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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 training! Rural grantees may use their OVW set-aside training funds to cover travel expenses to attend all training listed here 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

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


October 21 - 23, 2014
Bloomington, MN
Building & Enhancing Rural Coordinated Criminal Justice Responses to Battering
An interdisciplinary training institute for rural grantees

Tuesday & Wednesday: 8:30 am – 5:00 pm
Thursday: 8:30 am – 3:00 pm

Review draft agenda

Training overview:
Whether you have a barely formed interagency team, a coordinated community response (CCR) that is facing hurdles, or a well-established team that wants to further develop skills, this is the institute for you. This free, three-day training will offer prosecutors, law enforcement officers, batterer intervention program staff, probation and parole officers, advocates, and court personnel ideas on how to strengthen, expand, and give new direction to their CCR.

This training institute will provide the latest research and information on best practices for coordinating criminal justice system responses to battering. It will also provide an opportunity for teams to work together to integrate the information provided and develop customized action plans for your community. Whether you are new or seasoned, you will leave with an understanding of how to build a CCR that can effectively prioritize and implement solutions to better protect victims and their children, hold offenders accountable, and maximize the efficacy of your coordinated community response.  

Through lecture, small group activity, and discussion, the general session topics will include:

  • Championing the cause to coordinate interagency responses to domestic violence
  • The mission, purpose, & function of an effective CCR
  • Battered women and their children: The dangers they face
  • Activities for CCRs: Moving from networking to taking action
  • Practices & policies to assure enhanced and consistent responses

Discipline-specific tracks will address related CCR roles, best practices, and emerging issues, but will also specifically address:

  • Law enforcement: rural realities and their impact on law enforcement response, strategies for reducing homicides of victims and officers, reducing dual arrests and false arrests, evidence-based investigation strategies when responding to domestic violence-related crimes, etc.
  • Prosecution: Charging, pretrial release, plea negotiation, preparing for trial, trial, sentencing, enforcement, influencing work prior to a prosecutor’s involvement that “makes or breaks” the case, and working with battered women’s advocates, etc.
  • CCR coordinators and advocates:  Tools and skills for enhancing your interagency responses to battering, strategic use of research, statistics, and data to inform interagency discussions and accountability, anticipating resistance and strategizing to prevent/overcome obstacles, strategic use of “the table”, etc.

Additional workshop sessions will include:

  • Enhancing safety for immigrant victims
  • Addressing the needs of Native women
  • Adapting and implementing the Blueprint for Safety

NOTE: Although specific tracks will not be offered for probation, batterer’s intervention, and court personnel, participants of those disciplines are encouraged to attend this institute because of the vital role they play in influencing agencies that rely on them and those upon which they rely. These participants will be able to “float” between tracks in order to gain maximum exposure to best practices at three major points of intervention and relate those back to their own unique role in their CCR.   

Marcus Bruning, ret. Supervising Deputy Sheriff, Saint Louis County Sheriff’s Office
Denise Eng, Praxis International
Chief Tom Smith, Saint Paul Police Department (tentative)
Rose Thelen, Gender Violence Institute

Matt Wiese, Prosecuting Attorney, Marquette County, Michigan

Vicki Ybanez, RedWind Consulting, Inc.

Others TBA

Contact Janice Wick for more information:, 218-525-0487, x251

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.  

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, November 19

Practical Implications of Current Intimate Partner Violence Research for Advocates and Service Providers
Andrew Klein, Advocates for Human Potential

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 that 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 your 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 increased victim well being, safety and court outcomes?
  • Should domestic violence victims who suffer sexual assault be encouraged to participate in SANE programs?


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, 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


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

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

Stay tuned for upcoming roundtables!

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

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