinar trainings
Grantee Roundtables

Next session...

Webinars on the core components of effective institutional and individual advocacy that improve outcomes for victims and accountability for offenders. These trainings are intended to provide in-depth perspective and thinking on relevant issue from national and rural experts in the field. 

Wednesday, April 16
Best Practices for Law Enforcement Response To Domestic Violence

Marcus Bruning, Retired Deputy Sheriff, St. Louis County, MN

As first responders, law enforcement is best positioned to analyze “who is doing what to whom and with what impact?” When documented in the police report, this assists multiple agencies in doing their job enhancing safety for victims, and holding offenders accountable. For advocates, CCR coordinators, and namely, law enforcement officers, this webinar will detail the following core practices in law enforcement response to domestic violence: risk assessment, self-defense and predominant-aggressor determinations, report-writing guidelines, and victim engagement strategies.


Registration is required. Please contact if you do not receive registration confirmation.

calls take place the third Wednesday of each month from 2 - 3:15pm Central Time. 

Facilitated by Rose Thelen, Praxis TAP and expert on rural coordinated community responses, Rural Routes to Change feature guests working to implement key CCR strategies in rural communities to share their current experiences.

Wednesday, June 18
Calling Victims Before They Call You

Rose Thelen, Praxis Technical Assistance Partner + Rural Grantee

We know that victims experience better outcomes when linked with confidential advocacy; psychological distress is reduced and court outcomes are enhanced. Just knowing a resource is available, though, doesn’t guarantee a person will access it. Not understanding the role of an advocate, or not wanting to bother anyone, many victims will refuse an offer of an advocacy call. However, when an advocate calls a victim and offers confidential services, although they have the right to refuse, most victims welcome  the call. This opportunity can lay the foundation for continued involvement and support as a victim processes her experiences, thereby increasing safety for other victims. Join us to hear from one community that has sought to implement the practice of advocacy-initiated response and learn how it has changed their advocacy and the subsequent criminal case outcome.


Wednesday, August 20

Addressing Prosecution Responses to Battering through a CCR
Rose Thelen, Praxis Technical Assistance Partner + Rural Grantee

A successful CCR monitors current and improved responses in all involved law enforcement and court agencies in order to meet the goals of enhanced victim safety and offender accountability.  This session will examine the ways that CCRs can establish mechanisms to identify prosecution responses, particularly those that produce problematic outcomes for victims,  measure them against best practices and then work to adapt them to improve outcomes for battered women. Join us as we:

  • Consider problematic prosecution practices,
  • Review and assess prosecution policies,
  • Discuss how to establish methods to monitor prosecution practices,
  • Consider agreements between agencies,
  • How to analyze data, and
  • Consider “constructive engagement” that build collaborative commitments and enhances prosecutorial outcomes.

Wednesday, October 15

Increasing Your Advocacy Program's Capacity for Social Change: One Program's Experience
Rose Thelen, Praxis Technical Assistance Partner and Kim Bruce, Shelterhouse

The primary purpose of a CCR/SART is to reform practices in criminal, civil and other agencies in your community.  To do this requires an understanding of how systems currently function and their impact on victim safety and offender accountability.  While it is every participating agency’s role to do so, as the community agency most involved in the lives of victims, advocacy programs are best situated to identify and prioritize efforts to address gaps in the system.  Join us as we talk with Kim Bruce from Shelterhouse in MI about how their program reorganized their work to incorporate an institutional advocacy focus to strengthen their CCR/SART efforts, specifically around:

  • Mission, purpose and function,
  • Administrative practices,
  • Resources, and
  • Training


Wednesday, December 17
Leveraging Key Features of Rural Life to Benefit CCR Efforts
Rose Thelen, Praxis Technical Assistance Partner + Rural Grantee

Effective CCR’s are built on relationships, which are often already in place in small rural communities. Key people may have taken up the cause of improving inter-agency responses before your CCR was even in place. Identifying these people and changes can make the task of standardizing and improved outcomes simpler than starting from scratch. Relationships that exist outside of the agencies directly involved in a CCR can influence community support for overall goals.  Also, people have more frequent access and interaction with each other in a variety of settings. While not negating the problems associated with implementing a CCR in a small community, this session will help you identify rural strengths that can work in your favor.
Join our conversation as we consider:

  • Formal and informal power in Rural communities,
  • What’s already been done,
  • Leveraging informal access, and
  • Developing and maintaining media relationships


Webinars on the core components of effective institutional and individual advocacy that improve outcomes for victims and accountability for offenders. These trainings are intended to provide in-depth perspective and thinking on relevant issue from national and rural experts in the field.  

Registration is required. Please contact if you do not receive registration confirmation.

All calls take place the third Wednesday of each month from 2 - 3:15pm Central Time. 

Wednesday, May 21

The Crucial Role of the Community-Based Advocate in Rural CCRs
Rose Thelen, Praxis Technical Assistance Partner

Community-based advocates play a number of crucial roles in addressing a community’s response to violence against women. Frequently the only source of confidential advocacy for survivors, they work cooperatively with law enforcement and government-based advocates (victim/witness advocates, etc.) to improve outcomes in individual cases. Despite resistance and obstacles, they are uniquely tied to the direct experiences of survivors in their community, they play a pivotal role when identify gaps and developing solutions for improving criminal justice system responses. This session will discuss the foundations of community-based advocacy involvement in systems reform efforts, common obstacles to fulfilling this role, and strategies for leveraging inherent power differentials.


Wednesday, July 16

Best Practices for Prosecutors
Matt Wiese, Prosecuting Attorney, Marquette County, Michigan

This session will discuss the importance of successful prosecution, as well as other strategies that hold offenders accountable and better protect victims by reducing reliance on direct testimony to secure convictions for domestic violence-related crimes. Matt Wiese, Marquette, MI County Attorney will provide information and identify resources on:

  • The distinct and collaborative roles of the system-based and community-based advocate in working to enhance prosecution,
  • How prosecutors work with law enforcement and advocacy agencies to enhance safety for women while holding offenders accountable,
  • How to build a case that reduces reliance on battered women's testimony in the aftermath of the Crawford Decision,
  • Written policies, procedures, forms, and working agreements needed by CCRs to assure effective prosecution, and
  • How to work with CCRs to identify problems in prosecution and define solutions that create long term change. 

Wednesday, September 17

Advocacy for Social Change in Your CCR

In the last 20 years, advocacy has drifted from social change toward an approach that is more based on a social service model. Currently there is a resurgence of interest in reclaiming the roots of advocacy, with the understanding that while important, providing services alone does not eliminate the problem. Join Rose Thelen, Praxis Technical Assistance Partner and long time advocate for social change as she discusses the foundations of institutional advocacy directed at social change, and considers implications for CCR/SART efforts, including:

  • foundational thinking and theories
    •  the importance of engaging communities in the cause of justice
    •  interconnected types of advocacy
    • social change advocacy core principles, and
    • core activities of social change advocacy

Wednesday, November 19

Practical implications of Current Intimate Partner Violence Research for Advocates and Service Providers

In 2009, the National Institute of Justice published Andrew Klein’s Practical Implications of Current Domestic Violence Research: For Law Enforcement, Prosecutors and Judges. In Dec 2013, this work was expanded to include what the research suggests is important about the additional data from the perspective of victims, advocates and service providers as well as about the efficacy of particular advocacy services themselves. The research results found in this compilation can optimize individual advocacy, other service programming and coordinated community response efforts.  Join us to discuss highlights of research findings which help provide answers to the following questions:

  • How can research assist you in providing services and efforts to change the community response?
  • What do victim advocates and service providers need to know about the impact of the civil and criminal justice system?
  • Is arrest the best response?  Does prosecution deter further abuse? Can cases be successfully prosecuted without the victim? 
  • What services and advocacy are most effective for increase victim’s wellbeing, safety and court outcomes? Should domestic violence victims who suffer sexual assaults be encouraged to participate in SANE programs?

critical-thinking and problem-solving events with a small group of rural advocates, practitioners,
 Praxis staff and a national expert.

Registration will be open soon...

August 7 & 8, 2014
Saint Paul, MN

When Women Fight Back
A Roundtable for Rural Advocates

Facilitated by Melissa Scaia, Domestic Abuse Intervention Programs, Duluth, MN and Advocates for Family Peace, Grand Rapids, MN

Contact Janice Wick for more information:, 218-525-0487218-525-0487 x 251

Upcoming training INSTITUTE
Large groups of grantees and national experts gather for training on a range of topics.

The Critical Role of Leadership: Coordinating Rural Interagency Response to Violence Against Women
A training for advocates, coordinators, & leaders of coordinated interagency efforts to improve community & systems responses to ending violence against women

March 26—28, 2014
Phoenix, AZ

Overview of training:
The training institute focused on the key philosophies, skills, & methods of organizing and maintaining successful rural interagency efforts to improve community & system responses to all forms of violence against women.

Follow up resources available