Honorees include advocates, leaders, survivors, lawmakers, and more
HARRISBURG, PA – The National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) announced today 24 recipients of its 2023 Visionary Voice Awards. These honorees represent a wide range of disciplines from across the country and were selected for their outstanding work toward preventing sexual harassment, misconduct and abuse.
This year’s recipients include Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, who has been a longtime supporter of sexual violence prevention organization Day One; Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives Task Force of Colorado, which fought for and successfully passed a bipartisan bill that improved policies, procedures and trainings pertaining to missing and murdered indigenous relatives cases; Michigan Senator Stephanie Chang, who has sponsored bipartisan legislation that aims to fix loopholes in Michigan law that enabled convicted Olympic Gymnastics Coach Larry Nassar and others to perpetrate; New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen, who secured the highest funding level ever for the Department of Justice’s Violence Against Women Act programs; and the late Laura Segura, a lifelong champion of survivors of domestic and sexual violence in the Santa Cruz County community.
“It is such a privilege for us to recognize these individuals and organizations who have devoted tireless energy and commitment to this movement,” said NSVRC Executive Director Yolanda Edrington. “All of the honorees this year are true visionaries advancing efforts across the U.S. to create safer communities and strengthen support for survivors. We thank them all for their service.”
The Visionary Voice Awards are presented annually by NSVRC, the leading nonprofit in providing information and tools to prevent and respond to sexual violence, in conjunction with Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). SAAM is a national campaign held each April to raise awareness about preventing sexual violence.
This year’s SAAM theme, “Drawing Connections: Prevention Demands Equity,” highlights the importance of understanding how historical contexts and current systemic oppressions are vital to sexual violence prevention.
Nominated by state, territory and tribal sexual violence coalitions across the U.S, the following is a complete list of this year’s Visionary Voice Award recipients:
• Ipu Lefiti (Nominated by American Samoa Alliance against Domestic & Sexual Violence)
• Laura Segura (Nominated by ValorUS, formerly the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault)
• Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives Task Force of Colorado (Nominated by Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault)
• Krystal Rich (Nominated by Connecticut Alliance to End Sexual Violence)
• Claudia Melton (Nominated by Delaware Alliance Against Sexual Violence)
• JoEllen Revell (Nominated by Florida Council Against Sexual Violence)
• Marissa Castellanos (Nominated by Kentucky Association of Sexual Assault Programs, Inc.)
• Katie Boleware (Nominated by Louisiana Foundation Against Sexual Assault)
• Disability Rights Maine (Nominated by Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault)
• Tania Araya (Nominated by Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault)
• Diana Mancera (Nominated by The Massachusetts Coalition Against Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence, Jane Doe Inc. (JDI) )
• Senator Stephanie Chang (Nominated by Michigan Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence)
• Kenosha Davenport (Nominated by Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault)
• Joan Masters (Nominated by Missouri Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence)
• Candias (Candi) Jones (Nominated by Nebraska Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence)
• Rachelle Pellissier (Nominated by Nevada Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence)
• Senator Jeanne Shaheen (Nominated by New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence)
• Andrea Ritchie (Nominated by New York State Coalition Against Sexual Assault)
• Taller Salud (Nominated by Puerto Rico Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault)
• Alexandria Ruden, Esq (Nominated by Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence)
• Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (Nominated by Day One [Rhode Island])
• Katrina Brown (Nominated by Tennessee Coalition to End Domestic & Sexual Violence)
• Denise George, Esq (Nominated by Virgin Islands Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Council)
• Katie Spriggs (Nominated by West Virginia Foundation for Rape Information and Services)
To learn more about the 2023 Visionary Voice Award recipients, please visit: https://www.nsvrc.org/visionary-voice-awards-2023
ABOUT SEXUAL ASSAULT AWARENESS MONTH
Since 2001, NSVRC has coordinated the national Sexual Assault Awareness Month campaign observed every April. This year’s theme is “Drawing Connections: Prevention Demands Equity.” Join the campaign by accessing free resources at nsvrc.org/saam. Resources are available in Spanish at nsvrc.org/es/saam.