Owensboro, KY — The Kentucky Association of Sexual Assault Programs, Inc. (KASAP) hosted the annual Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month Kickoff Event on March 30, 2023, at the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum in Owensboro, KY. The event was a celebration of the accomplishments of anti-sexual violence professionals in Kentucky, and it was attended by important members of our movement.
The afternoon began with an art show and reception where guests mingled and networked. The event featured exciting performances from the Army National Guard band and delicious food. KASAP debuted the trailer for their new feature-length documentary “Believe Me: Hope and Healing for Sexual Assault Survivors” that will air on KET later this month. There was a panel discussion of people who were interviewed in the documentary: Heather Winnans, Astraea Howard, and Jennifer Francis-Gehring, moderated by Robyn Pizzo.
The day also included the annual award presentation. KASAP recognized the achievements of outstanding individuals and organizations in various categories, including SAAMys which recognize individuals in Kentucky who have made exceptional contributions to the anti-rape movement, the Innovative Program Award, the Fonetta A. Elam award for individuals in Kentucky who have provided exemplary clinical supervision for those working to address sexual violence, the Eileen A. Recktenwald Collaborative Spirit Award, NSVRC’s Visionary Voice Award, and the KY Army National Guard Charles R. Lay Victim Advocate of the Year Award.
The winners were chosen by a panel of experts in the industry and were presented with trophies and certificates of achievement.
This year’s awardees included:
Jennifer Johnson (SAAMy)
Cathy Janes (SAAMy)
Becky Roby, MSSW, LCSW (Fonetta A. Elam Award)
Major Melissa Mattingly (KY Army National Guard Charles R. Lay Victim Advocate of the Year Award)
Melissa Greenwell (Eileen A. Recktenwald Collaborative Spirit Award)
Marissa Castellanos (NSVRC Visionary Voice Award)
Lindsey Wilson College Green Dot (Innovative Program Award)
“Along with recognizing the immense healing survivors of sexual assault can experience through their local rape crisis center, KASAP is also proud to honor the hard work and dedication of the anti-violence movement professionals in Kentucky. We are thrilled to recognize their accomplishments and celebrate their success,” said Missie Quillen, the Executive Director of KASAP.
The awards ceremony was attended by local leaders, center staff and volunteers, and survivors. The event was an opportunity for professionals in the industry to network and build relationships, and it was a huge success.
The Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month committee is already planning next year’s event and looks forward to honoring more outstanding individuals and organizations in the anti-violence field. For more information about KASAP and Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, please visit kasap.org.