Chief Executive Officer and Founder
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 almost $9.5 million in public and private funding and provided training and technical assistance to tens of thousands of professionals. In 2019 alone, EVAWI impacted more survivors of gender-based violence than ever before. With funding from donors, federal grants, and our annual conference, EVAWI provided 159,972 hours of training and support for law enforcement, health care, victim services, and other professionals. The OnLine Training Institute (OLTI) saw more than 5,000 new users and almost 11,000 modules completed.
In April 2019, Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer, proclaimed April 23, 2019, to be “Joanne Archambault Day” in the City of San Diego in recognition of her belief that one person can make a difference through attitude, integrity, and hard work, and that one person’s vision can revolutionize a nationwide response to sexual assault through education, training, and adopting standards that represent unbiased, thorough and evidence based practice.
In April 2010, Sgt. Archambault was honored by U.S. 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.
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. 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 49 states and countless 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.