Prescott Police Chief Jerald Monahan was selected by End Violence Against Women International (EVAWI) to receive their 2015 Visionary Award.
The Visionary Award recognizes individuals for their vision and leadership in ending violence against women. It is given to an individual who has advanced the field through research or practice, increasing public awareness of the problem of violence against women and improving the response of the criminal justice and community systems.
"End Violence Against Women International has a tremendous reputation for its work with multidisciplinary organizations around the world to protect women from all forms of violence, including sexual assault, domestic violence and stalking," said Chief Monahan. "I am honored and humbled to be selected for the 2015 Visionary Award."
EVAWI's mission is to educate those who respond to gender-based violence, and equip them with knowledge and tools needed to support victims and hold perpetrators accountable. To that end, the organization launched the Start by Believing public awareness campaign, uniquely focused on the public response to sexual assault, in April 2011. According to EVAWI, "because a friend or family member is typically the first person a victim confides in after an assault, each individual's personal reaction is the first step in a long path toward justice and healing. Knowing how to respond is critical—a negative response can worsen the trauma and foster an environment where perpetrators face zero consequences for their crimes."
"Chief Monahan has done an incredible amount of work combating sexual assault and violence against women throughout his 36-year law enforcement career as well as his commitment to making Arizona the first Start by Believing state," said Joanne Archambault, the founder and Executive Director of EVAWI. "Chief Monahan used his connections to gather support for the Start by Believing campaign in cities, counties and campuses across the state of Arizona, as well as the Arizona House of Representatives, and the Office of the Arizona Governor. His tremendous energy, optimism and can-do attitude are infectious. His groundbreaking work with Associations of Chiefs of Police throughout the country has been instrumental in helping to lead the way to a Start by Believing nation."
The first recipient of the Visionary Award was then-Senator Joseph R. Biden for his 1994 Violence Against Women Act. This landmark legislation, providing $1.6 billion to enhance the investigation and prosecution of violent crimes committed against women, heralded by the National Association of Women (NOW), as "the greatest breakthrough in civil rights for women in nearly two decades."
In addition to receiving The Visionary Award, Chief Monahan has been appointed to the EVAWI Board of Directors, where he will continue to work to improve the criminal justice response to gender based crimes.