Friday, January 30, 2009

CAEPV Welcomes Newest National Advisory Board Member - Jennifer Welch

Well. . .if you have not heard, the State of Illinois has been in the news the last couple weeks for less than stellar reasons.

But today I have a wonderful "Illinois" reason to celebrate -- the Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence (CAEPV) is pleased to announce that Jennifer Welch, Policy Director for Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan is the newest member of our National Advisory Board!

The CAEPV Advisory Board consists of a diverse group of experts assembled to advise and assist in program development and content. The group represents a variety of disciplines, including domestic violence organizations, clergy, corporations, education, healthcare, law enforcement, and the criminal justice system. For a complete listing of CAEPV’s Advisory Board members, visit

Jennifer Welch is the Policy Director for Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan. In this role she leads a team to develop and implement policy initiatives for the Attorney General covering topics including violence against women, internet safety, campus safety and children’s products safety. She represents the Attorney General on numerous Boards and Committees, for example acting as Chair Pro Temp of the Illinois Violence Prevention Authority.

Previously, Jennifer focused on violence against women as the Attorney General’s Women’s Policy Advisor. In that role she led statewide efforts to improve laws, services and systems for abused women and their children. For example, she created and introduced the order of protection short form notification to law enforcement agencies throughout the state. Ms. Welch continues to monitor policies and legislation impacting women and children and participates on numerous boards and advisory councils such as the Illinois Department of Human Services Domestic Violence Advisory Council.

Jennifer came to the Office of Attorney General Madigan after nearly nine years as the Executive Director of the Chicago Metropolitan Battered Women's Network. As the Network's Director Ms. Welch coordinated public policy and system-wide advocacy efforts of more than 50 organizations plus individual members. She led the successful campaign for a new domestic violence court in Cook County, Illinois. Ms. Welch also developed the city of Chicago Domestic Violence Help Line, which helped approximately 10,000 callers each year, in partnership with the Chicago Mayor's Office on Domestic Violence.

Prior to working at the Battered Women's Network she was a founding member of the Illinois Clemency Project for Battered Women. Ms. Welch holds a JD from the Chicago-Kent College of Law and received her undergraduate degree in psychology at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

The Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence ( is a leading force in the fight against intimate partner violence and its effects on the workplace. It is the only national organization of its kind founded by business leaders and focused on the workplace. Since 1995, the Alliance has brought together dozens of progressive companies who exchange information, collaborate on projects, and use their influence to instigate change. The Alliance offers extensive research, policy knowledge and issue expertise to the business community, including training, program guidance, and crisis consultation – with programs designed to make the workplace safe and to prevent intimate partner violence from impacting the workplace. CAEPV has member and associate organizations reaching employees across the US and around the world.

Selected corporate members include Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital, Allstate Insurance Company, Altria Group, Inc., American Express, American Psychological Association, ADM, Avon Products, Inc., Blue Shield of California Foundation, CIGNA, Chestnut Global Partners, COUNTRY Financial, Eastman Kodak, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Health Care Service Corporation – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas, The Joyful Heart Foundation, Kaiser Permanente, Lifetime Television, Liz Claiborne Inc., Longview Associates, LLC, Mary Kay Inc., Northern Trust Company, Rutgers University, State Farm Insurance Companies, Texas Health Resources, Verizon Communications, Verizon Wireless, and The Wireless Foundation.

Internationally, the Corporate Alliance Against Domestic Violence UK and the Hurriyet Media Group are CAEPV members.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Mariska Hartigay's Joyful Heart Foundation Joins The Corporate Alliance

I am so pleased to note that this week we welcomed the Joyful Heart Foundation as our newest member of CAEPV!

Founded by actor and advocate Mariska Hargitay in 2004, the mission of the Joyful Heart Foundation is to heal, educate and empower survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse and to shed light into the darkness that surrounds these issues. The vision of the Joyful Heart Foundation is a community that:

- is empowered with knowledge, courage and compassion to help survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse heal mind, body and spirit;
- values and dedicates resources to individuals and families that have been impacted by these issues; and
- seeks to ignite and foster an open dialogue about how to collaboratively end the cycle of violence and abuse.

The Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence ( shares in these wonderful values and we look forward to this new partnership with our friends at Joyful Heart!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Everything Makes A Difference

This week I was at a meeting with researchers looking at a state's domestic violence leave law. I got a chance to meet people who work with counties and a director of another state's Department of Labor and another researcher who focuses on on-line training to increase competency. . .all of these people certainly are not experts in domestic violence, but they are all connected in making sure this research is viable and actually has real world applications.

One of the things the researchers learned from employees who were victims of domestic violence is that they wanted employers to understand what they needed and provide them information. Not "get in their business" but care and provide the resources and information they needed to get safe.

This morning I was communicating with someone else about it - a person who is a Communications Consultant and not in the field of domestic violence at ALL.

She said she thought this work (domestic violence and its impact on the workplace) was important and asked me what she could do to help. I told her she could let people know that domestic violence impacts the workplace. . .and that there are things employers can do about it.

So - she asked for the web address for this blog and for our Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence website ( and sent them to all her clients.

I told her she possibly saved a life by doing that.

Because EVERYTHING makes a difference. Giving information and resources can be the difference in someone getting a resource and someone not getting it.

Thank you to that wonderful woman (if she reads this, she knows who she is!) for taking the time to make a difference by just sending out information to people who may not know.

Thank you to everyone who understands that everything can make a difference. . .and does a little something to do that. You are changing the world for people who may not be able to do it for themselves.

Thank you.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Department of Justice Releases First Comprehensive Report on Stalking in US

As I noted is my last blog post, January is National Stalking Awareness Month and and the Office on Violence Against Women, in partnership with the National Center for Victims of Crime, launched the 2009 campaign “Know it. Name It. Stop It.”

On January 13, the Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics released a supplemental report to the National Crime Victimization Survey focused on Stalking Victimization in the United States. This report is the most comprehensive study of stalking to date and confirms what experts in the field have long known:

- Stalking is pervasive
- Women are at higher risk of being stalked,
- There is a dangerous intersection between stalking and more violent crimes.

The study found that during a 12-month period, an estimated 3.4 million people (age 18 or older) were victims of stalking. Surpassing previous estimates of stalking, the study noted persons age 18 to 19 and 20 to 24 experienced the highest rates of stalking victimization.

The study further illustrates a dangerous reality that women are at higher risk of stalking victimization. Females experienced 20 stalking victimizations per 1,000 females age 18 or older. The rate of stalking victimization for males was approximately 7 per 1,000 males age 18 or older.

Seven in 10 victims sought help. Approximately 60% do not report victimization to the police. Most enlisted the help of family or friends while only 7% contacted victim services, a shelter, or helpline.

These findings delineate some clear priorities for professionals in the field as well as friends and colleagues – and workplaces. As I indicated in my last post, stalking is a real issue for employees who are victims of domestic violence, and stalking at the workplace is a potential indication of increased danger for that employee – and the rest of the workplace.

Take a look at the resources on the National Stalking Awareness Month website, during Stalking Awareness Month and throughout the year.

In addition, take advantage of the information and resources on the Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence website at .

We need to take stalking seriously – and this new study shows how important it is that we make it “everybody’s business.”

Monday, January 05, 2009

January is National Stalking Awareness Month

This month (January 2009) marks the 6th observance of National Stalking Awareness Month (NSAM) in the United States.

Did you know that each year, more than one million women and nearly 400,000 men in the United States are victims of stalking?

This year the theme is “Stalking: Know It. Name It. Stop It.” It challenges communities (including workplaces) to combat this dangerous crime by learning more about it and taking action.

The Stalking Resource Center and the Office on Violence Against Women has launched the 2009 National Stalking Awareness Month Web site at The site offers fact sheets, media tools, brochures, posters and artwork, and much more. Check it out!

People do not always realize what "stalking" entails - your "stalker" is usually someone you know, and very often when a person is stalked at work, that indicates a "ramp up" in potential lethality.

Do not "brush off" stalking. Take it seriously. . .whether it is in person or electronic. Keep records. Don't throw things away. Often when I discuss this with people, they have not considered keeping the emails, or voice mails, or notes from the stalker as a record and they should. Do not feel silly about talking with law enforcement about this. . .and if you feel that police are brushing you off, talk to your state's attorney or district attorney. Stalking is serious business, and laws have changed considerably across the US to protect victims.

And if you are an employer, do not take "workplace stalking" lightly. A person being followed and called at work is a person in potential danger. And so is the rest of your workplace. Seek assistance. And is a great place to start.