Board of Directors

Heidi Goldstein

Joel Levin

Esther Warkov

Karen Truszkowski

Meghan Joyce Tozer

Heidi Goldstein, Executive Consultant, Human Resources, Berkeley CA
My passion for changing societal attitudes, practices and accountability around incidents of sexual harassment and assault was sparked by the experiences of my children and their peers as they progressed through middle and high school. The need for student awareness and education about their rights to a safe learning environment, and how they can act to influence school culture around harassment, is compelling. The obligation of schools – boards, administrators, teachers and staff — to build the capability and capacity to support students who have experienced sexual harassment, enact prompt and equitable remedies, and implement policies and practices to improve school climate for all students, is urgent. I have joined with Stop Sexual Assault in Schools to build on the momentum that has put the issue of sexual harassment at the forefront of the national discourse; and to foster collaborations to make meaningful change in the way K-12 schools understand and execute on their responsibility to ensure access to a full range of educational resources for all students.
Heidi Goldstein’s professional and personal advocacy work is centered in creating environments, systems and processes that support people in recognizing and pursuing their full potential.  She is a vigorous advocate for gender and economic equity. In 2014 she collaborated with students at Berkeley (CA) High School to found the grassroots advocacy group BHS Stop Harassing (BHS SH), whose work to support targets of sexual harassment, state and local policy change, and education and empowerment of students to improve school climate has been recognized by awards and grants from national organizations including Equal Rights Advocates and Futures Without Violence.  In addition to serving as an Adult Advisor to BHS SH, she has been an active member of the Berkeley Unified School District (BUSD) Sexual Harassment Advisory Committee since 2014 and was appointed by the CA Superintendent for Public Instruction in 2016 to serve as the neutral appointee to the BUSD Personnel Commission.  Her human capital development consulting practice includes pro bono support for youth-oriented and social justice organizations.
Joel Levin, Ph.D, Director of Programs, and Co-Founder of Stop Sexual Assault in Schools
I learned first-hand about the devastating effects of sexual assault on families when our daughter was raped on a high school field trip. In the aftermath of the assault, shock turned to frustration and anger at the school district’s lack of fairness, respect, and compassion toward our daughter, and its ignorance of its Title IX obligations that effectively ruined her high school education.
The more I’ve learned of the plight of other families in similar circumstances, the more I recognize the urgent need for educating students, families, educators, and administrators about honoring and protecting the rights of all students to an education free from sexual violence.
Dr. Joel Levin (Ph.D in Education, University of Washington) is an education and learning consultant with over 25 years’ experience analyzing, designing, and developing curricula and educational programs with positive, lasting impact. He has been engaged in all facets of education and training design, development, delivery, and evaluation for large and small organizations in the for-profit and non-profit sectors. He has extensive experience with learning needs analysis, and developing e-learning, classroom-based training, and virtual classroom support materials. His background also includes video and audio media development, broadcast documentary production, and marketing copywriting. After Dr. Levin’s daughter was raped on a school field trip, he relentlessly held the Seattle School District accountable by authoring numerous complaints at the district, state, and federal levels, and through interviews with media outlets. As Director of Programs for SSAIS, Dr. Levin is designing trainings for national distribution to address sexual assault in schools for students, parents, and K-12 school staff.
Esther Warkov, Ph.D, Executive Director, and Co-Founder of Stop Sexual Assault in Schools
As a parent who witnessed the nightmare of a peer sexual assault that devastated the victim, her education, and family life, I am compelled to warn others that someone they know will likely be sexually assaulted, sexually harassed, or discriminated against for reasons of gender, sexual orientation, or parenting while in school. Although families rarely consider a life-scarring sexual harassment and sexual violence upon their child, the stark truth is that victims’ parents tell us how they never imagined something so horrible could have happened to their own child. Even more shocking is that the sexual harassment or assault often occurs on school property or during a school sponsored activity.
Regardless of where the violation occurred or by whom, when the survivor wishes to return to school, the school must protect the student under Title IX. More likely than not, a school will regard the victim as an adversary rather than a valued student entitled to an equal education under Title IX. The nightmare of sexual harassment and assault is magnified when the school district employs every imaginable tactic to shut down the complaint and deny the student’s federally mandated civil rights, in violation of Title IX.
In spite of these obstacles, our persistent advocacy caused the US Department of Education Office for Civil Rights to open an investigation of the Seattle School District. We now share our experience with families nationally, to spare them the agony that accompanies sexual assault/harassment and the destruction of the victim’s education. We undertake this work after hearing from numerous families how their experiences mirrored ours. Their support for this initiative to spare students such trauma has compelled us to form this non-profit to serve students, families, organizations, and schools nationwide.
As a woman who attended high school and college in the 1960s and ‘70s, I witnessed numerous instances of sexual harassment from men in positions of power. For example, I recall middle and high school teachers crossing boundaries with students, a university staff MD showing up on my doorstep, and professors known for unashamedly having sexual relations with students and staff. As an ethnomusicologist who conducted research in the Middle East, I experienced first hand the ways in which women are blatantly harassed, even in the academic environment. Still, these experiences pale by comparison with the treatment our family received, which led to the formation of this organization. Students and families must realize that this could be their nightmare—anyone’s nightmare—and take proactive steps so that we can both prevent assault and compel lawful and compassionate responses to sexual harassment and violence.
Dr. Esther Warkov tenaciously demanded accountability from the Seattle School District after negligent chaperoning permitted an environment where sexual assault could occur. Beginning as an ordinary parent unaware of Title IX, she experienced the full spectrum of unacceptable and often unlawful responses. She meticulously documented the district’s responses at each juncture and archived correspondence and complaints for the benefit of other families. Dr. Warkov participated in numerous media interviews, organized demonstrations against the Seattle School District, and worked with education activists. Her unrelenting campaign for media and public awareness of the Seattle School District’s systemic failures has compelled the District to comply with Title IX. She is currently building a national network of parents, advocates, students, and organizations dedicated to the mission of Stop Sexual Assault in Schools. Prior to this advocacy work, Dr. Warkov received several awards including a Fulbright-Hays grant for original research in Wales, a grant from the National Endowment of the Arts to study the performance of Middle Eastern music, and dissertation grants to research Arab and Jewish musicians in the Middle East. Dr. Warkov’s experience with music students, with professional musicians from a variety of socio-economic groups, and her passion for education combine to create a unique foundation for her advocacy work.
Karen Truszkowski, JD, President and Senior Counsel of Temperance Legal Group, PLLC

After leaving a law-school teaching career, I received a phone call that changed the course of my law practice. The call came from a mother whose daughter had been sexually assaulted at school. The school had suspended the daughter for the non-consensual sexual activity. Although the mother tried everything she could to get her daughter back into school, no one listened.  By the time she eventually returned to school, it was too late: the damage had been done. Feeling as if no one would ever believe her, she engaged in high-risk behavior and self -harm.

After my experience with this family, I decided to dedicate my practice to helping students and their families address the aftermath of sexual harassment and assault at school. Now, more than ever, we must stand by our children and their families in the wake of rampant violations of students’ civil rights.

Karen Truszkowski is President and Senior Counsel of Temperance Legal Group, PLLC. Her practice focuses solely on Title IX cases at the secondary and post-secondary levels. The media have most recently reported on the successful cases she has settled for survivors at MSU and Holland Christian Schools, among several others.

Karen began her career as a staff attorney for the United Auto Workers (UAW) Legal Services. Thereafter, she went into private practice where she handled personal injury matters, other civil litigation, and municipal defense for the City of Flint, MI. Her teaching career began in 1999 immediately following graduation from law school; her focus was Elder Law at the graduate school level. Karen achieved her dream of becoming a faculty supervisor in the Sixty Plus Elderlaw Clinic at Western Michigan University Cooley Law School where she had interned as a law student. In addition, Karen served as a District Court Magistrate in Oakland County, MI. In addition to holding schools accountable to Title IX, Karen continues her advocacy work in elder law and elder abuse prevention.

Megan Joyce Tozer, Ph.D, CA

In the spring of 2013, I was completing graduate coursework and getting ready to start my Ph.D. dissertation when I came across a disturbing news story. Rehtaeh Parsons, a teenager in Nova Scotia who’d been sexually assaulted by four of her classmates, had died by suicide after her community failed to support her. It wasn’t the first international news story about the death of a high school or middle school student who’d been sexually assaulted and subsequently let down by the adults around her; Audrie Pott and Felicia Garcia died as the result of similar circumstances the year before, in 2012. These tragedies and others like them struck me personally since I, too, had been sexually assaulted by my classmates, beginning when I was eleven years old in 1997. As a middle school student, I’d lacked support or understanding from the adults in my life, and I’d seriously considered suicide as a way to end the shame and isolation of being labeled the “school slut.” During that time, from about 1997 to 2001, I’d kept a detailed diary. After learning about Rehtaeh’s death, I decided to post that middle school diary, word-for-word, with added commentary to provide perspective. I wanted to reach girls who were currently suffering in similar circumstances, to let them know things could get better, and also to reach those in a position to work with students to prevent future tragedies.

As soon as I shared my personal story, I began hearing from countless girls and women who’d survived similar experiences of sexual assault and subsequent bullying, wanting to speak about it for the first time. I founded The UnSlut Project and in the years leading up to the viral #MeToo movement, it became my mission to demonstrate through personal story sharing how sexually abusive behavior often starts as early as elementary school, and how it thrives there unless the entire community is involved in preventing it.

As a soprano and musicologist, I’ve witnessed the ways Title IX protections are often ignored in academia and the conservatory, where sexual abuse is pervasive. Unfortunately, for younger students with fewer resources, the nightmare that follows sexual abuse can be even more overwhelming. Over the past decade, I’ve had the privilege to partner with Stop Sexual Assault in Schools on various campaigns to spread our common goals, and it’s an honor to join the board. The work of this organization is not only dear to my heart, but crucial for our nation’s future.

Meghan Joyce Tozer, author of the critically acclaimed novel Night, Forgotten (2022), was born and raised outside Boston, Massachusetts. She holds a B.A. from Harvard jointly in Music and in English and American Literature and Language, as well as a M.M. in voice performance and a Ph.D. in music history from the University of California Santa Barbara. Much of Meghan’s public writing has appeared under the pen name Emily Lindin, including her annotated middle school diary, UnSlut: A Diary and a Memoir (2015). As the founder of The UnSlut Project, she’s advocated for survivors of sexual assault and abuse on platforms such as ABC with Katie Couric, CNN, The Doctors, Al Jazeera America, NPR, and at dozens of high schools and universities around North America. She was the 2017 recipient of the Community Leadership Award from Child Abuse Prevention Services. Meghan is also the director and narrator of the award-winning UnSlut: A Documentary Film.


Susan Moen
Cara Tuttle
Otis McGresham
Kate Lehane
Shari Nacson
Jo-Ann Finkelstein​
Taryn Gal
Bill Howe​
Danica Kilander
Susan Moen, Executive Director, Jackson County (OR) SART

Susan Moen has worked in the field of sexual assault response and prevention since 1994 as an advocate with the L.A. Commission on Assaults Against Women, founder of the nonprofit Jackson County, OR SART, and Founding Board Member of the You Have Options Program.

As JC SART’s Executive Director she oversees a SANE program, a survivor resource specialist program, sexual assault support groups, a violence prevention education program in local schools and communities, and provides direct advocacy with survivors. In 2010 Susan was awarded the state SART award, and in 2014 received the Jan Hindman Memorial Award for “Outstanding Contributions to Victim Services.”  In 2024 she was awarded the NCVLI’s Gail Burns-Smith Excellence in Victim Services Award. She received her AB from Harvard College.

Cara Tuttle, JD, Director of Vanderbilt Univ. Project SAFE Center, TN

I strongly support the efforts of SSAIS. I know from my experience working with college students that it is crucial that we start sooner in addressing the issues of interpersonal violence. The more effectively we can raise awareness of the scope of the problem and reach these younger populations (and their parents and educators) through prevention education and victim advocacy services, the healthier and safer our communities and schools, at every level, will be.”

Cara Tuttle is the Director of Vanderbilt University’s Project Safe Center for Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response.  Cara previously served as the Associate Director for Student Accountability, Community Standards, and Academic Integrity at Vanderbilt University and as Director of Programs for the Women’s Center at Northwestern University. Cara holds a JD from Vanderbilt University Law School, Master of Arts in Women’s and Gender Studies from the University of Louisville, and her Bachelor of Science in Political Science from Ball State University, where she graduated summa cum laude.

Cara was recently named the 2015 recipient of the Mary Jane Werthan Award, which is presented to a member of the Vanderbilt community who has contributed to the advancement of women at Vanderbilt on a systemic level. The award is named in honor of Mary Jane Werthan, the first woman member of the Vanderbilt Board of Trust. Also in 2015, Cara was recognized by Ms. JD, a professional organization for women law students and lawyers, with their Road Less Traveled award, which honors a woman lawyer who has contributed significantly through work in non-traditional legal career path. In 2016, Cara received the K.C. Potter Outstanding Service to Students Award from the Vanderbilt University Office of the Dean of Students. Cara serves as a lecturer in the College of Arts and Science Women’s and Gender Studies Program, for which she teaches the Seminar on Gender and Violence.

Otis McGresham, Ed.D, is Assistant Director for Prevention Education at the Vanderbilt University Project Safe Center

I have been working throughout my career to create learning environments that engage students fully and authentically in the learning process. Incidents of sexual assault can decimate a student’s experience and have no place in our communities. By working to connect all members of our communities to the insidious cultural norms that can support violence, minimize survivor support, and normalize abuse, it is my hope that as a collective we can intentionally reshape our communities to reflect individual ideals of safety, respect, and care. Working together as a community, I believe that we can demand the systems and policies in place provide education for all members of our community, protect all members of our community, and actively work to create and maintain educational spaces free from all forms of sexual violence. I am excited about the work of Stop Sexual Assault in Schools and creating this expectation from an early age.”

Otis currently serves as the Assistant Director for Prevention Education in the Vanderbilt University Project Safe Center. He holds a Doctor of Education in Learning Organizations and Strategic Change from Lipscomb university, a Master of Higher Education Administration degree from Texas A&M University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Communication from Western Michigan University. Advocacy and education have been a consistent part of Otis’ student affairs career that began in 2003.

Along with his passion for serving students, he brings broad professional experience from multiple functional areas of student affairs. Previously, Otis has served as the Assistant Director for Interpersonal Violence Services and Advocacy and the Rape Prevention Education Coordinator in the North Carolina State University Women’s Center and Coordinator of Student Assistance Services and Hall Director at Texas A&M University. Otis’ focus is on creating and maintaining educationally purposeful environments where all students feel safe, empowered, and encouraged to participate fully and authentically in the university experience. Connecting prevention principles to everyday activities, Otis works to empower our entire community to make tangible steps toward violence reduction. (LinkedIn)

Kathryn Leehane, CA
My advocacy work began in the Fall of 2017 when I inadvertently exposed a sexual abuse scandal at my private high school in San Jose, California. That October, I’d written OpEd for The Washington Post describing the sexual abuse I endured as a student and how it was mishandled by the school administration. Though I hadn’t disclosed any details, dozens of people recognized the teacher and came forward with their own stories of mishandled abuse by him and other instructors. I dedicated the next three years to advocating for strict adherence to mandated reporting laws, permanent changes in school leadership and policy, and accountability and justice for the survivors. During that time, I’ve witnessed the lifetime trauma endured by victims of childhood sexual abuse and the devastating impacts of victim shaming and institutional betrayal. Going up against a Catholic institution and prominent members of my community, I have learned to be creative, LOUD, and relentless.”
Kathryn Leehane is an author, speaker, and victim advocate. In her advocacy role, Kathryn seeks to empower other survivors to find justice, accountability, and a path toward healing. She is also working to change the laws that favor sexual predators—and those who enable them—over the victims themselves.
Shari Nacson, OH
An anti-oppressionist, I have dedicated my work to multiple arenas over the years — immigrant justice, reproductive justice, racial justice, criminal justice, economic justice, educational justice. In my educational justice work, I was drawn to a student movement in my local community and offered support to student organizers. From our first Zoom meeting in December 2021, I learned from and assisted this fierce group of Gen Z students and young alums as they fought for improved handling of sexual harassment and assault in their schools. I have been humbled and inspired by the work of these young adults. They achieved more marked change in six months than the years of outraged parents/staff who preceded them. I first learned of SSAIS when I needed support to navigate my own child’s Title IX case in that same school district. The resources here have made a huge difference for us during this systemic ordeal. Witnessing firsthand the impacts of sexual assault and the subsequent systemic mishandling has broken my heart. Working with allies at SSAIS and other organizations has given me hope. I am honored to be a part of this work.
Shari Nacson is a mother, clinical social worker, freelance editor/writer, and nonprofit consultant. She has edited manuscripts and journal articles about toxic stress, trauma, and related interventions. A public speaker about clinical concepts and child development, she has been invited to present public talks about the impact of trauma on personality development, learning, and functioning; developmentally appropriate school safety protocols; parenting with intention; and the benefits of family volunteerism during early childhood. Her clinical work has included the treatment of highly traumatized children and their parents, as well as forensic evaluation of trauma survivors. Most recently, her activism includes grand jury reform in Cuyahoga County (Ohio); reproductive justice networking; anti-oppression work; and supporting student activists who self-organized to speak-out about mishandled sexual violence in a local K-12 school district. Since 2013, Shari has been a contributor to Safe and Sound Schools as author, editor, and consultant regarding developmentally mindful school safety programs. Also a writer at 500 Pens: An Anti-Hate News Project; The Heights Observer; and various parenting blogs, Shari enjoys pro bono social work service, public speaking, and organizational development of nonprofit organizations. Sharing her passion for family volunteerism, Shari has been the Board President of Caring Cubs, a Cleveland nonprofit, since 2014. Prior to her work in Cleveland, Shari had extensive experience with juvenile court and the child welfare system through her role as Program Director of the Denver CASA program. Editorial work has included manuscripts, journal articles, and dissertations. A graduate of Rutgers College, Shari received her masters degree in social work from Case Western Reserve University in 2002. She has received honors and awards for her scholarly work in the field of children’s mental health. Her post-graduate studies have included four years of didactic studies in child psychoanalysis and three years of study under Dr. Gilbert Kliman in forensic interviewing of traumatized adults and children.
Jo-Ann Finkelstein, Ph.D, is a writer and psychologist in private practice in Chicago.

The efforts of SSAIS align with my passion for helping raise awareness about the effects of gender bias, sexism, sexual harassment and abuse on girls’ sense of self. As a psychologist, I too-frequently witness the deleterious effects not just of misogyny, but of the normalizing or victim-blaming that goes hand-in-hand with those attitudes and behaviors. Educators, coaches, and parents are in an ideal position to change a culture that normalizes sexual harassment and rape. A generation that grows up learning about the damaging effects of gender roles and stereotypes, the importance of boundaries, consent, and how to have healthy relationships, will stop accepting and perpetrating much of the inappropriate yet normative behavior that goes on today.

Dr. Finkelstein holds a Masters in Education from Harvard University and Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Northwestern University. She is a writer and psychologist in private practice in Chicago. A passionate advocate for social justice, she has served on the board of the Chicago Chapter of the National Organization for Women, volunteered for Planned Parenthood PAC, and was an organizer for the Chicago Women’s March. Before becoming a psychologist, she worked extensively with adolescents both in clinical and non-clinical settings, addressing high-risk behaviors such as teen pregnancy and substance abuse with girls, and designing programs for youth at risk of dropping out of school. In addition, she spent three years working in a woman’s shelter for victims of domestic violence. Dr. Finkelstein is at work on a book entitled, It’s Not You: Raising Girls in a Sexist World, to be published by Penguin Random House.

Taryn Gal, MPH, CPH, MCHES, Executive Director, MOASH

My work has largely focused on youth access to sexual health services and sexual health education. It has shocked me how often consent and sexual violence prevention education is merely an afterthought in these spaces. SSAIS has been a critical resource for raising awareness about 1) the importance of these topics being addressed in school education, and 2) necessary resources being provided to prevent sexual assault and support survivors in school environments.

Taryn Gal (she/her) is the Executive Director at the Michigan Organization on Adolescent Sexual Health (MOASH), where she has held various roles since 2011. During her time at MOASH, she has worked alongside youth to break down the siloed approach to adolescent sexual health, in order to effectively address all that intersects with sexual and reproductive health among young people in Michigan. Taryn has worked in the world of sexual health for over 20 years and, prior to her work at MOASH, worked as a sexuality educator, HIV test counselor, and research assistant in HIV-prevention curriculum development. Currently, she serves on several sex education advisory boards.,

William A. Howe, Ed.D., State of Connecticut Title IX Coordinator (Retired)

In my years at the CT State Department of Education, I dealt with bullying and harassment complaints amounting to perhaps 6,000 to 7,000 calls, the great majority from parents and guardians seeking help with their children being harassed. School staff seeking technical assistance was the next major category. Teachers and other school personnel themselves, experiencing harassment, were a smaller subset, with rare calls from students directly. The most common request was for information on their rights under the law. This was combined with what could be done to rectify their situation.

Three issues stood out. 1) How relatively ill-informed parents/guardians and students were about their legal rights, 2) How basic procedures on how schools were to handle complaints were not in place or followed, and 3) The importance of understanding the intersectionality of race, ethnicity, religion, and other categories of difference.

On a positive note, I am most proud that the department sends out an annual survey requesting school districts to identify their district and school-level Title IX Coordinators. Their contact information is posted on the CT DOE website. Workshops for Title IX Coordinators are held every fall. Ensuring that there is a trained Title IX Coordinator in every school building has dramatically decreased complaints. These workshops focus on all education laws and on how to properly conduct an investigation.

Dr. Bill Howe has over 40 years of experience as an educator, trainer, consultant, and professional staff developer from elementary grades to higher education in Canada and the United States. He was the State of Connecticut Title IX Coordinator for 18 years where he conducted over 90 workshops for over 4,000 attendees on Title IX and gender equity. His perspectives appear in the New York Times, AP, Christian Science Monitor, Hartford Courant, CampusSafety, among other media.

He is a Founding Member of the Asian Pacific American Coalition of CT (APAC), Past-Chair of the Connecticut Asian Pacific American Commission, and Past-President of the National Association for Multicultural Education (NAME), where he was recognized Multicultural Educator of the Year. Learn more about his many prestigious awards here.

Dr. Howe is the co-author of a textbook on multicultural education, Becoming a multicultural educator: Developing awareness, gaining skills, and taking action, which won the 2013 Philip C. Chinn Multicultural Book Award from the National Association for Multicultural Education. Now in its fourth edition, it is also published in Chinese.

Danica Kilander, consultant, WA

Safety, access, and belonging can seem like such simple things, but when I look at our schools, I see how rare they are. Every student has a right to learn, feel safe, and grow into their whole and beautiful selves, yet schools run rampant with harassment and worse. As a parent, I am committed to doing all I can to cultivate safe spaces and accountability. I am committed to policy change, increased training and resources, and building stronger communities for our children to thrive.

Danica Kilander is a social entrepreneur, social analyst, and systems change consultant who works with organizations and communities to develop leaders and more sustainable systems. She is a community organizer who has received national and international awards, including a city key, for building bridges to address systemic issues. Most recently she has undertaken extensive efforts to address egregious gender and racial inequities in the Burlington-Edison School District and will continue doing so until systemic change occurs.


Cheryl Ann Graf, Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner,  Master of Science Nursing, MBA, WA
The consistent and compassionate care of all sexual assault and domestic violence patients in WA State has been an overriding theme that I have embraced and promoted for the past 20 years. In partnership with my husband we have four daughters and realize how fragile and difficult growing up for a child/teenager can be on a good day. Add a sexual assault event and that difficult day can quickly become a nightmare for the child and parents. Every patient and their family deserves and is rightfully entitled to care at every step of the process. Children need safety in all aspects of their life including in their schools. Often victimization is met with re-victimization and further pain which leads to real suffering. Pain can be pronounced as well as subtle. I am continuing to learn that pain respects those who are willing to get involved and take a risk. Getting involved requires facing pain directly. Victimization is real and around each of us; we can’t fix or change every event but we can’t stand still and do nothing. So it is in that theme of getting involved that a decision was made to join the worthy cause of Stop Sexual Assault in Schools.

I have devoted my professional career to many aspects of Emergency Patient Care over the past 25 years. This dedication early on led me to embrace the care of sexual assault and domestic violence survivors that come to the Emergency Departments where I have worked. The many years of service have included being Director of Emergency Services, Nurse Practitioner roles in a variety of Emergency Departments (ED) and Urgent Care (UC) settings.

The most profound role I have had the opportunity to lead and develop was the Clinical Coordinator of the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program (SANE) at Harrison Hospital in Bremerton, WA where I performed acute and chronic care examinations on sexual assault/domestic violence victims of all ages. This SANE program changed the course of sexual assault care in Washington State as well as the community where I lived and worked.

The SANE role begun as a seed that would grow in time for sexual assault and domestic violence care in the first Emergency Department where I worked. If nurtured, the seed could flourish and benefit the community and begin the healing process for the patient and family. One afternoon early in my nursing career I was asked to go and discharge a child who had been sexually assaulted by a babysitter. The single mother had come home from work to find her beautiful girl assaulted, broken and she brought her to our ED. When I went in to discharge the child the mother sobbed with a shattered heart and I quickly learned that she too as a child had been victimized. She thought she could keep her child safe for always. I realized our community had little to no real services for families or patients when it came to sexual assault and domestic violence. That single day in the ED impacted me so profoundly that I vowed to be part of a solution and part of the healing, one patient at a time. Several years passed and I realized quickly that I must be part of a wider healing in my community. Each sexual assault/domestic violence patient I cared for had ripple effects like a pebble being tossed into the lake, touching and eroding the shores of families and individuals. No shore goes untouched when the pebble of assaults plunk into the waters. Passion alone can’t carry the load of the burden I felt so I went forth to find out how to begin the process of better care in my community.

Seeking a better model I looked to the community to find out the extent of our needs, and in this quest of developing the SANE program at Harrison Hospital I met and was mentored by the late Dr. Naomi Sugar, who headed up the medical team at Harborview Center for Sexual Assault and Traumatic Stress (HCSAT) in Seattle, WA. This relationship grew into a deep friendship that expanded into working in the training department as a nurse practitioner with the Community Training Program and co-authoring the first SANE trainings in WA State with Dr. Sugar. The SANE core trainings are still provided for all of WA State to this date, including training across the entire state which encompass the rural communities.

Cheryl Ann Graf completed her training as a family nurse practitioner at Pacific Lutheran University, WA, and graduated with BSN, MSN and nurse practitioner degrees/national certifications. She also completed an MBA at the University of Washington. Cheryl is an involved lifetime member of the ENA (Emergency Nurses Association) and continues to work closely with HCSAT to further the development of the SANE Core Training course in WA and guidelines for sexual assault care.

Jeffrey R. Caffee, Attorney at Law
Once a sexual assault victim gathers the courage to stand up and fight for justice, she or he is often subject to secondary victimization. They are shamed for engaging in sexual activity and blamed for “provoking” sexual assault. Sometimes schools, businesses, or other organizations apply pressure to victims in an effort to have them lie to protect an assailant. Such actions not only tolerate sexual assault, but place public relations and profits over people. I serve on the Board of Stop Sexual Assault in Schools because of its commitment to helping change a system that works to suppress and ignore victims of sexual assault. We cannot be a society that tolerates sexual harassment and assault.
Jeff Caffee has spent his entire career protecting the rights of individuals. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame Law School as a Dean’s Fellowship Scholar and quickly gained recognition for his trial skills. In 2009, he was honored by The International Academy of Trial Lawyers with an Award for Advocacy for distinguished achievement in the art and science of advocacy. While at the University of Notre Dame, Jeff was an active student member of the University of Notre Dame Legal Aid Clinic representing low-income individuals in landlord-tenant, mortgage, and estate planning matters. He continues his efforts to assist low-income individuals with legal matters through his volunteering at the King County Family Law Information Center. In 2013, he was honored to receive The National Trial Lawyers “Top 100 Trial Lawyers” award. He has received this honor each year since. Jeff is an Eagle Member of the Washington State Association for Justice and an attorney at The Law Offices of Jeffrey R. Caffee. Jeff currently represents individuals in matters related to sexual assaults, sexual discrimination, government misconduct, and traumatic injury.
Gloria London, Ph.D.
As a graduate of the Philadelphia High School for Girls, I received a first class education at the oldest public high school for girls in the U.S. Schools must present a rigorous education setting where students pursue the goal of a quality education in order to succeed in life. But unless they provide a safe environment for students and offer unique opportunities, they fail as public institutions. Because an increasing number of school districts have failed to provide equal education under Title IX, I am joining the movement to support a safe environment so all students may thrive. As the proud mother of a daughter pursuing a graduate degree in electrical engineering, I want to see more young women studying STEM subjects. Over the years I have volunteered in schools in many capacities and advocated for safe school environments. I was part of the early (1996) planning for the Seattle Girls School. In my view, if girls cannot have an equal opportunity to succeed in a classroom with boys, they deserve their own school. For example, if teachers are unable to see girls as mathematicians, then the girls need a single gender environment where they can pursue their dreams without discrimination or male intimidation. Too often I have seen teachers underestimate capable girls in the earliest grades. This attitude predisposes girls to lower their expectations and ambitions. Similarly, students of any gender identification and sexual orientation must be given the opportunity to thrive and learn at school so they may fully contribute to society. We need to assure that all citizens benefit from education equality by informing students, families, and schools of the right to an equal education under Title IX.

When sexual harassment and violence begins in the school and goes unacknowledged, and unaddressed, the impact is long lasting for all involved. In particular, girls and other frequently victimized groups learn that they are not valued by society. Victims need immediate support and protection as guaranteed under Title IX. Perpetrators must learn they can commit offenses with impunity. Unless they are stopped from committing abuse and violence in school, they have license to continue their abusive behavior in college and their own adult families. All peer perpetrators must be lawfully sanctioned and receive immediate, intensive professional counseling to address their heinous behavior.

Schools, while trying to do they job of educating students, must address the social issues that are playing out on their own campuses rather than fostering a culture of sexual violence. We must all help change attitudes towards sexual harassment and assault so that every victim has the support to come forward without shame or blame. Only then can we eradicate the raging problem of sexual harassment and assault in our schools, colleges, and universities. Let us empower students K-12 to prevent the trauma of gender based violence and discrimination.

Dr. London has advocated for student welfare in the Seattle School District for well over a decade. Since 2012 she has closely followed the events that led to a Title IX investigation of the Seattle School District and registered several complaints with the Seattle School Board. She was prepared to demonstrate in the summer of 2014 when the Seattle school board president cancelled her community meeting owing to growing public criticism.

Dr. London is a widely published archaeologist who has received numerous awards for her scholarly and humanitarian work. She received a Fulbright Award and a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) grant to pursue research among women potters that led to the creation of her Bicommunal Workshop for modern potters from all across Cyprus. Her commitment to teacher education included directing two NEH Summer Institutes for School Teachers. She earned a Membership Service Award for her efforts to educate the general public and recent research in Middle Eastern archaeology from her professional organization, the American Schools of Oriental Research. In recent years she has taught at the Lifetime Learning Center in Seattle dedicated to seniors and homeschoolers. In 2014 she helped create a new Cultural Center and Museum of Traditional Technology in Ayios Dimitrios, Cyprus.

Jules Irvin-Rooney, JD, VA

As both a student who survived sexual assault and an advocate involved in working for sexual assault survivors’ rights since my undergraduate career, I have witnessed the atrocities, heartbreak, and frustration that obstructs healing and justice. I have also witnessed the compassion and strength demonstrated by fellow survivors, their families, and fellow advocates. These qualities have always inspired hope, determination, and a passion to help others.

While we will never be able to fully eradicate all the injustices that impact our students, when we start by helping one person, one group, and one school system—we are effecting change. Since its beginning, SSAIS has not only sought to inform and provide training tools: it aims to foster lasting change in the way our society views sexual harassment/assault and its impact on students’ education, family, and the community. Through my work with SSAIS, my goal is to help change the narrative about sexual violence in K-12 schools, promote awareness, and incite dialogue. I work for full Title IX protections to our nation’s students, leading all involved in the process to create effective change—step by step—so that heinous events, like those I experienced and those that gave rise to this organization, do not continue. In order to see true change, we need to unify our efforts to address students’ civil rights under Title IX K-12. Stop Sexual Assault in Schools is the vehicle to do this.

Julie (Jules) Carter Irvin-Rooney, President of Title IX and Clery Act Consulting, is a legal consultant, analyst, Title IX /Clery Act expert, and advocate. Ms. Irvin-Rooney’s concentration areas include higher education law, K-12 education law, gender law, FERPA, ADA, and Special Education issues. Ms. Irvin-Rooney facilitates training for schools, both K-12 and higher education, as well as advocacy groups regarding compliance issues; additionally, she implements discussions of “best practices,” advocates/educates in online and in-person trainings, collaborates with domestic violence advocates, police officers, commonwealths’ attorneys, among others, and assists students filing Title IX complaints. Ms. Irvin-Rooney holds a J.D. from William & Mary Law School where she was awarded the National Association of Women Lawyers Award along with the Dean’s Certificate for special and outstanding service to the law school community. Before law school, Ms. Irvin-Rooney graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in Rhetoric and Communications Studies and Sociology from the University of Richmond. She earned a master’s degree in English Rhetoric and Writing from Virginia Commonwealth University and taught at the secondary and post-secondary levels.