Welcome to Arizona Child and Adolescent Survivor Initiative
The Family Violence Institute (FVI) at Northern Arizona University has implemented the first-of-its-kind project called the Arizona Child and Adolescent Survivor Initiative (ACASI).
ACASI’s mission is to deliver a multi-county, trauma-informed system of care to provide specialized victim services and support to children who have lost a parent to intimate partner homicide (IPH).*
*This project is supported by Grant No. 2015-VA-GX-0032 from the US Department of Justice – Office for Victims of Crime. The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication/program/exhibition are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the US DOJ or the Arizona Department of Public Safety.
ACASI began as a possible solution to a serious problem. The Family Violence Institute’s director, Dr. Neil Websdale, began domestic violence fatality review teams (DVFRTs) across the nation to understand why domestic violence homicides occurred from a community-perspective. Over time, DVFRTs reviewed several intimate partner homicides to find the driving cause behind the murder. Arising from these teams’ conclusions is a critical and overlooked question: What about the children?
It was then that the Family Violence Institute kickstarted the first-ever project aimed to identify and serve child and adolescent survivors of intimate partner homicide. In 2016, ACASI began serving clients in five Arizona counties. Today, we are serving the entire state and are constantly working to expand our team and quality of services. We are now proudly serving English and Spanish-speaking clients from our office locations in Flagstaff, Phoenix and Yuma.
In the United States, over 3,000 children per year in the United States lose a parent to intimate partner homicide. Of these children:
63%were home when a parent was killed
43%witnessed the homicide
37%discovered a parent’s body
Child and adolescent survivors are the forgotten victims of their parent’s homicide and receive little to no services for any kind of assistance or therapy. ACASI strives to change this narrative.