Wisconsin Department of Children and Families: Governor Walker presents outstanding achievement in domestic abuse awards

Contact: Joe Scialfa or Gina Paige ― 608-266-9000

Governor Walker Presents Outstanding Achievement in Domestic Abuse Issues Awards

(MADISON) ― Governor Scott Walker presented awards to honor three individuals for their contributions in the fight against domestic violence in a special ceremony held today at the state Capitol. The Governor’s Council on Domestic Abuse hosted the event as part of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, a state wide effort to raise awareness about the effects of domestic abuse.
Since 1991, the Governor’s Council on Domestic Abuse has selected recipients for annual Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Domestic Abuse Issues.

“The work that we have done in passing legislation to strengthen protection of victims and the funding provided to expand services to families affected by domestic violence has helped in the fight to ensure all Wisconsin citizens feel safe from harm.” Governor Walker said. “But it is the people that we have honored today, and all of those who have dedicated themselves to ending domestic abuse, who do the most important work. To them we owe our eternal gratitude.”

At the ceremony, Gov. Walker and Wisconsin Department of Children and Families (DCF) Deputy Secretary Lisa Marks presented awards in three categories:
Fox Valley Voices of Men received the Justice Award, which honors and individual or organization for outstanding accomplishment in promoting safety, empowerment and justice for victims of domestic abuse and their children. The organization aims to stop the cycle of abuse to women and children by educating community members on appropriate ways to treat women. In the last three years, they have engaged over 4,000 men and teenage boys, with 2,5000 taking the “White Ribbon Pledge” to never commit, condone or remain silent about men’s violence against women and children.

Nela Kalpic of Madison, a Constituent Relations and policy Research Aide in Senator Jennifer Shilling’s office, was honored with the Courage Award, recognizing a survivor of domestic abuse who has turned adversity into triumph by creating positive change within their community to end domestic abuse. As a survivor, Kalpic has worked with Domestic Abuse Intervention Services to ensure program planning and community coordination is survivor centered and strives to raise awareness by sharing her story on survivor panels. Most recently, she has been working Senator Jennifer Schilling on researching ways Wisconsin state law might be changed to address situations where children witness abuse.
Beth Schnorr of Neenah received the Patricia J. Waschbisch Lifetime Achievement Award, which honors an individual who has provided exceptional services to many survivors of domestic abuse over the course of a career and who has promoted a vision of ending violence and achieving social justice. The award is named for and commemorates the legacy of an advocate who lost her life in a domestic homicide in 2013. Schnorr currently serves as Executive Director of Harbor House and began her career in domestic abuse services over 30 years ago. Her achievements include leading two successful expansion efforts, overseeing the development of programming that includes legal advocacy, specialized support groups, coordinated community response teams, and prevention education in schools, and helping open Jump Start Auto Repair, a woman run auto shop where survivors can feel safe as they become more independent. Schnorr has advocated for many years to make a difference in the lives of domestic abuse survivors and continues to do so.

On a single day in Wisconsin, approximately 2,500 victims seek assistance from a domestic abuse program. Through a strong partnership between DCF and county and tribal partners, individuals are receiving specialized trauma-informed care that is allowing them to heal and become independent again.

“Children who witness domestic violence often experience long-term trauma that left untreated can lead to them becoming victims or abusers themselves,” said DCF Secretary Anderson. “We believe that by continuing to offer support to victims and their children coupled with a multi-generational approach to addressing family trauma and working with abusers to take responsibility for their actions and deal with their own past traumas we can put an end to the generational cycle of domestic violence.

DCF continues to work on preventing domestic abuse through educating a multitude of audience and is currently working on a statewide media campaign with robust, comprehensive, and youth-focused messages about the prevention of domestic and dating violence.

Learn about the types of domestic abuse and where to find domestic abuse services at https://dcf.wisconsin.gov/domesticabuse.

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