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Joanne Archambault
Sergeant Joanne Archambault (Retired, San Diego Police Department) is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer for End Violence Against Women International (EVAWI), America’s leading nonprofit organization dedicated to improving criminal justice responses to sexual assault. Since its inception in 2003, EVAWI has received more than $8.9 million in public and private funding, and provided training and technical assistance to tens of thousands of professionals. In 2018 alone, 3,200 professionals completed a total of 8,241 modules in the OnLine Training Institute (OLTI), racking up 69,945 hours of training. That same year, EVAWI’s website had nearly 7.6 million page views, with a total of 359,829 resources downloaded, an average of almost 1,000 per day.

In April 2010, Sgt. Archambault was honored by US Attorney General Eric Holder for her decades of service on behalf of sexual assault victims, with a prestigious National Crime Victims' Service Award for Allied Professionals. On October 27, 2010, Sgt. Archambault was invited to meet with President Obama and Vice President Biden for the first assembly on violence against women to ever be held at the White House. In October of 2015, Sgt. Archambault was again invited to the White House by Vice President Biden to sit on a panel of law enforcement leaders tasked with addressing gender bias in policing.

Prior to founding EVAWI, Sgt. Archambault worked for the San Diego Police Department (SDPD) for almost 23 years, before retiring in 2002. From 1985 to 1988, she served as a Detective in the Child Abuse Unit, where she developed the first curriculum for the investigation of child abuse for the San Diego Police and Reserve Academy. Other assignments included Internal Affairs, the Office of Equal Employment Opportunity, Patrol, Crimes Against Persons and Gangs. In 1991, she revamped the sexual assault curriculum at the San Diego Regional Law Enforcement Academy. During the last ten years of her service, Sgt. Archambault supervised the Sex Crimes Unit, which had 13 detectives responsible for investigating approximately 1,000 felony sexual assaults within the City of San Diego each year.

Throughout her career, Sgt. Archambault has worked tirelessly to improve criminal justice and community responses to sexual assault. For example, she authored or co-authored hundreds of reports, articles, chapters, and training materials of various kinds, including the first national training curriculum for sexual assault investigation produced by the National Center for Women & Policing. To enhance this work, she produced a series of training videos in 2001 entitled, Sexual Assault Training and Investigations: The Preliminary Response. She also served for five years as co-editor of the Sexual Assault Report, a bimonthly publication of the Civic Research Institute.

Sgt. Archambault has provided training for tens of thousands of practitioners, policymakers and others – across the country and around the world. She has also been instrumental in creating system-level change through individual contacts, as well as policy initiatives and recommendations for best practice. The impact of this work is multiplied with contributions to advisory boards, such as Peace Corps, the National Institute of Justice, Department of Defense, the Office on Violence Against Women, American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the STOP Violence Against Women Grants Technical Assistance Project, the American Prosecutor’s Research Institute and the International Association of Chiefs of Police. She supervised and consulted on research projects designed to create new knowledge, and she serves as a founding member of CounterQuo, a national initiative that seeks to challenge and change media and legal responses to sexual violence.

Despite all her efforts, Sgt. Archambault has long recognized that professional responses will not matter if victims are met with skeptical responses from professionals as well as friends and loved ones. In 2011, she therefore achieved a dream first envisioned while working in the SDPD Child Abuse Unit in 1985: the launch of Start by Believing, a public awareness campaign designed to transform the way we as a society respond to victims of child abuse and sexual violence. With campaigns now taking hold in countless states and communities, this vision is becoming a reality as we are closer to becoming the first Start by Believing Nation, changing the world for victims, one response at a time.

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