EVAWI’s Visionary Award is designed to recognize individuals for their vision and leadership in ending violence against women. Recipients are thus honored for their individual vision and dedication, rather than the work of an organization. The award is given to an individual who has advanced the field through research or practice, which has increased public awareness of the problem of violence against women and improved the response of criminal justice and community systems. Recipients of the Visionary Award must have victim sensitivity and offender accountability at the center of their professional mission, and they must have demonstrated a willingness to face existing problems and gaps in service and respond by designing, implementing, and evaluating innovative solutions. Because this type of vision, leadership, and innovation is likely to have its detractors – both within society and in the professional disciplines — the award is designed to recognize the courage of recipients to challenge conventional wisdom and assume the personal and professional risks involved in pursuing these goals.
This award is given to professionals whose work has significantly influenced their community’s response to violence against women. Individuals receiving this award are recognized for their passionate engagement, heartfelt commitment, and tireless dedication to the cause. They know that the only way to create real and lasting change is to work collaboratively with other professionals in their community. Yet this can be difficult and frustrating work, requiring a high level of sustained energy and interpersonal skills. It clearly takes a toll on the personal, professional, and emotional lives of recipients. This work can be particularly challenging because the efforts of award recipients may not be valued within their agency or community, and may not be rewarded within their professional discipline. The professional impact of award recipients is thus a testament to their personal character. Because of their work, victims in their communities are more likely to receive the compassionate support and competent services they deserve, and perpetrators are more likely to be held accountable for their crimes. This award honors the legacy of their professional impact, within their communities and beyond.
This award is given to journalists or other representatives of the media whose work achieves the highest standards of excellence in addressing the issues of violence against women. Accomplishing this goal requires pursuing the facts diligently to ensure that they accurately portray the real-world dynamics of violence against women, and the personal experiences of those whose lives are devastated by sexual assault, interpersonal violence, and stalking. Because the issues are complex, and often misunderstood by professionals and the public alike, representatives of the media who strive to “get the story right” often face an uphill battle of generating interest in the topic, sustaining support to follow it through, and reaching a wide and diverse audience with the information. Those who truly create a lasting impact then push beyond the “story,” to work collaboratively with professionals in their community who serve the needs of victims and pursue offender accountability. Because their work can alter the landscape of societal attitudes toward women, award recipients have the potential to truly change the world — by helping to prevent violence against women and respond appropriately when it does occur.
This award is presented to survivors who have provided inspiration and hope for those who follow behind them, while working to improve the professional and community responses to gender-based violence. Individuals receiving this award are honored for their courage and resilience surviving not only the anguish of sexual violence but also the gauntlet of failed system responses.
2023 Award Recipients
Each year we have the honor of recognizing courageous and visionary leaders at our annual conference.