Training to focus on trauma informed care and advocate wellness

Community Legal Aid will host an annual professional development conference for  advocates who work with survivors of domestic abuse, sexual assault, human trafficking and stalking. SAFE Day 2022 will be held Wednesday, September 21st from 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Belden Village, 4520 Everhard Rd. NW, in Canton.


To be effective in their role, service providers must be aware of the impact of trauma on survivors and on themselves. This year’s conference will focus on trauma informed care and advocate wellness


Attendees will gain a deeper understanding of the neurobiology of trauma and walk away with skills to provide adaptive, trauma-informed care. The conference will also feature an experiential workshop promoting the well-being and resiliency of service providers.


According to Jeanne Charles, managing attorney for the nonprofit’s Legal Assistance to Victims Project, working with survivors of trauma is challenging for victim advocates, especially after over two years of working in a pandemic.


“Trauma impacts individuals on a biological level. It changes the way one thinks and processes information,” shared Charles, stressing that advocates need to navigate this every day. 


“On top of that, we’ve spent over two years trying to do our work from a distance — with masks and over zoom. It’s been challenging,” she added.


Charles also expressed that a number of recent, highly publicized cases were retraumatizing victims and exacerbating compassion fatigue among advocates. 


“When survivors are subject to intense public scrutiny, it can stop other victims from stepping forward to get the help they need to break free from abuse and to heal,” she added.


In response to the unique and extended challenges facing service providers, Legal Aid staff designed this year’s conference to provide advocates with an opportunity to pause, connect, and replenish. Attendees are encouraged to dress in comfy clothes. 


Cost to attend the conference is $25 which includes lunch. Speakers include Ashley Kline, director of services for the Rape Crisis Center of Medina and Summit Counties; Marya L. Simmons, director of services for the Battered Women’s Shelter of Summit and Medina Counties; and, Sonia Ferencik, LISW-S, RA, youth advocacy & trauma-informed service coordinator, Ohio Domestic Violence Network.


Those interested in learning more about the conference can find detailed information at




SAFE Day 2022 - Trauma-Informed Care and Advocate Wellness

Wednesday, September 21, 2022 from 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Holiday Inn Belden Village, 4520 Everhard Rd. NW, Canton

Cost is $25 and includes lunch

CLE and CEU credits requested


Details and registration - or email


Posted: September 20, 2022