Back to All Events

WEBINAR: Achieving Economic Justice for Survivors: Expanding Our Approach to Safety


Violence makes women poor, and poverty in turn leads to increased vulnerability to violence. Therefore safety for survivors of domestic and sexual violence requires access to economic security. This workshop will explore ways in which domestic violence advocates and lawyers can expand their advocacy to address both the physical safety and economic needs of survivors. Through concrete examples and self-reflective questions, faculty will engage participants in ways to develop and practice multi-leveled Survivor-Centered Economic Advocacy: strengthening individual advocacy, enhancing organizational and community responses, and creating systems change. Participants should walk away from the training equipped with strategies to achieve survivor centered economic advocacy in their context. 


By the conclusion of this presentation, participants will be able to:

  • Articulate the link between poverty and intimate partner violence
  • Identify barriers faced by survivors who are living in poverty
  • Practice survivor centered economic advocacy through individual examples and apply to an organizational and community context. 


National Alliance annual members: free
Non-members: $25

Erika Sussman is the founder and executive director of the Center for Survivor Agency and Justice. During her tenure, CSAJ has launched the Consumer Rights for Domestic and Sexual Assault Survivors Initiative, the Safe Economic Security Atlas Project, the Legal Impact for Racial and Economic Equity of Survivors Project, and engaged in other work focused on survivor centered advocacy and economic security for survivors living at the margins.

Prior to her work with CSAJ, Ms. Sussman served as the senior attorney of the Legal Assistance Providers’ Technical Outreach Project, a national project of the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence, which offered technical assistance to civil attorneys and advocates funded by the Office on Violence Against Women. For several years, Ms. Sussman served as an adjunct professor at Cornell Law School, where she taught a seminar course on Law and Violence Against Women. She also taught law students and litigated in Georgetown University Law Center's Domestic Violence Clinic. As a litigation associate at Swidler Berlin Sherreff Friedman, LLP, she provided pro bono representation to domestic violence survivors and co-counseled, with the ACLU, a class action lawsuit against the State of Maryland for the practice of racial profiling by law enforcement. Immediately following law school, she served as a Law Clerk to Justice Gregory Hobbs of the Colorado Supreme Court.

Ms. Sussman earned her J.D. from Cornell Law School and her LLM in advocacy from Georgetown University Law Center. She has published numerous articles and chapters and served as faculty for various academic and practitioner workshops related to violence against women, with a particular emphasis on survivor-centered advocacy and economic justice.

Sara Wee is the director of research and program development for CSAJ, supporting research, leading demonstration site work, and developing trainings to support program development and substantive expertise related to survivors' economic security.

Sara came to CSAJ with nearly ten years of experience in developing and managing domestic violence programs, grassroots violence prevention, and applied research and evaluation for collaborative, government, and community-based programs. She began her work in the field as a peer educator and violence prevention program coordinator for a rural, community based DV organization. She later turned her focus to government and systems’ response to domestic violence while getting her Masters in Public Health from Columbia University.

Previous work includes: Work with the New York City Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence conducting a community assessment and strategic planning; the Family Justice Center Alliance leading a health initiative to enhance wellness and advocacy for survivors; Research on bystander intervention and help-seeking in low-income community contexts; Community based and Academic teaching.