Five Leaders in Domestic Violence Prevention Selected for Women’s Policy Institute

Advocacy training prepares leaders to navigate California’s political landscape

The Women’s Foundation of California has selected five leaders from the field of domestic violence to participate in the 2012-2013 class of the Women’s Policy Institute (WPI). The fellows are funded by Blue Shield of California Foundation (BSCF), as part of its longstanding commitment to California’s domestic violence service providers. The individuals selected for the one-year program will undertake trainings on every aspect of the policy process and have the opportunity to meet with legislators, staffers, and other stakeholders working on issues related to domestic violence (DV).

“Here in California and across the country, we need strong, effective advocates to help shape legislation and hasten the movement to end domestic violence,” said Peter Long, Ph.D., president and CEO of Blue Shield of California Foundation. “The knowledge and skills gained through this program will help prepare these dedicated individuals to be true agents of change.”

This year’s DV fellows were chosen through a competitive application process based on their individual strengths, deep knowledge and experience in domestic violence, and leadership within their community. This year’s DV fellows include:

•    Virginia Ballantyne – Next Door Solutions to Domestic Violence, Santa Clara County
•    Krystle Contreras - Central California Family Crisis Center, Tulare County
•    Colsaria Henderson, Family Violence Law Center, Alameda County
•    Jacquie Marroquin - California Partnership to End Domestic Violence, Sacramento County
•    Laura Segura - Women's Crisis Support - Defensa de Mujeres, Santa Cruz County

These five leaders will join 30 other fellows, all leaders from grassroots organizations across California working on issues affecting women and girls. WPI fellows will gain the real-world experience and credentials they need to expand their advocacy capacity and ability to affect system-level change.

In the past nine years, WPI fellows have contributed to the passage of 14 Legislative wins for women. These bills represented positive changes in the law impacting such issues as domestic violence, human trafficking, environmental health, food stamp eligibility, access to education, family planning & sex education, childcare, and women in prison. Since its inception, a total of 247 Fellows have successfully graduated from the program.

About the Women’s Foundation of California
The Women's Foundation of California is a publicly supported grant making foundation that invests in women as a key strategy for creating a California where all communities are economically secure and can thrive. Since 1979, the Foundation has awarded more than $30 million to over 1,200 community-based organizations in each region of the state.

About Blue Shield of California Foundation
As the state’s largest private funder of domestic violence services and prevention, Blue Shield of California Foundation is dedicated to ending domestic violence in California. Since 2002, Blue Shield Against Violence has invested over $36 million in DV services and prevention, including more than $14 million in general operating support for over 100 DV organizations across California. For more information, visit

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