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LOVE Project


The LOVE (Leadership of Voices of Experience) Project, funded by the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ’s) Office on Violence Against Women, will enhance victim service providers’ ability to support survivors of gender-based violence and incarceration.


More than 150,000 women are incarcerated in the United States in state, local, and federal facilities, and more than a million additional women are under correctional control on probation or parole. Many women with a history of incarceration are survivors of victimization—86 percent report a history of sexual victimization, 77 percent have experienced intimate partner violence, and 60 percent have experienced caregiver violence.

This partnership led to the development of the LOVE Curriculum for Providers, a resource to build the capacity of victim service providers to better support formerly incarcerated cis and trans women and girls, and gender-expansive people (i.e., gender nonconforming, genderqueer, nonbinary people).

The Leadership of Voices of Experience (LOVE) Project is a collaborative effort between Justice + Joy, the National Black Women’s Justice Institute, Young Women’s Freedom Center, and the LOVE Subject Matter Experts Advisory Group. This collaboration brought together formerly incarcerated individuals and leaders in criminal justice reform, victim service providers, gender-responsive service providers, and additional advocates focused on supporting survivors of incarceration and gender-based violence.


Information gathering for the project included one-on-one conversations and listening sessions with survivors of incarceration and gender-based violence, with victim service providers, and with other advocates working in this space. These conversations guided the direction of the curriculum and the related activities.

The LOVE project has:

  • Engaged service providers and survivors of gender-based violence and incarceration to develop a training curriculum that centers the needs and experiences of women and gender-expansive people who have experienced gender-bias and violence in and outside of the criminal legal system.
  • Provided resources for victim service providers to adapt programming to better support survivors of incarceration and gender-based violence, including the training curriculum to support provider’s advocacy skills development.

For more information about the LOVE Curriculum or the project contact Samantha López at [email protected].

Project Partners

National Black Women's Justice Institute, Young Women's Freedom Center, Office on Violence Against Women, and The National Council for Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls (from 2018 to 2020), and a core group of subject matter experts who are also survivors of incarceration and gender-based violence.

This project was supported by Grant No. 2018-TA-AX-K019 awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this publication/program/exhibition are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Department of Justice.

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