34th Annual Crime Victims' Issues Conference-NOW CLOSED

  • 16 Nov 2016
  • 18 Nov 2016
  • Sheraton Virginia Beach, Virginia


  • Before October 21, 2016
  • After October 21, 2016

Registration is closed

The Virginia Victim Assistance Network is pleased to announce that it will hold the 34th Annual Crime Victims' Issues Conference on November 16-18, 2016 at the Sheraton Virginia Beach. 

Full Conference Brochure and Agenda Click HERE

This year's Plenary sessions will feature the following speakers:

Jeffrey Bucholtz, MA Director, We End Violence

“The Cultural Acceptability of Stalking”.Jeffrey S. Bucholtz is Co-Director of We End Violence, a violence prevention social business that provides performances, educational materials, consulting services, and Agent of Change, an interactive online sexual violence prevention program. Mr. Bucholtz also serves as President of the San Diego Domestic Violence Council, a county-wide collaborative body designed to increase cross-sector prevention and response efforts around domestic violence.

For the past thirteen years, Mr. Bucholtz has worked as an activist, organizer, and public speaker, providing consultation, presentations, and performances in the fields of sexual violence, masculinity, relationship violence, gender normativity, popular culture, violence prevention, stalking, bullying, working in alliances, feminist thought, collaboration, and the intersectionality of oppression. Mr. Bucholtz has done extensive work with the male community to engage and involve men in violence prevention, including his work as Co-Chair of the San Diego Men’s Leadership Forum.

Mr. Bucholtz is an award winning adjunct faculty member at Southwestern College where he teaches Oral Communication, Interpersonal Communication, TELA Communication (part of an African-American learning community), Interpersonal Communication, Public Speaking, and Small Group Facilitation.

 Dr. Chris Wilson, Psy.D. 

"The Neurobiology of Trauma"

Dr. Chris Wilson is a licensed psychologist and nationally recognized speaker and trainer from Portland, Oregon. For the past sixteen years he’s worked with victims and perpetrators of crime. He currently conducts psychological evaluations for the Oregon Department of Human Services, and trains nationwide on a variety of issues including sexual assault, domestic violence, and the neurobiology of trauma. His audiences have included judges, attorneys, civilian, campus, and military law enforcement officers, college and university Title IX administrators and investigators, victim advocates, and mental health professionals. He’s provided trainings for conferences and organizations across the country including the US Department of Justice, the US Department of the Interior, the US Navy, the US Marine Corps, the US Army, the US Office for Victims of Crime, and the National Crime Victim Law Institute.  Dr. Wilson is also a trainer for three nationally prominent programs: US Army’s Special Victims Unit Investigation Course, providing training for military investigators; Legal Momentum, providing training for the judiciary; and, You Have Options Program, providing training for law enforcement.  In his spare time he roots for his childhood hometown Boston Red Sox and current hometown Portland Timbers.

(Part 1): The Impact of Trauma on the Brain 

This session starts by looking at why we need to understand the brain if we work with victims of trauma by taking a humorous look at decision making theory. We then move into understanding some basics about the brain, including neural networks, and some basic functions of the pre-frontal cortex and the limbic system. Participants will then learn about how the brain responds to threat, and how prolonged threat (or trauma) affects this response. Particular attention is paid to helping attendees understand the most recent research on our freeze/flee/fight response, which is now being recognized not at an “either/or” reaction but as a defense cascade. Dr. Wilson also will discuss the brain basis for many seemingly counter-intuitive victim behaviors. His approach is to use videos and examples that are easy to relate to, making the material accessible and even enjoyable.

(Part 2): A Day in the Life of a Survivor  

In this session, Dr. Wilson builds on the material shared in the first session and helps participants understand the long term impact of trauma on the brain. To do so, he puts it in the perspective of how trauma affects the brain on a daily basis.  He incorporates the research and understanding of how the brain makes meaning to help participants understand the daily burden of having been a victim of a traumatic assault. Using real life examples from both social media and his own professional experience, Dr. Wilson helps participants recognize the important role they can play in having even the shortest interactions with a survivor. The session also introduces participants to the research indicating the importance of mirror neurons in understanding emotional resonance, and how this research applies specifically to the stance necessary for effectively working with survivors.

Aqeela Sherrills "The Reverence Project"

“Discovering the Gift in the Wound”

Aqeela Sherrills is a child sexual assault survivor and campaigner against gang violence who lives in Watts, Los Angeles.

In 1992, Sherrills brokered a peace agreement between the Bloods and the Crips (two rival gangs). His son, Terrell Sherrills, was shot to death in 2004 in an apparently random killing. He is executive director and co-founder (with his brother Daude) of the Community Self-Determination Institute. He also co-founded Amer-I-Can with American football player Jim Brown.

In 2005, Sherrills visited sacred sites around the world, and upon returning to Watts he launched The Reverence Movement. As a peace movement, The Reverence Movement is a multi-tiered consultant company focused on shifting worldwide imagination by instituting a practice of authentic exploration of the wounds in the personal life as a means of accesses the gift of who we are by not defining ourselves as our experiences.

“Discovering the gift in the wound” is an interactive workshop aimed at exploring the connection between our personal stories of surviving violence and the correlation to community transformation.

During this session, Mr. Sherrills will share his personal journey of surviving child sexual assault and the particular way in which it wounded him.  He will share his experience with participating in what many social justice activist call the longest running war in the history of the US—urban street gang wars--and discuss the casualties and the despair born out of conflicts.  He will talk about the labels that dehumanizes the participants and makes it difficult for society to see their cries for help.

He will discuss his role as one of the key organizers of the historic 1992 “Peace Treaty” between the crips and bloods in Los Angeles and will articulate what it meant to organize a “cease fire” versus sustaining one. He will talk about building a multi-million dollar service agency while sustaining the peace treaty in an attempt to address the roots causes of community violence and the experience of  losing his son Terrell to the very thing he sought to eradicate.

Mr. Sherrills will share the gift of Reverence—A process in which we shift our perception from seeing the glass as half empty to half full--and will share the tools he uses to maintain balance and thrive in his healing journey despite the challenges.



The Sheraton is offering a group Rate of $99 single/double for reservations made by 5 p.m. on October 14, 2016 (please note this amount has changed subject to change of the state rate). Groups rate will be available 3 days before and 3 days after the event. 

A personalized Web site has been set up for reservations.  Guests can access the site to learn more about the event and to book, modify or cancel a reservation.  Please visit Virginia Victim Assistance Network  (by clicking the blue link) (OR copy and paste the following link into a web browser)https://www.starwoodmeeting.com/events/start.action?id=1604186072&key=9A3F6D8

**Hotel Update 10/03/16: The Sheraton is fully booked for the night of Tuesday, 11/15.  If you need a room for this night (and/or 11/16 or 11/17), the Holiday Inn Hotel and Suites Virginia Beach--North Beach is the overflow hotel, and will honor the $99 rate. Reservations can be made by calling the hotel at 757-428-1711 or visiting https://www.ihg.com/holidayinn/hotels/us/en/virginia-beach/orfob/hoteldetail?qAdlt=1&qBrs=6c.hi.ex.rs.ic.cp.in.sb.cw.cv.ul.vn.ki&qChld=0&qFRA=1&qGRM=0&qGrpCd=CVI&qIta=99801505&qPSt=0&qRRSrt=rt&qRef=df&qRms=1&qRpn=1&qRpp=20&qSHp=1&qSmP=3&qSrt=sBR&qWch=0&srb_u=1&icdv=99801505 and referencing our group name. This block will be reserved until October 24, 2016.



VVAN memberships run on a calendar year (January 1-December 31).  If you need to renew your membership, you may do so at: http://vanetwork.org/get-involved/ 

For questions about online registration, contact Mindy Stell at mstell@dinwiddieva.us or (804) 469-5384.  For all other questions, contact Laurie Crawford at Laurie.Crawford@dss.virginia.gov. or (804) 726-7773.    

CONFERENCE REGISTRATION CANCELLATION AND REFUND POLICY Requests for conference registration cancellations and refunds must be submitted in writing to Mindy Stell at mstell@dinwiddieva.us or to the payment address by November 4, 2016. (A $10.00 Processing fee will be assessed.) After this date, no refunds will be issued.