July 1, 2020
NOVA’S CRISIS RESPONSE PROGRAM & COVID-19
Every crisis response is a unique opportunity for us to put what we have learned to the test; and COVID-19 has not let us down with unique opportunities! Just like the rest of the world our day-to-day operations have been turned upside-down. What do we do if we can’t teach in person? How do we even respond to people in crisis if we can’t see them in person? When will things be back to normal? These were just a few of the challenges we faced at the beginning of this pandemic and I am happy to say that we were able to manage workable solutions for these concerns.
When will things be back to normal? Well this is a question that happens to be the most difficult for most of us to answer, however what we teach (preach) in CRT is that what we know really helps people to begin to move forward after a traumatic event is EDUCATION and CONNECTION. Part of the education side of this formula is helping individuals to have a staunch acceptance of reality. Our staunch acceptance of reality was this…it may not.
So what do we do when faced with that understanding … we move into another part of our model which is Prediction & Preparation. We take the tasks before us in small manageable steps and don’t try to solve every presenting problem at once.
NOVA was able to develop the “touch base” program to allow us to connect with and provide emotional support for not only our membership, but others, in order to have support in these trying times. Our goal was to provide a support network for those on the front lines when we could not be there to assist. We have also had many of our members telling us how they have been able to provide virtual crisis interventions for people in need. They have used a variety of platforms similar to, and including, Zoom. We have also had members providing virtual crisis education sessions similar to the one Dr. Suzanne Anderson lead on one of NOVA’s Virtual Gatherings: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S1PPU0Bh3lk&feature=youtu.be .
In regards to Crisis Response Trainings, we have worked to be able to provide a virtual class experience that is as engaging as our face-to-face trainings and we feel confident that we have been able to achieve this. We were fortunate to pilot our virtual BASIC CRT Training with the Investigations Unit for Department of Homeland Security. We trained 41 members of their team that serve as forensic investigators, field agents, and victim specialist. The CRT virtual training was well received and we have already begun our second class with the South Dakota Network Against Family Violence and Sexual Assault.
The need for our CRT Training remains in high demand and we are working to accommodate all of host agencies that had to cancel their trainings due to the pandemic. CRT staff are working to schedule new requests as best we can. We are looking to resume our face-to-face trainings once we believe that it is safe to do so, but we have also decided that we will continue to provide the virtual version of our CRT training.
Another lesson that we teach though CRT is that part of strong resiliency is having a deep belief that life is meaningful. What we do is value added and definitely has meaning. Some of our greatest challenges have led to some of our greatest accomplishments. Unique challenges have become unique opportunities! NOVA’s CRT team is working to meet the obstacles before us and to accept our NEW NORMAL! We are grateful for our CONNECTION with you and appreciate your support and dedication to assisting individuals in crisis.
April 25, 2020
NATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR VICTIM ASSISTANCE ANNOUNCES APPOINTMENT OF CLAIRE PONDER SELIB AS NOVA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Alexandria, VA. The National Organization for Victim Assistance (NOVA) Board of Directors is pleased to announce its decision to appoint Claire Ponder Selib as its Executive Director overseeing all operations of the non-profit victim assistance organization. Founded in 1975, NOVA is the oldest national victim assistance organization of its type in the United States and is the recognized leader in victim advocacy, education and credentialing. Since its inception, NOVA has played a prominent role in the development and recognition of crime victims’ rights and services.
“The Board of Directors is delighted that Ms. Selib will be serving as NOVA’s chief executive officer effective immediately,” said NOVA’s Board President, Andrew Yurick. “She has been a driving force behind much of NOVA’s recent innovative programming, developed under her role as Deputy Director, and now we look forward to her experienced leadership as Executive Director.”
Selib has a long history in the field of victim assistance beginning her career in a hospital-based sexual assault services program and was a guiding force in supporting victims of sexual assault in the military prior to the Congressional mandate requiring training and certification for military sexual assault advocates. She was first hired by NOVA to serve as Project Manager for the Department of Defense Sexual Assault Advocate Certification Program (D- SAACP) initiated by NOVA in cooperation with the DoD Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office in 2012.
Yurick spoke highly of Selib’s leadership when he added, “Claire Selib has long been an innovative leader in the victim services field, bringing a victim-centered and trauma-informed foundation to so many of the programs she has initiated during her tenure with NOVA. She is responsible for the NOVA Victim Assistance Academy and took that one step further with the development of the National Advocacy Leadership Center (NALC), both of which prepare and continue to educate crime victim service professionals across the country and around the world.”
Selib had been appointed to serve as Interim Executive Director when NOVA’s previous Executive Director, Retired Chief Justice Richard Barajas officially retired in September 2019. “Claire took on the interim assignment and the Board of Directors knew almost immediately she was destined to serve as Executive Director. It was as if she had been NOVA’s ED for years and she is the perfect choice to lead this organization forward.”