AG Herring honors victims’ advocates from around the Commonwealth
Attorney General Mark R. Herring commemorated National Crime Victims’ Rights Week by honoring 11 victims’ advocates at the fourth Unsung Heroes Awards ceremony. The Unsung Heroes Awards honor Virginians who have dedicated themselves to serving victims and fighting for their rights.
“This morning, we honored eleven Virginians, who have dedicated their time and efforts to supporting victims’ services, but who oftentimes go un-thanked, with the Unsung Heroes Award,” Herring said. “These incredible men and women have gone above and beyond to provide victims with a safe space and the support that they deserve. Each of today’s recipients has given immeasurable comfort and help to victims or survivors, especially when they may feel lost or alone. It is my honor to recognize these remarkable Virginians and thank them for their unwavering dedication to this critical work.”
Below are the recipients of this year’s Unsung Heroes Awards:
Erin Bumgarner Barr, Senior Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney in Colonial Heights
Erin Bumgarner Barr is a Senior Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney in Colonial Heights. Prior to working in Colonial Heights, she was a Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney in Chesterfield. Over a decade of prosecuting, Barr has worked on various types of cases, specializing in investigations and prosecutions involving homicide, child abuse, sexual assault, domestic violence, and juvenile cases. Erin received a BA in Political Science and Sociology from Randolph-Macon College and a JD from University of Richmond Law School. Barr loves her work, horseback riding, reading, and keeping up with her energetic son Joseph.
Carla Cross, M.P.O. Detective, Radford City Police Department
Carla Cross has been a police officer since 2005 and has been working in the Criminal Investigations Bureau at the Radford City Police Department since 2010. As a detective, she has primarily worked child abuse and sexual assault cases for over eight years. Cross also serves as the coordinator for Radford Police Department’s Lethality Assessment Program, collaborating with the Women’s Resource Center on advocate training. She has also served as a member of her region’s multi-disciplinary team for child abuse and coordinating council since 2010.
Ian Danielsen, L.C.S.W., Assistant Professor, Longwood University
Ian Danielsen earned his Master of Social Work from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1992 and then worked for the Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice for nearly ten years in an intensive treatment program for sexually aggressive youth. Later, Ian spent four years as a clinician providing residential treatment services for adolescent boys in foster care. He then served the director of the Greater Richmond SCAN Child Advocacy Center from 2006 to 2016. In this role, Ian coordinated several important projects including earning national accreditation, forming seven new multidisciplinary child abuse teams, and engaging in statewide legislative advocacy on behalf of Virginia’s children.
Danielsen served as an adjunct faculty instructor for the VCU School of Social Work from 2009 to 2016 and now serves as Assistant Professor in Longwood University’s Social Work Program. In this capacity, he serves on the Steering Committee of Longwood LIFE, a post-secondary education program at Longwood for young adults with Autism and intellectual disabilities. Ian also provides expert testimony in criminal trials in areas including child forensic interviewing and delayed disclosure of victims of abuse. His research interests include child protection and welfare, public health outreach for infant safe-sleep practices, and program evaluation for adults with disabilities in higher education. He has been an authorized Stewards of Children Trainer since 2008 and an authorized Safe Church Trainer since 2013.
Kim Flournoy DiJoseph, Project and Training Coordinator, Virginia Victim Assistance Network
Kim Flournoy DiJoseph, M.S.W. has engaged in 25+ years of work with, and for, victims at just about every point on the professional continuum – from volunteer court advocate to clinical practitioner; founding director of children’s services at Richmond’s Safe Harbor to organizational consultant to domestic and sexual violence agencies. She also has extensive experience developing and teaching courses in grief and loss, vicarious trauma, child-centered play therapy, and trauma across the developmental lifespan.
Most recently, DiJoseph transitioned from seven years as an associate professor at Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of Social Work to her current, part-time role as the project and training coordinator for the Virginia Victim Assistance Network. As the daughter of a victim of homicide, Kim had the unique vantage point of being a seasoned professional in the trauma field while simultaneously navigating the lived experience of the internal and external processes associated with violent crime.
DiJoseph utilizes this unique perspective as a speaker and writer in an attempt to serve as a truth-bridge between victim-serving agencies and the victims they support. Kim is also a mother and wife with a Richmond-based intuitive healing practice.
Beth Eisenzimmer, Family Advocate Coordinator, Children’s Trust of the Roanoke Valley
Beth Eisenzimmer is the Family Advocate Coordinator at the Children’s Advocacy Center, a program of Children’s Trust in Roanoke, Virginia. Upon joining the center 10 years ago, she became responsible for the development of the family advocacy program, joining a forensic interviewer to serve 3 jurisdictions. Under Eisenzimmer’s supervision, the advocacy program is one of the strongest in the state and she has been asked to mentor other programs both inside and outside of Virginia.
She has presented about successfully supporting families at multiple venues, including the annual Crimes Against Children Conference. In 2015, she was presented with the opportunity to become the handler of Elvis, a fully certified service dog placed at the CAC as a facility dog. His presence has become the bridge between the center’s desire to keep the child comfortable and the need to gather information.
In 2018, Eisenzimmer created and oversaw a mental health initiative in which Children’s Trust provided trauma focused training and certification for therapists across each of their 23 jurisdictions. This initiative has allowed appropriate mental health services to be available to clients without waiting lists and continues to be a success. In 2019, she proposed the agency bring a large-scale event to the community that would confidentially acknowledge each of the 14,246 children who had reported abuse in the areas served by the agency during the previous year. Although postponed due to the pandemic, it will move forward in 2021 and is hopeful to attract national attention.
Eisenzimmer has also been trained to participate in Virginia’s Crisis Response Team and continues to work closely with several multidisciplinary teams in helping children heal from trauma.
Saly J. Fayez, Director, Fairfax County Police Department Victim Services Division
Saly Fayez began working with victims of violent crime as an intern with The Center for Victims of Violent Crime (CVVC) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1999. After receiving her MSW from the University of Pittsburgh, she was hired by CVVC as a Prevention-Education Specialist and later served as the Juvenile Court Advocacy Supervisor. In 2003 she relocated to Northern Virginia, where she joined the Victim Services Division of the Fairfax County Police Department, first as a Victim/Witness Specialist, and since September 2011, as the Director.
As director, she manages a unit of 14 victim specialists providing system-based victim services to four police jurisdictions. Responsibilities include providing leadership and overall direction of direct services to include 24-hour on-scene crisis response, information and referrals, safety planning, court accompaniment, VINE notification, criminal injuries compensation assistance, and public awareness and outreach.
Fayez was tasked to develop the Fairfax County Police Departments Death Notification General Order and was part of the team responsible for bringing the Lethality Assessment Protocol to the department to assist first responders to tailor the needs of their response to victims of Domestic Violence. In 2016, she contributed to Matthew Giblin’s publication, “Leadership and Management in Police Organizations.”
Fayez received a departmental Commendation for her work in supporting survivors and witnesses during the Alfredo Prieto Capital Murder trial.
Kristen Mallory, Founder, Mallory’s Movement Against Drunk Driving, Inc.
Kristen Mallory had her life forever changed on June 9, 2013, when she was hit by someone driving under the influence. As a result of the selfish act of this individual, Kristen suffered unimaginable emotional and physical injuries that still impact her life today. At the young age of 16, she was an active member of her church, an involved high school student, and a dynamic dancer. As a survivor of this horrific event, Mallory has made it her life’s mission to share her story in order to spread awareness about the dangers of drinking and driving.
It is important to Mallory that people understand the long-term implications of something that is 100% preventable. With this mission in mind, Kristen speaks at high schools, colleges, prisons, military bases, police training events, leadership retreats, conferences and pageants by partnering with Chesterfield County Schools, the Victim Services Unit of the Virginia Department of Corrections, Chesterfield County Police, the Virginia State Police, Youth of Virginia Speak Out About Traffic Safety, US Navy and US Air Force, SafeRides and MADD.
Mallory is passionate about doing her part to prevent others from being impacted the same way she has, but also hopes to inspire others, who have been affected by similar circumstances. Kristen wants others to learn that they too can survive and show they are not alone. As a way to reach more people, Mallory’s Movement Against Drunk Driving, Inc. was formed in 2018 and gained 501(c)3 status in 2019.
As of April 2020, Mallory has shared her story in-person 178 times to over 11,000 people. Her story is also being shared via social media on Facebook at “Mallory’s Movement Against Drunk Driving” and on Instagram at “mallorysmovement”.
Chuck E. Marshall, Detective, Albermarle County Police Department Special Victim’s Unit
Chuck Marshall began his career with the Albemarle Police Department in 1982 and became a detective in 1986. He has been working as a Special Victim Detective since 2003 and is often called upon to investigate serious cases involving sexual assault of both adults and children. In his work with victims, Marshall identified the need for, coordinated, and set up a special area within the Albemarle Police Department where victims would have a safe and comfortable location to recount the story of their abuse. He is often called upon by The Shelter for Help and Emergency and the Sexual Assault Resource Agency (SARA) to meet with survivors outside of the police department to make them feel more at ease when documenting these crimes. He provides training to new SARA staff and the UVA Forensic Nurses on police procedures and outlines how the different organizations can work together to meet the needs of survivors and help in the prosecution of crimes.
Marshall oversees all domestic-related reports and reaches out to the victims to ensure that services needed are met. He meets regularly with the Domestic Violence Fatality Review Board and provides information critical to the teams’ assessments. He has served as an expert witness and testified in front of the Medical Review Board on behalf of the attorney general’s office for his work in a high-profile abuse case. He also volunteers on the Internet Crimes Against Children task force, identifying and apprehending online child predators.
Shant’a Miller, CEO and Founder, Parents Against Bullying VA
Shant’a Miller is a mother, entrepreneur, consultant, pioneer and community advocate on behalf of hundreds of children and their families in Virginia and across the country. She is Executive Director and founder of the not-for-profit organization Parents Against Bullying, Inc. and CEO of P.U.S.H. Professional Consulting, LLC, which stands for Patience, Understanding, Stability, and Handling Your Business.
Miller launched Parents Against Bullying after her family experienced firsthand the traumatic effects of a horrible bullying incident that involved her daughter. The attack caused her to confront the issue of bullying head-on and she found herself dealing with medical, safety and other concerns that were impacting her family. Turning a negative situation into a positive one, she vowed to do everything in her power to prevent another child, family or community from dealing with the stress and trauma that her family endured. Since the incident, Miller has dedicated her life to stamping out bullying wherever it raises its ugly head.
Miller hosts annual events, monthly workshops, weekly mentoring sessions, summer camps, school visits, and much more, sharing her message of healing, restoration, elevation and growth. Her “No-Bully Zones” and other annual events raise awareness and promote best practices that are powered by a call to action.
Mark W. Nowacki, Director, Culpeper Victim/Witness Program
Mark W. Nowacki has served as Director of the Culpeper Victim/Witness Program for past 23 years and has received over 400 hours of specialized training in victim advocacy over the course of his career. He is a 20-year member and former chair of the Culpeper Task Force on Domestic and Sexual Violence and founded the first Homicide Co-Survivors Support Group in the region in 2017. He has taught numerous classes for students, law enforcement, prosecutors and others on victim advocacy and victims’ rights. He participates in the state’s Crisis Response Team to assist with mass casualty events and is a member of the National Organization for Victims of Crime and the Virginia Victim Assistance Network, where he previously served as Treasurer. A veteran if the US Air Force, Nowacki has been married for 29 years and has two children, ages 24 and 22. He referees high school basketball and softball and volunteers as an Eagle Scout mentor.
Karla Crump Reaves, Director, Hampton Victim Services Unit
Karla Crump Reaves is a graduate of Elizabeth City State University where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology/Pre-Social Work. She also received a master’s degree in Public Administration with an emphasis in Public Personnel Management from Troy State University. Karla started her work in victim services as an Intern while in college.
In December 1985, Reaves became the director of Hampton Victim Services Unit. During the early days of victim rights, Reaves was the only Victim Advocate for the city of Hampton. Karla has established outstanding partnerships with the Hampton Police Department, Hampton Sheriff’s Office, Hampton University, Thomas Nelson Community College, Office on Youth and Young Adult Opportunities, Transitions Family Violence Services, The Center for Sexual Assault Survivors, Inc., The Center for Child and Family Services, and other community agencies that are instrumental in assisting crime victims and their families. She introduced and coordinated Hampton’s first R.E.S.E.T.-Rapid Engagement and Support in the Event of Trauma program, in which a team of volunteers respond to city neighborhoods 24-48 hours after a homicide or serious crime occurs, providing information and resources.
Reaves holds memberships with the National Organization for Victim Assistance, Virginia Crisis Response Team, Virginia Victim Assistance Network, Peninsula Area Coalition, and the National Victims Center and is a Credentialed Advocate with the National Advocate Credentialing Program. Karla was appointed to the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Advisory Board under the administrations of Governors Baliles and Wilder. She is past president and an honorary member of the Board of Directors for The Center for Sexual Assault Survivors, Inc., chairperson of the Family Violence Prevention Council for Transitions Family Violence Services, Co-Founder of the Hampton Junior Commonwealth’s Attorney Program, and a member of the Security Committee for the Coliseum Central Business Improvement District.
Reaves is a member of Carver Memorial Presbyterian Church where she serves as an elder and co-chairperson of the Ministry on Christian Growth and Nurture. She is also a member of the Hampton Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., where she currently serves on the Social Action Committee and Arts and Letters Committee and a member of Girl Friends, Inc., Newport News Chapter.