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Polyvictimization Demonstration Initiative Team

2020 Crime Victims Research Award | National Crime Victims’ Service Awards
Watch the tribute video

Polyvictimization Demonstration Initiative Team | Crime Victims Research Award
Team Members: Natalia Aguirre; Alison Bildsoe; Chan Hellman
San Diego, California

The establishment in 2002 of the San Diego Family Justice Center (FJC) dramatically changed how crime victims receive services in many communities. This model calls for efficient and effective co-located multidisciplinary teams to assist victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse, and other crimes. Many of these Centers are members of Alliance for Hope International, which provides essential training and technical assistance to FJCs. 

A team at Alliance for Hope International, led by Natalia Aguirre, developed and implemented a Polyvictimization Assessment Tool for adult clients coming to FJCs. This Tool is now contributing significantly to the Nation’s understanding of polyvictimization and how to best serve those who have suffered multiple victimizations. 

Natalia Aguirre, Family Justice Center Alliance Director, and Program Assistants Alison Bildsoe and Gloria Kyallo in collaboration with Chan Hellman from the University of Oklahoma and teams from six FJCs across the country, conducted research leading to the development of the Polyvictimization Assessment Tool. This Tool is utilized to help change the way FJCs are providing services to polyvictims. 

Designed for the intake process, the Tool assists service providers in assessing the trauma experienced by victims of multiple crimes. The Tool is helping build a body of evidence-based knowledge and statistical information about “polyvictims,” while protecting the privacy of clients. 

Creation of the Tool involved the review of hundreds of validated Tools, intake forms from FJCs across the United States and Europe, and input from experts at six FJCs. The data gained from this Tool will help service providers better understand the impact that polyvictimization has on the victims they serve. Additionally, using this tool can help correctly assess a victim’s needs and vulnerabilities, based on a lifetime of experiences, to help channel resources where they are most needed. 

This tool has allowed community-based organizations to shine a beacon of hope into the lives of survivors in their communities.

2020 National Crime Victims' Service Awards Tribute Video

Watch this video to learn more about the Polyvictimization Demonstration Initiative Team, 2020 recipient of the Crime Victims Research Award.