Visionary Voice Awards

About the Awards

NSVRC offers the Visionary Voice Awards, in conjunction with Sexual Assault Awareness Month each April, to recognize the creativity and hard work of individuals around the country who have demonstrated outstanding work to end sexual violence.

Each year, state, territory, and tribal coalitions select an outstanding individual to nominate for the awards. Nominees may be partners from a local community or other outstanding individuals that have worked to end sexual violence.


2017 Visionary Voice Award Recipients


Mimi Kim

Mimi Kim
Nominated by the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault

Mimi Kim is the Executive Director and Founder of Creative Interventions and a long-time anti-sexual violence and domestic violence advocate in Asian immigrant and refugee communities. She remains active in the promotion of community organizing, community accountability, and transformative justice approaches to violence intervention and prevention. At Creative Interventions, Kim has provided leadership throughout California and the United States on centering marginalized communities and taking action to prevent and address sexual violence and domestic violence. She is recognized nationally as a thought leader for her work with the sexual violence movement and incorporation of transformative justice efforts in the field. Kim has been instrumental in facilitating conversations within the field on looking at alternatives to incarceration, community healing, and building bridges between communities and advocates.

Kim is also a founding member of Incite! Women of Color Against Violence and a national steering committee member of the Asian & Pacific Islander Institute on Domestic Violence, and she is an Assistant Professor at Long Beach State University's School of Social Work. Her research is in the area of social movements and community organizing, with an emphasis on domestic violence and sexual assault in communities of color.


Loren Garcia

Lorena Garcia
Nominated by the Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault

Lorena Garcia has championed efforts in Colorado that support youth and underserved communities, and promote healthy relationships and sexuality. She has worked in partnership with CCASA over the past year and a half to develop and advocate for policy that would create appropriate responses to malicious teen sexting, while protecting victims and non-harmful consensual behaviors.

Garcia serves as the Development and Strategic Communications Director at Colorado Youth Matter. She brings nearly a decade of nonprofit leadership experience specializing in movement building and social justice. She has led statewide organizations that have advocated for issues such as economic justice, journalism, women’s equality, and reproductive and sexual health. She has been a featured spokesperson, a national speaker and gave a TEDx talk on Latina Leadership. She has led statewide policy campaigns and has successfully led and co-led efforts that have strengthened sexual health education standards in Colorado, eliminated the shackling of pregnant and laboring inmates, and protected access to homebirth midwives for families to have greater birth giving options.


Shaumia Craig

Shaumia Craig
Nominated by the DC Rape Crisis Center

Shaumia Craig is currently DCRCC’s Office. In this role, Craig oversees office management functions and assists with program and administrative projects. She is also the first person to greet survivors of sexual violence when they enter the space. She has become a constant fixture amongst clients whom she provides a level of support and compassion during challenging times. Additionally, Craig serves as one of our fierce hotline counselors; a position in which she provides unparalleled crisis support to survivors of sexual violence. Craig continues to serve survivors of sexual violence with an open heart, and a level of grace that is matchless. DCRCC is very lucky to have her on the frontlines of working to end sexual violence through empowering a culture of consent. Craig looks forward to continuing to support the movement to end sexual violence.Prior to DCRCC, Craig worked as a caregiver for the elderly community in Temple Hills, MD.


Lane Frye

Lane Frye
Nominated by the Florida Council Against Sexual Violence

Lane Frye has been a victim advocate for 18 years, working with sexual assault survivors from first response through the criminal justice system to deposition of the case. One time in particular she spoke to a detective for two hours straight while traveling to a deposition with him. By the end of the trip he had a newfound appreciation for victim advocacy and changed the way he worked with survivors from that point forward. Throughout her time with the Florida Council Against Sexual Violence, she has grown the program significantly. She began as an advocate, moving into volunteer coordinator then program manager positions before assuming her current role as director. Lane serves as treasurer of the Indian River County Victims’ Rights Coalition and as a member and past Treasurer of the 19th Judicial Circuit Victims’ Rights Coalition. She is a founding member of the regional SART for South Florida and has presented at their annual trainings. She is a strong, encouraging leader who sets the bar high for her staff as well as allied partner agencies. She always endorses aligning the standards with what survivors need, challenging programs to do what is right rather than what is easy. She is consistently among the first to implement improvements, regardless of how difficult it may be.


Juan M. Rapadas

Juan M. Rapadas
Nominated by the Guam Coalition Against Sexual Assault and Family Violence

Dr. Juan Rapadas is a Clinical Psychologist and an ardent advocate for the prevention of sexual assault on Guam and a member of the LaniKate Task Force, which was established by the Guam Legislature in 2011 to address child sexual assault. For over a decade, Dr. Rapadas served as the Clinical Psychologist at the Guam Department of Youth Affairs involved with the assessment and treatment of incarcerated youth. He is currently the Clinical Psychologist for the Judiciary of Guam’s Client Services and Family Counseling Division and provides counseling to victims and survivors of sexual assault. Dr. Rapadas also sits on the Committee for Sexual Offender Management at the Judiciary of Guam to ensure a safer Guam Community for everyone. Through his work, he also conducts assessment and treatment of individuals, couples, and families as well as conducts forensic evaluations, provides clinical guidance, and provides recommendations for court-involved juveniles and adults. Dr. Rapadas’ current work also includes serving as Mental Health Consultant and Evaluator for the Social Security Administration and for the Guam Department of Integrated Services for Individuals with Disabilities, and as a Mental Health Consultant for the Department of Defense Education Activity.


Janene Radke

Janene Radke
Nominated by the Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence

As the executive director of a rural sexual assault and domestic violence program, Janene Radke took on the issue of parity of services for sexual assault and domestic violence programming at the Family Crisis Services. Radke signed on as a partner with the state coalition to examine and assess how FCS provides sexual assault services in its seven-county region in southwestern Kansas. Located in Garden City, Kansas, the program provides 24/7 services to some of the most sparsely populated areas of the state. In building the capacity of the program to provide sexual assault services, Radke worked through staff assessments, community assessments, and needs assessments all with the goal of putting the spotlight on sexual assault survivors and the services that they need. She helped train other allied professionals, bringing in new skills and new understandings of sexual violence. Today, the program is well on its way to parity in services. Radke also serves on a committee to create an advanced training curriculum for sexual assault advocates across the state. She also serves on the KCSDV Accreditation Committee, working to implement sexual assault service standards with Kansas programs. This work will benefit survivors across Kansas.


Helena Moreno

Helena Moreno
Nominated by the Louisiana Foundation Against Sexual Assault

Louisiana House Representative Helena Moreno is a tireless and outspoken advocate for marginalized individuals and communities in Louisiana. She has championed legislation for equal pay, sexual and reproductive health, domestic violence, and sexual assault, among other important issues. When news broke that survivors in Louisiana were being charged for their forensic examinations, she took decisive action to support survivors and hold agencies accountable. The result was a law grounded in victims' rights which took into account both best practices and local resources. To fund the forensic examinations, she worked with casinos and race tracks to place unclaimed prize tickets into the Crime Victims Reparations fund. Representative Moreno embodies progressive ideals and practical applications to benefit Louisiana residents, particularly women and children. Representative Moreno currently serves on the Commerce Committee and the Health and Welfare Committee. She is also an appointed member of a number of State Boards and Commissions, including the Louisiana Sentencing Commission, Domestic Violence Prevention Commission, Latino Commission, Audubon Commission, Justice Reinvestment Task Force, Task Force to Prevent Sexual Assault on College Campuses, Task Force on the Prevention of Sexual Abuse on Children, and Louisiana Justice Reinvestment Task Force.


Vicki Sadehvandi
Nominated by the Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault

Vicki Sadehvandi is the founder and Executive Director of CASA, Inc. the Washington County rape crisis center, which staffs a 24-hour hotline for sexual assault survivors that provides crisis intervention, education, information, referrals, and safety planning. She has worked tirelessly since 1984 to increase the program's services, which offers counseling in addition to crisis intervention and serves persons of all ages who have been sexually assaulted or abused. CASA also provides education on the issues in the community. She is also a founding mother of the anti-sexual violence movement in Maryland and has worked for decades to help respond to rape survivors and survivors of sexual abuse.


Strong Oak Lefebvre
Nominated by Jane Doe, Inc, the Massachusetts Coalition Against Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence

Strong Oak Lefebvre is an American Indian of Maliseet and Mi’kmaq descent. She has spent decades working to address the individual, community, and historical trauma caused by sexual violence. She has worked in several community based programs and served in leadership roles in the state coalition. She has also written and implemented curriculum and trainings within tribal communities and at national conferences. Her visionary leadership has informed the creation of the Circle of Care training for survivors of homicide victims, domestic violence, and sexual assault. The Circle of Care training also helps train providers who work with first time youth and adult offenders, and it works communities respond to traumatic events such as mass murders and other tragedies. She has generously served on a variety of boards, sharing her expertise around prevention, program development, and grants.

Lefebvre is the co-author of the Walking in Balance with All Our Relations teaching curriculum, a violence prevention bystander approach that is based on the traditional values of indigenous people prior to colonization. The curriculum is designed to decolonize indigenous peoples and reclaim historical ways of being in the community.  She is also a member of the Massachusetts Restorative Justice Collaborative and has presented at several national and regional conferences regarding the use of restorative practices to return communities to wholeness following incidents of sexual violence.


Kalimah Johnson

Kalimah Johnson
Nominated by the Michigan Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence

Kalimah Johnson, LMSW, ACSW, LCSW, is an Assistant Professor of Social Work at Marygrove College and Founder/Executive Director of SASHA Center in Detroit, Michigan. She is also a Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Consultant to the National Basketball Association, NBPA-Rookie Transition Program, Top 100 Camp, Michigan Elite 25 Camp, and the NFL-Detroit Lions. Johnson is licensed in Michigan and Illinois as a clinical social worker with concentrations in advocacy, mental health and school social work. Her practice experience has focused on providing a comprehensive range of services to survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence. She conducts workshops on topics of relationship safety, incest survival, and community awareness relating to violence against women. Johnson chairs the Sexual Assault Awareness Month event, "Take Back the Night-Detroit," sponsored by Marygrove College and the Women’s Center. She is founder of SASHA Center, an African-American not-for-profit agency providing culturally specific primary prevention workshops and support groups to African-American survivors of sexual assault. She is a member of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and the Michigan Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence.


Sarah Deer
Nominated by the Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault

Sarah Deer has worked to end violence against women for over 20 years. She is a legal scholar and advocate leveraging her deep understanding of tribal and federal law to develop policies and legislation that empower tribal nations to protect Native American women from the pervasive and intractable problem of sexual and domestic violence. A citizen of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation of Oklahoma, Deer has documented in academic scholarship the historical and ideological underpinnings of the failure to adequately protect victims of physical and sexual abuse in Indian Country. In spearheading a 2007 Amnesty International report, Maze of Injustice, Deer re-framed the problem of sexual violence in Indian Country as an international human rights issue. Deer's efforts were instrumental in the passage of the Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010, which increases the sentencing power of tribal courts and requires federal district attorneys to provide detailed information to tribal authorities about cases under their jurisdiction that will not be prosecuted. She also assisted with the 2013 reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, which restores some of the authority that was stripped from tribal governments by Oliphant v. Suquamish (1978) giving tribal courts the power to prosecute non-Native Americans in certain domestic violence cases.


Laura Hacquard

Laura Hacquard
Nominated by the Missouri Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence

Laura Hacquard is an Associate Director in the Division of Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity. She supervises the Women’s Center, RSVP Center, LGBTQ Resource Center, Multicultural Center and the Gaines/Oldham Black Culture Center.

This year the Relationship & Sexual Violence Prevention Center at the University of Missouri- Columbia celebrated its 30th anniversary. Established with a meager budget of just over 700 dollars, Laura Hacquard hired a graduate assistant to focus on educating the university about sexual violence on campus. It has grown to boast 4 full-time staff members, a graduate assistant, a student organization, two student peer education groups, and multiple education and prevention initiatives. Hacquard continued her commitment to social change and to students by starting the LGBTQ Resource Center in 1995, which continues to be a safe place on campus for LGBTQ-identified students and allies to build community. Additionally, Hacquard serves on the MU Sexual and Intimate Partner Violence Task Force, the Chancellor’s Standing Committee on the Status of Women and has worked for years to strengthen partnerships between the university and the local domestic & sexual violence program.

Drew Colling

Drew Colling
Nominated by the Montana Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence

Drew Colling has been working in sexual assault victim services for seven years. She developed a best-practice advocacy response system for victims of sexual assault in the Missoula community. She has worked closely with local law enforcement, County Attorney’s Office, and University Title IX to improve immediacy and quality of reporting response to victims of sexual assault. She collaborates with agencies across Montana to train and improve SART response in rural and tribal communities. She has been responsible for in-person training of incoming students in primary prevention of sexual assault and has trained over 7,000 students. She is also a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor and provides free counseling to survivors of sexual assault. Colling currently serves on the MCADSV Board of Directors.


Lindsey Spaulding
Nominated by the Nebraska Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence

Lindsay Spaulding is a victim’s advocate at Voices of Hope in Lincoln, NE, where she has worked since August, 2015. Spaulding currently holds the positions of Campus Advocate, Rural Advocate, and Prevention Advocate. In her role as Campus Advocate for Nebraska Wesleyan University, she provides advocacy for victims of sexual assault on campus and provides training and education to students, faculty, and staff. In her role as Rural Advocate, Spaulding provides advocacy and support to rural victims and survivors and acts as a liaison with rural churches, rural community leaders, and the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office. In her role as Prevention Advocate, Spaulding works specifically with Middle Schools in Lancaster County, Nebraska. She collaborates with middle school staff and faculty to address their needs relating to sexual assault, dating violence, stalking, sexual harassment, and family violence. Social Change and efforts to end violence and all forms of oppression have been a constant focus and passion of Spaulding’s.

Though she is relatively new to her agency, Spaulding has already implemented WAVE (Wesleyan Advocates for Violence Education), a student activist group at Nebraska Wesleyan University where she is the Campus Advocate.


Shizue Hill

Shizue Hill
Nominated by the Nevada Network Against Domestic Violence

Shizue Hill was an advocate with The Rape Crisis Center (RCC) in Las Vegas, Nevada for over 22 years. She led the survivor support group at RCC for more than 10 years. Shizue was always committed to serving the most vulnerable in our society such as inmates, individuals at homeless shelters, and youth in detention. She created several programs in the prisons and detention centers around Southern Nevada including “SOAR” – Survivors Overcoming Abuse and Rape, and “HEROES” – Healing and Empowerment Rights Of Every Survivor (targeted to male inmates). Her tireless passion for this work never diminished, and she was always looking to expand her efforts and reach more people.

Hill passed away in September 2016. She was a trailblazer, an advocate, champion, and friend to so many. The Executive Director of The Rape Crisis Center referred to her as the face and heart of the agency for thousands of victims of sexual assault, countless volunteers, community partners, to co-workers and friends. Just Detention International (JDI), the leading organization supporting inmates who have been victims of sexual assault, recognized Hill as a pioneer in the field. Hill undoubtedly left a legacy of dedication and passion for this work and this community.


Emily Murphy

Emily Murphy
Nominated by the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence

Emily Murphy is the Violence Prevention Educator for HAVEN where she has worked for the last 12 years. HAVEN is the largest violence prevention and support services agency in New Hampshire. Murphy delivers Personal Body Safety, Media Literacy, and Healthy Relationship programming to thousands of students in the NH seacoast. In addition to providing prevention programming directly to children, she has also served on the NHCADSV Anti-racism Workgroup and the Erin’s Law/SB460 Taskforce, a statewide collaboration with schools, the Department of Education, and other community partners to improve sexual violence prevention programming for youth, and provide and improve training for youth-serving professionals. She has presented on violence prevention through cultural change at local, state and national conferences, and she is continuously seeking best practices in prevention of child abuse, and sexual and domestic violence. Her commitment to violence prevention extends to her work with the New Hampshire Animal Rights League. She believes that comprehensive prevention education and community galvanization are the key to creating a world without violence.


Jackson Tay Bosley

Jackson Tay Bosley
Nominated by the New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault

Jackson Tay Bosley has been a dedicated and passionate partner of NJCASA's for a number of years. As a longstanding member of New Jersey’s Prevention and Public Education Committee, his expertise informs statewide planning efforts and discussions on adequately addressing community trauma and ways to create safety, both for individuals who have harmed and for survivors of violence. His perspective is informed by decades of direct work in sexual offender treatment and management, as well as an authentic commitment to meaningful collaboration with victim service providers. He brings a social norms analysis to his partnerships and a genuine interest in how systems can best work together to address a complex and damaging social problems.

Dr. Bosley has specialized in the treatment of sexually abusive and problematic behaviors for over 25 years. He has developed treatment programs for adults and adolescents in outpatient, inpatient, and correctional settings in Hawaii, Colorado, and Tennessee. In New Jersey, his work focused on a statewide, community-based treatment program for high-risk adult sexual offenders under lifetime supervision by the State Parole Board. He served on the Board of Trustees for the New Jersey Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers, and has been published in the Journal of Psychiatry and Law.


Claire Harwell

Claire Harwell
Nominated by the New Mexico Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs, Inc.

As the Lead Attorney and Project Creator/Director of the New Mexico Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs sexual assault legal advocacy program, Claire Harwell has served over 500 survivors in a 5 year period while establishing a statewide system to address civil legal rights of sexual assault survivors. She created a screening process for sexual assault service provider agencies to assess the civil legal needs of survivors, developed a team of pro bono and low bono attorneys to assist survivors with their needs throughout New Mexico, and initiated Title IX implementation and change at 13 institutions of higher learning.

Harwell has ensured that survivors have their basic human needs met while ensuring that sexual assault does not permanently derail the life paths of survivors of sexual violence. In the past, Harwell’s extensive accomplishments included her work as the child sexual abuse prosecutor for the 2nd Judicial District of New Mexico where she set the standard for accepting cases for prosecution that others considered unwinnable such as cases involving very young victims, non-verbal children, and cultural considerations that others felt made a case too unpredictable. Prior to her redefining the role and ability of the Special Prosecutor, most cases were limited to domestic violence and child abuse.

Harwell also assisted with the development of the first ever curriculum on sexual violence for the United States Air Force. This curriculum was the beginning of a culture shift among our military to adopt a policy of no tolerance and swift justice for sexual violence within the military.


Beverly Kiohawiton Cook

Beverly Kiohawiton Cook
Nominated by the New York State Coalition Against Sexual Assault

Chief Beverly Kiohawiton Cook is an elected Chief on the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribal Council and a Family Nurse Practitioner. She is a prominent voice in the mind-body medicine approach to restoring wellness, reproductive health, and environmental justice for Mohawk people. She has presented her signature lecture, “Resilience from our Roots: You are Creation,” to hundreds of community members as well as national and international audiences. The lecture weaves together Haudenosaunee traditions and beliefs with basic reproductive physiology, encouraging understanding of the responsibilities of men and women and an appreciation for the generational transmission of trauma through the generations. In her previous role as Clinic Coordinator, Chief Cook led the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe’s Health Services systems redesign. Her innovative approach, including patient-centered care, aligned with a national trend to address trauma as a root cause of adult illness. Her efforts resulted in the successful implementation of Trauma Incident Reduction and Adverse Childhood Experiences (or “ACE”) Predictive Consequences. She has also been a valuable supporter of the Tribe’s Annual Child Safe Summit Series and championed the Akwesasne Child Advocacy Center which provides victim-centered care for abused children.

Since her election to Tribal Council in 2013, Chief Cook has been selected by the United Southern and Eastern Tribes (USET) to represent the Nashville Area (which includes Akwesasne) on the National Indian Health Board and on the National Institutes of Health Tribal Consultation Advisory Committee.


Katie Hanna

Katie Hanna
Nominated by the Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence

Katie Hanna was the Executive Director of the Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence (OAESV) from 2011 to 2016, during which time she has built the coalition from a staff of two to a flourishing state coalition and national leader boasting 10 staff members. Under Hanna’s leadership, Ohio has seen significant expansion of rape crisis services and numerous critical public policy changes. She has also worked closely with the Ohio Department of Higher Education and campuses throughout Ohio to implement the Changing Campus Culture Initiative to address campus sexual assault. In 2013, she worked with the National Sexual Violence Resource Center and partners across Ohio to spark critical progressive national dialogue surrounding the high-profile rape case in Steubenville, Ohio. Katie serves as co-chair of the Sexual Assault Advisory Board of Ohio and the VAWA Implementation Plan for Ohio, and she is a Board Member with the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence. The staff at OAESV has thrived under her leadership, both due to her ability to nurture the unique talents of each individual staff member and her continual example of what it means to be an effective and ethical professional in the anti-violence field. After leaving the OAESV, Hanna will serve in a fellowship with the U.S. Department of Justice.


Brenda Tracy

Brenda Tracy
Nominated by the Oregon Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence

Brenda Tracy is an advocate, Registered Nurse, mother, and survivor. She has worked closely with Oregon legislators to expand victims’ rights and has successfully helped to pass five laws, which includes extending the Oregon Statute of Limitations to prosecute rape and mandatory testing of all rape kits in Oregon. Tracy is also part of the non-profit organization RISE whose Survivor Bill of Rights was signed into law by President Obama in October, 2016. Tracy is engaged in numerous awareness-raising outreach efforts and is a frequent guest commentator on CNN and ESPN. She serves on the NCAA Committee to combat sexual violence and has won numerous awards, including the National Service Courage award given to her by the United States Attorney General and the Department of Justice. Recently, Tracy’s story of reuniting with Nebraska football coach, Mike Riley, who gave Tracy’s rapists a one-game suspension, garnered international media coverage.


Jack Panella

Jack Panella
Nominated by the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape

Superior Court Judge Jack Panella has served as a powerful ally in the fight to end sexual violence. Judge Panella consistently uses his sphere of influence to fight for justice for victims of sexual assault by promoting awareness of the needs of victims and fighting for laws that hold perpetrators accountable. He advocates for a trauma informed judicial system and provides training for Judges and attorneys throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Judge Panella is the author of the Pennsylvania Bench Book on Crimes of Sexual Violence, which is used as a guide by the judiciary throughout the Commonwealth. In addition, Judge Panella serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape and works tirelessly as a collaborative partner with the Coalition. This year Judge Panella collaborated with the Coalition and esteemed members of the Judiciary to develop a webinar for Judges on the Sexual Offender Registration and Notification Act and the sensitive issues of a sexual assault trial. The efforts and contributions of Judge Panella strike at the core of the fight to end sexual violence. His voice is a call for justice for victims of sexual violence. His work is commendable and worthy of honor.


Carmen Castelló Ortiz
Nominated by Coordinadora Paz para la Mujer, Inc.

Carmen Castelló Ortiz is a Puerto Rican defender of human rights and social worker.  Carmen is dedicated to denouncing sexual violence in Puerto Rico through her blog. She also voluntarily developed the first national observatory covering the fields of gender and violence, specifically sexual violence in Puerto Rico. Carmen collects and analyzes data obtained from various government agencies. Through social networks she exposes data about situations of gender violence on the island. She monitors cases from the justice system, and does the follow-up on women and youth people missing in the country. 

As a social worker Castelló have been an advocate for the rights and intercessor of persons institutionalized with mental health problems, forensic psychiatry, foster homes, and geriatric centers including those of the Children’s and Family Service Department.  She was also an Intercessor for survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence. At the same time she provided support services to homeless people with substance abuse problems through guidance about upbringing a healthy nutrition for children while she assisted young pregnant women to complete their studies.


Catherine Lea

Catherine Lea
Nominated by Nominated by the Day One Coalition

Catherine Lea, an educator and artist, has served as Day One’s volunteer be.art program coordinator since 2015. Created by Day One to empower girls and boys formerly involved in human trafficking, the be. program serves young survivors of one of the worst forms of sexual violence – the commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC). For over a year, Lea has played the role of mentor as well as teacher for these children, and she has stepped in and provided a positive adult relationship for eight be.art group participants. Offering these youths a forum for expressing themselves through an array of creative channels, Lea holds weekly art classes at Day One’s office in Providence, Rhode Island. Dedicated to empowering youth to be their best selves, Lea brings out each participant’s creativity as she leads the group in working in various media and helps them to heal and connecting them to their community and boosting their self-esteem. Lea has also helped them sell their work and raise more than $2,500 to reinvest in the program. When asked about her dedication to the group, Lea said, “I love art, kids and helping people find their expressions, which fosters self-esteem and self-love.”

Lea is a dedicated volunteer, giving of her time and talents not only to Day One, but also to Amos House, a Providence non-profit offering shelter, education, and training to the city’s homeless.


Dr. Anne Frier Fisher

Dr. Anne Frier Fisher
Nominated by the South Dakota Network Against Family Violence and Sexual Assault

Dr. Anne Fisher is currently the Medical Advisory in the local Sexual Assault Response Team at the Rapid City Regional Hospital. She is on the Board of Directors for the local shelter, Working Against Violence, Inc. She is the medical advisory for the statewide sexual assault task force. She is on the advisory board of the South Dakota Network Against Family Violence and Sexual Assault. Dr. Fisher has written for several publications. Dr. Fisher attended the University of Iowa for her undergrad and graduate school and attained her Medical Degree. She completed her internship and residency at the University of California in San Francisco. She is now a clinical instructor for the University of South Dakota School of Medicine and an Emergency Physician at the Rapid City Regional Hospital. She has served many administrative positions in California and Iowa.


Sally Marie Helton

Sally Marie Helton
Nominated by the Tennessee Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence

As a licensed Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) and a clinical specialist in Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing, Sally Helton works tirelessly to increase the visibility and the number of Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANEs) in hopes of providing care to victims and reducing the number of assaults. In 1996 as a university professor, she developed a learning module for nursing students that focused on the impact of violence including intimate partner violence and sexual assault on individuals, families, and the community. For the past 20 years, this experiential learning has been part of the required coursework in the University of Tennessee Knoxville undergraduate nursing program.

In 2000, Helton helped open the forensic nurse examiner program with the Sexual Assault Center of East TN. Her commitment to serving the victims of sexual assault has remained steadfast as the program has grown to include 8 counties and 14 hospitals in addition to the Sexual Assault Forensic Exam (SAFE) Center. In 2001, Helton was among the first group of nurses to successfully gain international certification as a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner for Adults & Adolescents (SANE-A); she has maintained that designation with demonstrated expertise and continuing education. Helton is active in the Coalition Against Family Violence, and serves on the Domestic Violence Fatality Review Board and the Adult Abuse Review Team.


Stephanie Schulte

Stephanie Schulte
Nominated by the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault

Stephanie Schulte is an ER Charge Nurse in El Paso, Texas and a long-time survivor advocate who's passion for this work has impacted both her professional and personal life. Schulte serves on the TAASA board of directors (currently Immediate Past-President) Additionally, she is a Governor Appointee to the statewide Crime Victims Institute Advisory Council. She formerly practiced as a certified SANE and a sexual assault advocate at the Center Against Sexual and Domestic Violence in El Paso.

She has been engaged in responding to and ending sexual assault in her El Paso community and statewide. She has served her local RCC as well as the TAASA board for 7 years. She continues to volunteer as a nurse planner for obtaining CNE's for SANEs at TAASA Conferences. Stephanie has also written and spoken about her own victimization to educate our communities and be a source of strength for other survivors.


Colleen Twomey

Colleen Twomey
Nominated by the Vermont Network Against Domestic and Sexual Violence

Colleen Twomey is a truth-seeker, and dreamer of a violence-free future. Twomey is the coordinator of the Legal Advocacy program with the Clarina Howard Nichols Center. Through her work, Twomey supports survivors of domestic, sexual, and stalking violence as they navigate the complexities of the justice system. She is currently empowering students at Johnson State College to create a violence-free campus culture. She is interested in collective freedom for all people and the planet and is inspired by a vision of healing. One vision of healing is dance and liberation through our bodies. Twomey finds great joy in dancing with her community.


Celia Guardado

Celia Guardado
Nominated by the Washington Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs

Celia Guardado joined the YWCA of Walla Walla in 2004 as Amigas Unidas Coordinator and has been with the YWCA ever since. During that time, she has served as the Director of Client Services for three years leading the agency’s work on behalf of sexual assault and domestic violence survivors. Guardado is now the YWCA’s Coordinator of Community Relationships and Outreach. In addition, she serves as the agency’s lead Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) Advocate, providing on call and in person advocacy to survivors of sexual assault who are incarcerated at the Washington State Penitentiary.


Sarah J. Brown
Nominated by the West Virginia Foundation for Rape Information and Services

While many public servants are truly supportive of our coalition’s sexual violence prevention and intervention work, Sarah Brown’s commitment exponentially expands the definition of ‘ally.’ She serves as a Senior Justice Program Specialist with the West Virginia Division of Justice and Community Services. Her work and interests have led to her participation on numerous committees throughout the state that foster collaboration, enhance training of first responders, and improve services to victims of crime. Her victim-centered approach significantly impacts conversations and practices on both the state and local levels. As administrator/supervisor of several of the state’s sexual assault advocacy groups and programs, she has increasingly been the voice to ensure that sexual assault services are meaningfully addressed in all federally funded projects under the West Virginia Division of Justice and Community Services. As of 2016, West Virginia has ten counties in the state without access to sexual assault advocacy services, but thanks to Brown’s assistance, plans are underway for services to be implemented in those counties in 2017. Bown’s willingness to coordinate the submission of a Sexual Assault Kit Initiative grant has resulted in a statewide project that will track un-submitted sex crime kits in every county in the state. These massive initiatives require a commitment to and passion for ensuring that sexual violence victims’ needs are met. West Virginia is very fortunate to have Brown serving as a champion for sexual violence victims.


Jennifer Zenor

Jennifer Zenor
Nominated by the Wyoming Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault

Jennifer Zenor is the Executive Director of the Wyoming Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault which provides technical assistance, leadership and advocacy to the twenty-four community based domestic violence and sexual assault programs in Wyoming. Zenor has been dedicated to ending violence against women since becoming a VISTA volunteer with the Gillette Abuse Refuge Foundation in 1997.

As the Executive Director, she exposed the prevalence of sexual assault in her area and organized and led the community’s first Sexual Assault Response Team. She also expanded the WCADVSA staff’s capacity to serve sexual assault survivors, promoted the program as a sexual assault service center, and significantly increased the program’s budget towards sexual assault work. Her leadership at the WCADVSA has facilitated change locally, statewide and nationally by expanding programming, providing training, building relationships, and building environments for others to create change. Zenor has led the expansion of WCADVSA staff and membership work by initiating specific programming like transitional housing and women’s prison work. She has provided numerous trainings including marital and intimate partner rape at the Wyoming Law Enforcement Academy. She has also worked with and become a resource provider to Women Restored and their SAFESTARs program on the Wind River Indian Reservation, which led to creating a meaningful position within the WCADVSA focused on equity and inclusion.


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