SPECIAL COVID-19 NOTICE: As more guidance is shared about best practices in response to Coronavirus/COVID-19, we have decided to practice community care and reduce opportunities for exposure. The Action Alliance will not be holding in-person events until further notice. Safety and wellness are our top priority. Read below for more information about virtual trainings.


The Action Alliance delivers trainings for professionals who respond to or seek to prevent sexual and intimate partner violence.

Our trainings are designed to build empathy and create intention to shape a world in which people, relationships, and communities are liberated, healthy, equitable, and just. Our trainings are interactive and collaborative, and we often use these spaces for skill building and sharing because we know that our training participants hold knowledge and expertise in this field and movement that we can all learn from. Trainings at the Action Alliance are created to inspire learning, growth, and imagination for anyone who wants to be a brave agent of change.

A calendar showing the month of July, surrounded by cacti.

We strive to make all our trainings accessible. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or needs you have in order to attend one of our trainings!

Parking: We have two accessible parking spots available in our connected parking lot for those who need them. If you do not need an accessible space, we ask training participants to park across the street (with the Action Alliance covering parking costs) for training scheduled during normal office hours.

The Training Space: There are no steps required to enter our building and all major door frames meet the ADA measurement standards, though the front door can be heavy and none of our doors are automated. The training room is equipped with rolling tables and chairs to arrange the space as needed for the diverse range of activities that occur in the space. Participants can adjust the height of our chairs, but the tables are not adjustable in this way. The space receives lots of natural light; there is also overhead fluorescent lighting. Our offices are not currently scent-free. When walking around our offices, visitors may notice artwork from the “Art of Surviving” collection that depicts experiences of healing from sexual violence.

Bathrooms: We have two multi-stall gender-neutral bathrooms located at the back of our building. One of the bathrooms has two stalls (one accessible) and a urinal and the other has three stalls.

Language: At this time, our programs and trainings are in spoken and written English. Portable interpreting equipment is available for groups that are using the training space that would like to provide spoken language interpretation. We are working to build our capacity to provide Spanish language interpretation for Action Alliance training participants and anticipate offering this resource beginning in 2020.

Food: When the Action Alliance provides food for training, we strive to meet all dietary needs. Please let us know of any restrictions you may have so we can make the necessary arrangements. Please also let us know about any food-based allergies you may have so we can inform our staff and other participants to refrain from bringing snacks that may cause an allergic reaction.

Animals: The Action Alliance office is pet friendly and we often have dogs and occasionally cats in the space. If, for any reason, you cannot or do not feel comfortable being around animals, please let us know and we can make arrangements for pets to be left at home and the space vacuumed.

Questions: If you have any questions or concerns about the accessibility of our space, please do not hesitate to reach out to our Events Coordinator, Laurel Winsor.

View our training calendar here.

Current Trainings

The Action Alliance’s Summer 2020 Online Training Series consists of 7 individual lessons created by Action Alliance Training Institute Faculty on topics of their choice. These lessons (free of charge) were released weekly from the end of July through mid-September 2020. Registering for the course will give you access to all 7 trainings; there’s no need to register for each one.  Register today!

The training topics are:

  • What You Need to Know About DeVos’ New Title IX Rules (1-hour)

This is a 1-hour Prezi presentation from Liz Cascone, Director of The Haven at William & Mary and Action Alliance Training institute Faculty. It covers the core tenants of campus advocacy; describes how community-based and campus advocacy programs work together; reviews a brief history of Title IX in relation to sexual misconduct; discusses the 2020 new rules released by Betsy DeVos; and highlights best practices in light of the new regulations.

  • The Impact of Trauma Exposure and Self-care Strategies (3+ hours)

In this virtual and interactive learning experience, participants will learn the signs and symptoms of trauma exposure and identify the ways we are impacted as helping professionals. Participants will explore, reflect on, and practice strategies for self-care and ways to create a culture of wellness in their life and agency.

  • Knowing Our History: ​Blackness and the Anti-Violence Movement​ (2 hours)

This self-guided training opportunity centers the history of anti-violence efforts in the Black community, from slavery to the present. Through engagement with an interactive timeline, you will examine the varied ways in which Black Americans have both experienced and fought against oppression over the course of American history. Lastly, implications for your daily work and life will be discussed.

  • Elemental Grounding (2+ hours)

This self-guided learning experience encourages us to connect with nature as a way to stay grounded, then guides us in using ecotherapy practices as part of our healing work. Through a video presentation, a nature-based activity, and journal prompts, participants will learn about how the human nervous system works, how nature helps us regulate, practice connecting with the elements, and prepare to apply these practices with our clients and communities.

  • Representation and Conversation: Toolkit for Thoughtful Inclusion of Black & Brown Relationships in Training (3-4.5 hours)

In the midst of a global health pandemic and uprisings in the United States against racial injustice, it has magnified the necessity of anti-violence practitioners utilizing a racial justice lens.

Research shows that intimate partner and sexual violence disproportionately impact Black communities, yet police systems and resources cater to White, cisgender, middle class women. The latter results in Black and Brown individuals and those who identify as trans, lesbian, gay, queer, and/or nonbinary are excluded from having spaces and opportunities to explore healthy relationships and sexuality that reflects their identities.

This interactive toolkit was designed to prioritize and uplift the multiple facets that make up Black & Brown relationships while addressing attitudes, behaviors, and systems that influence, protect, and/or harm those relationships. The toolkit utilizes popular culture to depict different types of intimate partner relationships and addresses topics of consent, boundary setting, communication, street harassment, and sexuality.

  • Trauma-Informed Supervision (2 hours)

Using a trauma informed lens to build a healthy relationship between supervisor and supervisee aids in maintaining the longevity of our commitment to end the experiences of domestic violence. When we adopt a trauma-informed lens we are conspiring to be agents of a counter cultural narrative. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) 6 principles for trauma informed care offers a framework to mindfully practice as supervisors and movement leaders. This 2-hour learning series guides you through reflection, practice, and skill building to confidently and carefully integrate the principles of: safety; empowerment, voice, and choice; cultural historical and gender issues; collaboration and mutuality; peer support; and trustworthiness and transparency, into your everyday supervisory role.

  • Community Action Planning During COVID-19 (1-hour)

This series of videos includes reflection questions on trending domestic violence crisis services, cultivating donors, inspiring stakeholders, building community support, and creating and implementing community action plans during COVID-19.

When: Self-paced

Where: Virtual via Ruzuku training modules (online videos and pre-recorded presentations)

Cost: Free

How to RegisterRegister for the Summer 2020 Online Training Series!

The Virginia Victim Assistance Network (The Network) and the Action Alliance  team up to present Virtual Basic Intensive Advocacy Training, October 26-27, 2020. Each day will run from 10am-4pm.

The BIAT is a collaborative 2-day training designed for both victim-witness and sexual and domestic violence agency early career advocates who are in their first two years of advocacy work. 

This training provides and overview of the role and responsibility of advocates; the guiding principles of a trauma informed response and the impact and effects of trauma on individuals; an overview of the civil and criminal justice system and tools available for effective advocacy; the importance of a collaborative response and the value of self-care and self- reflection in our work to support victims of violence.

The BIAT provides participants with the opportunity to learn about statewide resources that can support their work as well as opportunities to network and enhance relationships with others doing victim advocacy work in Virginia.  

When: October 26-27, 2020, 10am-4pm EST

Where: Virtual via Zoom

Cost: $80 for VVAN or VSDVAA Members; $100 for non-members

How to Register: Register Today!

This online training will provide victim services professionals, and others, that work with male survivors of sexual violence, an opportunity to examine how service provisions, laws, social constructs, and antiquated beliefs have impacted male victims seeking support services following their victimization. The four main areas of focus in this training are: Community & Service Barriers; Programs, Services and Language Access; Shelter & Hotel Spaces; and Sexuality & Identity. The online learning experience will provide both foundational knowledge and encourage professionals to think critically about how current service models and programs may be enhanced to better serve male victims of sexual violence.

When: October 28, 2020, 10am-2pm EST

Where: Virtually, on Zoom

Cost: $15 per person, regardless of membership (If cost is a barrier to your attendance, please contact Laurel Winsor at lwinsor@vsdvalliance.org)

How to Register: Register today!

Primary prevention programs are focused on reducing or eliminating the perpetration of sexual violence and intimate partner violence (SV/IPV). This means figuring out what factors make some people more at-risk to perpetrate SV/IPV, and changing or interrupting those factors. This training delves into the key concepts underlying this innovative work, highlights promising practices from the field, and includes an overview of Virginia’s Guidelines for the Primary Prevention of Sexual Violence & Intimate Partner Violence used by sexual and domestic violence agencies throughout Virginia and across the country.

Read the FAQs to learn more about the Virtual Fall 2020 Training Series.

When: Released October 16 (materials distributed on the 1st and 16th of the month)

Where: Virtual via Ruzuku, Zoom, and printed materials.

Cost: $50 for a single registration for one training. $120 for a single registration for three virtual trainings (Virtual Principles of Primary Prevention, Virtual Advocacy Core Training, and Virtual Trauma, Justice, and Ending Oppression). $400 for 10-staff training bundle for one training. (Read the FAQs to learn more about the Virtual Fall 2020 Training Series.)

How to Register: Register Today!

The Advocacy Core Training introduces new staff and volunteers to the essential knowledge and skills of trauma-informed advocacy. Through this course, participants are encouraged to explore their identities as advocates as well as the institutional, social, and cultural context in which sexual and intimate partner violence occurs. This training prepares new advocates to apply crisis intervention and safety planning skills, describe the impact of trauma on the brain, and practice self-care as an integral part of a trauma-informed approach.

Read the FAQs to learn more about the Virtual Fall 2020 Training Series.

When: Released November 2 (materials distributed on the 1st and 16th of the month)

Where: Virtual via Ruzuku, Zoom, and printed materials.

Cost: $50 for a single registration for one training. $120 for a single registration for three virtual trainings (Virtual Principles of Primary Prevention, Virtual Advocacy Core Training, and Virtual Trauma, Justice, and Ending Oppression). $400 for 10-staff training bundle for one training. (Read the FAQs to learn more about the Virtual Fall 2020 Training Series.)

How to Register: Register Today!

This training will focus on and build knowledge and skills on reproductive, gender, racial, and economic justice through the four levels of the social-ecological model.

Read the FAQs to learn more about the Virtual Fall 2020 Training Series.

When: Released November 16 (materials distributed on the 1st and 16th of the month)

Where: Virtual via Ruzuku, Zoom, and printed materials.

Cost: $50 for a single registration for one training. $120 for a single registration for three virtual trainings (Virtual Principles of Primary Prevention, Virtual Advocacy Core Training, and Virtual Trauma, Justice, and Ending Oppression). $400 for 10-staff training bundle for one training. (Read the FAQs to learn more about the Virtual Fall 2020 Training Series.)

How to Register: Register Today!

Find Support Near You

Virginia Sexual & Domestic Violence Agencies

  • Start Typing Locality