• Adult Children Exposed to Domestic Violence
  • Runaway & Homeless Youth Toolkit
  • Prevent Intimate Partner Violence
  • Violence Against Women Resource Library
  • Domestic Violence and Housing Technical Assistance Consortium
  • Domestic Violence Awareness Project
  • National Resource Center on Domestic Violence

Adult Children Exposed to Domestic Violence (ACE-DV) Leadership Forum


The ACE-DV Leadership Forum is comprised of advocates in the movement to end gender based violence who identify as having experienced domestic violence in childhood. The Leadership Forum was established to amplify the voices and experiences of ACE-DV to enhance our work to end domestic violence.

We envision a movement that includes the perspectives and priorities of ACE-DV in the provision of services, the development of policies, the direction of research, and the general approach to effectively address and prevent domestic violence.
The goals of the ACE-DV Leadership Forum are to:

  1. Promote the leadership of ACE-DV within the movement to end domestic violence and beyond.
  2. Provide technical assistance, training, and guidance related to this issue.
  3. Support the development of trauma-informed, culturally-responsive, asset-based research and information to influence policy and practice impacting children exposed.

Read more about the Purpose, Goals, and Beliefs of the ACE-DV Leadership Forum (Updated April 2016).


Members of the ACE-DV Leadership Forum are available to provide technical assistance and training, serve as project advisors, write or review materials, and for consultation on the development of research, programs, and policies that may impact the lives of children exposed to domestic violence.

For assistance, contact us. To connect to the project, like us on Facebook.

Steering Committee Members

The ACE-DV Leadership Forum Steering Committee, comprised of 12 active members, meets quarterly and is responsible for guiding the work of the group.

David Adams, Ed.D. is co-founder as well as Co-Director of Emerge, the first counseling program in the nation for men who abuse women, established in 1977. Dr. Adams has led groups for men who batter, and conducted outreach to victims of abuse, for 40 years He has led parenting education classes for fathers for 20 years. He is one of the nation’s leading experts on men who batter and has conducted trainings of social service and criminal justice professionals in 46 states and 21 nations. He has published numerous articles and book chapters, and writes a popular blog on The Huffington Post. Dr. Adams is a Commissioner on the Massachusetts Governor’s Council on Sexual and Domestic Violence and Director of the National Domestic Violence Risk Assessment and Management Training Project. His book, “Why Do They Kill? Men Who Murder Their Intimate Partners” was published by Vanderbilt University Press in 2007. Dr. Adams is an experience Expert Witness in family and criminal court cases involving allegations of domestic violence.


Rebecca Balog has a deep-rooted self-identity as an advocate. Rebecca brings 14 years of healthy relationships and anti-violence work through national and grassroots activism. Firmly committed to raising cultural awareness, she believes cross-cultural bridges and unified voices across communities are a foundation for social change. As a member of the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center team, Rebecca serves as Grants Compliance Manager, tracking and overseeing program grants, deliverables and reporting outcomes for various NIWRC projects. Rebecca also provides support for NIWRC Technical Assistance projects. Rebecca has been a facilitator/researcher/writer in various capacities: domestic violence, sexual assault, sex trafficking, homelessness intervention, reproductive justice, economic justice, intergenerational trauma, first responding against hate crimes, Disabilities, human rights, leadership building, mentor projects, advocacy in anti-oppression, specialized Indigenous community advocacy and introduction concepts to Tribal Nations in mainstream programs. Rebecca invests in the restoration of sovereignty for Native women, safety for all families and networking with allies who challenge both visible and invisible privilege. Through the teachings of her mentor, Rebecca firmly believes healed people heal people and hurt people hurt people. We are all on a healing journey. Rebecca is excited and honored to be a part of this healing journey with other sisters and brothers dedicated to keeping healthy relationships as the center of our circles, as healthy relationships and healthy communities is our path to healing. Rebecca was born and raised in Pennsylvania and is Oglala Lakota, Mohawk, and Czechoslovakian Gypsy/Romani descent. She has lived in various areas of the northern, central and southern Mid-Atlantic Region and offers liaison advocacy to Native families on Turtle Island in her spare time as a community volunteer. Rebecca is also a Technical Assistance Specialist for the Women of Color Network, Inc.


Lenny Hayes MA, is an enrolled member of the Sisseton Wahpeton-Oyate of the northeast corner of South Dakota. Lenny is also owner and operator of Tate Topa Consulting, LLC. He has extensive training in mental and chemical health issues that impact the Two-Spirit/LGBTQ community. Lenny has always worked within the Native American community which includes the American Indian Family Center, St. Paul, MN, Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, and was a consultant/therapist with the Little Earth of United Tribes, Minneapolis, MN. He is currently in private practice specializing in Two-Spirit/Native LGBTQ issues with adults and youth. Lenny was most recently selected to be a technical assistant/consultant with the Office for Victims of Crime, Washington, D.C. His lived experience and training have made him a sought after workshop presenter on Native American Historical and Intergenerational Trauma and how it impacts the Native American community as well as the Two-Spirit/Native LGBTQ individual and community. Lenny has traveled nationally training on Two-Spirit/Native LGBTQ issues.

James Henderson is a technical assistance provider for the US Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women through the Battered Women’s Justice Project. From 1991-2008, Jim was a probation officer responsible for overseeing the policies and practices of Intensive Probation for Domestic Violence offenders in Ann Arbor MI. Before joining the criminal justice system in 1993, he worked as the clinical director of Straight, Inc., a family oriented substance abuse program for drug using young people and their families. He has served two terms as a Regional Representative for the Batterer Intervention Services Coalition of Michigan and has been active with them since 1997. He has also been an active member of the Arab American Domestic Violence Coalition from 2001-2006. Jim has designed and conducted training on the effective interviewing of domestic violence offenders and victims. He is on the national advisory board or acts as a consultancy team member for the Family Justice Center Alliance, The Battered Women’s Justice Program, and The Center for Court Innovation. He received his Master’s degree in social work from the University of Michigan in 1995.

Casey Keene has served in various capacities at the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence since 2001. Specializing in issues related to children’s exposure to domestic violence, Casey is an expert consultant and trainer on the statewide, national, and international level. Most recently, she worked on the Honor Our Voices online training for supporting children in shelter and the Change a Life Program to promote resiliency in children exposed. As a young woman, Casey formed a strong partnership with her mother in the on-going struggle for safety and freedom from her mother’s batterer. She is determined to share her story to influence the ways in which advocacy is done on behalf of children exposed to domestic violence. Ms. Keene holds a Master’s in Social Work from Temple University, and has been active in the movement to end domestic violence for more than 15 years.


Ericka Kimball, PhD, LISW is an Assistant Professor at Portland State University. In addition to conducting research in the area of child exposure to domestic violence, she shares her experiences of domestic violence from childhood to adulthood. She has worked with Casey Keene and other leading researchers in the field of violence against women and children exposed to domestic violence to develop and implement two online training resources to guide practitioners (Honor Our Voices) and the general public (Change a Life Program) in supporting children who have been exposed to domestic violence.

Annika Leonard is committed to creating a world where the inherent worth and dignity of Black women, girls and LGBTQ survivors are honored and valued. As the Founding Director of Priceless Incite, she has given her life in servitude to this belief, first in her personal life as a survivor, and also in all capacities of her professional work. Annika’s professional life maps her stride toward justice, as represented by her strong commitment to education where she has a BS in Criminal Justice and a Master of Business Administration, but also her continued studies of topics specifically related to sexual and domestic violence—she has attended trainings and is qualified in dozens of topics including anti-oppression, trauma informed theory, LGBTQ justice, and teen dating violence. Some of her professional experiences in these areas include her former position at the Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault, and her current volunteer position as Co-Chair of the Sexual Assault Sub Committee of the Milwaukee Commission. Perhaps most notable about her work is the overarching centering of social justice as key in ending sexual violence and all other forms of violence—and that the survivors need to lead that work. Annika has developed a unique culturally specific curriculum for Black teen girls that cultivate their leadership, survivorship and wellness to bring about deep, radical, and cultural solutions to ending violence. At her core, she believes that answers must come from survivors and she has committed to empowerment of Black teens to lead the solutions. She teaches this curriculum weekly in Milwaukee high schools, training a new generation of anti-violence movement leaders. Annika believes direct action organizing and critical dialogue are powerful tools to decrease violence against those most affected by patriarchy and increase collective action towards a more just world.


Shenna Morris is the Director of Policy and Community Engagement for the Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence (GCADV). In her current role, Shenna leads initiatives that engage and mobilize communities around the issue of domestic violence, build relationships between marginalized communities and mainstream systems, and bring together the voices of community-based and mainstream programs working to end violence against women. This includes overseeing capacity building TA to community based organizations and spearheading efforts to create space for community-based and mainstream program shared learning and dialogue. Shenna’s leadership in these efforts has been credited with increasing the capacity and approaches of mainstream and community based programs in their effort to serve and advocate beside survivors from marginalized communities. Prior to joining GCADV Shenna was already a rising advocate, utilizing her experience as a child witness survivor of domestic violence to advocate on behalf of survivors and educate communities on the impact to children and their experiences later in life.

Reyna Perez-Garcia has worked alongside Caminar Latino as part of La Voz Juvenile for over 12 years collecting research and presenting data. Some studies she has helped conduct include, youth gang violence, domestic violence in the Latino community, the effects of law enforcement on the Latino community, and more. She has presented at numerous conferences with a wide range of audiences including victims of domestic violence, advocates, and law enforcement. Reyna, along with other members of La Voz Juvenile have helped coauthor “Latina/o Youth Researchers: Responding to Violence Through Research and Action. Latino/a Psychology Today” and “Participatory Action Research with Latin@ Youth: Exploring Immigration and Domestic Violence. National Latin@ Network Casa de Esperanza.”

Reyna is a recent college graduate currently working with a law firm in Atlanta, GA. She hopes to apply to law school in the upcoming year and eventually practice criminal law with the District Attorney’s office. In the mean time she keeps herself occupied traveling, reading, and spending time with her family.

JohnnyRiceIIJohnny Rice II, Dr.PH. is an Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice at Coppin State University. Previously a senior program associate with the Supervised Visitation Initiative (SVI) at the Vera Institute of Justice in their Center on Victimization and Safety, Dr. Rice has spent the past 17 years providing leadership, technical assistance and support to organizations that serve low-income fathers and families in the areas of child welfare, youth development and criminal justice in efforts to create safe and stable communities. He currently serves as a National Steering Committee member for the Institute on Domestic Violence in the African American Community (IDVAAC), Constituent Advisory Board Member for the National Domestic Violence Hotline and Board President for the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence (NRCDV). Dr. Rice has a BS and MS degree in criminal justice from the University of Baltimore and holds a Doctor of Public Health Degree from Morgan State University’s School of Community Health and Policy where his study emphasis was violence prevention and intervention. He currently serves as adjunct faculty for Penn State’s World University and is a proud husband and father.


Zulema (Ruby) White Starr is the President of Latinos United for Peace & Equity (LUPE) a national initiative of Caminar Latino. Prior to co-founding LUPE, Ruby was the Chief Strategy Officer for Casa de Esperanza where she served as director of the National Latin@ Network for Healthy Families and Communities. Ruby spent over 15 years with National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) where she served as the Family Violence Program Director. In that capacity she directed several projects including the national Resource Center on Domestic Violence: Child Protection and Custody, the Safe Haven’s Supervised Visitation and Exchange Technical Assistance Program, and the Federal Greenbook Initiative, an interagency collaboration to address the co-occurrence of domestic violence and child maltreatment. Ms. White’s areas of expertise include children exposed to domestic violence, collaboration, systems reform, co-occurrence, resilience, and cultural competency. Ruby is the author of several articles including Resiliency in Children Exposed to Family Violence in Resiliency in Action Practical Ideas for Overcoming Risks and Building Strengths in Youth, Families, and Communities published by Research Press; Promoting Safety in Cases Involving Domestic Violence and Child Maltreatment in The Connection, published by the National Court Appointed Special Advocate Association; and Tapping Innate Resilience in Children Exposed to Domestic Violence in SYNERGY, Vol. 7, No. 2, Summer 2003 published by NCJFCJ. She holds a B.A. in speech communication from the University of Nevada, Reno. Ruby shares her personal experience as a child witness and child and adult victim of domestic violence with the media and to various groups throughout the country in hopes that her experiences will lead to better practices and outcomes for women, children, and families who have experienced domestic violence.

Olga Trujillo, Director of Education & Social Change at Latinos United for Peace & Equity (LUPE) a national initiative of Caminar Latino. She is an attorney, speaker, author and survivor. Her experience over the past 27 years has been as a private attorney, an attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice, and a consultant to many local, state and national organizations. Olga is an internationally sought speaker and author and is featured in the video A Survivor’s Story, a documentary and training video based on her personal experience of violence. Olga has authored a number of articles and publications. Her memoir for New Harbinger Publications entitled The Sum of My Parts was released in October 2011. She also co-authored a Handbook for Attorneys Representing Domestic Violence Survivors Who Are Also Experiencing Trauma and Mental Health Challenges which was released in January 2012.

Jonathan Yglesias is the Programs & Services Manager at Virginia’s dual sexual and domestic violence coalition, the Virginia Sexual & Domestic Violence Action Alliance. Since 2007, Jonathan has worked in the anti-violence and public health fields in various capacities – coordinating primary prevention projects and training at a statewide anti-violence coalition, managing Rape Prevention & Education funds for state government, supporting prevention and engagement projects on college campuses, and consulting with national resource centers and coalitions on violence prevention and anti-oppression work. Jonathan is a sociologist by training and was raised by a resilient, fierce woman who provided a filter through which his own life experiences were shaped and understood. In his spare time, Jonathan is an outspoken supporter of Southern social justice movements, LGBTQ youth mobilization and youth empowerment initiatives, the #BlackLivesMatter movement, and any space in which people are re-envisioning a world free from violence and oppression. Jonathan is also a pop-culture fanatic and food and animal lover living in Richmond, Virginia with his partner and their very special, special-needs animals.