Leadership Center (NALC)

NALC offers skill-based, sequential victim assistance training designed to build and enhance knowledge, skills and tools for victim assistance providers and allied professionals at all levels.

Join Today

Leadership Center (NALC)

NALC offers skill-based, sequential victim assistance training designed to build and enhance knowledge, skills and tools for victim assistance providers and allied professionals at all levels.

Join Today

Leadership Center (NALC)

NALC offers skill-based, sequential victim assistance training designed to build and enhance knowledge, skills and tools for victim assistance providers and allied professionals at all levels.

Join Today

Leadership Center (NALC)

NALC offers skill-based, sequential victim assistance training designed to build and enhance knowledge, skills and tools for victim assistance providers and allied professionals at all levels.

Join Today

Leadership Center (NALC)

NALC offers skill-based, sequential victim assistance training designed to build and enhance knowledge, skills and tools for victim assistance providers and allied professionals at all levels.

Join Today

Leadership Center (NALC)

NALC offers skill-based, sequential victim assistance training designed to build and enhance knowledge, skills and tools for victim assistance providers and allied professionals at all levels.

Join Today

What is NALC?

The National Advocacy Leadership Center (NALC) is an online training and professional development center designed to support you at every step of your victim advocacy career. Whether you are a recent college graduate or an experienced advocate seeking a new challenge, NALC offers a wide variety of development opportunities to meet the growing and diverse field of victim advocacy.

Join NOVA as a Premier Member and access all of NALC’s benefits, including innovative online trainings, professional development tips, networking opportunities, job listings, and updates on best practices unique to victim assistance providers and allied professionals who assist victims of crime.

Who should join?

  • Anyone interested in exploring a career in victim advocacy, criminal justice, military victim advocacy, mental health, social services, law enforcement, or other allied professions.
  • Professionals who require flexible continuing education training hours in an easily accessible, on-line training classroom.
  • Seasoned professionals seeking best practices in victim advocacy, crisis response, and crime victim rights and services.
  • Victim assistance providers and other allied professionals looking to expand their victim assistance network.
  • NOVA Victim Assistance Academy (NVAA) Alumni interested in pursuing advanced training.
Why should I join?

  • Access to NOVA Premier Members-Only Website: CEU Trainings, The NALC Career Center, networking opportunities, and informative updates on dynamic changes in victim advocacy.
  • FREE Admission to NALC’s Monthly Continuing Education (CEU) Webinars and Quarterly CEU Trainings for Victim Advocate Program Managers: Earn up to 24 CEU Credits/per year which can be applied to National Advocate Credentialing Program (NACP)® and/or DoD Sexual Assault Advocate Certification Program (D-SAACP) Renewal.
  • The NALC’s Career Center: Career guidance, job listings and other essential information for new and seasoned victim assistance professionals.
  • NOVA’s E-Quarterly Membership Newsletter: Receive regular updates and other information on best practices, upcoming trainings and calls to action for victim assistance professionals.
  • Networking Opportunities
How Can I Join?

Become a NOVA Premier Member and you will receive FULL access to NALC benefits.


Innovative and Sequential Victim Assistance Online Trainings

The National Advocacy Leadership Center (NALC) offers skill-based, sequential victim assistance training designed to build and enhance knowledge, skills, and tools for victim assistance providers and allied professionals at all levels.

The NALC Monthly Webinar Trainings are offered FREE of charge to NOVA Premier Members. Monthly webinars provide victim assistance providers and allied professionals with information on best practices, model programs, and emerging trends in victim advocacy. Check out our schedule of upcoming CY2022 NALC Webinars below.

All NALC CEU Webinars are recorded and available to NOVA Premier Members in the NALC Member-Only area of the NOVA Website.

Please contact NALC for more information: nalc@trynova.org.

NALC CEU CY2023 Monthly Webinar Schedule (18 CEUs/year)

Rights to Know, Don't Be Left Behind

Tamara Glover


Working with Military-Connected Survivors

Angela Duhon

National Organization for Victim Assistance



How System-Based Advocates Can Support Sexual Assault Survivors Through the Judicial Process

Lindy Aldrich

Ladder Consulting


Danielle Kitchen

National Organization for Victim Assistance


How Community-Based Advocates Can Support Sexual Assault Survivors Through the Judicial Process

Lindy Aldrich

Ladder Consulting


Danielle Kitchen

National Organization for Victim Assistance

Building Relationships & Collaborating with Law Enforcement: What Advocates and Service Providers Need to Know

Gary Cunningham

Prince George’s County Public Schools


Cheryl Banks

Ret., Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Center, UM Prince George’s Hospital Center 

Death Notification: What Do Advocates Do When the Police Leave?

Susan Townley

Boulder Police Department


Opening the Wayfair Cabinet: Tackling Misinformation in Anti-Trafficking

Erin Albright

New Frameworks

Military Justice & Office of Special Counsel

Melissa Hoppmeyer & COL Robert Stelle

Office of Special Counsel

Centering Marginalized Student Voices: Implications for Campus Advocates

Jasmine Uribe

National Organization for Victim Assistance

Developing a Multidisciplinary Perspective to Domestic Violence

Andrew Campbell

Campbell Research & Consulting

Where are Fentanyl Victims' Rights?

Kristy Dyroff

Drug Induced Homicide Foundation

Self-Care & Resilience

Katharine Manning

Blackbird DC


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NALC Career Center

We welcome you to explore the resources available in the NALC Career Center. The Career Center is designed to help you at every step of your career in victim advocacy.  In these pages, you’ll find information from everything about how to become a victim advocate to advice from experts in the field. Future resources will include job listings, resume advice, and mentoring program. Please check back often for new resources!


2022 Virtual Career Development Fair

Current Job Listings  

Tips and Tools for Job Seekers

Training and Continuing Education

Have a job you’d like posted? Email us: nalc@trynova.org 

FAQ: How do I become a victim advocate

> How do I launch a career in victim advocacy?

Victim advocacy attracts a diverse group of individuals who are passionate about helping others, including recent college graduates, military members, lawyers, and many more.  “NALC’s Ask The Expert” column (found at the bottom of this page) highlights the many career opportunities within victim advocacy.

> What are the typical duties of a victim advocate?

Victim advocacy is a rewarding career or volunteer opportunity, but it is also a difficult one. You will regularly work with people who have been through serious trauma. Before committing, you will want to have a good understanding of which will be expected of you.
Regular tasks include:

• Answering a hotline for victims/survivors
• Being on call to support a victim/survivor who goes to a hospital for a rape kit exam (called “hospital accompaniment”)
• Supporting as victim/survivor during court proceedings
• Making community presentations on services and prevention

A victim advocate is there to support the victims/survivors and make sure their needs and wishes are heard by the many systems s/he will interact with following their victimization. Your job is to be the one person who has solely the victim/survivor’s interests in mind.

> What training or education do victim advocates need?

There is no pre-requisite degree or educational background specific to victim advocacy. An associate, bachelor or master’s degree in social sciences (e.g., social work, psychology, sociology, human services or criminal justice) is helpful, but not a requirement for pursuing a career in victim advocacy.  Many victim advocates hold degrees in unrelated fields, however have significant training and experience to prepare them for the work.

Experience in the field—including volunteer and/or paid experience—and a passion for helping others, are considered to be the most important “resume builders” for new victim advocates.  Continual training is also essential to providing new and seasoned victim advocates with the knowledge, skills and tools necessary to provide sensitive and ethical services to all victims of crime.

Many states and communities offer victim assistance academies and other comprehensive trainings on the core competencies for victim advocacy.  The National Advocate Credentialing Program (NACP) has pre-approved many of these training as meeting a minimum of forty hours of training on basic or foundation level topics for victim advocates.  For victim advocates who require a distance learning format, NOVA offers our innovative, 40-hour NOVA Victim Assistance Academy (NVAA) on a semi-annual basis.

Seasoned victim advocates should pursue advanced trainings in their area of specialty.  Many national, state and local victim advocacy organizations offer conferences, trainings and webinars to provide victim assistance professionals with continuing education training in their area of specialty.  Amongst the many choices for continuing education, NOVA’s National Advocacy Leadership Center (NALC) offers 24 hours/year of continuing education webinars, including 18 hours/year for all victim assistance professionals and six hours/year for program managers.

> Where can I find trainings and courses to become an advocate?

The education and training requirements to become a victim advocate vary from agency to agency. Any position will require specialized training, often offered by the agency themselves. Training courses are typically at least 35 hours and offer information about the type of crime victim you’ll be working with, policies, procedures, ethics, self-care, and much more.
If you don’t have any particular agency in mind, there are several training opportunities, but be aware that you will likely need to complete additional training specific to your desired position.
National victim assistance academies include:
NOVA Victim Assistance Academy (NVAA) – Pre-approved by the National Advocate Credentialing Program (NACP), the NVAA is a 40-hour, online victim advocacy academy. NVAA Graduates may apply for NACP Credentialing upon completion of the course.
• If you become a Premier NOVA Member, you will receive access to our National Advocacy Leadership Center and monthly CEU trainings for maintaining credentialing requirements.
The Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime offers online training modules in four different sections: Basics, Core Competencies and Skills, Crimes, and Specific Considerations for Providing Victim Services.

> What credentialing is required?

The credentialing of victim assistance professionals is a relatively new development in the professionalization of victim advocacy. Emerging from the Crime Victims’ Movement, it was an incredibly important shift in the professionalism of victim advocacy. In 2003, the National Advocacy Credentialing Program (NACP) emerged as the first voluntary credentialing program available to crime victim advocates nationwide. NACP creates standards of behavior for all paid and volunteer victim advocates, requiring all NACP advocates meet a minimum training requirement and adhere to the NACP Code of Professional Ethics for Victim Assistance Providers.
Similar to other allied professions, victim advocates are increasingly pursuing professional credentialing through NACP, the Department of Defense Sexual Assault Certification Program (D-SAACP), and other state credentialing programs. While credentialing is not yet universally required, many civilian advocates choose to become credentialed, demonstrating their commitment to providing crime victims with sensitive, comprehensive and ethical services. Amongst military sexual assault advocates, credentialing is now a requirement for service

> What types of victim advocacy organizations are there?

Most of these agencies will likely have both paid and volunteer victim advocates. Paid positions are more rare, and often the best way to pursue a career in advocacy is to first volunteer with an agency with which you are interested in working.
You can find victim advocates in many types of agencies, such as:
• Non-profit organizations
• Hospitals
• Police departments
• District Attorney’s offices
• Military branches
• Colleges/Universities
• Peace Corps
There are also other unique opportunities, such as RAINN’s online hotline.

> I am a survivor. Can I be a victim advocate?

Many victim advocates are motivated to enter the profession because of personal experiences. Survivors who choose to become victim advocates can be highly effective, empathetic victim advocates, however challenges can arise if a survivor has not had adequate time and support to heal from his or her own experience.
If you are a survivor of crime interested in becoming a victim advocate, ask yourself:

Are you at a place in your healing process where you are ready and able to support other victims of crime?

• While healing is often a life-long journey, you should be at a place in your healing process where your own personal experience will not interfere or influence your advocacy services. If you are unsure, speak to a trusted mentor, therapist or colleague in victim services whom can provide you with honest feedback.

Do you find myself re-living or re-experiencing your own crime when helping other survivors of crime?

• If yes, consider focusing on your own healing prior to pursuing a career in victim advocacy. You may want to speak to a therapist, counselor, spiritual leader or other trained professional whom can offer you essential support and guidance


Ask the Expert!

  • Dr. Vanessa Guyton
    CEO/Executive Trainer, Consulting Experts & Associates

    Title: CEO/Executive Trainer
    Company/Organization: Consulting Experts & Associates
    Number of Years in Victim Advocacy: 5

    What initially brought you to victim advocacy?

    While serving in the military one of my Soldiers was sexually assaulted in her barracks room. I was her leader and friend who advocated on her behalf with our leadership.

    How did you select your specialty and/or career path within victim advocacy?

    After the experience with my Soldier, I still was not sure if victim advocacy was my intended career field. However, years later, I was recommended to become an Instructor for the Army’s Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault Certification Course.

    What are some important lessons you’ve learned over your career?

    I have learned that I am never prepared, even when I think I am. There will always be a victim that you will meet or something that will occur during training that you didn’t expect. Additionally, that I will not always feel like I make a difference, but I must always remind myself that I do.

    What education, training or other experience would you recommend advocates seek?

    I recommend that advocates volunteer at their local centers, shelters, etc. to gain their most valuable experience. Additionally, attend every conference, webinar, and training that specializes in your field. While at these events, network and find a mentor who is willing to share their experience and give you career guidance. Facilitator training is an added bonus, especially if you are responsible for providing awareness and prevention training.

    What are you looking for in perspective hires?

    In my capacity as an Executive Trainer, during the interview process, I look for a bright smile, genuine care and concern for others, the ability to connect with people, and a desire to make a difference for victims.

    What is your best piece of advice for victim advocates?

    Always work towards becoming a subject matter expert and being the best advocate you can be. However, learning is a continuous process and there is always something more that you can learn. This includes keeping abreast of the latest laws, regulations, and training.

    Do you have a specific person, group, or routine that helps keep you grounded?

    I always pray before I give a presentation or speak with a victim and ask God to give me the words and wisdom to make a difference. I believe this increases my confidence and gives me peace. I also have a mentor who has been in the field for over 30 years.

  • Colleen Phelan
    Victim Advocate & Courthouse Dog Handler

    Title: Victim Advocate & Courthouse Dog Handler
    Company/Organization: Pima County Attorney’s Office
    Number of Years in Victim Advocacy: 10

    What initially brought you to victim advocacy?

    After college, I was looking for volunteer opportunities and the only response I got was the DC Rape Crisis Center in Washington, DC. I started the 3 month training with very little idea of what advocacy was and ended with a passion for the work. It took 6 years to make the leap into fulltime work in advocacy but I’ve never looked back.

    How did you select your specialty and/or career path within victim advocacy?

    I realized quickly into my initial advocacy training that so many people have been impacted by sexual violence. I believe rape affects everyone whether as a primary or secondary survivor. As I have followed my career path from crisis work to a mix of crisis/court advocacy, my sense of hope for the victim/survivors continues to grow. The path of healing is a lifetime process but the strides my clients make in 1 or 2 years fills is inspiring and rejuvenating. I feel lucky to do this work.

    What are some important lessons you’ve learned over your career?

    1: Being wrong is one of the most helpful tools an advocate has working with someone. It indicates the victim/survivor feels safe enough to correct you and they direct the conversation where they need it to go.

    2: It is a privilege when victim/survivors allow us in to their lives. We must always honor that relationship.

    3: Boundaries are fundamental and we are responsible for maintaining healthy ones.

    What education, training or other experience would you recommend advocates seek?

    My time as a SARS (Sexual Assault Resource Service) advocate was when I really became a strong advocate. I was alone in the hospital setting and had to figure out each situation. I learned that flexibility and patience will get me through anything. It was those 8-12 hours on a call that taught me how to authentically share space with victims/survivors and their families.

    What are you looking for in perspective hires?

    I am really interested in people’s motivations for doing this work. What drew you to advocacy? What makes you effective? Why do you want to work with victims of crime? I want to understand those questions. Ultimately there isn’t a ‘right’ answer but everyone needs to know why advocacy is the field for them.

    What is your best piece of advice for victim advocates?

    1: It’s not about you. One key element to any helping relationship is when the victim/survivor is angry or happy or somewhere in between- those emotions are not about you.

    2: Take Care of yourself. No one else can do it for you. This work is the most gratifying and soul crushing you can do. Sometimes both emotions occur on the same day, even the same moment. Learn to take care of yourself so that you can do this work for the long haul. It can chew you up and spit you out if you don’t.

    Do you have a specific person, group, or routine that helps keep you grounded?

    I’m lucky enough to be a Courthouse Dog handler and Blake, my facility dog, is my ever present companion. He is a constant reminder to take care of myself and he lets me know when I’m not. When I need alone time I enjoy long hikes, crafting and reading everything from cheesy tween novels to classics. My daily routine includes a mental check-in about how I feel emotionally and physically along with acceptance of where I am at in the moment.

  • John Dussich
    Professor Emeritus of Victimology and Criminology, California State University, Fresno

    Title: Professor Emeritus of Victimology and Criminology
    Company/Organization: California State University, Fresno
    Number of Years in Victim Advocacy: 42

    What initially brought you to victim advocacy?

    As a criminology Ph. D. student at Florida State University in 1973 working in the field of corrections, I realized that victims were being left out of the discussions and that the treatment of criminals was not matched with the need to also treat victims. It occurred to me that advocacy-ombudsmen units could be included within police departments to directly and immediately respond to victims offering them a range of needed services. I wrote a paper and presented it at the First International Symposium on Victimology in Jerusalem, Israel in 1973 which was very well received. Encouraged by this positive response I then followed it up by initiating a victim advocate program in the Florida state’s funding plan as part of a federal/state program (LEAA), and then nurtured a project to fruition at the Ft. Lauderdale Police Department which opened its doors January 1st, 1974. This victim advocate model spread rapidly to other cities around the state and region.

    How did you select your specialty and/or career path within victim advocacy?

    With a BS degree in Clinical Psychology, an MS in Criminology and Corrections, four years as a military police officer and being in a Ph. D. program in Criminology, I had long been aware of the gapping void when it came to responding to victims. Once the Ft. Lauderdale model took root and then spread to other cities, I quickly realized a new profession had emerged. This is when the idea of forming a national organization took shape. At this stage victim advocacy was not a career path, it was a dream path.

    What are some important lessons you’ve learned over your career?

    Early on, I and the others working for crime victims, realized that the most often requested and easiest to provide service was simply basic information about why they had been targeted, what was their role in the process, what could they expect from the criminal justice system and how could they help themselves recover. To help victims achieve recovery requires that their needs remain at the center of the advocacy process with the support of a professional armed with counseling skills, wisdom, human warmth, empathy and the conviction that recovery is possible.

    What education, training or other experience would you recommend advocates seek?

    I would recommend that at the undergraduate level advocates take a blend of basic psychology, sociology, criminal justice and social work courses with a solid internship in a victim centered agency during their senior year. At the master’s level I think a future advocate must understand underlying theories, master fundamental counseling skills, develop managerial abilities and understand how to conduct program evaluations. At the training level, specific certifications should be obtained in dealing with child abuse, sexual assault, intimate partner violence, elder abuse, and working with marginalized persons. At the doctorate level the field of victimology needs college teachers and researchers to maintain the momentum of our discipline and to continue the flow of empirical facts for new policies and laws and to teach new generations of professional victim advocates.

    What is your best piece of advice for victim advocates?

    To help us be more effective in working with victims we must first get their trust and establish rapport with them, then we must find a way to understand them and enter their world, and finally we must speak to them from that perspective for the duration of our advocacy. Above all, we must individualize our services so that what we do with them honors their uniqueness and respects their journey.

    Do you have a specific person, group, or routine that helps keep you grounded?

    The person who helped me focus on service to humanity and with whom I identify was the Nobel Laureate German medical doctor, missionary, philosopher and musician Albert Schweitzer. His core expression which guided his life was “reverence for life.” Not only did his writings change the way I thought, but it changed the direction of my education from music to the social sciences, and helped me to focus on life (and victims) in the broader sense. To this day, that simple phrase touches the deepest recesses of my being and influences how I think and what I do.

NALC Sponsorship Opportunities

NOVA’s National Advocacy Leadership Center (NALC) CEU Webinars offer a dynamic opportunity to increase your brand exposure, show your support for victims’ rights, and reach more than 2,000 NOVA Premier Members located around the world.  Our highly interactive webinars draw approximately 400 monthly participants, including civilian and military victim advocates working with victims and survivors of sexual assault, interpersonal violence, child abuse, elder abuse, human trafficking, homicide, hate crimes and mass casualties, among other crimes and traumatic events.  With the support of our NALC Partners, we offer a wide variety of cutting edge topics, emerging issues, and best practices in victim services.

NOVA relies upon the generous support of our sponsors to offer the NALC CEU Webinars FREE of charge to our NOVA Premier Members.  Each year, our members are offered 16 NALC CEU Webinars taught by nationally-recognized Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), and earn up to 24 CEU hours for the National Advocate Credentialing Program (NACP)® and the DoD Sexual Assault Certification Program (D-SAACP).


Webinar a la carte ($600)
Select one webinar to sponsor from our NALC CEU Series.

Webinar 3-Pack ($1,500)
Select three webinars to sponsor from our NALC CEU Series.

Webinar 6-pack ($2,500)
Select six webinars to sponsor from our NALC CEU Series.

Join NOVA and show your company’s support for victims’ rights and the professionalization of victim advocacy.  Sponsor benefits include:

  • Website:  Your company’s name logo on NOVA’s website, webinar registration pages, and the webinar recording in our webinar library
  • Email Communications:  Your company’s name and logo on a minimum of three (3) e-blasts sent to our database of 2,000+ members prior to and after the webinar
  • Live Webinar(s):  The NOVA moderator will feature your company’s support at the beginning of the webinar (with a 30 second voice-over) and a slide at the end of the webinar
  • Complimentary Registration:  Up to 20 free webinar registrations to distribute to your contact list per webinar sponsored

Please contact nalc@trynova.org for more information.   

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I access NALC benefits?

All NALC benefits become available when you join NOVA as a NOVA Premier Member.

When did NALC launch?

NALC launched January 1, 2016! Our first NALC CEU Webinar training was January 21, 2016 on the
Neurobiology of Trauma.

Where can I access NALC?

NALC is accessed through the NOVA Premier Members-Only Website. This is where you can access the recordings and information for all monthly and quarterly NALC webinars.

What trainings are available through NALC?

NALC offers both monthly Continuing Education (CEU) Webinars and Quarterly Victim Advocate Program Managers Training Webinars. A list of upcoming NALC trainings can be found here.

How will I access NALC Webinar Trainings?

NALC CEU Webinars are offered live through Zoom Webinar. Each monthly webinar is offered the third Thursday of the month from 11:00am – 12:30pm Eastern Time. The quarterly webinars are typically held during the second week of February, May, August, and November on Tuesdays or Thursdays from 1:00 – 2:30pm Eastern Time.

Are NALC CEU Webinars eligible for Continuing Education (CEU) Credits?

Yes. NALC CEU Webinars can be applied to the 32 hours of continuing education training required for renewal of National Advocate Credentialing Program (NACP)® and DoD Sexual Assault Advocate Certification Program (D-SAACP) certification.

Professionals requiring CEUs for social work, counseling, or other professional credentialing programs should check with their national or state chapter for eligibility requirements.

What networking opportunities are available through NALC?

NOVA Premier Members are encouraged to take advantage of networking events during our Annual Trianing Event. Participating in NOVA’s training academies, engaging in the NALC webinars, and attending bonus events are also great ways to connect with other victim advocates and allied professionals! NOVA Premier Members enjoy a discounted registration rate ($55 discount/per person) to NOVA’s Annual Conference.

I’m ready to register! When will my membership begin? When can I access NALC benefits?

Join NALC today as a NOVA Premier Member and access the benefits right away!

How long will my membership last?

The NOVA Premier Membership is an annual membership. You will receive a reminder to renew 30 days prior to the expiration of your membership.

We have several staff members who would like to join. Do you offer group discounts?

Yes. NOVA offers a group discount of 20% to groups of five (5) or more individuals from the same agency.
Contact NOVA Membership for more information on group discounts: membership@trynova.org.

Tracking address: abigash-cdbcad@webc.trynova.org (do not email this address)