Dr. Debra L. Stanley
Executive Director

Anne Litecky

Program Coordinator

Dr. Heather L. Pfeifer

Associate Director, Faculty

Dave Thomas



Debbie Bradley

Certification Coordinator 

Francis Beirut Poblete

Contact Us


2020 - 2021 V-STEP WEBINARS


Dr. Heather Pfeifer
Thurs., Dec. 10  (2:00 PM – 4:00 PM)
Tues., Dec. 15 (10:00 AM – 12:00 PM)

Dr. Michael Barnes
Friday, December 11, 2020 (9:00 AM – 12:00 PM)
Friday, January 8, 2021 (1:00 PM – 4:00 PM)
Friday, January 15, 2021 (9:00 AM – 12:00 PM)

Dr. Michael Barnes
Monday, December 14, 2020 (1:00 PM – 4:00 PM)
Tuesday, January 12, 2021 (9:00 AM – 12:00 PM)
Tuesday, January 19, 2021 (1:00 PM – 4:00 PM)


Debbie Bradley, VASIII

Mon., December 14  (10:00 AM – 11:00 AM)

Mon., January 25 (10:00 AM – 11:00 AM)

Debbie Bradley, VASIII
PART I: Wed., January 13  &  PART II: Thurs., January 14  (10:00 AM – 11:30 AM)


Contact us to schedule a webinar training
 Anne Litecky, Program Coordinator (410) 837-5055 or​

RVAAM curriculum has been approved for selected professions (e.g. law enforcement, corrections, probation/parole) Participants will receive Continuing Education Units (CEUs), and are welcome to ask for academic credits. V-STEP Regional Victim Services Advanced Trainings are held in all 5 regions across Maryland.

If you would like to host or schedule a V-STEP training in your community, please contact Anne Litecky, V-STEP Program Coordinator.



Suicide Awareness & Prevention: “Keep them Talking” 

Lizette Ubides, LCSW-C  .
Chief Executive Officer 
Responsive Recovery, LLC

Workshop Summary: Suicide is the 11th cause of death in the State of Maryland. It is the 3rd leading cause of death among people for ages 15 – 34 and 4th leading cause of death for ages 45 – 54. This training seeks to inform service providers on how to assess the risk-factors associated with the verbal expression of suicidal ideation and how to assist crime victims manage difficult situations. Service providers will learn how to engage crime victims in conversations necessary to assess risk factors and how to respond and develop a course of action to protect them. Preliminary assessment instruments used to identify suicidal risk factors will be discussed. Participants will also learn how to navigate the mental health system and advocate on behalf of the individual when additional psychiatric services are warranted.

Compassion Fatigue & Self Care

Heather L. Pfeifer, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Director, Master of Science in Criminal Justice Program
School of Criminal Justice, University of Baltimore

Workshop Summary: Working with victims of crime can be both one of the most rewarding and challenging careers. It is rewarding because one has the opportunity to help others when they are most vulnerable. However, it can also be very challenging because one will be exposed to other people’s pain and suffering on a regular basis. Over time, such exposure can take a significant physical, emotional, and psychological toll on an individual. How can one process all of the trauma one is going to be exposed to but not allow it to disrupt one’s personal and professional life? This workshop provides an overview of how to monitor the emotional stress, and possible physical and behavioral health conditions, that many professionals may experience as the result of exposure to secondary and vicarious trauma; and, will provide a variety of resources and strategies they can use to assist in managing their stress and to facilitate resilience.

Victim Assistance Certification Program

Debbie Bradley, C.A., VASIII
MD Certification Coordinator

Workshop Summary:  What does it mean to be a Certified Victim Assistance Professional in Maryland? This brief introduction will provide the basic steps to becoming a certified victim assistant professional. Learn how service providers in other states are using certification to their benefit. Becoming certified is easy!

Understanding Mental Health Diagnosis, Symptoms and Interventions

Lizette Ubides, LCSW-C  .
Chief Executive Officer 
Responsive Recovery, LLC

Mental Health Diagnosis & Interventions: Crime victimization often leads to complex mental health issues that require support services. The current COVID-19 pandemic has further increased the multidimensional mental health needs of crime victims. Many mental health organizations are reporting significant numbers of people accessing services for the first time. This training provides service providers with a basic understanding of the complexities of mental health illnesses and diagnoses to treat specific disorders. The complication of medications and how they may play a role in behavior and negative side effects will be explored. Participants will become familiar with the symptoms and behaviors associated with specific mental health illnesses. The training will provide resources to navigate and access mental health services for crime victims in need. Several preliminary mental health assessment tools will be discussed to assist with guiding crime victims to the appropriate services.

Helping Families Support Crime Victims

Lizette Ubides, LCSW-C  .
Chief Executive Officer 
Responsive Recovery, LLC

This training seeks to give service providers strategies to help family members and crime victims build family support amongst themselves and identify ways in which family members can support and reconcile differences at such a crucial time. As families process and navigate their way through the crime victim’s experience, services providers can use the family protective toolkit to help families identifying and build social support networks and increase the utilize victim services.

Implications and Interventions for Victims of Sexual Trauma

September 23or October 14 or 20

Michael F. Barnes, Ph.D., MAC, LPC

Diplomate, American Academy of

Experts in Traumatic Stress

An international study completed by the World Health Organization (2014) investigated the incidence of various types of traumatic events and the total cases of PTSD diagnoses resulting from each. For the purpose of this presentation, two findings stand out. The first is that while sexual relationship violence made up only 12% of the total number of trauma cases, it also accounted for the highest percentage (33%) of all individuals receiving PTSD diagnoses. The second is that Network Traumatic events or the secondary trauma of family members when a loved one experiences a sudden or unexpected death, life-threatening illness, or other traumatic event, is the second leading cause of PTSD diagnoses at 30%. In the United States, the number of actual sexual trauma survivors is astronomical. Statistics provided by the Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network (RAINN) (2019) indicates that every 73 seconds an American is sexually assaulted (433,648 victims age 12 and older annually). Based on the numbers associated with Secondary Trauma, we would assume that there are also over 400,000 new families annually who are impacted and forced to cope with sexual trauma each year. Given the long term impact of sexual trauma on individuals and families who are actively coping with sexual trauma, the actual numbers are hard to estimate!

In this presentation, Dr. Michael Barnes, an author and national speaker on family trauma and addiction, will present on the implications and interventions for working with primary, secondary, and systemic traumatic stress to assist individuals and families who are dealing with sexual trauma. He will present models for understanding family response to trauma, potential individual and family organizational changes (i.e., rules, roles, routines, rituals, & relationships/boundaries) that either support or inhibit family healing. He will also discuss the importance of three generation assessment and understanding of the family history of sexual and other types of trauma, mental illness, and chronic disease. He will discuss the neuroscience associated with trauma symptoms and healing, as well as critical treatment models, objectives, and family focused interventions.

               Roper Victim Assistance Academy of Maryland

                  2021 RVAAM NEXT SESSION

              SUMMER ~ June 7 - 11 ~ Online Until Further Notice


I n response to Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), all staff are available remotely via telephone and email. During the University System and State closures, we are only accepting applications electronically.   EMAIL YOUR APPLICATION to  We are NOT accepting hard copies or faxes at this time.  If you have questions, please contact Anne Litecky  at or 410.837.5055.  

We so much appreciate and offer thanks to our service providers who continue to bring comfort and calm to the lives of crime victims and their families, as well as support to one another in the field. Together we will get through this.

                                                            ~ Wishing everyone peace and well-being