Upstate Agencies Partner for Training Opportunity for Attorneys

Safe Harbor Voice  |  January 24, 2023
Upstate Agencies Partner for Training Opportunity for Attorneys


On February 23, Safe Harbor, the SC Coalition Against Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault, the 13th Circuit Solicitors Office, SC Victims Assistance Network, and SC Legal Services are co-hosting a training to educate attorneys and legal professionals on the unique challenges faced by survivors of domestic violence in family court.

Domestic violence is fueled by a pattern of coercive control, which often continues through family court proceedings. During this training, presenters will discuss how to address common barriers in family court when representing victims of domestic violence, as well as best practices for successful outcomes in court cases. The training will cover matters to consider in family court cases involving Orders of Protection, separation/divorce, child custody and other common proceedings. Presenters will also provide a framework for applying a trauma-informed approach to supporting victims through court cases, including strategies for attorneys to engage in active self-care and safety planning to minimize the impact of vicarious trauma, stress and burn out with representing victims.

“As a prosecutor of Interpersonal Violence, understanding the dynamics of trauma on a survivor and their family is essential to what I do,” says Brittany Scott, Assistant Solicitor and Head of the Domestic Violence Unit of the 13th Circuit Solicitors Office.

“When a victim’s attorney understands the dynamics of domestic violence and has the skills and tools to represent someone who has experienced this complex form of trauma, it can be a gamechanger in a survivor’s journey towards achieving safety and stability,” says Julie Meredith, Program Director at Safe Harbor. “We are grateful to co-host this training and look forward to deepening relationships within our local legal community.”

Training presenters include: Allison Dunham, Esq., attorney with KD Trial Lawyers; Tamika Cannon, Esq., Senior Staff Attorney with South Carolina Victim Assistance Network; and Patricia Ravenhorst, Esq., General Counsel and Director of Systems Advocacy with the SC Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault.

“I am pleased that this training is being offered because it is such an important topic,” says Tamika Cannon, Esq. with SC Victim Assistance Network. “Trauma informed practices have made me a more compassionate and effective attorney for my domestic abuse clients.”

The training will take place on Thursday, February 23 from 8:30am-12:00pm in the auditorium at the University Center of Greenville. Attorneys will receive 2.75 hours of SC CLE credit, including 1 hour of Mental Health Credit. Registration is $10 and seating is limited. Those interested in attending can register at:

I am a survivor of domestic violence.

“I didn’t know that I was being abused...

I am a survivor of domestic violence.

“I didn’t know that I was being abused because my definition of abuse looked different. My husband pushed me, but most of my suffering was verbal and psychological. I left my husband to protect our young daughter. Almost immediately I felt the weight of his oppression begin to lift. I could see a difference in my daughter as well. Then he broke into my home and assaulted me in-front of her.

I sought help and was led to Safe Harbor. My daughter and I are in counseling now. I am sorting out the mess that abuse has caused. I am finding my voice and seeking opportunities to grow and better my life as well as my daughter's. She will gauge her self-worth from my own self-worth. I must show her that she deserves the best, by expecting the best for myself.

Many years I suffered in silence. By telling my story and being honest with friends and family, I am taking control of my life again.”

- Beth



When you give to Safe Harbor, 82 cents of every dollar goes directly to our intervention services and prevention initiatives to break the cycle of domestic violence in the Upstate of South Carolina. 

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We are available to provide domestic violence education and information about Safe Harbor’s services through speaking engagements, trainings, workshops and awareness campaigns.





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