Robi’s staff nominated her as a Game Changer because of her collaborative, solutions-oriented leadership that puts survivors at the center of every decision. She builds strong teams energized to make a difference. Not only that, Robi shows her staff she cares about them and their opinions. In the words of Program Administrator Darlene Reda, “Robi makes coming to work every day a joy.”
Among her greatest accomplishments are the establishment of the Westchester County Domestic Violence High Risk Team. After a devastating murder-suicide in 2017, Robi brought together a diverse team of community leaders to minimize the risk of similar future tragedies.
Driven by a conviction that drastic measures were needed to protect families, the team established a program where law enforcement conducts a lethality assessment for every domestic violence call-out and immediately activates services for victims at high risk. Starting with five small towns, the program has expanded to the entire county, serving a population of over one million. All 43 police departments are being trained to implement the new practices. The team’s success in preventing violence and helping survivors seek independence has garnered funding from the US Department of Justice and earned the team recognition as a model for the nation.
Robi Schlaff has a long track record of leading successful programs to counter domestic violence and advance opportunities for women and girls. Prior to taking over as the Director of Westchester County, NY Office for Women in 2013, Robi led the Westchester County Family Justice Center. She has decades of experience providing direct services for victims of gender-based violence and advocating for policy change.
EVAWI commends Robi Schlaff for all she has accomplished for survivors of gender-based violence and for the inspiration she infuses into every team she’s a part of.