We’re Hiring! Defense-Based Advocate

 Defense-Based Advocate – National Defense Center for Criminalized Survivors 

The Battered Women’s Justice Project (BWJP) is a collective of national policy and practice centers at the intersection of gender-based violence (GBV) and legal systems. Our mission is to promote change within the civil and criminal legal systems to enhance their effectiveness in providing safety, security, and justice for survivors of GBV, their families, and communities. 

The National Defense Center for Criminalized Survivors (NDCCS), formerly known as the National Clearinghouse for the Defense of Battered Women (NCDBW), addresses the unique needs of victims of gender-based violence who have been criminalized as a result of their experiences of being abused. NDCCS provides specialized technical assistance, resources, and support for survivors and their defense teams. Equally important, we train and build alliances among national, state-wide, and local organizations to improve justice for survivors everywhere. To learn more about BWJP, please visit our website 

Defense-based advocacy is the practice of extending community-based advocacy to survivors charged with crimes. Defense-based advocacy is done in coordination with defense teams to support creative and effective legal strategies that maximize opportunities for justice and help prevent further victimization of arrested, convicted, or incarcerated victims of GBV. 

Position Summary: 

NDCCS seeks a skilled advocate to join our team and provide critical defense-based advocacy to criminalized survivors, many of whom are women, who have experienced GBV. The ideal candidate is compassionate, empathetic, patient, and sensitive to the emotions and experiences of others. The ideal candidate enjoys working as part of a team, has skills to handle sensitive issues in a confidential manner, and has experience talking with people who are experiencing trauma. This position operates within a shared leadership model, fostering collaboration and collective decision-making among employees. You will contribute your expertise, learn from colleagues, and work together to deliver impactful advocacy for criminalized survivors. 

Key Job Responsibilities: 

  • Provide individual defense-based advocacy, support, and appropriate referrals to survivors of domestic violence and their families via phone and email. 
  • Gather case-related information to determine the relevance of our expertise in each unique situation. 
  • Maintain meaningful case notes in our LegalServer database (prior experience with LegalServer not necessary, but welcome), and ensure that case records are up to date and accurate. 
  • Stay up to date on current best practices in defense-based advocacy, working with survivors of GBV, and criminalized populations. 
  • Participate in weekly video meetings and occasional in-person meetings as needed. 
  • Advocate for policies and practices that promote the safety and well-being of criminalized survivors. 


  • Bachelor's degree in human services, social work, counseling, psychology, or a related field preferred. Equivalent combination of experience and education will also be considered. 
  • Experience working with criminalized populations and/or those who have experienced GBV. 
  • Ability to work effectively with survivors and colleagues from diverse backgrounds. 
  • Cultural sensitivity and a commitment to promoting inclusivity and equity. 
  • Advanced understanding of dynamics of intimate partner violence (IPV) and its effects on victims. 
  • Understanding of trauma-informed care principles and evidence-based interventions for survivors of domestic violence. 
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills, with the ability to establish trust and build supportive relationships with survivors, families, and multidisciplinary teams. 
  • Excellent written and verbal communication. 
  • Working knowledge of criminal legal processes. 
  • Ability to travel up to 5% of the time. 
  • Basic computer skills, including proficiency with PCs and Microsoft Office Suite. 
  • Bi-lingual (English/Spanish) highly desirable. 
  • Crisis intervention and counseling skills are desirable. 
  • Deep commitment to ending gender-based violence and an understanding of how interpersonal and institutional power, privilege, and oppression affect the lives of domestic and sexual violence survivors. Demonstrated commitment to supporting race equity and cultural humility in prior professional experiences. 

Position: Full-time exempt 

Location: Remote position 

Salary: $55,000 -$60,000 annually based on experience. 

Benefits: Employer-paid individual health, dental, vision, group life, ST/LT disability insurance, and accident insurance, in addition to a competitive paid time off package and 5% 

401k contribution. 

Application: Please submit your resume, cover letter, and two references by April 1, 2024, to [email protected], or Battered Women’s Justice Project, 540 Fairview Ave N, Suite 208, St. Paul, MN 55104. 

BWJP is committed to providing reasonable accommodations for those with disabilities and encourages candidates to request accommodations if needed during the application or interview process. BWJP is committed to providing a work environment that is free from harassment and discrimination. 

TAGS: #BWJP Announcements #Careers #Defense #Gender Based Violence #News

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