January 2018 Letter

Dear AVA Members,

As the new President of the AVA, I hope to expand our impact on the field by harnessing the talent we have within the organization. As part of this work, we’re hoping to establish a number of Ad Hoc committees to work on projects that will advance the mission of the AVA. In the months to come, we’re also hoping to establish a Speaker’s Bureau that will expand the reach of the AVA.

Ad hoc committees

If there are projects you believe the AVA should undertake, particularly projects you are willing to spearhead, please let me know. In the meantime, we have established two ad hoc committees:

·        Guidelines for faith, medical and mental health collaborations. A large and growing body of research tells us that spirituality is a source of resilience which moderates the effects of violence. At the same time, violence often impairs our sense of spirituality which, in turn, may impact our physical and emotional well-being. Accordingly, we’ve established a committee, chaired by AVA board member Shira Berkovits, to develop guidelines for collaborations for medical, mental health, and faith leaders working with survivors of violence.

·        Guidelines for showing evidence to victims of violence. In cases of violence, investigators sometimes show violent or sexual images to a victim depicted in the imagery. Although some professionals believe this should never be done, others believe it should be routinely done, and still others believe it should be done sparingly. To address this controversial issue, we intend to develop a publication that sets forth this debate and proposes guidelines that can assist MDTs in addressing this issue. This committee will be chaired by AVA member Amy Russell.

If you are interested in serving on either of these committees, please let me know and I’ll connect you with the committee chair.

Speaker’s Bureau

We are also hoping to establish a Speaker’s Bureau to increase the AVA presence at conferences throughout the world. If you are interested in serving on the Speaker’s Bureau, please let us know and we’ll send you a form we will need you to fill out and return.  

These projects were ideas that came to me from our board or our membership. In the year to come, I plan to reach out personally to as many of you as possible in search of additional ideas the AVA can put in motion. Simply stated, I work for you and I look forward to hearing from you as to the direction we should be taking.

Best wishes,

Victor I. Vieth
President, AVA