NNEDV Executives Profit while Victims of Domestic Violence and Stalking are Left Behind
After 3 consecutive weeks of unsuccessfully trying to obtain Identity Change assistance for an out of state victim of violence from the NNEDV executives, Cindy Southworth, and Technical Assistance Provider, Valenda Applegarth, Tri-County Crisis Center is out of options. Unfortunately, it is nearly impossible to access and obtain direct services from the most profitable non-profits in our nation, and this problem is only escalating. Our national leaders in domestic violence continue to endlessly refer clients to a hotline and then fail to return client calls. President of TCCC, Ms. DiBari, was also referred to the hotline after following up about a high-risk case.
“Being referred to a hotline as a Director of a crisis center raises red flags for me. The NNEDV is not a volunteer, grassroots organization; it is a large organization that is heavily funded by federal grants and private donations from major corporations. Deferring victims and advocates is a poor excuse for assistance, and those funneling money into these businesses should think twice.” Maria DiBari, President of Tri-County Crisis Center, Inc.
Communications between DiBari and Southworth:
From: Maria Dibari [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Monday, February 06, 2012 5:54 PM
To: Cindy Southworth
Subject: response requested immediately/follow up request XX victim
I have written to you a number of times requesting Valenda Applegarth’s title and position/scope of work. I have received no response regarding this. She has not responded to our client, a high-risk domestic violence and stalking victim, who has recently had an identity change, after our client followed Valenda’s procedures and left a message on a hotline number. Our client has followed your referral, and has reached out to Valenda through the hotline and has been waiting patiently for more than a week. I am uncomfortable with referring my clients to this person if this is not clarified at once. I am aware that the usual procedure is to refer victims to this individual and I would like some clarification.
Feb 7 (6 days ago)
The National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) and Greater Boston Legal Services (GBLS) have a joint initiative where we provide targeted training and technical assistance on survivor relocation and identity protection for multiple grantees of the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) at the Department of Justice. With less than 1 full-time position funded at each organization, our project tries to meet the immense demand from OVW grantees for training and technical assistance surrounding victims’ desires to relocate and remain safe from perpetrators of violence. This project helps OVW grantees understand the complexities facing victims trying to remain safe from their abusers, who often use a continuum of options to enhance their security – from opening a post office box, to sealing court records, and, in rare cases, to legally changing their identities.
Since 2007, our joint project has provided tailored technical assistance to almost 4,000 OVW grantees, hosted two national conferences, and provided training through webinars, statewide and national workshops to another 5,000 grantees. Since each survivor’s case is unique, providing tailored assistance to front-line advocates and local attorneys who are working directly with a survivor takes extensive time and care.
Given the large numbers of abusers who misuse surveillance technologies, including SpyWare, to monitor their victim’s computer and email use, we prefer to speak on the phone with practitioners and survivors. Given our limited staff time and the immense demand, we rely on the 24 hour national domestic violence hotline and local hotlines and programs to provide immediate support to survivors. We offer technical assistance and training to local advocates and attorneys to help them provide nuanced support to survivors navigating complex relocation and identity protection issues.
We appreciate your patience as we juggle assisting multiple local practitioners working with survivors. We ask survivors and advocates to provide a phone number where we can safely reach them and then try to get back to them as quickly as possible.
If you’d like more information about technology monitoring to share with survivors, we have a piece on SpyWare posted at www.nnedv.org/SafetyNetDocs
Thank you for understanding,
Alexis Moore an experienced high-tech investigator, renowned victim advocate and proven agency leader has repeatedly requested to be placed in a leadership position at a national or state level domestic violence and stalking agency, and Cindy Southworth’s position at NNEDV would be a perfect match. It today’s tough economy, there are many highly talented, skilled, and motivated leaders waiting for a seat in an influential position that are willing to devote their time and talents to ensure no victim is left behind.
“I am ready, willing and able to take a position at the NNEDV or any other national or state agency. As a leader of a grassroots, national volunteer agency, juggling unfinished client cases from the NNEDV and other national, state and local organizations has been taxing and nearly impossible to do on a volunteer basis, and I know of hundreds of other capable, competent and dedicated individuals from across the nation that are ready to do the same.” Alexis Moore, Risk Management Consultant and founder Survivors In Action, Inc.
The fact that funding continues to be allocated to agencies like NNEDV and others without any accountability or oversight should not be acceptable in 2012. The lack of accountability and oversight coupled with the fact that victims continue to reach out for help only to find that they are provided with ”auto-pilot referrals” to a hotline or that they are completed ignored all together should not be acceptable to agency executives, the tax payer or to any donor who is generously donating their time, treasure or talents to an agency.
Victims of domestic violence and stalking should not be left behind especially when there are fiscal resources that could be allocated to agencies and victim service providers who are ready, willing and able to assist.
The evidence is clear, there are many agencies funded and executives being paid well above the average median income in the United States, yet victims continue to be left behind. Now, more than ever it is time to enact reform measures to ensure that funding is allocated only to agenices and individuals that provide direct support to victims.
Victims lives depend upon it.