TEACHING PROFESSIONALS AND TRANSFORMING INSTITUTIONS TO END CHILD ABUSE NATIONWIDE.

ZERO ABUSE PROJECT

Based in St. Paul, Minnesota, Zero Abuse Project (ZAP) is a Center of Excellence launched by Mitchell Hamline School of Law and Jeff Anderson & Associates for the purpose of educating professionals and students to effectively prevent, recognize and respond to child abuse. ZAP includes dedicated and experienced child advocacy professionals involved in impact litigation, training on trauma-informed care, online certification and training, and classroom teaching.

ONLINE CERTIFICATION AND TRAINING

Zero Abuse Project provides training and education for front-line child protection workers, such as social workers, police, lawyers, judges, and therapists. This training is cross-disciplinary so that professionals can learn about child protection and abuse prevention as a whole in order to be part of the overall solution to child abuse. Students learn about cutting-edge research and the latest trends and findings from experts in the field.

CLASSROOM TEACHING

Through Mitchell Hamline School of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota, Zero Abuse Project offers classes for law students in the field of child protection and abuse. Conducted in a law school setting courses are focused on all areas of child sex abuse, including civil litigation and prosecution of sexual crimes. There will also be a child advocacy clinic where future professionals can get front-line experience working with child sexual abuse survivors. This curriculum is to create more informed advocates across the country to advance the mission of ZAP.

TRAINING ON TRAUMA-INFORMED CARE

Many legal professionals working with abuse survivors are exposed to client trauma and secondary stress with little to no knowledge or appropriate training. Zero Abuse Project promotes a more sensitive, trauma-informed legal system.

The concept of trauma-informed care (TIC) has been around for decades. Like PTSD, the concept grew out of the understanding of trauma on war veterans (Wilson, Pence & Conrad, 2013). In the 1990s, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) further explored the concept through empirical research and expanded TIC to incorporate all levels of an organization, especially in direct service of traumatized individuals.

IMPACT LITIGATION

The practice of bringing lawsuits to create societal change is called impact litigation, also known as strategic litigation. Such litigation is often in the form of a class action lawsuit or an individual claim with broader significance, and may rely on statutory law arguments or constitutional claims. Impact litigation has been used successfully to influence public policy by civil rights groups such as NAACP, ACLU, and by Morris Dees at the Southern Poverty Law Center. We align with volunteer attorneys, law students and clinic faculty as change agents to transform the legal process. The goal of ZAP is to make substantial positive changes in the child abuse protection and prevention system through impact litigation.

©2018 Zero Abuse Project