NWCAVE aims to prevent violence against women, children

National Women’s Coalition Against Violence & Exploitation is headquartered in Vancouver

Courtesy of National Women’s Coalition Against Violence and Exploitation

The National Women’s Coalition Against Violence & Exploitation (NWCAVE) is a nonprofit organization headquartered in Vancouver. Their mission is to inform, educate and prevent violence and exploitation against women and children nationally and internationally – human trafficking, domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, bullying, hate crimes and all other forms of aggression.

NWCAVE strives to keep the public informed and educated on how they can live in a more civilized society, free of violence. Their main focus is three-fold: awareness, information, and prevention.

Their programs and services include the Missing Children’s Division, National Training & Education Institute, Gift of Lift Bra Program, National Media Council, Washington Says No More (a campaign to end domestic violence and sexual assault in Washington state), the Voices for Justice Radio program, national conferences and more.

Through their Missing Children’s Division, the organization takes a role in locating children, spreading the word on platforms like social media, and working with the families to get the word out to mainstream media, taking it to the national level.

They also provide witness protection for women and teens – where NWCAVE partners with law enforcement and prosecuting offices to provide funding for shelter and safe houses for the victims.

The International Women’s Festival

The International Women’s Festival in the Pacific Northwest is slated for March 9-10, 2018, at Clark College – with a small change.

This past year, they were the only festival of its kind in the United States. Michelle Bart, president of NWCAVE, was the first Pebble Rebel award honoree in 2015 selected by the festival committee, which resulted in the selection of NWCAVE as the 2016 nonprofit beneficiary of the awards net proceeds. The Pebble Rebel is awarded to a woman in the Pacific Northwest who makes a positive difference in their community.

The festival’s chair moved away this year, leaving its future uncertain. That is when organizers approached the board of NWCAVE with the suggestion that the festival become part of NWCAVE. The board elected to take it on, and now planning is underway for the 2018 International Women’s Festival in the Pacific Northwest; the first committee meeting is this month.

Clark County Safety Day

Clark County Safety Day is Sept. 16 in Ridgefield, and NWCAVE will have a booth educating youth on anti-bullying, stranger danger and internet safety.

Give More 24!

On Sept. 21, NWCAVE is one of the nonprofit beneficiaries in the Give More 24! – a fundraising program of the Community Foundation for Southwest Washington. Funds raised for NWCAVE will benefit their Missing Children’s Division and other agency programs and services.

GVCC Leads & Needs: The Gift of Lift Bra Program

On Oct. 18, at the Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce Leads & Needs, NWCAVE will sponsor a breakfast at Beaches restaurant for their Gift of Lift Bra Program, which is headed by Robin Helm. Since the program’s inception in 2011, they have collected more than 15,000 bras, which are distributed to women and girls who are survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking or who are incarcerated, low income or homeless. The program also benefits three school districts.

At this event NWCAVE will launch the Brown Bag campaign under Gift of Lift. The campaign will be to engage businesses and men to be part of the agency’s award-winning bra program.
Southwest Conference Against Trafficking

On Jan. 11-13, 2018, NWCAVE will host their biennial Southwest Conference Against Trafficking in Ontario, Cali., along with their co-host partners San Bernardino County, Crittenton Services for Children & Families and Soroptimist International (SI). Along with the anti-trafficking focus, this educational conference will include a film screening with the Joyful Heart Foundation and HBO. The film, “I am Evidence,” directed by actress Mariska Hargitay, is a powerful documentary that examines the stories of sexual assault survivors. The film’s objective is to end the backlog of rape kits across the country. Closing out the weekend will be the 8th annual San Bernardino County Walk Against Trafficking. Learn more at www.SWCAT.org.

Washington Says No More campaign

In March 2018, the Washington Says No More campaign will be launched, a state-wide effort to prevent and end domestic violence and sexual assault in Washington. The campaign will be created and launched by students at Washington State University’s College of Communication, under professor Dr. Elizabeth Candello.

Expanded media for the Missing Children’s Division

For the Missing Children’s Division, NWCAVE is upping the media level on more than 30 cases.

“It’s hard to get donors to contribute to a program that helps other people’s children,” said Michelle Bart, president and co-founder of NWCAVE. “For undocumented persons, NWCAVE has partnered with an immigration attorney since 2016. This past year, this division has assisted law enforcement and DSHS to rescue six children from Washington who are now safe and back to recovery. But there are still hundreds of missing children from Oregon and Washington, and all of them matter.”

Two new Board members added

On July 1, NWCAVE added two new board members, Eric Anderson and Natalie Brand. Anderson is a licensed social worker who has worked in private practice for 19 years, and for the last 17 years, he’s worked for the Washington State Division of Children and Family Services where he serves as the Missing from Care Locator of endangered youth in the foster care system. He also serves on the Clark County Human Trafficking Task Force. He is now NWCAVE’s director of the Missing Children’s Division – the first male in a leadership role in the organization – assisting law enforcement and families to locate their missing children. Anderson will also review cold cases of missing children.

Brand is an award-winning reporter with KING5, with a Master of Public Administration from Harvard Kennedy School of Government. She’s won multiple awards for breaking news coverage, including a Golden Mike, Regional Edward R. Murrow and an Associated Press Television-Radio Association (APTRA) award. She is a co-founding adviser of NWCAVE and currently serves as national communications director.

Also, new to the leadership council is Melissa Mohr who has served two years on the Gift of Lift committee and will continue her role as co-chair of the program. Mohr works at PeaceHealth Plastic Surgery.

The makeup of NWCAVE

There aren’t any employees at NWCAVE, it’s an all-volunteer operated nonprofit 501(c ) (3) organization. It was established in 2009, and exempt June 14, 2012. They are licensed in Washington, Oregon and California.

They’ve received a number of awards as a nonprofit. In 2016, NWCAVE was the recipient of the Platinum level, the highest level a nonprofit can receive from GuideStar. Great Nonprofits has awarded NWCAVE with the National Top Nonprofit Award in 2015 and again this year for 2017. In 2015 they took first place for the state of Washington.

The volunteers on the Board include President and Co-Founder Michelle Bart CCA, CHTA; Secretary and Gift of Lift Chair Robin Helm; Treasurer and Co-Founding Adviser Wanda Costi; Co-Founder Carolyn Pillsbury; Communications Director Natalie Brand MPA; and Missing Children’s Director Eric Anderson.

Other volunteers who fill director positions at NWCAVE are Dr. Kathie Mathis, training director; Marvalene Broadhead, Pacific Northwest director; Donna Bart, social enterprise director; Ann Garrett, California state director; and Janet Kearney, Oregon state director. The volunteers on the Leadership Council Team are Tra’Renee Chambers, Heather Loyola, Melissa Mohr, Kacey Montoya, Araksya Karapetyan and Kami Corbin Schroeder.

NWCAVE’s Board of Directors, National Leadership Directors, their Founding Advisory Council and their National Media Ambassadors all work together to promote the dream – a more civilized society, a world without violence.

Why is NWCAVE located here in Vancouver and not elsewhere?

Bart was already here in Vancouver. She had chaired a conference against trafficking as a member of Soroptimist International (SI) of Southwest Washington, and that forum blossomed into the Northwest Coalition Against Trafficking (NWCAT), which today has become the conference arm of NWCAVE. That conference was very successful, attended by figures from Hollywood, high-profile journalists, including CNN’s Jane Velez-Mitchell and United States Sen. Ron Wyden.

Then in 2012, three of the original co-founders of NWCAT, including Bart, decided to start NWCAVE, focusing on awareness, education and prevention.

What can the business community do to help support NWCAVE?

All forms of violence affect business owners. It hurts the bottom line, whether from aggressive behaviors at work or in the home. If 9-1-1 must be called, that affects everyone- citizens’ taxes pay for those services and resources.

Community members can work to prevent abuse and violence in homes and in the workplace. This means creating awareness and PSA campaigns, the kind seen back in the 1980s such as “This is your brain on drugs,” (alongside a photo of fried eggs) “…any questions?”

Today, all of the initiatives that have been fought so hard for have been forgotten, and the statistics are back on the rise. Being a reactive society costs money and resources that citizens simply don’t have today; being proactive – investing in prevention and education – will save money and lives.

Business can play a part in combating violence. Community members can help prevent it. Businesses can help by stepping up and being proactive, and by teaching anti-violence initiatives in the workplace. NWCAVE can help and is available to come present at your business on many topics. Reach out today at (360) 852-8019.

NWCAVE is a coalition; they don’t do their work alone. They have many partners, current supporters, donors and partners are listed on the NWCAVE website.

A new website and brand is happening this fiscal year. Learn more about NWCAVE and their partners by visiting www.NWCAVE.org.

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