PHIL ARKOW

Internationally acclaimed lecturer, author and educator Phil Arkow is coordinator of the National Link Coalition and editor of the monthly LINK-Letter newspaper. He is a consultant for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the Animals & Society Institute. He chairs the Latham Foundation’s Animal Abuse and Family Violence Prevention Project. He formerly directed Link programs at the American Humane Association, the nation’s oldest federation of child and animal protection organizations.

He co-founded the National Link Coalition, the National Animal Control Association, the Animal Welfare Federation of New Jersey, and the Colorado Federation of Animal Welfare Agencies. He trains internationally on inter-disciplinary topics for animal shelters, child protection agencies, domestic violence programs, adult protective services, law enforcement, judges, and veterinarians.

He is an adjunct faculty member at Harcum College, Bryn Mawr, Pa., and Camden County College, Blackwood, N.J., where he teaches Certificate courses in Animal-Assisted Therapy. He is a teaching assistant for the University of Florida’s distance learning course on Animal Cruelty and Interpersonal Violence, whose curriculum he co-wrote, and has moderated a monthly webinar for the National District Attorneys Association.

A former newspaper reporter and foundation communications officer, Arkow is a prolific writer and trainer. He has conducted over 200 multi-disciplinary lectures internationally and authored and edited 55 key reference books, articles and chapters on the human-animal bond, violence prevention, humane education, animal-assisted therapy, and animal shelter management. He has served with the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Delta Society/Pet Partners, the Council on Foundations, and the American Association of Human-Animal Bond Veterinarians.

 

CHERYL BANKS

Cheryl Banks has worked as a Community Educator on sexual assault and sexual abuse since 1976. She has been the Community Educator/Volunteer Coordinator at the Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Center at Prince George’s Hospital Center since 1992, providing training for police, medical personnel, social workers, attorneys, and many other professionals, as well as hundreds of presentations to elementary, middle and high school students and community members.

Ms. Banks also serves as a consultant to the Montgomery County, MD Department of Health and Human Services Child Welfare Program. Since 1989, she has worked with Montgomery County Child Welfare Services to develop programs and trainings for child care providers, teachers, guidance counselors, clergy and other professional organizations on child abuse and neglect. She coordinates “Child Abuse Prevention Month” and has given extensive interviews on radio and television.   In addition, Ms. Banks works with the Montgomery County Victim Assistance and Sexual Assault Program to develop trainings and presentations on sexual assault and acquaintance rape. Over the past twenty years, she has successfully delivered over 3,500 sexual assault prevention presentations to nearly 100,000 high school and college students.

She has a B.S. in Education from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio.


HON. RICHARD BARAJAS

Chief Justice Richard Barajas (Ret.), is a 1971 graduate of Cathedral High School in El Paso, Texas. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from Baylor University in Waco, Texas in 1974. In 1977, he received his Juris Doctor from the Baylor School of Law and was admitted to the State Bar of Texas that same year. He served in the United States Naval Judge Advocate General’s Corps as a legislative attorney on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. In 1988 he was elected District Attorney for the 83rd Judicial District of Texas and in 1991 he was appointed by the governor of Texas to the Eighth District Court of Appeals in El Paso. On January 1, 1994 he was appointed Chief Justice. He retired from elected judicial service and took the non-elected status of senior justice in August 2006. He is currently assigned to the Eighth District Court of Appeals.

Chief Justice Barajas is a former member of the National Judicial College in Reno, Nevada, where he was an instructor on the use of information technology. He served as a designer of the State of Texas Judicial Commission on Information Technology and as the original Chair of the Appellate Court Technology Committee. In addition, he has served on the board of the National Organization for Victims Assistance, an organization which provides national advocacy for victims of crime, direct services those crime victims when not otherwise available, and assistance to professional colleagues. He serves as the national Chair of the NOVA Task Force on Identity Theft, a task force to examine the effects of victimization of identity theft and services which may be afforded those crime victims. A nationally recognized lecturer on the proper balancing of the constitutional rights between the criminal defendant and the intended victim, Chief Justice Barajas was honored by the President of the United States at a White House ceremony as a national recipient of the Presidential Award for Victim Services. In addition, he is a frequent lecturer on topics relating to judicial ethics, educational leadership and mentoring, the applicability of federal constitutional protections to the parochial school setting, the separation of church and state (as it relates to the issue of school vouchers), and various aspects of educational management and technology.

Since his retirement from elected judicial service, Chief Justice Barajas has moved into academia where he currently as the Director, Center for Advanced Studies at his alma mater, Cathedral High School. He is an instructor of Political Science, teaching both GOVT 2305 American Government and Politics, and GOVT 2306 State and Local Government. In addition, he is an instructor of Education, teaching EDUC 1300, Mastering Academic Excellence, CRIJ 1310, Fundamentals of Criminal Law. His course entitled Principles of Victimology, Legal and Social Aspects of Victimization has been critically acclaimed. Unique to a secondary school level in the United States, the covers contemporary developments in the field of victimology, its conceptual boundaries, its basic concepts and literature, its subfields and role as a field of study within criminology and criminal justice.


MICHELLE CRUZ

Attorney Cruz is a graduate of the University of Connecticut, School of Law, holds a Bachelor’s degree from Mount Holyoke College and an Associate Degree in the Administration of Justice. She served as an Assistant District Attorney in Massachusetts and where she specialized in prosecuting crimes involving victims such as sexual assault, child abuse and domestic violence.

In 2007 she was appointed by Governor M. Jodi Rell as the State Victim Advocate where she ran the state’s victims’ rights enforcement agency. She worked to improve the field of domestic violence, drafting several investigative reports which led to sweeping changes to the state’s response to domestic violence. She advocated for laws that enhanced the rights of crime victims, and shed light on flaws with the RREC program. She argued numerous motions on behalf of CT crime victims, including successfully arguing for the surviving family member of the Cheshire CT triple homicide, Dr. William Petit, to attend the entire capital murder trial.

She is currently a Lecturer at Law at the University of CT, School of Law, and serves as an Adjunct Bay Path College. She has published numerous articles and has made numerous media appearances both on radio and television. Attorney Cruz’s column, “Truth Serum”, appears regularly in the CT Law Tribune. She has a private practice in Hartford, serving clients in MA and CT.


REV. ROBERT DENTON

Executive Director, Safety Forces Chaplaincy Center
Director Emeritus of the Victim Assistance Program
Adjunct Professor of Sociology, The University of Akron

Dr. Denton earned his B.A. Degree in Philosophy & Religion from Asbury College (1965)
M.A. in Theology from Wheaton Graduate School of Theology (1967)
Ph.D., Social Welfare, Case Western Reserve University (1979).
Graduate of the Akron Police Department Academy (1970) and sworn officer (#5837)

Dr. Denton is Executive Director Emeritus (1972-2012/2013) of the Victim Assistance Program and Executive Director of the Furnace Street Mission, from which the program grew. The Furnace Street Mission is an historic social ministry begun in Akron Ohio in 1926 to serve the material and spiritual needs of the public. Dr. Denton began his administrative role with the agency in 1967.

A 1970 graduate from the Akron Police Academy and he holds a commission as a sworn officer with the Akron Police Department where he also serves as joint Chaplain to the Akron Fire Department. He is Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy certified to teach Crisis Intervention, Domestic Violence, Victim Rights Laws, Community Relations and firearms pistol instruction. In 2007 he provided five-hour blocks of mandatory victim service training to more than a thousand officers in Ohio. Each year he logs more than 1000 hours of law enforcement work ranging from counseling and debriefings to Patrol and Training Bureau. He maintains his state mandated trainings including firearm qualifications. He currently has established a confidential counseling center for all police and fire safety personnel in Summit County in conjunction with law enforcement leadership. In 2010 he co-created an all day course for police and law enforcement chaplains with the Ohio Police Officer Training Academy focusing on officer PTSD, Suicide, Line of Duty Deaths and Ethics.

He is an ordained minister and a Licensed Independent Social Worker under the state of Ohio. He has been a member of the Ohio Attorney General’s Victim Assistance Board which dispenses VOCA and SVAA funds across the state since its inceptionin 1985. He received the Marjory Fry award for outstanding Victim Advocate from the National Organization for Victim Assistance in 1989 and in 1994 he was honored as an Outstanding Victim Advocate by the U.S. Attorney General and President Clinton. He was centrally instrumental in obtaining legislation which created Ohio’s Victim Reparation Program and extended mandated Victim impact Statements to Juvenile Courts.

Dr. Denton was one of the founders of Summit County’s Victim Assistance Program – one of the first in the nation (1972) which annually works with between 15,000 and 20,000 people. It is law enforcement based out of the Akron Police Department, Barberton Police Department and the Summit County Sheriff’s Department. It celebrated its fortieth anniversary in 2012. Staff are also embedded in various court and social service organizations on a collaborative basis.  It works with the Off-Campus Affairs office on a cooperative basis to address victimization in areas adjacent to the campus. The program has grown under his direction to 17 full and part-time staff providing crisis intervention on a first responder basis from crime scene to follow up accompaniment and counseling throughout the criminal justice system and aftermath. Staff are augmented each semester with between 10 and 20 undergraduate and graduate field placements primarily from the University of Akron and Kent State University. It serves all victims of violent crime, vehicular homicides and is the only organization which provides on-scene intervention on suicides. Six staff are NOVA trained crisis interveners and provide emergency crisis interventions (defusings through post-trauma and group crisis intervention) in the aftermath of high trauma incidents. Six are cross-trained in both the NOVA and CISM models. Dr. Denton is cross trained in NOVA, CISM and Psychological First Aid models. He serves as clinician for the joint departmental ASSIST 77 Critical Incident Stress Management Team serving across Summit County. Dr. Denton assumed Emeritus status in December, 2012 and moved to the full time Executive Position of the Safety Forces Chaplaincy Center January 1, 2013.

Dr. Denton was Founding President of the National Organization for Victim Assistance in Washington D.C., a member of the National Crisis Team and a member of the Justice Department funded revision of the National Community Crisis Response training curriculum. He was re-elected President of the NOVA Board in 2008 and served as such at its 35th Anniversary in Scottsdale AZ., August, 2009. He has been team leader of national crisis responses to the Oklahoma City Bombing, Hurricane Andrew, the Arkansas’ Tornados, the Lucasville riot, the Gainesville murders, the Radcliff, Kentucky Bus Crash, the Palm Bay Fla. massacre, National Liaison at Columbine High School, and New York City in the wake of the World Trade Center attack. He has also served on the crisis teams which intervened at Old Miss (Chi Omega deaths), Milwaukee (Dahmer killings), Mount Pleasant Iowa (killing of mayor and wounding of city council members) and Levittown GM Plant (loss of engineering staff in airline crash).

Dr. Denton began teaching in the Sociology Department at the University of Akron in 1972. He was promoted to Adjunct Assistant Professor in 1986 and Adjunct Professor in 1996. He created and teaches the Victim in Society course (1976 – 2013) for the Sociology Department and obtained its adoption on the University’s curriculum. He also periodically teaches the course on rural sociology, Rednecks and Golden Ghettos. He created and teaches the Crisis Intervention, Advanced Crisis Intervention courses, Disaster Intervention course, and the Intervention Models at the graduate (MSW) level in the Department of Social Work. All three classes are upper division/graduate level courses. He was one of three faculty who instituted the interdisciplinary Certificate in Victim Studies at the University and was centrally instrumental in obtaining the Justice Department’s Oral History of the Victim Movement for the University Archive.


KENYA FAIRLEY

Kenya Fairleyhas been an advocate to end domestic and sexual violence against women and girls for over a decade. As Senior Director of Capacity Building and Education for the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence (www.nrcdv.org), Kenya oversees the technical assistance, training, and resource development components of the organization, including its online presence and social media engagement. She also coordinates the National Domestic Violence Awareness Project (www.nrcdv.org/dvam) and the Runaway & Homeless Youth and Relationship Violence Toolkit (www.nrcdv.org/rhydvtoolkit), and co-facilitates national training on elder abuse with the National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life (www.ncall.us).

Kenya’s background is in direct services, training, child welfare, and leadership development. She holds a Master of Science degree in Counselor Education from East Carolina University and a Bachelor of Arts degree cum laude in Psychology from North Carolina Central University (NCCU). In 2012, NCCU honored her distinguished work in the anti-violence movement as a “40 Under 40 Inaugural Honoree” and award recipient.

 

MICHELLE GARCIA, MPP

Ms. Garcia joined the Stalking Resource Center at the National Center for Victims of Crime in April 2006 and has served as the Director of the Stalking Resource Center since October 2006. The mission of the Stalking Resource Center is to enhance the ability of professionals, organizations, and systems to effectively respond to stalking. The Stalking Resource Center envisions a future in which the criminal justice system and its many allied community partners will effectively collaborate and respond to stalking, improve victim safety and well- being, and hold offenders accountable.

Prior to joining the National Center, Michelle was a Program Specialist with the U.S. Department of Justice Office for Victims of Crime. For twenty years, she has worked with victims of stalking, sexual assault, and domestic violence in both rural and urban settings and advocated for victims’ rights on a local, state, and national level. Michelle is a former President of the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault and a former President of the National Coalition Against Sexual Assault.

Michelle has trained internationally on various topics, including stalking, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and dismantling oppression. Michelle received her Master of Public Policy degree from the University of Chicago.

 

MARGARET (MEG) GARVIN 

Meg Garvin, M.A., J.D., is the executive director of the National Crime Victim Law Institute (NCVLI) and a clinical professor of law at Lewis & Clark Law School.  Ms. Garvin is recognized as a leading expert on victims’ rights.  She has testified before Congress and the Oregon Legislature on the current state of victim law.

Ms. Garvin serves on the Legislative & Public Policy Committee of the Oregon Attorney General’s Sexual Assault Task Force, co-chairs the Oregon Attorney General’s Crime Victims’ Rights Task Force, and is a Board member of the Citizens’ Crime Commission.  She previously served as co-chair of the American Bar Association’s Criminal Justice Section Victims Committee, and as a member of the board of directors for the National Organization of Victim Assistance.  She is the recipient of the 2012 Crime Victims First-Stewart Family Outstanding Community Service Award.

Prior to joining NCVLI, Ms. Garvin practiced law in Minneapolis, Minnesota and clerked for the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Puget Sound, her Master of Arts degree in communication studies from the University of Iowa, and her J.D. from the University of Minnesota.

 

JAMES GIERKE

James Gierke has been a Victim Advocate and Crisis Responder for more than 11 years. He has worked with victims of all types of crimes including sexual assaults, domestic violence and identity theft. During the span of his career, he has worked with numerous of victims on crime scenes and in the wake of major disasters.

In addition to his work in crisis intervention, he has led Prosecution based Domestic Violence Court Advocacy teams and managed several victim services focused programs. James is the Director of Victim Services for the National Organization for Victim Assistance.

 

BARBARA KENDALL

Barbara Kendall has been involved with victim services and rights for over thirty years, having worked with government and non-profit organizations as program developer, manager, and advocate. She is Training Coordinator at NOVA from 2001 – 2011 and 2013 to the present.

Her commitment to victims’ rights has extended over many years. She was instrumental in the passage of Colorado’s Victim Compensation legislation, Colorado’s Victims’ Bill of Rights, and Colorado’s Constitutional Amendment for Victims’ Rights. She was a NOVA board member for many years and a previous NOVA president. She also served on the board of the National Association for Crime Victim Compensation Boards as well as co-chair of the sub-committee on Native Americans and Compensation. She was a founder of the Colorado Organization for Victim Assistance (COVA), serving as board member and its president. She is vice-chair of Colorado’s Crime Victim Services Advisory Board and chair of the Grants Sub-committee.

During her professional career, Barbara has participated in program development for local community crisis response, violence prevention, and juvenile diversion. She is an experienced grant writer with public and private grantors. She previously worked as Resource Development Director for a non-profit agency that serves youth at risk. She is a former English and Social Studies teacher.

She has trained locally and nationally. She also has participated on local, national, and international crisis response teams, including South Florida after Hurricane Andrew; Kobe, Japan after the earthquake; and New York City after September 11th; she also assisted evacuees in Denver after Hurricane Katrina. For NOVA, she responded to Tucson, AZ, in the aftermath of the shooting in 2011.

Barbara is an on-call victim advocate for the Boulder Police Department. She previously was the coordinator of Boulder’s Victim Witness Assistance Program and worked for the District Attorney’s office for 18 years.

 

CINDY KUHR 

Cindy Kuhr has worked in the field with crime victims for approximately 28 years. She currently provides direct services as a victim specialist for child /adult victims with BCI&I as an Independent Consultant. Cindy has served as a child abuse investigator and on a statewide child abuse rapid response team. She has served as a child abuse prevention specialist and investigator for the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities, as Director of Direct services for the Ohio Victim Witness Association and is Co – founder of the Ohio Crisis Response Team. She also worked in a forensic unit for 4 years that was responsible for identification of unidentified bodies.

Cindy serves as a SME (subject matter expert) for the Ohio Peace officer training academy on multiple topics. She is the founder of the UROK institute and learning center. Cindy has developed a curriculum for first responders as well as other populations working within the criminal justice system and health care fields. This curriculum addresses issues that this population faces during emotional exposure to work situations.

Cindy holds a B.A. in Social Work from Wright State University and a M.ED in Counseling from University of Dayton. She is an L.S.W with the State of Ohio.

 

TONIA LAKE

Tonia Lake is the Training and Technical Assistance Director at the Ohio Domestic Violence Network. In her current position, she assists domestic violence programs around the state by providing on-site training and consultation for a variety of programming needs. Tonia began her career at ODVN as the Outreach Coordinator to Underserved Populations, in which she worked with domestic violence programs and allied professionals to become more inclusive and culturally competent in their practices and policies. Tonia is a co-facilitator for ODVN’s statewide trainings and trains a wide variety of professionals concerning domestic violence and related issues.   Tonia is responsible for convening the Legal Advocacy Caucus and the Women of Color Caucus.

 

Before coming to ODVN, Tonia had worked in the social services field for 14 years. Her experience includes working with adolescents in residential treatment, homeless families, families involved with child protective services and supervising an alcohol and drug treatment program. Tonia also has experience in facilitating life skill classes, such as parenting, family alcohol and drug education, anger management and women’s empowerment.   Tonia is a certified trainer for the Ohio Violence Prevention Process.

 

MICHELLE NEIL

Michelle Neil is currently the Senior Advocate in the Juvenile Unit of the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office. Mrs. Neil began her career in the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office in 2003 as a Victim Witness Coordinator. As part of her duties, she handles cases that involve assaults, burglary, robbery, motor vehicle theft and sexual assaults.

In her ten years with the office, Mrs. Neil has provided supervision and training to interns and victim/witness coordinators, while also providing training to prosecutors, on the operation of the juvenile justice system; explaining the progression of a case, key personnel involved in each stage of a case, and overview of the duties of the victim/witness coordinators assigned to the Juvenile Unit.

In 2012, Mrs. Neil was re-elected to serve as Co-chair for the Philadelphia Coalition for Victims Advocacy (PCVA), a position she previously held from September 2009 to July 2011. PCVA is a membership organization that is made up of individuals from various victim assistance programs, whose goal is to provide advocacy and assistance to victims and witnesses in the City of Philadelphia. In addition, Mrs. Neil has also served as the Co-chair for the 37th Annual National Organization for Victim Assistance (NOVA) conference held in Philadelphia Pennsylvania in 2011.

Since 2011, she has served as a Panelist for the 24th Police District Youth Aid Panel.   This program gives first time juvenile offenders the option of appearing before a panel of community volunteers rather than entering the juvenile court system. She also trains individuals to sit on one of the thirty-one Youth Aid Panel, which exist throughout the Philadelphia region.

In 2011, Mrs. Neil received The 2011 Excellence in Victim Services Award from the Honorable R. Seth Williams, District Attorney of Philadelphia.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from Temple University and a Master’s of Theological Studies from Palmer Theological Seminary.

Mrs. Neil is a member of the Helen O. Dickens Auxiliary, the Pan African Summit and Team Jamaica Bickle- Philadelphia.

 

DR. WILL MARLING

Will Marling is the Executive Director of the National Organization for Victim Assistance (NOVA), Alexandria, Virginia. As the nation’s oldest national 501(c)(3) victim assistance organization of its kind in the nation, NOVA’s mission is to champion dignity and compassion for those harmed by crime and crisis.

Under his leadership, NOVA has expanded its commitment and capacity to provide training to advocates and crisis responders as well as promoting victims’ rights for those harmed by crime and crisis. This includes enlarging the commitment for advocacy standards beyond the civilian National Advocate Credentialing Program to the Department of Defense Sexual Assault Advocate Certification Program.  Marling’s skill-based expertise includes the intersection of cyber crime with other forms of harm and violent victimization.

Will Marling is an Ohio native who earned his undergraduate degree in 1986. He went on to complete graduate and post-graduate degrees, 1989 and 1997 respectively, with spiritual, anthropological and cultural frameworks.   His formal introduction into the world of victim assistance and crisis intervention began in 1990 when he started working with local law enforcement in Columbus, OH serving officers and the community. In 2000 he was trained by NOVA and brought that added dimension of development to his skill set and experience base in responding to people in crisis. Beyond deploying to local incidents, his praxis has been informed as a responder to a variety of national and international events that included violent crimes, human error and natural disasters. Dr. Marling was appointed to Executive Director of NOVA in July 2007.


COLLEN PHELAN

Colleen Phelan has been working as an advocate for over 8 years. For 3 years she volunteered after-hours as a Sexual Assault Resource Service (SARS) Advocate for the Southern Arizona Center Against Sexual Assault (SACASA). Joining the fulltime staff of SACASA in 2008, she worked as the Crisis Advocate Coordinator managing and training advocates for the 24-hour crisis line and SARS hospital response program.

Currently a Victim Advocate for the Pima County Attorney’s office working in the Special Victims Unit, she also works with victims of domestic violence. Additionally, she is a Courthouse Dog Handler for Blake, one of the Pima County Courthouse Dogs.

Ms. Phelan is the past Secretary of the Arizona Coalition for Victim Services. She has conducted trainings at local, statewide and national trainings on a variety of topics including sexual violence and vicarious trauma.

 

CLAIRE PONDER SELIB

Claire Ponder Selib has worked in sexual assault and domestic violence prevention for the past 15 years. Most recently, Claire served as NOVA’s Program Manager for the Department of Defense Sexual Assault Advocate Certification Program (D-SAACP), where she worked closely with the DoD to review, approve and certify over 20,000 military Victim Advocates (VAs) and Sexual Assault Response Coordinators (SARCs).

Prior to joining NOVA, Claire served for over 5 years as Serco’s Project Manager for the Army’s Victim Advocacy and Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Contract; managing a staff of 164 VAs and SARCs at 56 Army installations around the world. In this role, Claire collaborated with the Department of Army to design and develop program guidance, training curricula and marketing materials, including the Army’s Domestic Violence Awareness Month Toolkit (2011), the Army’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month Toolkit (2008), the Army’s Unit Victim Advocate/Deployable SARC Training Support Packages (2005-2006), and multiple Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) related to records management, sexual assault review boards and sexual assault prevention. In addition to her work with the Army, Claire served as Serco’s Technical Advisor to DoD when it stood up the SAPR Program in 2005. In this capacity, Claire worked closely with the Joint Task Force on Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (JTF-SAPR) to design the initial SARC Training Curriculum and coordinate training for over 1,000 SARCs Service-wide.

Claire has previously held the following positions: Sexual Assault Therapist at Prince George’s Sexual Assault Center; Project Manager at the Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence; and Project Manager on Family Violence and Animal Cruelty at the Humane Society of the United States. For the past several years, she has served as an Independent Grant Reviewer for the District of Columbia’s Office of Victim Services’ Crime Victims Assistance Grant Program (VOCA) and DC’s Victim Assistance Fund (VAC).

Claire holds a Bachelor’s degree from Columbia University and a Master’s of Social Work degree from University of Pennsylvania.

RACHEL RAMIREZ

Rachel Ramirez is the Training Coordinator for the Ohio Domestic Violence Network (ODVN). She began her work in the domestic violence movement nine years ago at a large domestic violence organization in Florida as a bilingual shelter advocate and a bilingual children’s case manager. After relocating to Ohio, Rachel coordinated the Ohio Hispanic Coalition’s domestic violence program for Spanish speakers, and worked with the Ohio Department of Health’s Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Prevention Program, focusing on issues relating to domestic violence, sexual assault, and mental health.

Since 2007, Rachel has been ODVN’s training coordinator, and has presented to hundreds of groups on multiple topics related to domestic violence, In addition, Rachel co-authored Trauma-Informed Care: Protocols and Best Practices for Ohio’s Domestic Violence Programs and has trained extensively on trauma both within Ohio and an across the country.

Fluent in Spanish, Rachel has her MA in Latin American Studies, her MSW from the Ohio State University, and is a licensed independent social worker.


MARY VAIL WARE

Mary Vail Ware has been the Director of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund (CICF) since February 2001. The Fund assists victims of violent crimes with out of pocket expenses associated with the crime. CICF is a multi-million dollar special purpose fund financed by state and federal court fees. As Director, Ms. Ware approves all awards and denials, supervises staff, promotes the Fund across the Commonwealth, works with allied professionals (police, victim-witness, Commonwealth’s Attorneys, court clerks), develops public awareness materials, and develops and implements CICF policies and procedures. In 2008, CICF proactively took on payment of all Sexual Assault Forensic Examinations (SAFE) in the Commonwealth to ensure compliance with federal regulations. Ms. Ware spearheaded this transition and worked as a part of a multi-disciplinary coalition to develop model polices regarding SAFE.

Ms. Ware responded to the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon, the Virginia sniper attacks, the 4/16 shooting at Virginia Tech, as well as other mass casualty incidents. Ms. Ware recently authored first in the nation legislation requiring all Virginia emergency plans to include methods to protect the rights of victims of crime. Ms. Ware works closely with the Virginia Department of Emergency Management to address crime victim’s needs in the context of emergency planning.

Ms. Ware is on the steering committee for the Virginia Victim Assistance Academy and paved the way for CICF to provide a steady source of funding for this important endeavor. She served as a member of the Governor’s Commission on Sexual Violence and is a current appointee of the Governor’s Domestic Violence Prevention and Response Advisory Board.

In addition to regularly providing training to allied professionals, Ms. Ware has served as instructional staff at two OVC Mass Casualty Conferences and provides instruction on response for Virginia’s Emergency Management Department. She also provided strategic planning facilitation to: the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission, the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health, the Southern Association of Workers’ Compensation Administrators, and the International Association of Industrial Accident Boards and Commissions.

Prior to joining the Fund, Ms. Ware was the Executive Director of Quin Rivers Agency for Community Action, Inc., a non-profit that serves five rural counties in central Virginia. In that capacity, Ms. Ware led an agency with sixty staff serving 3,000 citizens annually.

Ms. Ware has been legislative staff to the Virginia Commission on Family Violence Prevention, and Director of Public Affairs for Spanos Consulting. Ms. Ware earned both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Social Work from Virginia Commonwealth University where she has served as a Field Instructor.

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