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January 29, 2024 | Webinar

Rethinking Protection: A New Angle on Accountability


Lonna Davis


Juan Carlos Areán, PhD; Eloise Sepeda, PhD; Sara Block, JD

Date Recorded:

December 18, 2023


We can take a step towards improving the safety and well-being of children and their families by rethinking what protection from domestic violence (DV) means and what it looks like in practice. A critical part of this work is rethinking how we define and practice accountability.

Accountability with people who harm their partners and families is often conceived and practiced as punitive action. In child welfare, accountability is also practiced, in part, as ‘compliance’ with case or safety plans – and applied to both survivors and perpetrators of DV. From the perspective of families and abolitionists who witness the racialized harm caused to families involved in child welfare, systems themselves should be the focus of our accountability efforts.


  • Build shared understanding of accountability as an individual, interpersonal, community, and systemic practice

  • Describe the critical elements of accountability for individuals and systems

  • Explore a range of strategies for promoting healthy and transformative accountability


Lonna Davis
VP of Children & Youth Program at Futures Without Violence

Lonna brings personal experience as a survivor of DV and SA, and 30 years of a demonstrated track record on behalf of families who experience violence. Lonna leads a great team that provides support and guidance to communities and systems working to prevent sexual assault, domestic violence, and child abuse in order to help ALL survivors of violence heal and thrive.


  • Dr. Juan Carlos Areán
    Program Director at Futures Without Violence
    Juan Carlos’ areas of expertise include engaging men to end violence, working with DV offenders, the intersection of fatherhood and DV, cultural approaches to end violence, facilitation, and curriculum writing. Juan Carlos is an active trainer who has led hundreds of workshops and presentations throughout the Americas and the Caribbean, as well as Europe and Asia.

  • Dr. Eloise Sepeda
    Founder of Harmony One Restorative Justice
    As a national subject matter expert and Restorative-Transformative Justice Practitioner, Dr. Sepeda believes in decolonizing restorative practices and centering the voices of people who are marginalized and disproportionately overrepresented in carceral systems of oppression, modern-day colonization of family surveillance, and separation. She offers local, state, and national specialized trauma-informed and culturally responsive restorative-transformative justice training, coaching, and implementation for multidisciplinary services and individuals to promote healing-centered engagement & wellness. Dr. Sepeda is the founder of Harmony One Restorative Justice.

  • Sara Block
    Program Director at Ascend Justice
    Sara is Managing Director of Advocacy and Partnerships at Ascend Justice in Chicago. In this role, she helped lead Illinois as a project of the Quality Improvement Center on Domestic Violence in Child Welfare. Sara is also the Academic Director of the Child and Family Law graduate program at Loyola University Chicago School of Law. Sara is the author of the book, Together Unbroken: Stories, Law, Practice and Healing at the Intersection of Domestic Violence and Child Welfare.


This webinar is presented in English with closed captioning in English. If you require other accommodations to access this resource, please email us so that we can do our best to meet your need.

Bridges to Better is a project of Futures Without Violence. The development of this webinar is supported by Grant Number 90EV0401, 90EV0532, and 90EV0524 from the Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Family and Youth Services Bureau, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and by the Children’s Bureau, Administration on Children, Youth and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, under grant #90CA1850. Points of view shared are those of the presenters and do not necessarily reflect the official positions or policies of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.