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Rachel Dissell

Rachel Dissell’s bold investigative journalism for The Plain Dealer, examining Cleveland’s response to sexual assault and the impacts of trauma on survivors, has led to changes in laws, policies, and public perceptions. Her investigative series with reporter Leila Atassi led to the testing of nearly 14,000 rape kits and the investigations of decades-old cases that […]

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Gena Castro Rodriguez

Dr. Gena Castro Rodriguez has spent her career transforming systems to help survivors access justice, heal from trauma, and reach their potential. In 2000, as the Director of Youth Services at Mission Neighborhood Centers in San Francisco, Dr. Castro Rodriguez created the first intensive case management program for girls and young adults at risk for […]

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Join Us in Celebrating Our 2020 Award Recipients

December 17, 2020 5:00 – 6:00pm PT What do two Netflix producers, a CNN reporter, a police detective, and a gender activist all have in common? They will all be honored at our 2020 Award Ceremony this December. What do YOU have in common with all of them? We want you to join too! Each […]

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Sheree Goldman

Dr. Sheree Goldman is the Coordinator of the Monterey County Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) and feels privileged to work with a remarkable multidisciplinary team and county health department. With over four decades of experience in health care, she has concentrated on forensic nursing for the past 20 years in Monterey County, California. The SART […]

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Barbara Smith

Lieutenant Barbara Smith is dedicated to helping young people prevent domestic violence, a passion that stems from her own experience surviving domestic violence as a child. At a young age, Lt. Smith witnessed her mother being abused by her boyfriend. She would try to protect her mother from the abuser, and in one incident she was assaulted for attempting to intervene. It was in that moment Lt. Smith knew she would commit her life to helping others.  Lieutenant Smith […]

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Carmen J. Bloom White

Ms. White first heard about Start by Believing (SBB) in 2016, when she attended the End Violence Against Women International (EVAWI) conference in Washington, DC. At the time, she was an Assistant District Attorney for Berks County, Pennsylvania. From that point forward, she incorporated SBB techniques into her work prosecuting sexual assault and domestic violence, […]

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Kelly Vates

Kelly Vates is a survivor of child sexual abuse, and the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Fair Haven Center for Women in Lake County, Indiana. Ms. Vates has more than 22 years of experience in her own personal recovery and 16 years in Sexual Assault Victim Advocacy. She is a national speaker and trainer on […]

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Beya Thayer

Beya Thayer is a systems advocate supporting enhanced collaborations among multi-disciplinary teams. Ms. Thayer works to develop and implement strategies that lead to the long-term and sustainable involvement of community institutions, organizations, and individuals within the intersections of justice and behavioral health addressing partnership and systems change. With her current position as the Executive Director […]

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Shellie Severa

Shellie Severa is the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) Victim Advocate for the 354th Fighter Wing of the U.S. Air Force. In that position, she assists survivors of sexual assault with reporting and referral services, assists in the management of the annual base program budget, and supervises volunteer victim advocates. In 2017, her work […]

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Mary Reina

Mary Reina is an experienced RN, with several years of experience as a certified Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE). Currently, she is working on establishing a SANE program in Gold Beach, Oregon. Ms. Reina previously served as the Director of the Forensic Services Unit at the Antelope Valley Hospital in Lancaster, California. During her time […]

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