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Navigating a Domestic Violence Case Through the Criminal Justice System

During this session you will learn the roles of criminal justice system-based victim services available to victims in Delaware. This session will have a panel with representatives from Newark Police Department Victim Services, Delaware Attorney General’s Office Domestic Violence Unit Victim Services, and Department of Correction Victim Services. The panel will discuss how cases move through the system and services that are available, from an initial report to law enforcement through corrections. This session will highlight victim services professionals working together to meet the individual needs of a survivor.


Jenn Kutney-Soper (pronouns: she/they) has worked as a Victim/Witness Social Worker at the Delaware Department of Justice in the Domestic Violence Unit of the Criminal Division since 2011. She has spent 15 years working with victims of crime, particularly victims of domestic violence. She also is the subcommittee chair of the LGBTQ Victim Services Subcommittee of the Victims’ Rights Task Force. Outside of work, she is a long distance runner, an avid reader, a Cub Scout den leader, a performer, and a Harry Potter fanatic. She is a born and raised Delawarean living with her spouse, their two children, her mother, a dog and two cats.

Melissa Pennachi is the Victim Services Coordinator at Newark Police Department. She provides trauma-informed crisis intervention and follow-up for victims. She advocates for victims and links them and their families to resources as they move forward from the crime or traumatic incident. She began her career in the Victim/Witness Assistance Program at the Delaware Attorney General’s Office and the Victim Services Unit at Delaware State Police. Melissa serves as Chair of the Delaware Victims’ Rights Task Force and is very active in the victims’ rights community. Melissa has her B.A. from the University of Delaware, and her M.S. from Saint Joseph’s University.

Erin Young is employed at the Department of Correction (DOC) as the Victim Services Program Manager. In her position at DOC, Erin empowers victims to become informed and involved so they may experience less frustration with prison and probation personnel and be better prepared to participate in the corrections process, if they choose. Erin is the Vice Chair of the Victims’ Rights Task Force and an active member of the Human Trafficking Interagency Coordinating Council Public Awareness Committee and Domestic Violence Task Force.

By the end of this webinar, participants will:

  • Describe the roles of system-based victim services available to victims in Delaware.
  • Discuss strategies to collaborate to meet the individual needs of victims.

Helpful Links and Resources

Please note that CEUs are only available for those who attended the live webinar.  Certificates of completion will be available to those who watch the recording in its entirety.

This program is funded through the Delaware Criminal Justice Council by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Family Violence Prevention and Services Program.

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