Becky Blasingame, a survivor of domestic violence, has more than 24 years' experience conducting statewide domestic violence trainings for law enforcement agencies, criminal justice agencies, family violence organizations, and colleges/universities. She previously worked as director of victim services for Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse, where she supervised staff, conducted phone and face-to-face intakes for victims, accompanied clients to court, and co-facilitated batter intervention groups. She now runs a weekly domestic violence women's support group.
Previously, Becky worked at Northwest Assistance Ministries Family Violence Center as legal advocate/program director for five years, and as director of the Texas Victims Program and facilitator of the Batterers Intervention Program for Focusing Families for two and a half years. Becky has conducted support groups in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice women's prison system and in the Houston area parole offices for domestic violence/sexual assault victims.
Becky worked with Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV) in 1987, testifying to change laws and hold batterers accountable for their actions. She also reviewed Senate Concurrent Resolution 26 cases after Governor Ann Richards signed it into law. These were cases where boys, girls, men, and women were in prison because of crimes they had committed while in domestic violence abuse situations.
Becky is a member of the TCFV, the Texas Victims Services Association, and the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. She received the Toby Myers Statewide Leadership Award in 1997 from TCFV and the Carol S. Vance Governor's Volunteer of the Year Award in 1998 from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
Suzanne Groisser is the coordinator of legal services for the Rachel Coalition, a nonprofit domestic violence service agency in Metrowest, N.J., where she has worked since 2003. She provides direct representation to clients in family court and domestic violence training for pro bono attorneys, court staff, DYFS Workers, health care providers, and advocate volunteers.
Suzanne is a graduate of Harvard Law School, where she co-founded the Harvard Battered Women's Advocacy Project. From 1991-97, she served as an assistant district attorney in the Manhattan District Attorney's Office. She frequently lectures about domestic violence and the law, and has also written several articles on the topic. Suzanne is an active member of the New Jersey Essex County Domestic Violence Working Group.
Casey Gwinn, J.D., serves as the president of the Family Justice Center Alliance. He has been recognized by The American Lawyer magazine as one of the top 45 public lawyers in America. Casey served as the elected city attorney of San Diego from 1996-2004.
Prior to entering elected office, he co-founded the San Diego Task Force on Domestic Violence in 1986. and founded the San Diego Domestic Violence Council in 1991. In 1993, the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges recognized the City Attorney's Child Abuse and Domestic Violence Unit, which Casey founded and led from 1986-96, as the model domestic violence prosecution unit in the nation. San Diego now has the lowest domestic violence homicide rate of any major city in the nation.
In 2002, Casey saw his vision of a comprehensive, "one-stop shop" for services to victims of family violence become a reality in San Diego. In partnership with former San Diego Police Chief David Bejarano and current Chief Bill Lansdowne, he led the effort to open the nationally acclaimed San Diego Family Justice Center. In October 2003, President George W. Bush announced a national initiative to begin creating Family Justice Centers across the country and asked Casey to provide leadership to the effort. Casey currently oversees a national technical assistance team that supports all existing and developing family justice centers in the United States and around the world.
Casey has served on the U.S. Attorney General's National Advisory Committee on Violence Against Women and the American Bar Association Commission on Domestic Violence. He has received many local and national awards, including the San Diego Domestic Violence Council's Lifetime Achievement Award, the Women's International Living Legacy Award, and the Avon Foundation's Community Advocate of the Year Award.
Anne Menard is an activist who has worked on policy, practice, and research issues affecting domestic violence and sexual assault survivors since the mid-70s, with a particular focus on survivor-defined advocacy and public policy affecting women and their families, especially those living in poverty. After serving as a senior consultant to the Family Violence Prevention and Services Program of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services during 2005, she returned as director of the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence (NRCDV), a position she previously held from 1994-99. Prior to this national-level work, Ms. Menard led the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence for more than six years, and, in the early 1980s, co-directed Connecticut's largest domestic violence shelter and was actively involved in grassroots sexual assault advocacy.
Kelly Miller has worked to end violence against women and girls for more than 30 years. She is currently executive director of the Idaho Coalition Against Sexual & Domestic Violence, a statewide nonprofit coalition engaging voices to create change in the prevention, intervention, and response to domestic violence, dating abuse, stalking, and sexual assault.
Kelly also oversees the Center for Healthy Teen Relationships and Start Strong Idaho, both statewide projects promoting healthy teen relationships as a way to reduce adolescent dating abuse and sexual assault. She's been a trainer at national conferences on the prevention of adolescent dating abuse, and she's worked on survivor-centered trauma services for the Office on Violence Against Women and the National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma & Mental Health. Kelly has also worked in the area of disability rights and specialized in federal litigation protecting the constitutional rights of adults with intellectual disabilities.
Before joining the Idaho Coalition, Kelly represented girls and women who were victims of domestic violence, dating abuse, and sexual assault, as well as individuals with disabilities as an attorney with Legal Aid Society, an assistant prosecutor in a felony domestic violence/sexual assault unit in Louisville, Ky., and as deputy director with Idaho Legal Aid Services.
Mary O'Doherty runs the Kentucky Domestic Violence Association's Economic Justice Project. The project was named a model program by the U.S. Office of Community Services Assets for Independence Program in 2011. She's a consultant to the Building Assets for Survivors of Domestic Violence Initiative, a U.S. Office of Community Services-funded effort.
Mary directs the Kentucky Asset Success Initiative, a statewide effort to increase the number of eligible Kentuckians claiming the earned income tax credit. The project served more than 11,500 low-income tax filers and returned $16.9 million to their communities in 2012. She also coordinated the development of KDVA Homes, 48 permanent supportive housing units financed with tax credits and other federal funding sources. The project earned the Kentucky Housing Corporation's nonprofit organization award in October 2011. Ms. O'Doherty joined the nonprofit world 10 years ago after a 17-year career as a newspaper reporter and editor.
Kalyn Risker is the founder and executive director of Sisters Acquiring Financial Empowerment (SAFE). She is a human resources professional with more than 10 years' experience in recruitment, retention, compliance, compensation, payroll, and benefits administration.
Kalyn is a survivor of domestic violence, and from her professional and personal experiences founded SAFE in May 2006. She is a sought-after national speaker on economic strategies for survivors of domestic violence for local, state, and national conferences.
SAFE was founded to equip survivors of domestic violence with the appropriate financial tools and resources needed to leave or recover from economic abuse. SAFE has sponsored and participated in numerous awareness outreach initiatives. SAFE's signature annual free events, SAFE's Health & Wealth Expo and SAFE's O.P.E.N. for Business Micro-entrepreneurship Conference for Survivors of Domestic Violence have provided resources and information to over 1,350 community members.
Through Kalyn's leadership, SAFE has an accomplished background of actively providing economic empowerment and access to community resources directly to survivors of domestic violence in Detroit. She and SAFE have received multiple honors and awards, including the 2009 National Network to End Domestic Violence's (NNEDV) "Spirit of Advocacy Award."