CE Approved Conference on DV and LGBTQ+

This 6.5 credit, live interactive webinar conference was developed by the Adult Services Subcommittee of the Morris County Domestic Violence Working Group for professionals serving domestic violence survivors.  Research shows that the LGBTQ+ community experiences higher rates of domestic violence than their heterosexual and gender-conforming counterparts, yet these groups often face additional barriers to accessing services.  The conference will familiarize professionals with the unique barriers LGBTQ+ survivors face in their efforts to seek safety from abuse and provide them with tools to remove obstacles and enhance services for this population.

Building Inclusive Domestic Violence Practices:
Safety, Support & Solutions for LGBTQ+ Survivors
Live Interactive Webinar
November 20, 2020
3.5 Clinical CE credits; 3 Cultural Competency CE credits
Target audience:
Social workers, mental health counselors, DV advocates, substance abuse counselors and social service workers
Content level: Beginner to Advanced

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER. Cost is $85 (price reduced from in-person cost!)  Student registration (must provide student ID) cost is $45. Deadline to register is November 19, 2020 by 5pm. Cancellations must be received 24 hours prior to the event to receive a refund.

Conference outline

 8:30am-8:45am                Welcome & Opening Remarks

8:45am-10:00am              Keynote – “We Can’t Talk to Someone Like You”: My Story as a Transgender Survivor and Advocate

10:00am-10:10am            Break

10:10am-12:10pm            Workshop I (Each offered twice)

                                             Four Considerations for Reframing Services for LGBTQ+ Survivors of Domestic Violence

                                            Building Inclusive Services for LGBTQ+ Survivors

12:10pm-12:50pm          Lunch

12:50pm-2:50pm            Workshop II (Choose from above)

2:50pm-3:00pm             Break

3:00pm-4:15pm              Panel: Best Practices in Supporting LGBTQ+ Survivors of Domestic Violence


Keynote: “We Can’t Talk to Someone Like You”: My Story as a Transgender Survivor and Advocate

Sexual and domestic violence are pervasive problems in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and other sexual and gender minority (LGBTQ+) communities. Unfortunately, LGBTQ+ survivors often face substantial barriers to support. These barriers arise within personal social networks as well as institutions such advocacy agencies, hospitals, and police departments. This presentation begins with an overview of LGBTQ+ terminology and the broader concepts of sexuality and gender. Afterwards, participants will discuss the scope of violence in LGBTQ+ communities and common barriers to care. To illustrate these realities, the presenter will share his own story of survival and advocacy. After experiencing multiple assaults in childhood and adolescence, Dr. Levine began volunteering as a rape crisis counselor at age 18. He came out as transgender more than a year afterwards, and was fired from his position. He later sought therapy around trauma recovery at a university counseling center, and was denied care due to his trans identity. Since then, he has remained dedicated to supporting LGBTQ+ survivors. This has included working to improve access across systems that respond to violence, addressing barriers to care, and working to raise awareness that sexual and domestic violence affect people of all genders and sexualities. The presentation will conclude with local and national resources for supporting LGBTQ+ survivors, as well as strategies for providing affirming care.

1.25 clinical CE offered for this session

About the Instructor

Ethan Czuy Levine, PhD.  is an Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice at Stockton University in Galloway, NJ. His research focuses primarily on sexual violence, and has been published in peer-reviewed journals including Violence Against Women and the Journal of Interpersonal Violence. Outside of academia, Dr. Levine is a consultant, advocate, and award-winning speaker on interpersonal violence and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, & other sexual and gender minority (LGBTQ+) issues. He has more than 10 years’ experience supporting survivors of sexual and domestic violence, particularly those in LGBTQ+ communities. Dr. Levine has presented workshops and original research at numerous conferences including Rowan’s Title IX Summit, the Conference on Crimes Against Women, the National Sexual Assault Conference, the Forensic Nursing Conference of the New Jersey chapter of the International Association of Forensic Nurses, and the annual meetings of the American Sociological Association and American Public Health Association.

 Learning Objectives

After attending this course, participants will be able to:

  • Review the concepts of sexuality and gender, including LGBTQ+ terminology
  • Discuss the prevalence of sexual and domestic violence in LGBTQ+ communities
  • Explore barriers to support for LGBTQ+ survivors
  • Identify strategies and resources for providing inclusive services


Four Considerations for Reframing Services for LGBTQ+ Survivors of Domestic Violence

LGBTQ+ folks are a unique population. They are within every community, no matter the race, religion, ability, socioeconomic position, immigration status, geographical region, or background. No matter what walk of life they come from there are Four Considerations that affect the world around them. These considerations include: people wonder what type of sex they have, people wonder what is going on under their clothes, people wonder what bathroom they should use, and finally, LGBTQ+ folks have to come out in order to receive proper care and to have authentic relationship. By reframing how we approach services and care with the four considerations as a guide, providers will be able to gain better insight to this diverse population. Through the use of visual presentation, handouts, technology, and information sharing, participants of this interactive workshop will learn how using the Four Considerations as a guide for providing services will help them better serve LGBTQ+ victims of domestic violence.

2 cultural competence CE offered for this session

About the Instructor

Kristine Raye, BA is the LGBTQ Outreach and Advocacy Coordinator for 180 Turning Lives Around, Inc. At both state and county levels, Kristine conducts advocacy/outreach activities and presentations on domestic and sexual violence awareness and education in the LGBTQ+ community for allied professionals, organizations, military bases, high school and college students, and at professional conferences. She is trained both for DVRT and SART and is a volunteer for 180’s SART Team.   Kristine has helped to create 180’s LGBTQ+ agency cards, brochures, and webpage, as well as conducts in-service trainings for 180 staff and volunteers. She is a member of the LGBT+ Task Force, and Chairperson for the LGBT+ task force from June 2017-July 2019. Previously she worked in the HIV field as well as the sex education field conducting workshops, collaborating on training materials and running group programs. Her idea of self-care includes reading, comedies, dancing and time with her partner, their kids and menagerie of pets.

 Learning Objectives

After attending this course, participants will be able to:

  • Identify how the Four Considerations affect LGBTQ+ folks.
  • Use self-awareness to interpret what it is like to be a member of an underserved community.
  • Explain how gender expression plays a big role in how people relate to the LGBTQ+ community, how organizations provide services and how people view gender expression can create barriers for LGBTQ+ survivors of domestic violence.
  • Describe how recent LGBTQ+ history plays a role in how LGBTQ+ people view the world around them.
  • Define how the intersection of race, religion, ability, and culture add additional barriers for LGBTQ+ survivors of domestic violence.


Course Outline (Offered twice— 10:10am-12:10pm; 12:50pm-2:50pm)

  • Introduction and Overview of Workshop—15 min
    • Lecture, Video
  • Introducing the Four Considerations—15 min
    • Lecture
  • SOGIGE (Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, Gender Expression), Biological Sex, Gender Norms—20 min
    • Lecture, Video, Discussion
  • LGBTQ History and Impact—20 min
    • Lecture, Video, Discussion
  • LGBTQ Intersectionality—15 min
    • Video, Group Activity
  • Alleviating the Pressures of Four Considerations in Our Services and Practice—20 min
    • Lecture
  • Putting it all together—10 min
    • Video, Discussion
  • Wrap-Up—5 min

Building inclusive services for LGBTQ+ survivors

This interactive workshop will explore strategies for addressing domestic and sexual violence in lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and queer (LGBTQ+) communities. Facilitators will review contemporary research on interpersonal violence in LGBTQ+ communities, including challenges in finding reliable data on rates of violence across all genders and sexualities. Participants will consider barriers to support and strategies for capacity building across multiple agencies that address domestic and sexual violence, including interdisciplinary collaborations such as sexual assault response teams (SARTs) and domestic violence response teams (DVRTs).

1 clinical and 1 cultural competence CE offered for this session

 About the Instructor

Lindsey Curtis, BA has been committed to anti-violence work in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York since 2016. She has served in a variety of capacities, from hotline work, advocacy, prevention education, and more. Currently working in New York City, Curtis is focused on prevention work, operating as the community educator for the Mount Sinai Sexual Assault and Violence Intervention Program; in this capacity, she serves 12 college campuses in the city for New York State’s Enough is Enough Program. She has previously served as a sexual violence advocate for Services Empowering Rights of Victims, Center for Family Services, Cumberland County. At SERV, she co-facilitated a support group for youth of all gender identities and sexualities. She has volunteered with other agencies in a variety of roles, but notably as a Confidential Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Advocate for Avanzar (formerly the Atlantic County Women’s Center) and on the hotline for Philadelphia Center Against Sexual Violence (formerly Women Organized Against Rape). Curtis has previously presented at the National Sexual Assault Conference (2019).

 Learning Objectives

After attending this course, participants will be able to:

  • Explain contemporary research on domestic and sexual violence within and towards LGBTQ+ communities.
  • Identify potential barriers to support for LGBTQ+ communities in domestic violence programs, rape crisis centers and other institutions that respond to interpersonal violence, and develop strategies for overcoming them.
  • Discuss avenues for assessing and improving agency capacity to provide affirming services.

Course Outline (Offered twice— 10:10am-12:10pm; 12:50pm-2:50pm)

  • Introductions—5 min
  • Sexual violence within and toward LGBTQ+ communities—20 min
  • Multi-agency responses—30 min
    • Small group activity, participants work together to identity barriers to and opportunities for LGBTQ+ inclusion across different institutions that respond to domestic and sexual violence
  • Considerations of Safety Planning—15 min
  • Case Studies—30 min
  • Group Debrief—20 min

Panel: Best Practices in Supporting LGBTQ+ Survivors of Domestic Violence

A panel of experts and clients will explore common factors impacting LGBTQ+ survivors and best practices in ensuring equitable services.   A client panelist will first share personal experience with disclosing domestic abuse while in therapy and what interventions were beneficial for them with respect to their gender/ sexual orientation. Following this, clinician and officer panelists will share their experiences responding, intervening,  screening, assessing and counseling LGBTQ+ clients who have experienced domestic abuse and sexual assault.  To conclude, the facilitator and audience will have an opportunity to ask panelists questions.

1.25 clinical CE offered for this session

 About the Facilitator

Frank Merckx, DMH is the Vice President of Campus Life and Student Affairs, and Dean of Students at Drew University, Madison, NJ. Prior to coming to Drew, he worked at St. Joseph High School in Metuchen as well as a Presidential Management Fellow for the Department of Defense in the early portion of the George W. Bush administration. Amongst other areas, Dr. Merckx has extensive experience working with Title IX and Student Conduct and in 2016 was appointed by Governor Christie to represent New Jersey’s private colleges and universities on the NJ Campus Sexual Assault Task Force. He most recently served NJ again as a member of Governor Murphy’s efforts to create a strategic plan for Higher Education as a member of the Safe and Inclusive Campuses committee. He has served as an advocate for both the complainant and the respondent and works with sexual assault and domestic violence nonprofit agencies in Morris County, currently chairing the Morris County Coalition on Campus Sexual and Relationship Violence. Having presented nationally on Title IX, his current area of interest is in developing educational and programmatic opportunities that are more inclusive of international students. Dr. Merckx has a long history of being a cross-campus collaborator and has built many programs for student success. Dr. Merckx is responsible for supervision of Counseling, Health Services, Dining, Housing, Residence Life, Student Activities, Campus Recreation, Student Conduct, Title IX investigators, Public Safety, International Student and Scholar Services, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and the University Chaplain.

About the Panelists

Mary Pillarella, LCSW is a Behavioral Health Counselor at EDGE New Jersey. Mary has spent the span of her career advocating for the rights of the disenfranchised and underserved- women, children, homeless, those affected by HIV and the LGBTQ community. For the past 15 years Mary has been assisting gender dysphoric individuals with affirming their gender identity, exploring different options for expression of that identity and making decisions about medical treatment for alleviating gender dysphoria. Mary began her career almost 40 years ago as a domestic violence counselor at The Atlantic County Women’s Center. Following graduation from a BSW program, she developed, implemented and administered a rape crisis program in that same county. While obtaining her Master’s degree, she     prepared an evidence based, county-wide needs assessment for rape care services in Ocean County. She and her team were able to present those findings for funding to the Board of Freeholders that following year. That program is still serving women in that county. Following graduation, Mary became the victim witness coordinator for the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office where she advocated for women and children who were traumatized by physical and sexual violence. Because of her experience in this area, she was asked by Judge Sweeny, then Administrative Judge for Superior Court of NJ in Bergen County to design and administer a DV office within the courthouse to assure that those applying for restraining orders could safely navigate their way through the justice system. For the past 23 years Mary has been involved in advocating for those affected by HIV at two medical infectious disease clinics in the state of NJ. She wants everyone to know that she has seen a great deal of change brought about by those who aren’t afraid to speak up and lend their voice to those who unable to speak. She invites all of you to continue to advocate against injustice and discrimination. The struggle continues.

 Kelly Martins, MSW is a Ryan White HIV/AIDS Certified Medical Case Manager and Social Service Manager at EDGE New Jersey. Kelly is also the co-chair of the Morris, Sussex, Warren HIV/AIDS Advisory Committee.  She completed her MSW at Rutgers School of Social Work with a focus on the LGBTQ+ population. In addition to her work at EDGE New Jersey, her passion has always been tapping into the human need to connect with the community and build a partnership of love and kindness.

Connor Johnson is a law enforcement officer at the Morristown Bureau of Police and serves as the LGBTQIA+ Liaison in charge of re-implementing and reorganizing the Morristown Bureau of Police LGBTQIA+ SafePlace Program within the Morristown community.  Connor has also been a Guest Speaker at a Transgender Education Panel for the Morristown Edge Pride Center.

 Learning Objectives

After attending this course, participants will be able to:

  • Identify two to three factors that impact clients from the LGBTQ+ community in seeking help for domestic abuse and sexual assault.
  • List several skills and tools therapists can use to screen and assess and intervene with clients from the LGBTQ+ community who experiencing domestic abuse.
  • Name three interventions therapists can use to assist clients experiencing domestic abuse.
  • Identify local resources for the LGBTQ+ community and outreach strategies.

 Fee & Registration

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER. Cost is $85 (price reduced from in-person cost!)  Student registration (must provide student ID) cost is $45. Deadline to register is November 19, 2020 by 5pm. Cancellations must be received 24 hours prior to the event to receive a refund.

 Course completion & CE info

Course completion requirements: To earn CE credit, participants must attend 100% of all scheduled hours, complete individual course and conference evaluations and submitted to training@jbws.org or mailed to Professional Training Manager, PO Box 1437, Morristown, NJ 07960 at the end of the day to receive course credits. Certificates of completion will be provided to participants successfully completing the course upon receipt of course evaluations. Participants will not receive a Certificate of Completion without the submission of a completed evaluation form.

These conference sessions are approved by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program to be offered by JBWS as individual conference sessions. Individual courses, not providers, are approved at the course level. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. ACE course approval period: 11/04/2020 – 11/04/2022. Social workers participating in this conference will receive up to 6.5 social work continuing education credits.

JBWS has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 5875. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified.  JBWS is solely responsible for all aspects of the program.

For questions, concerns or to request special accommodations, please call: 973-267-7520 x121