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FACT 35th Anniversary

November 8th -12th, 2021
Find more details and an upcoming event schedule here

Virginia Victim Assistance Network’s 39th Annual Crime Victims’ Issues Conference

Opening Plenary: Restorative Justice

Aparna Polavarapu, is the executive director and founder of the South Carolina Restorative Justice Initiative, where she oversees the development of restorative justice education and programming and works with organizations seeking to develop and implement their own restorative practices. 

Restorative justice offers an alternative idea of what justice is and how it can be achieved. Shifting the focus from what the law says to what harm has been committed, restorative justice seeks to address the needs of those who have been harmed, those who have harmed, and the community. Rather than rote punishment, the restorative process seeks accountability on the part of the responsible party. In this session, conference attendees will learn more about the concept of restorative justice, specific examples of how it has been practiced as an alternative to criminal processes, data on outcomes, and how restorative justice serves the needs of those involved.

Closing Plenary: Blackout Girl

Jennifer Storm has over twenty years of experience in non-profit management and governmental relations; combined with a powerful personal story of survival from victimization, addiction and active recovery. She will present on how sexual assault, addiction, and other traumatic experiences can leave both physical and emotional scars. For Jennifer Storm, these scars serve as a reminder – both, of the darkness and suffering she once experienced, and of how far she has come. When she was first assaulted at age twelve, Jennifer turned to alcohol to dull the emotional pain. After a string of childhood traumas, she fell into crack use and self-harm. Once Jennifer finally found treatment after surviving the last of multiple suicide attempts, she discovered it was possible to heal her shame. She could start to recover by uncovering the secrets she had kept hidden for years. Blackout Girl is the heartbreaking, enlightening, and inspiring story of Jennifer’s narrow escape from her own self-destructive instincts when all the odds, and systems, were stacked against her. Today, with over 23 years of active recovery and healing, Mrs. Storm’s inspirational story will leave the audience hopeful.”

November 17th – 19th, 2021
Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront
Register here