Topeka, Kan. - The departure of Juliene Maska from the Kansas Governor's Grants Program office is a great loss to Kansas domestic violence and sexual assault advocacy programs and the victims they serve. Not only did Juliene devote her career to making Kansas better for victims of crime, she was also an advocate, an ally, and a friend to victims of sexual and domestic violence in Kansas and across the nation.
In 1996, recognizing Juliene as one of the founding mothers of the movement to end violence against women and children in Kansas, the Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence (KCSDV) created an award in her name. KCSDV's Juliene Maska Advocate of the Year Award is presented annually to an outstanding advocate in Kansas.
Juliene was one of the founders of KCSDV's member program in Hays, now called Options: Domestic and Sexual Violence Services, Inc. Later, while serving as president of the predecessor organization to KCSDV, the Kansas Association of Domestic Violence Programs, Juliene helped then-Attorney General Robert Stephan build his vision of a strong victims’ rights movement in Kansas by serving on the Kansas Crime Victims Rights Task Force. Since that time, Juliene has worked tirelessly to move that vision into reality in Kansas, including working on the Crime Victim’s Bill of Rights, which passed successfully as an amendment to the Kansas Constitution in 1992. She went on to serve as the first statewide Victim’s Rights Coordinator in the Office of Attorney General Stephan.
Later, while working for Attorney General Carla Stovall, Governor Kathleen Sebelius, and Governor Mark Parkinson, and in collaboration with an array of legislators and advocacy groups, Juliene helped move forward a number of key initiatives, including:
- Adding "dating relationship" to the Protection from Abuse Act to allow protection for dating partners subject to abuse;
- Creation of the Kansas Protection From Stalking Act
- Funding directed toward services for sexual assault victims, and
- Amendments to the sexual assault forensic exam evidence collection statute allowing additional access and support for victims.
More recently, Juliene helped create the Governor's Domestic Violence Fatality Review Board, which crafted the landmark Domestic Violence Designation Law, effective July 1, 2011, and chaired the Governor's Advisory Council on Domestic Violence Training, creating consistent training materials and protocols with a multidisciplinary council. Throughout this time, Juliene served as the state administrator for the federal Violence Against Women Act, Family Violence Prevention and Services Act, and Victims of Crime Act funds.
Julienes public and daily support for crime victims in Kansas will be missed. Her legacy as a leader in the movement to end violence against women and children in Kansas will live on. KCSDV and its member programs extend their deepest thanks to Juliene for dedicating her career to this work.
Contact: Audra Fullerton
KCSDV Communications Coordinator
Founded in 1982, the purpose of KCSDV is the prevention and elimination of sexual and domestic violence through a statewide network of programs providing support and safety for all victims of sexual and domestic violence and stalking, with primary focus on women and their children; direct services; public awareness and education; advocacy for victims; comprehensive prevention; and, social change efforts. Learn more at www.kcsdv.org or www.helpchangekansas.com.