Institute for the Prevention of Relationship Violence

Trauma Advocacy is one of the most rewarding and challenging careers in which any professional can engage. The work requires equal amounts of compassion and creativity in a highly charged and potentially violent environment.

IPRV values the individuals who do this work. On a daily basis we see the good they do in the world. We also, unfortunately, see how much vicarious traumatization affects their lives and how they struggle to find the education they need to be effective in serving the needs of those who experience violent trauma.

IPRV has made a commitment to do something to support these invaluable professionals, both at the undergraduate and professional levels. Two initiatives that provide invaluable accredited education to students and professionals whose work involved trauma advocacy.

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Get more information about TRAC courses for undergraduates or TRACEC courses and certificates for working professionals.


The new Trauma Advocacy Certificate (TRAC) is one of the nation's first, if not the first, fully accredited minors in trauma advocacy. The minor provides 21 academic credits to working professionals and students who require advocacy skills in their intended careers.

The TRAC Certificate is offered through a fully online, asynchronous environment that allows students to enroll in eight-week courses year round. Students are taught by professors and instructors who are experts in their fields.

The core TRAC Certificate courses include:

  • TRAC 300: Introduction to Trauma Advocacy
    with Pamela Lassiter Cathey (3 Credits)
  • TRAC 310: Psychology of Trauma
    with Margaret Strowd, LCPC, LMFT & Dr. John Thuerer (3 Credits)
  • TRAC 320: Criminal Justice and Trauma
    with Dr. Bryan Taylor (3 Credits)
  • TRAC 440: Physiology of Trauma 
    with Dr. Max Veltman (3 Credits)
  • TRAC 450: Trauma as Transformation
    with Pamela Lassiter Cathey (3 Credits)
  • TRAC 470: Psychology of Victims and Perpetrators
    with Dr. Wind Goodfriend (3 Credits)
  • TRAC 498: Capstone: Beyond Trauma
    with Pamela Lassiter Cathey (3 Credits)

Each TRAC course may be taken as a stand-alone course to be transferred to another accredited institution or incorporated into the complete 21 credit TRAC minor that is issued through BVU.

All courses are taught by national level experts who are currently practicing in their fields. Combined, the TRAC courses offers over 1,000 hours of invaluable, accredited instruction in trauma advocacy.


In 2015, IPRV and BVU launched the Trauma Advocacy Continuing Education Course and Certificate (TRACEC) initiative in order to provide prevention-focused, evidence-based continuing education courses to working professionals who serve the needs of victims of violent and non-violent trauma.

The TRACEC courses are offered through both onsite workshops and in an online environment through BVU's Graduate and Professional Studies. The online courses offer convenience to busy professionals through an asynchronous delivery format.

Each course of approximately six hours is offered during a two week period thus allowing any professional to complete a specialized certificate of six courses total in a calendar quarter.

Curriculum is designed to specifically address the needs of professionals within the following fields:

  • Professional Advocates
  • Campus Security
  • Law Enforcement
  • Prosecution
  • First Responders
  • Physicians
  • Medical Assistants
  • Mental Health Professionals
  • Social Workers
  • Human Resource Managers
  • Teachers

The first TRACEC courses and certificate launched in the fall of 2016 for Campus Security professionals. Other certificates will be available in the future.