MNADV Statewide Domestic Violence Conference is a biennial event that provides advanced training and information about intimate partner violence.  The conference is planned by local leaders who are dedicated to ending intimate partner violence.

Reclaim. Renew. Restore.

“Reclaim. Renew. Restore.” is the theme of 2020 conference. It is an invitation for the community to reclaim what was taken, renew our faith and commitment to preventing violence, and restore our compassion and the will to heal from harm.

For the safety of our members and conference participants, and to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus, we made a bold decision to hold a virtual conference.  We have organized a three-day event full of high-quality programming.  REGISTER HERE

Cost & Ticket Information

    • FREE   MNADV Member Registration (includes Category I Social Work CEUs)
    • $10     Non-Member Registration without Social Work CEUs
    • $25     Non-Member Registration with Social Work CEUs

Frequently asked questions?

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • Are Social Work CEUs available? Yes! 15 hours of Category 1 Social Work CEUs are available.
  • How much are Social Work CEU’s? Social Work CEUs are free if you are an Individual Member of MNADV, or you work or volunteer for an organization that is a Member of MNADV. The cost is $15 for non-members.
  • What is your cancellation policy? Tickets for the conference are non-refundable, but are transferable to another individual in your agency or organization. If you need to change the attendees, please do so at least one week in advance. To do so, please email or call 301-429-3601.
  • I can’t make it anymore, but my colleague can. Can this person take my place? Yes – tickets are transferable to another individual in your agency or organization. If you need to change the attendees, please do so at least one week in advance. To do so, please email or call 301-429-3601.
  • I can only attend part of the conference, can I still register? Yes – This is a virtual conference. Once you have the access link, you will be able to logon throughout the duration of the conference.



Speaker Bios

Who Should Attend?

  • Any professional that works directly with domestic violence survivors, their children, or abusers:
  • Domestic Violence Service Providers (Shelter Staff, Advocates, Therapists, Abuser Intervention Staff)
  • Government Social Service Employees (Adult Protective Services, Child Welfare, DHS, Supervised Visitation, Juvenile Services)
  • Law Enforcement (Patrol, Supervisors, Probation/Parole, Corrections)
  • Legal/Court (Attorneys, Victim-Witness Specialists, Judges, Clerks)
  • Education (K-12, Campus Disciplinary, Title IX, Faculty)
  • Community-Based (Substance Use Professionals, Immigration, Transitional Housing)
  • Health Care (Nurses, Physicians, Community Health Advocates, Mental Health Providers)
  • Faith/Religious Leaders

Highlighted Speakers

Conference Program

Speakers + Presenters

Opening Keynote, Speaker Alicia Sanchez Gill, MSW, is a long-time organizer, advocate, and non-profit professional. She has fifteen years of experience in cross-movement organizing grounded in Black, queer feminist theory, and lived experience. Alicia is currently the Director of Emergent Fund. In her role, she manages a rapid-response fund partnership with Women Donors Network, Solidaire, Threshold Foundation, and the Democracy Alliance. The Emergent Fund was established to help move quick resources to communities that are under attack by federal policies and priorities – immigrants, women, Muslim and Arab- American communities, Black people, Indigenous communities, LGBTQ communities, and all people of color.

Closing Keynote Speaker, Lydia Watts, launched Rebuild, Overcome, and Rise (ROAR) at the University of Maryland Baltimore Law School to provide civil legal and wrap-around services to survivors of crime in Baltimore City. Lydia has spent the past 30 years working with survivors of intimate partner and sexual violence. She co-founded Women Empowered Against Violence (WEAVE), where she was Executive Director from 1995-2005. Lydia is also the founding board chair of the Network for Victim Recovery (NVRDC) in Washington D.C., which serves survivors of all types of crime with a strong emphasis on serving survivors of rape and sexual assault.

Theresa Hiegel graduated from the University of Maryland at College Park with a Bachelors of Arts in Criminal Justice and Criminology and received a certificate from Hood College in Thanatology. Currently, she is pursuing a Master’s Degree in Crisis Response and Trauma. Theresa has worked for non-profit Heartly House, the Frederick County State’s Attorney’s Office and currently works for the Frederick County Sheriff’s as the Crisis Response Lead. Theresa is a certified instructor through the Maryland Police Training Commission and routinely conducts trainings for the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office, and partnering agencies as well as providing outreach and education to the Frederick County Community. She was named as Frederick County Sheriff’s Office Civilian of the Year in 2012, 2013 Civilian of the Year by the Chamber of Commerce in

Frederick, MD, and was the 2018 recipient of the Henry Gleim Memorial Award from the Governor’s Office of Crime Prevention Youth and Victim Services.


Danielle Brandon, is a wife, mother, and two-time gestational surrogate. She has 3 dogs and a tripod cat. She went to school for deaf studies and interpretation but has found her place in Radiology. She lost her brother in 2012 to addiction, and mother in 2015 to intimate partner violence. Following the death of her mother, she has worked to bring awareness to intimate partner violence and advocates for victims’ rights. Danielle has continual contact with the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office and participates as an active member and leader in raising awareness through Memorial Miles to honor those lives lost to intimate partner violence in the state of Maryland.


Corporal Michael Davies began his law enforcement career in 2001 with the Baltimore City Police Department. During this time, he had exposure to urban policing practices and successfully interacted with residents of all social-economic backgrounds. In 2003, he was a lateral hire with the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office and has served in various specialized units within to include: the Community Deputy Program, Community Outreach Unit, and the Criminal Investigations Section as a Persons Crimes Detective. With his recent promotion to Corporal, he was assigned to Patrol Operations as a first-line supervisor. During his tenure as a detective in the Persons Crimes Unit, Cpl. Davies had the opportunity to investigate a multitude of crimes to include Homicides, Rapes, Sex Offenses, Child Abuse, Child Exploitation, and Child Pornography. Cpl. Davies has completed numerous specialized training, including the Harvard Associates in Police Science Homicide School, Child Death Investigations, Inside the Tape Homicide and Crime Scene Management, Inside Sex Crimes Investigations, Forensic Child Interview Training, John E. Reid and Associates Child Abuse and Family Violence Training. Added with over a decade of investigative experience, Cpl. Davies is proficient in crime scene management, conducting forensic child interviews, victim interviews, as well as, suspect interviews, all with a common goal of locating the facts and details and obtaining a truthful confession for successful prosecution. Some notable career accomplishments include two Unit Citation awards within the Criminal Investigation Section and a 2014 recipient of the State of Maryland Governor’s Citation Award for unwavering commitment, advocacy for fair, compassionate, and dignified treatment for all of the victims of domestic violence crimes.

Durryle Brooks, Ph.D. is an early career interdisciplinary researcher and a social justice practitioner from Baltimore, MD. He is the Founder and CEO of Love and Justice Consulting LLC, an organization that provides leaders with diversity and social justice learning opportunities to increase their capacity to effectively and authentically engage difference. Additionally, over the past 15 years, Dr. Brooks’ research agenda has explored the impact of systemic oppression on the holistic health of Black communities with a focus on exploring how racism, sexism, and heterosexism impact Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) people’s mental, physical, spiritual, emotional, and sexual health. As an educator, Dr. Brooks’ work focuses on social justice education pedagogy, curriculum design, healing, and trauma-informed approaches, and strengths-based practices to address both educational and health disparities. Currently, Dr. Brooks is a Research Associate at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in the Department of Epidemiology. His emerging research seeks to examine the material impact of Intimate Partner Violence on Black Gay and Bisexual young men and the community supports they need to heal using community participatory action research.

Rahmah A. Abdulaleem, KARAMAH

Rahmah A. Abdulaleem is the Executive Director of KARAMAH. As Executive Director, Ms. Abdulaleem is active in advocating and educating on issues that affect Muslims and Muslim women in particular on a local, national and international platforms. She has lectured to students, international delegations and community members in the Washington, DC area, spoke on panels at national conferences, participated in meetings with government officials on domestic violence, civil rights and national security issues and taught leadership courses to Muslim women in the Philippines.


Aisha Rahman, Sugarlimb Consulting

Aisha Rahman served as KARAMAH’s Executive Director and Director of Family Law for six years. During these years, Aisha conducted national training with lawyers, judges, and advocates on family law. Aisha also started a legal services initiative at KARAMAH, where along with other attorneys, she provided pro bono legal assistance to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. This experience confirmed for Aisha that not only is there a need to provide affordable legal services, but also conscientious, unbiased, culturally, and religiously sensitive services. Aisha left KARAMAH in November 2017 to start Sugarlimb Consulting and join the Baig Firm. With nearly a decade of legal experience, Aisha is handling complex family law matters at The Baig Firm including divorce, custody, child support, Islamic marriage contracts, and other related matters. Aisha also continues to provide family law training to judges, lawyers, and advocates on a national level.

Lisa Nitsch serves as Director of Training & Education for House of Ruth Maryland. She is responsible for the agency’s intervention programs for abusive partners and the Training Institute, which coordinates professional development for staff, external community education, and professional technical assistance. Lisa oversees the day-to-day operation of these programs and new initiatives that improve the quality and scope of services. Lisa has been with House of Ruth Maryland since 1998. For six years she served as Vice President of the national organization, Women in Fatherhood, and nearly a decade as Chair of Maryland’s Abuse Intervention Collaborative. Today she is an appointed member of the Maryland Governor’s Family Violence Council and sits on the Board of Directors for the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence. Her current, but ever-changing, interests include developing programs for abusive partners that take an intersectional approach to address privilege and abuse of power, engaging intended service audiences in program design & development, citing Black women, global access of professional development tools for advocates, and exploring community-based accountability models for abusive partners beyond the criminal legal system. Her roots run deep in her hometown of Baltimore City, where continues to work and live with her remarkably patient husband, witty niece, and a gentle pit bull.

Grace F. Boudreau, MPH is a power-based violence preventionist and a skilled trainer who has presented to a variety of audiences across Maryland on topics such as, sexual violence prevention and evaluation efforts, consent communication, and the intersection of alcohol and sexual violence. She received her Masters of Public Health with a concentration in Behavioral and Community Health at the University of Maryland, College Park. She has worked in the government, nonprofit, and higher education sectors. Grace is currently the Coordinator for Outreach and Assessment at CARE to Stop Violence.


Christine DeBastiani is the Crisis Manager for the Southern Maryland Center for Family Advocacy serving St. Mary’s, Charles, and Calvert Counties. In addition to providing direct services for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, including legal advocacy, crisis support, access to counseling, 24/7 emergency shelter, and rape crisis support, SMCFA works with community partners to provide referrals to additional client services.


Fawn, is a survivor of domestic violence and lifelong Maryland resident, exclusively on the Eastern Shore. She was a Queen Anne’s County resident for over 20 years. Fawn has children with her abuser and experienced every form of abuse including economic, verbal, psychological, sexual, and physical abuse. The abuse took place over the span of 10 years. Fawn believes that without the help of the domestic violence program she would not be alive today.  She is happy to share her story to help further the outreach work to help victims become fellow survivors.


Katelyn Kennell-Gaither is the Shelter Director at Family Crisis Resource Center, Inc. in Allegany County, MD. Katelyn works with victims entering the shelter, provides case management services to secure housing and other needs, and fulfills supervisory and administrative duties. Currently, Katelyn is earning for Master’s in Social Work degree. Katelyn has been with the agency for 6 years. She has coordinated the supervised visitation program and worked to develop the Prison Rape Elimination Act support services for all county detention facilities.


Robin M. Sample is a trained Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Human Trafficking Victim Advocate and is currently employed by Mid-Shore Council on Family Violence as the Case Management Coordinator and the Victim Advocate for Dorchester County clients.  Robin is also a best-selling author, having written three (3) solo projects, entitled, “When I Stopped Being Angry with God,” “21 Affirmations for Forgiveness and Healing,” and ‘From Shattered Pieces to Complete Peace.”  Robin is also a co-author on three (3) anthology projects, all of which were published in 2019.  Robin will also be featured in the ‘She Wins…Beyond The Bruises’ Documentary on Domestic Violence Survival, which will be released and shown in theatres across the United States in the near future, under the direction of Visionary Producer and Author, Tamika Hall of TamikaInk.



Jeanne Yeager is the Executive Director of Mid-Shore Council on Family Violence.  Yeager has been with the Mid-Shore Council on Family Violence for 20 years and has over 28 years of experience in the field of domestic violence. Yeager, an innovator in her field, has an extensive background as an administrator, program developer, manager, and executive director. She has been recognized for her work on behalf of domestic violence victims with a “Governor’s Victim Assistance Award” and an “Outstanding Achievement Award” from the Lt. Governor’s/Attorney General’s Family Violence Council, the 2006 Henry Gleim Memorial Award from the State Board of Victim Services, and was named one of Maryland’s Top 100 women by The Daily Record in 2006 and 2008. Since 2005, she has been appointed by the Governor to serve on the Maryland State Board of Victim Services and the Family Violence Council. In 2016, Governor Hogan appointed her as the chair of the Family Violence Council.

Colleen Armstrong serves as the Prevention and Education Coordinator for Fairfax County’s Domestic and Sexual Violence Services (DSVS). Colleen joined DSVS in February 2018, bringing over a decade of violence prevention and victim service experience to this role. In her position, Colleen provides targeted training and technical assistance to allied professionals and both community and county agencies to deepen their capacity to serve victims of domestic and sexual violence, stalking and human trafficking. Prior to joining DSVS, Colleen developed a victim services and prevention program through a grant from the Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women. She has trained audiences across the country ranging from middle school students to college administrators to law enforcement on recognizing, preventing, responding to and investigating sexual assault, domestic violence and stalking.


Helen McDonald is the Youth Education and Outreach Specialist for the Fairfax County Domestic and Sexual Violence Services. In this role, Helen provides school and community education to youth and adults about healthy relationships, teen dating violence, intimate partner violence, and sexual violence. Prior to working with Fairfax County, they worked as a Child and Youth Advocate as well as a Prevention Educator at Sojourner House in Rhode Island. Through engaging workshops, role-playing, movement-based activities, and discussion groups, Helen seeks to build awareness specifically about gender and interpersonal violence, while also bringing awareness to the ways that larger systems of oppression, like racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, etc. play a role in the ways people and communities experience violence. Helen takes a holistic, trauma-informed, and client/youth-centered approach to violence prevention and advocacy.

Ayana Wallace is a Project Manager at Ujima. Prior to joining Ujima, Ay one of MNADV’s new Project Managers on the Maryland training team, having recently transitioned from her position as Project Manager for MNADV’s national Lethality Assessment Program-Maryland Model (LAP). While on the LAP team, Ayana was responsible for managing several national sites on the implementation of the Lethality Assessment Program-Maryland Model (LAP) as part of the Domestic Violence Homicide Prevention Demonstration Initiative (DVHPDI), an Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) funded initiative that aims to measure domestic violence homicide prevention in selected sites nationwide.  Ayana graduated from Dickinson College with her Bachelor’s degree in Women’s and Gender Studies and minors in English, History, and Creative Writing. She went on to obtain her Master’s degree in Women’s and Gender Studies, with a concentration in Health and Sexuality, from Towson University. Throughout her time at Towson University, Ayana focused her area of research on violence in communities of color, specifically intimate partner violence, sexual violence and reproductive coercion, and medicalized racism. While completing her Master’s program, she interned at the House of Ruth Maryland in Baltimore, Maryland and upon graduation worked for several years as a Client Case Coordinator at the domestic violence shelter in Montgomery County, MD. Ayana considers herself to be a womanist and aims to always be intersectional in her approach and to highlight the experiences of victims who have been marginalized.

Veronica Quinonez holds a Masters of Arts degree in Conflict Resolution from Georgetown University and a Bachelor’s in Psychology and International Relations from Virginia Commonwealth University. She is currently working as a Program Manager for the CDC “DELTA” grant on violence prevention initiatives for the state of Tennessee. She previously worked as the Gender Violence Program Coordinator at Georgetown University. Veronica also has provided crisis counseling and served as a Safe

Helpline Shift Manager for the Rape Abuse Incest National Network (RAINN) in Washington, D.C. Her focus is on intersectional, social justice, and empowerment approaches to addressing interpersonal violence. She aims to create culture change via a commitment to decolonizing and innovative approaches to education and training.

Sessions + Schedule

August 26-28, 2020


10:30 AM-12:30 PM

Opening Plenary: Multi-tiered Approach Presentation by Theresa Hiegel, Danielle Brandon, and Corporal Mike Davies

This session discusses the tragic story of Donna Laudick who was murdered by her husband, Robert “Glen” Laudick. Donna’s daughter, Danielle Brandon collaborates with the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office to reveal details of the case. They also explore the dynamics of manipulation, and address concerns and needs of a surviving family member.


1:00 PM – 2:30 PM

Session 1: Intimate Partner Violence Among Black Gay and Bisexual Men: Examining the Issues of Structural Racism and Systemic Oppression by Dr. Durryle Brooks, John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

This session will explore local and regional data on IPV among Black, gay and bisexual men and critically examine structural issues that prevent these men from accessing services. This session will conclude with an exploration of strategies focused on an intersectional justice approach to shifting the field of IPV toward greater inclusion.


3:30 PM – 5:00 PM

Session 2: Addressing Domestic Violence in the American Muslim Community by Rahmah A. Abdulaleem from KARAMAH Muslim Women Lawyers for Human Rights and Aisha Rahman from Sugarlimb Consulting and the Baig Firm.

This workshop will focus on the intersections between Islam and gender-based violence & supporting Muslim survivors of interpersonal violence. It is designed to address a multi-disciplinary audience including: adults/parents, religious leaders, social services staff, board members, and state agencies (DV and SA).

10: 00 AM -12:00 PM

Session 3: Using the Lens of Systemic Oppression to Redesign Abuse Intervention Programs by Lisa Nitsch and Angelique Green-Manning of House of Ruth Maryland

House of Ruth Maryland has transformed the way they offer intervention services for abusive partners. Their focus on cultural relevance and accessibility led to the development of a unique approach that includes wrap-around services for participants that aim to increase engagement and reduce lethality. With an emphasis on their process Lisa will share their vision of a holistic approach to engaging abusive partners while maintaining their focus on survivor safety.


1:00 PM – 3:00 PM

Session 4: Fireside Chat with Jeanne Yeager, Executive Director of Mid-Shore Council on Family Violence (MSCFV) & Panelists Christine DeBastiani (Southern Maryland Center for Family Advocacy), Grace Fansler Boudreau (University of Maryland ‘s CARE to Stop Violence program), Fawn (Survivor-Advocate), Katelyn Kennell-Gaither (Family Crisis Resource Center), and Robin Sample (MSCFV).

Jeanne Yeager presents recent research and discusses the state of domestic violence in rural Maryland. This often overlooked population of intimate partner violence survivors has unique needs. Jeanne will be joined by leaders in the field to review and discuss the short film, “Domestic Violence in Rural America: Survivors’ Stories.” The panelists listed above will also discuss the similarities and differences in providing services in different rural communities in Maryland and answer questions from attendees on how to improve services to survivors in rural areas across the state.


3:30 PM – 5:00 PM

Session 5: Strengthening Community Responses to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Gender-Nonconforming Survivors by Colleen Armstrong and Helen McDonald from Fairfax County Domestic and Sexual Violence Services

This training will use interactive activities, case-scenarios, and an experiential study of LGBTQ-GNC oppression to help domestic and sexual violence service providers create safer, more welcoming and inclusive environments within their programs for LGBTQ -GNC survivors. The training will also strengthen community responses to LGBTQ- GNC individuals seeking services through an intersectional lens that examines how systems of oppression, unique experiences of intimate partner violence, and institutional bias can shape experiences for our queer and transgender community members.

1:00 PM – 2:30 PM

Session 6: Closer to Freedom: Envisioning a World Where Black Women Aren’t Seen as Angry and UnWhole by Ayana Wallace from Ujima

This workshop seeks to examine the intersections of race, class, and gender and how racialized tropes have not only manifested but are perpetuated and continue to impact Black women survivors and advocates alike. Through dynamic and interactive discourse we will explore strategies that will shift power toward collective liberation in the workplace and for survivors who seek justice. We will critique the ways in which advocacy becomes performative when staff of color, specifically Black women, experience inequity and micro-aggressions in the workplace and other “safe spaces.”


3:30 PM – 5:00 PM

Session 7: When Cultural Competency and Intersectionality Backfire by Veronica Quinonez from JCADA

As more individuals gain an understanding of intersectionality and aim for inclusivity we must stop and ask ourselves if our efforts have unintended consequences. When navigating higher education and nonprofits, one cannot help but draw parallels to white supremacist colonial archetypes. Even the most well-intentioned efforts, language, and programs can actually mimic what our colonizers did to our ancestors or living relatives. This program aims to raise awareness about such unintended consequences.