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Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners

Trauma-Informed Advocacy for Victims of Sexual Assault

Trauma-Informed Advocacy for Victims of Sexual Assault

In partnership with SD Network Against Family Violence and Sexual Assault, we invite you to join us on August 16 for this online training session.

This training will focus on enhancing practices in supporting victims of sexual assault associated with the untested rape kit initiative. Attendees will analyze how trauma affects victims physiologically, broaden their knowledge in using trauma-responsive approaches and victim-centered support, hear first-hand experience from a Victim-Advocate’s perspective on how to increase victim engagement and rapport-building and explore methods to encourage multi-disciplinary collaboration.


  • Evaluate methods in strengthening support for victims by using trauma-responsive and victim-centered techniques
  • Understand the role and importance of a Victim Advocate
  • Discuss vulnerabilities and the necessity for inclusion
  • Process how trauma impacts victims and their ability to engage in the judicial system process
  • Examine methods to establish rapport and build trust through survivor engagement
  • Identify methods for establishing cohesive partnerships as a multi-disciplinary team


Marya L. Simmons, Founder and CEO of Shift in Notion Consulting, LLC

Marya L. Simmons is the Founder and CEO of Shift in Notion Consulting, LLC, where she provides technical assistance and training to diverse audiences and communities on sexual assault, trauma-informed and victim-centered best-practice approaches, domestic violence, victim advocacy, human trafficking, strengthening multi-disciplinary teams, leadership techniques, life-skills and self-sufficiency skills, and supporting families of homicide victims.

Ms. Simmons has presented on a national and international level, she is a Subject Matter Expert in victim advocacy with RTI International, and she obtained a Master’s degree in Criminal Justice Administration from Tiffin University with honors. In her current role as the Director of Services at the Hope & Healing Survivor Resource Center, she oversees the daily operations of the battered women’s shelter and provides leadership and management to all programs and services provided by the shelter.

Previously, Ms. Simmons was the Operations Manager at Canopy Child Advocacy Center and the Victim-Witness Unit Supervisor at the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office, where she supported victims and witnesses throughout the judicial system process. Prior to joining the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office, she was a Justice System Advocate for victims of sexual assault at the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center where she supported survivors of sexual assault in that role. Marya is adept to working with diverse populations, providing crisis intervention, and supporting individuals who are diagnosed with chemical/alcohol dependency and mental health illnesses.

Ms. Simmons was an active member the Cuyahoga County Sexual Assault Response Team from 2011 to 2021, actively supported victims associated with Cuyahoga County’s CODIS Task Force (Untested Rape Kit Initiative) from 2013 through 2018, and she received the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office’s Award for Distinguished Contributions to Victim Advocacy.

This project is supported by Grant Number 2019-AK-BX-0033 awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance. The Bureau of Justice Assistance is a component of the Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs, which also includes the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the Office for Victims of Crime, and the SMART Office. Points of view or opinions in this document are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.

This project was supported by Grant No. 15JOVW-21-GG-00844-RURA awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this publication/program/ exhibition are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Department of Justice.


Aug 16 2023


10:00 am - 12:00 pm