Advocates working across domestic violence agencies, child protection systems, human trafficking agencies, and elder abuse units need specific skills and knowledge related to suicide prevention. Yet far too many advocates are unprepared to address suicide among their clients.

To respond to this need, EDC has developed the H.O.P.E.: Suicide Prevention for Crime Victims training of trainers program. H.O.P.E. is designed to support crime victim advocates in preventing suicide, including giving them strategies to cope with vicarious trauma.

Key Activities

EDC is carrying out the following activities:

  • Deliver the H.O.P.E. training, which empowers crime victim advocates—including providing them with strategies to increase protections against vicarious trauma—and addresses the need for systems approaches to help prevent suicide
  • Design two versions of the curriculum: one for general audiences and one for American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) communities
  • Train a national cadre of crime victim advocates with the tools they need to recognize and respond to persons at risk for suicide and to become trainers of the new curriculum  
  • Provide continuing education for trainers through a nine-month virtual learning community

If your organization is interested in being trained in the HOPE curriculum, contact Heidi Kar.


  • 92 national trainers are now training advocates in their respective states, with 19 master trainers serving their own AI/AN communities
  • Over 400 crime victim advocates have been trained in the H.O.P.E program in order to better support their clients

Learn More

EDC Staff
Office for Victims of Crime, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice