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NJCASA 2012 Annual Meeting & Honorees
Thank you to everyone who attended our inaugural Annual Meeting. There were over 80 attendees at the Meeting which was held at Lowenstein and Sandler PC Law Firm in Roseland, NJ.
The Annual Meeting enabled us the opportunity to raise public awareness about sexual violence, honor and highlight the sexual violence programs for their terrific work, and build relationships with local community partners.
You can see photos from our 2012 Annual Meeting on NJCASA's Facebook page - click here to view our FB page - and don't forget to "Like" us while you're there!
We recognized both Senator Frank Lautenberg and Senator Robert Menendez for their long-time support and hard work on behalf of survivors of sexual violence and dedication to ending violence against women.
Our nothern NJ Sexual Violence Programs had to opportunity to recognize an individual or organization for their dedication and contrbutions to the Program.
Here are the 2012 Honorees with NJCASA Executive Director Andrea Spencer-Linzie:
Marnie Sperling, Honored by Morris County Sexual Assault Center
Marnie was the SANE coordinator of the Morris County SART team for two years, where she is known for her extraordinary amount of energy, dedication to survivors, and willingness to respond on a moment’s notice – whether to a hospital emergency room where a traumatized rape survivor was waiting for an exam or to a classroom where students, professionals, or administrators of all ages were waiting to learn more about this social epidemic we call sexual assault. Marnie has taken calls at all hours of the night, on her personal, work, and cell phone. Marnie has dropped everything to tend to survivors, to give them the support and attention they deserve. Marnie has been like Superwoman, and the Morris County Sexual Assault Center has been richer for having had her on our team.
Newton Police Department, Honored by Domestic Abuse & Sexual Assault Intervention Services (DASI, Sussex Couty)
The Newton Police Department goes the extra mile for survivors of sexual violence. Each officer responds to every sexual assault case with sensitivity, compassion, and earnestness, always keeping the interests and needs of the survivor at the forefront of the investigations. Their approach to sexual assault cases is truly victim centered. Newton PD has taken a lead role in preventing sexual violence in the county, and has remained supportive of every community endeavor that promotes the eradication of violence and well-being of the community.
Joan Nixon, Honored by Passaic County Women's Center
Joan has been an incredible supporter of Passaic County Women’s Center and sexual assault survivors for many years. In her work as the Passaic County Victim Witness Coordinator, she goes above and beyond the call of duty for survivors and ensures that their needs are met throughout the criminal justice process. It would be enough if Joan simply arranged transportation (to meet court dates) for clients, but she always goes farther. It would be enough if Joan rode along with the clients – to help soothe her fears during the ride – but she always goes farther. It would even be enough if Joan took extra time out of her day to make sure clients feel prepared and ready to get on the stand, but she always goes farther. The respect, patience, and caring guidance Joan provides to survivors of sexual assault who are navigating the very intimidating criminal court system is invaluable. The Passaic County Women’s Center and our clients are so lucky to have Joan as our county’s Victim Witness Coordinator.
Joan is currently being featured on the homepage of the Passaic County Prosecutor's Office website: Victim Witness Coordinator Joan Nixon was honored at the Wednesday, September 12, 2012 annual meeting of the New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault (NJCASA).
Chrisula Tasiopoulos, Honored by Rape Crisis Center, YWCA Bergen County
Chrisula’s official title is senior director of healing Space, but, she means so much more to the organization! She is their defender – working tirelessly to build and expand the agency and seeking funding streams to keep the agency operating smoothly. She is their advocate –encouraging her staff to take care of their spirits, minds, and bodies. She is their educator – expanding the Green Dot program from the college community to the highs school crowd. She is their counselor – providing direct services to survivors of sexual violence. More than anything, she is their leader – remaining strong in the face of adversity, confident with times are bleak, and committed when everyone else has lost hope. Chrisula’s official title may be senior director, but her imprint on the field of sexual violence goes so much deeper than that.
Fanta Nuradin, Honored by Essex County Rape Crisis Center
We nominated Fanta because she goes above and beyond what is expected of an advocate. Essex County is a very tough area and Fanta is the advocate who does most of our overnight shifts. Fanta has a full time job and a teenage son, however she does at least three overnights a week. Fanta attends all of our fundraisers and she makes sure that she attends every advocate meeting. We truly appreciate all of the time and effort she puts into her work at Essex County Rape Care Center.
Jackie Schwier, Honored by Domestic Abuse & Sexual Assault Crisis Center of Warren County
Jackie has been a fixture at the Domestic Abuse & Sexual Assault Crisis Center of Warren County for the past 6 years. She began at the agency as a case worker, and currently serves as the Primary Prevention & Education Coordinator. Jackie works tirelessly to educate the community about the impact of sexual assault and domestic violence, plan the agency’s advocate training, and conduct community outreach and educational activities (such as the Candle Light Vigil and Denim Day), and several events through Sexual Assault Awareness Month. But probably her finest success has been furthering the agency’s primary prevention efforts. By developing and implementing Green Dot (a program to prevent interpersonal violence) at both a local high school and Centenary College, Jackie is helping change the culture of these schools, empowering the students to stand up against power-based, interpersonal violence.
Stacy Kievning, Honored by Union County Rape Crisis Center
Stacy is a Confidential Sexual Violence Advocate with the Union County Rape Crisis Center (UCRCC) in Westfield, NJ. Stacy has been working with the center since 2006, when she started as a volunteer but soon after commenced employment as a Field Advocate. What makes Stacy stand out is her level of commitment and dedication to the field of rape care. On average, Stacy offers between 50-60 hours of hotline coverage per week. She far surpasses what is required and expected of her. She is a true gem, a model Advocate, and deserves to be acknowledged and celebrated.
We want to give a special thank you to everyone who made this event possible, especially:
- Mr. Jerry Milczek and Erika Olson for the donation for the generous donation of the plaques for the honorees.
- Nicole Bearce Albano and Lowenstein Sandler for for hosting this terrific event.
- The Annual Meeting Planning Committee of the Board of Trustees - we would not have been able to do this without you!