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WCASA is Wisconsin's only state-wide coalition dedicated to ending sexual violence.

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        Our Mission

        The Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault creates the social change necessary to end sexual violence. 

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        Every other year at the Voices of Courage Awards Luncheon, WCASA honors the outstanding work of Wisconsin individuals who have demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to ending sexual violence.  The Voices of Courage Awards allow us to recognize the extraordinary work being done throughout Wisconsin. The 2018 awardees received their awards at a luncheon ceremony held in their honor on June 8, 2018, as part of the WCASA 2018 Training Institute at the Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells. 


        2018 Voices of Courage Awardees

          (see press release)

        Lifetime Achievement
        The Lifetime Achievement Award is intended to honor an individual who has dedicated her/his life to ending sexual violence and supporting survivors of sexual violence

        Deb Donovan, RN, SANE-A, SANE-P, SANE Program Coordinator, Froedtert Hospital and the Medical College of Wisconsin

        Advocate of Color - A person of color making a difference in the sexual assault field

        Benoni Martinez, Bilingual Victim Advocate, UMOS

        Campus Catalyst
        A college student making a difference in the sexual assault field

        Ellie McKee, President & Jessica Weber, Vice President, UW-Stout Students for Consent

        Community Changemaker
        A changemaker who is not from a WCASA sexual assault service provider (SASP) and demonstrates passion for ending sexual violence, but often goes unrecognized and/or uncompensated

        Sam Collier, Founder, TeamTeal365

        This award is intended to honor an individual survivor – and their courage and dedicated efforts to end sexual violence


        Any college or K-12 employee that is championing sexual violence issues at their school, including administrators, teachers, staff / faculty and counselors

        Chelsea Bongert, Teacher, Wilson Middle School

        Generation Next
        A young adult/ youth making a difference in the field

        Kwnwahta Smith, WISE Intern, Wise Women Gathering Place

        Can include prevention educators and other prevention professionals

        Tony Gerharz, Health Educator/Head Baseball Coach, Oshkosh West High School

        Can include health care providers / SANE, law enforcement officers, judges, District Attorneys, victim/witness coordinators and corrections

        Captain Aimee Obregon, Sensitive Crimes Unit, Milwaukee Police Department

        Victim/Survivor Advocacy
        Can include victim/survivor advocates, sexual assault service providers and volunteers

        Erin Neilan, SAVS Coordinator, InCourage; Theresa Gregor, Legal Advocate, InCourage; and Fran Beilke, Sexual Assault Victim Advocate, CAP Services


        Previous Recipients:


        2016 Voices of Courage Awardees (see press release)

        • Lifetime Achievement: Lt. Faye Schouten (retired), UW-Whitewater PD; Linda Selk-Yerges, executive director (retired), ASTOP
        • Community Support: Mindy Lubar Price, president & CEO, Leading Transitions, LLC.
        • Courage: Callen Harty, survivor, activist, author, playwright
        • Criminal Justice: Jill Karofsky, executive director, Department of Justice Office of Crime Victim Services
        • Health & Human Services: Catina Cole, MPower Theater, UW-Milwaukee Women's Resource Center
        • Policy: Jason Mugnaini, Chief of Staff for State Senator Robert Cowles
        • Prevention: Maria Schirmer, director of education and outreach, Rape Crisis Center
        • Victim/Survivor Advocacy: Paula Schoenberg, sexual assault services coordinator, Family Advocates, Inc.


        2015 Voices of Courage Awardees (see press release)

        • Alice Skenandore, Executive Director, Wise Women Gathering Place, in the Lifetime Achievement category
        • Maureen Funk, Clinical Manager, Social Services, Gundersen Health System, in the lifetime cchievement category
        • Kate Malone, Tattoo Artist, Atomic Tattoos, in the community support category
        • Lt. Dale Lutz, Jefferson Police Department, in the community support category
        • Arianna Castro, Student, Neenah High School, in the courage category
        • Kristi Dietz, Director of Office of Detention Facilities, Wisconsin Department of Corrections, in the criminal justice category
        • Theresa Wetzsteon, Deputy District Attorney, Marathon County District Attorney's Office, in the criminal justice category
        • Terri Fugate, RN, Southwest Health- Platteville, in the health and human services category
        • Korina Pubanz, SANE Nurse, Shawano Medical Center/Thedacare, in the health and human services category
        • Luci Staudacher, Hand in Hand Program Manager, Pathfinders, in the prevention category
        • Emily Schwartzstein, Student, Oregon High School, in the public policy category
        • Jan Bruder, Program Coordinator, Brighter Tomorrows, in the victim advocacy category



        2014 Voices of Courage Awards recipients (see press release)

        • Linda Davis, Survivor, Advocate, Volunteer, Activist and Philanthropist, in theLifetime Achievement category
        • Alma Mann, Sexual Assault Victim Advocate at People Against Domestic & Sexual Violence (PADA) in the Victim/Survivor Advocacy category
        • Jackie Larson, Crisis Response Specialist at Eau Claire County District Attorney's Office Victim/Witness Services, in the Criminal Justice category
        • Janice Griffin, Counselor/Advocate at the Rape Crisis Center, in the Victim/Survivor Advocacy category
        • Mariana Rodriguez, Program Manager at UMOS Latina Resource Center, in the Community Support category
        • Pamela Christopher, Executive Director at the Monroe Chamber of Commerce, in the Courage category
        • Sarah Chesmore, Clinical/SANE Emergency Room Coordinator at Fort Health Care, in the Health & Human Services category
        • Tanvi Kumar, student at Fond du Lac High School, in the Prevention Education category


        2013 Voices of Courage Award Recipients:

        • Dawn Helmrich, Director of Data and Outcomes at United Way of Greater Milwaukee, and McKenna Nerone, a Senior at Wauwatosa East High School, in the Community Support category
        • Joshua Grube, Deputy District Attorney of Walworth County in the Criminal Justice Category
        • Cherri Stillwell, Advocate at Abuse Education in the Classroom, and Jamie Stephany, Information Coordinator at L.I.N.K.E.D. of Brown County, co-nominated in the Courage category
        • Sarah Cleveland, Teacher at Neenah High School in the Prevention Education category
        • Molly Herrmann, Wisconsin AIDS/HIV Program in the Wisconsin Department of Health Services in the Health & Human Services category
        • MaryBeth Grice, Volunteer Advocate at Sexual Assault Recover Program, and Shelby Mitchell, Sexual Assault Victim Advocate, Safe Haven in the Victim/Survivor Advocacy category
        • Joe Prillwitz, Guidance Counselor at Mosinee High School in the Lifetime Achievement category
        • Jen Hopper, Musician, received a special Survivor to Thriver award


        2012 Voices of Courage Award Recipients:

        • Ellen Schwartz, Advocate, Sexual Assault Recovery Program of Family Services of Southern Wisconsin & Richard Cowan, (her husband) of Green Co. in the Community Support category
        • Miriam Falk, Assistant District Attorney, Milwaukee County, in the Criminal Justice category
        • Naomi Lafferty, of Passages, Inc, and Scott, Wisconsin resident, in the Courage category
        • Carmen Hotvedt, Violence Prevention Specialist, University Health Services, UW-Madison, in the Prevention Education category
        • Pauline Mau, Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner, Monroe Clinic ER, in the Health & Human Services category
        • Vicki Biehn, Rural Services Coordinator & Therapist, Sexual Assault Services of Lutheran Social Services, in the Victim/Survivor Advocacy category
        • Senator Julie Lassa (D, 24th Senate District), Senator Robert Cowles (R, 2nd Senate District), and Representative Jim Steineke (R 5th Assembly District) in the Public Policy category
        • Arline Hillestad, Executive Director of the Family Center,  and Elizabeth Ghilardi, Forensic Interview Program Supervisor, Child Protection Center, Children’s Hospital, in the Lifetime Achievement category


        2011 Voices of Courage Award Recipients:

        • Health and Human Services: Carolyn Nash, Marshfield Clinic Wausau Center, Wausau
        • Community Support: Philip Allen Jr., Minister, Dayster Christian Fellowship, Beloit
        • Prevention Education Award
          Fox Valley Voices of Men – Leadership Team, Appleton
        • Reveille Award: Gina Barton, Investigative Reporter (Crime, courts), Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
        • Criminal Justice: Wade Newell, Chippewa County Assistant District Attorney, Chippewa Falls
        • Public Policy: Joe Parisi, Dane County Executive, Madison
        • Public Policy: Sara Finger, Executive Director, Wisconsin Alliance for Women’s Health, Madison
        • Victim/Survivor Advocacy: Sandy DeWalt, Volunteer Advocate, Sexual Assault Services of Lutheran Social Services, Racine
        • Courage: Maija Cruz, Milwaukee 
        •  Lifetime Achievement: Susan Lockwood, Sexual Assault Center and Child Advocacy Center of Family Services, Green Bay
        • Lifetime Achievement: Linda Schroeder, Manitowoc County Human Services – Child Protection, Manitowoc

        2010 Voices of Courage Awards Recipients: 

        • Victim/Survivor/Advocacy: Carmen McBride, Milwaukee
        • Prevention Education: Linda Selk-Yerges, ASTOP, Fond du Lac
        • Health and Human Services: Debbie Donovan, Auora/SATC, Milwaukee
        • Community Support: Marcia Dull, Logan High School, La Crosse
        • Public Policy: Winn Collins, Green Lake County DA’s Office, Green Lake
        • Courage: Kathleen Gean, Public Advocate, Milwaukee
        • Criminal Justice: Chief Mark Richert, North Hudson Police Department; SART Board Chair, Hudson
        • Lifetime Achievement: Ann Ranfranz, Milwaukee County DA’s Office, Milwaukee
        • Lifetime Achievement: Marion Morgan, City of Madison Police Department, Madison


        2009 Voices of Courage Award Recipients:

        • Victim/Survivor/Advocacy: Melinda Hughes, The Healing Center in Milwaukee
        • Prevention Education: SAAM Student Leaders and Advisor, of the St. Mary Springs High School in Fond du Lac
        • Health and Human Services: Carolyn Kuether, Coordinator of the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) Program for Dunn County in Menomonie
        • Community Support: Waushara County CCRT, in Waushara County
        • Courage: ASTOP Teen Group in Fond du Lac
        • Criminal Justice: Chief Jim Arts, Lt. Mike Nick, and Retired Commander Al Van Haute, Green Bay Police Department
        • Lifetime Achievement: Deb Butler, Director of LCO Oakwood Haven in Hayward
        • Lifetime Achievement (posthumous): Helen Kelly, Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE)Program for SATC in Milwaukee


        2008 Voices of Courage Award Recipients:

        • Victim/Survivor Advocacy: Terri DeWalt, Sexual Assault Services/Luthern Social Services, Racine County
        • Prevention Education: VOICE, Marquette University
        • Health and Human Services: Sue Robertson and St. Vincent Hospital SANE program, Green Bay
        • Community Support: A Disability Abuse Prevention Team (ADAPT), Brown County, WI
        • Public Policy: Representative Terry Musser, Representative Mark Pocan and Senator Judy Robson
        • Courage: Peter Isely, SNAP (Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests)
        • Criminal Justice: Tim Gruenke, La Crosse County DA’s Office
        • Lifetime Achievement: Shirley Frederickson, A Bridge to Hope, Dunn and Pepin Counties