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2012 Visionary Voice Awards

Nominated by the Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (ANDVSA)

P. Susan Mitchell

An assistant district attorney, Susan regularly takes on sexual assault cases for prosecution, validating victim and witness concerns and holding offenders accountable for their actions. Susan believes that holding sex offenders accountable for their actions is integral to promoting safety for individuals and communities. She also serves as a Safe and Fear Free Environment, Inc. (SAFE) board member and believes in SAFE's commitment to ending sexual violence.


Nominated by the Arkansas Coalition Against Sexual Assault (ACASA)

Mary F. Dillard

Chosen three times as one of Arkansas’ top 100 women, Mary served as a consultant and trainer for ACASA’s STOP program for five years and developed many specialized training videos for advocates and law enforcement. She also developed training curricula for law enforcement and advocate workshops to improve investigation response and services for victims/survivors. Mary was also instrumental in helping to create the state attorney general’s Violence Against Women Conference.


Nominated by the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault (CALCASA)

Karen Cooper

Recently deceased, Karen served as the executive director of CALCASA and began working in the field and running her agency in 1990. She grew her agency to a large dual service agency with multiple programs and staff. She was also a key leader in the sexual assault and domestic violence field; her most recent work was as president of the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence (CPEDV).


Nominated by the Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault (CCASA)

Paula Bragg

Paula is the executive director at a community-based sexual assault advocacy center for children and adults. She served as the Director of Victim Services-Thirteenth Judicial District in the district attorney’s office for 19 years, from 1987 to 2006. She oversaw the administration of multiple victim assistance funds, including victim compensation, and served on multiple statewide boards to ensure that victim services in Colorado were well-funded and sustainable. Paula also founded S.A.R.A., Inc. (Sexual Assault Response Advocates), which serves as her community's rape crisis center, child advocacy center and a teen crisis center.

Nominated by Connecticut Sexual Assault Crisis Services (CONNSACS)

Catherine Malloy

For over a decade, from 2001 to 2011, Cathy served as executive director of The Center for Sexual Assault Crisis Counseling and Education. In 2011, she became the first lady of Connecticut. In her position as executive director of The Center, Cathy had a significant impact on every aspect of the nonprofit organization, including adding education as a critical component to The Center’s crisis counseling services. Additionally, she has been an advocate for vulnerable populations at risk of sexual assault, including increasing outreach and services to men.


Nominated by the Guam Coalition Against Sexual Assault and Family Violence

Ann Paro S. Rios, RN, BSN

A psychiatric nurse for nearly a decade, Ann is also a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner, Adults and Adolescents (SANE-A). She performs medical-legal examinations on adult and child victims of sexual assault/abuse and testifies in court as an expert witness. Ann also focuses on training examiner assistants to keep professionals in this field abreast of new developments and best practices in order to ensure that victims/survivors receive the highest standards of care. Ann demonstrates a commitment that ensures victim/survivors are cared for as a whole person.

Nominated by the Indiana Coalition Against Sexual Assault (INCASA)

Abigail Kuzma

As the director and chief counsel of consumer protection in the Indiana Attorney General’s office, Abigail has been instrumental in the work of the Indiana Protection for Abused and Trafficked Humans Task Force (IPATH). The 2012 Super Bowl generated significant interest in Indiana regarding anti-trafficking. Abigail provided training for professionals, helped coordinate local volunteer efforts, worked with the media, NFL, law enforcement, Homeland Security, and many other groups, both national and local, to ensure that Indianapolis and the surrounding areas knew how to respond.


Nominated by the Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault (MECASA)

Kathryn E. McNally Marro

Kate is a board member at Sexual Assault Support Services of Midcoast Maine. Kate has been a leader in seeking systems change related to elder sexual abuse. Thanks to Kate’s work, there have been improvements to mandated reporting law and policy in order to increase the number and timeliness of reports of elder abuse. In addition, a work group was formed to review the Certified Nurse Assistant registry. That group made a long list of recommendations to bar people with certain criminal histories from employment as CNAs.


Nominated by the Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault (MCASA)

Jennie M. Forehand

A member of the Maryland General Assembly for more than 30 years – first in the state house and then in the state senate – Jennie has battled sexual violence throughout her legislative career. She helped to criminalize the secret taping of individuals, require police to force internet service providers to remove child pornography, criminalize the intimidation of witnesses and victims, exclude prior reputation evidence against minors who are sex abuse victims, and allow out-of-court testimony from school principals and vice principals, nurses, social workers, licensed professional counselors and therapists in cases involving physical and sexual child abuse.

Nominated by the Nebraska Domestic Violence Sexual Assault Coalition (NDVSAC)

Marla C. Sohl

From 2004 to 2006, Marla served as the Sexual Violence Program Coordinator for NDVSAC. From 2006 to the present, she has been the Sexual Assault Services Coordinator for Voices of Hope, a local domestic violence and sexual assault program. With Voices of Hope, her primary projects have included direct services with survivors, outreach to campus communities, Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) initiatives, systems advocacy, awareness events, prevention activities, and the training of other organizations.

Nominated by the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence (NHCADSV)

Heather L. Gunnell

Heather is the program director for the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) program for the State of New Hampshire. In this role, she is responsible for the promotion and coordination of the SANE Program in order to provide the best standard of care to sexual assault patients. At her prior position at the Verde Valley Sanctuary in Arizona, a domestic violence advocacy center, she served as the legal advocacy/outreach services director. There she worked to improve systems, increase collaboration among service providers, and provide training and outreach to the community.


Nominated by the New York State Coalition Against Sexual Assault (NYCASA)

Robert Edward Davis

Robert Edward (Bobby) Davis is committed to sharing his story of experiencing child sexual abuse. After confiding in his friend Danielle Roach, the two realized that other children could be at risk for similar abuse, and this encouraged Bobby to come forward. At the time, neither local authorities nor the media followed through on the information they were provided. After the Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse charges became public, Bobby once again began to share his story. Eventually Bobby’s story was aired on ESPN and played a role in the investigation at University.


Nominated by the New York State Coalition Against Sexual Assault (NYSCASA)

Danielle Roach

A close friend of Bobby Davis, Roach offered a sympathetic ear to him years ago as he disclosed his experience of sexual abuse. Danielle’s support helped give Bobby the courage to make his story of abuse public. At the time, neither local authorities nor the media followed through on the information they were provided. Despite these setbacks, Danielle became an active volunteer with the Rape Crisis Center of Syracuse/Vera House.


Nominated by the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape (PCAR)

Sara Ganim

A police reporter with the Harrisburg (Pa.) Patriot-News, Sara helped expose the Jerry Sandusky charges of child sexual abuse. Sara has won the George Polk Award for her work covering the case; her work has also been submitted to the Pulitzer Prize. In addition, the website The Daily Beast named her one of the year’s “150 Fearless Women.” This news coverage contributed to an on-going national dialogue about child sexual abuse and prevention.

Nominated by the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape (PCAR)

David Newhouse

The executive editor of the Harrisburg (Pa.) Patriot-News, Newhouse was named to his current position in 2001. Thanks to his work with reporter Sara Ganim, the Patriot-News became one of the lead media outlets on the Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse case. In March 2012, due to the paper’s reporting on the Sandusky case, Newhouse won the Benjamin Bradlee Editor of the Year Award from the National Press Foundation. This news coverage contributed to an on-going national dialogue about child sexual abuse and prevention.

Nominated by the Tennessee Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence

Sandy Madsen

Involved for more than 17 years with the Sexual Assault Center, Sandy has dedicated countless hours as a volunteer and fundraiser for the agency and for the community of Nashville. Sandy speaks out to the media and any audience that will listen to raise awareness of sexual assault and its effect on victims. Sandy is a role model for men and women as survivor, advocate, volunteer, speaker, and author. She has used her experience of sexual assault to challenge herself and to educate the public about healing from this crime.


Nominated by the Utah Coalition Against Sexual Assault (UCASA)

Greg Skordas

For almost 10 years, Greg has volunteered his time and skills to make sure Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE) in Utah are prepared facing cross examination in a courtroom. Sharing almost 30 years of criminal trial experience, Greg instructs nurses on proper documentation and testifying techniques. Greg is generous with his time and knowledge, as he serves on the Salt Lake Children's Justice Center Advisory Board and the Utah Sexual Violence Council, and provides pro bono legal services to victims served by the Rape Recovery Center.


Nominated by the Vermont Network Against Domestic and Sexual Violence (VNADSV)

Cathleen H. Wilson

Cathleen came to HOPE Works in 2002 as the development director. She stayed in that position for two years and then took the assistant director position in 2004. In December 2005, she took the role of interim executive director and the following February became the permanent executive director. She has served on the HOPE Works Survivors Council and has done many speaking engagements as a survivor herself. As director, she has reorganized her staff, organizational structure, and bought and renovated a building.

Nominated by the Washington State Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs (WCSAP)

Mary Ellen Stone

The executive director of the King County Sexual Assault Resource Center (KCSARC) since 1979, Mary Ellen is a long- standing director and founding mother of the movement in Washington State. She has been an important voice and active contributor in shaping sexual assault prevention, education and victim response in her community and state. Her present board and commission membership includes Sex Offender Policy Board, Mental Illness Drug Dependency Oversight Committee, Seattle Archdiocese Review Board, South King Council of Human Services Board, and the Sentencing Guidelines Commission.


Nominated by the West Virginia Foundation for Rape Information and Services (WVFRIS)

Renee Yokum

Renee began her work at Women’s Aid in Crisis (WAIC) in 2001 as a rape crisis intervention specialist. Her prior work experience was in the health care field, where she came into contact with many patients who were dealing with the effects of sexual victimization. She has also frequently filled the role locally of trainer on issues of sexual violence. In recent years she was named the WAIC's Sexual Assault Services Coordinator, which utilizes her skills as an advocate as well as that of supervisor and mentor to new staff working in the field of sexual violence.