Upcoming events

    • 17 Nov 2021
    • 19 Nov 2021
    • Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront, Virginia Beach, Virginia

    The Virginia Victim Assistance Network's

    39th Annual Crime Victims' Issues Conference

     November 17-19, 2021

    Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront

    Pre-Conference Institute: A Fairer Fight:  Preparing Children for Adult Arena of the Courtroom

    Roger Canaff is a widely known child protection and anti-violence against women advocate, legal expert, author and public speaker. He has devoted his legal career to the eradication of violence against women and children. Most recently he became a partner and consultant with, a leading educator in issues related to investigating and prosecuting sexual assault, child abuse, and domestic violence cases. 

    His session will help audience members understand that child victims and witnesses approach courts of law with inherent, but not insurmountable disadvantages. A relative lack of maturity, context and confidence can make their experience not only more traumatic, but simply unfair. However, when children are competently and compassionately prepared for court by a multi-disciplinary team, their confidence can be raised, and their anxiety lowered. Time-honored strategies are available to make the process of testimony effective, fair, and as non-traumatic as possible.


    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.



    Through the support of the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services, the Virginia Victim Assistance Network (VVAN) is pleased to announce the availability of scholarship assistance to participate in the 39th Annual Crime Victims' Issues Conference, to be held November 17-19 at the Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront. The application (attached below) is due no later than OCTOBER 1, 2021.   

    Scholarships are open to all victim service providers, but preference will be given to law enforcement officers and victim service provider grantees for whom training/travel funds are not available. 


    The Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront, located at 3001 Atlantic Avenue, is on the boardwalk and right next to Neptune's Park and Neptune Statue.  It is minutes from Pacific Place and Hillier Ignite Fitness Park.  Most rooms feature walk-out balconies and unparalleled views of the Atlantic Ocean and coastline.  Amenities include a flat-screen TV with premium cable channels, on-demand movies,  and WiFi.  Additional amenities include 2 hotel restaurants, indoor pool, spa services, a 24-hour fitness center, and bicycles to rent.

    A block of rooms has been reserved for conference participants at the government allowed rate of $106 per night or prevailing government rate and are available from November 17, 2021 - November 19, 2021. The special room rate will be available until October 25th or until the group block is sold-out, whichever comes first. 

    Link for Room Reservations:

    Hilton Virginia Beach Reservation

    For questions about online registration, contact Erin Jackson at  For all other questions, contact Lindsay Cassada at or (804) 318-8265.   

    CONFERENCE REGISTRATION CANCELLATION AND REFUND POLICY Requests for conference registration cancellations and refunds must be submitted via email to Erin Jackson at or to the payment address November 1, 2021. (A $10.00 Processing fee will be assessed.) After this date, NO REFUNDS WILL BE CONSIDERED OR ISSUED.

    Payment must be received prior to attending the conference!