Newsletter: March 2018



Adult Human Trafficking Screening Toolkit & Guide and Adult Human Trafficking Screening Tool

The national toolkit Julie co-authored is now available for free download. The "Adult Human Trafficking Screening Toolkit and Guide" was created by the DHHS Office for Trafficking in Persons, National Human Trafficking Training and Technical Assistance Center, where Julie is an Expert Consultant. Included in the toolkit is the "Adult Human Trafficking Screening Tool" (AHTST), co-authored with Wendy Macias Konstantopoulos, MD, designed for use across various health care, behavioral health, social services, and public health settings. It is intended to assist in assessing adult patients or clients at risk for human trafficking victimization.

The screening instrument was created to be a survivor-centered, trauma-informed, and culturally appropriate intervention tool. It is appropriate for use in non-profits and church ministries as well. Those who administer the screening interview are strongly encouraged to first receive training. Julie's co-author, Wendy Macias Konstantopoulos, M.D., M.P.H, is an anti-trafficking expert and attending physician in the Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Emergency Medicine where she founded and directs a clinic for trafficking victims and survivors. Wendy is also Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at Harvard Medical School.


Julie is collecting survivor stories for a book she has wanted to write for years regarding what happens when domestic violence victims reach out for help to their churches or pastors. Julie's retired pastor father and fellow domestic violence survivor, Rev. Bob Owens, Pastor Emeritus of First Presbyterian Church of Honolulu, will co-write the book, adding a pastoral and biblical perspective. Julie hopes to tell the stories of survivors who represent a wide variety of Christian denominations and sects. Christian survivors will share their experiences seeking support in their faith communities, and how their faith impacted their victimization and recovery. Julie's hope is that the book will help victim/survivors see themselves in the stories of other women and know that they are not alone. She also seeks to help pastors and church leaders understand that domestic violence happens in every sect and denomination and consider ways they can respond ito support and empower victims.


If you know of domestic violence (intimate partner abuse) survivors who may be interested in being interviewed by Julie for this book, please have them contact her via the website contact form. She will reply and provide an explanation about how the project will proceed. Thanks for sharing this information! 


Bresha Meadows, the Ohio teenager who killed her father after he allegedly terrorized and abused her family for years, is finally home. Bresha, who is now 16, was released from the residential mental health facility where she spent the last six months. Her case attracted national media attention and opened up a conversation about how black women and girls are treated by the criminal justice system when they claim self-defense. 

Porn, Violence Against Women, Sex Trafficking: Undeniably Linked
"While porn has always centralized the objectification of women above all else, it is only since it took on a digital format that abuse has moved from being an 'occupational hazard' to the very GOAL of its contents. Physical violence is rife — choking, forceful penetration, slapping and hitting — but the violence can also be symbolic. Violence is a tool that oppresses and subjugates, and porn is littered with this 'symbolic' subjugation... Often, pornography is defended as being a place where people can explore fantasy without real world consequences. Now this is all well and good in theory, but as Andrea Dworkin said, “Pornography happens to women”. Not even taking into account that whatever happens on screen is happening to a real woman, you would have to be intentionally ignorant to believe that these depictions exist in a vacuum and don’t have an influence on real world attitudes towards sex and women." READ MORE→ 


NC Gun Restraining Order Proposal
A NC judge turned legislator has proposed the creation of a new Gun Violence Restraining Order to help thwart future tragedies by providing an avenue for people who ‘see something’ to have the power to go to court and do something about it.

Outlawing Psychological Abuse: What the UK & France Can Teach Us
The U.S. does not laws against psychological abuse by partners, the most common form of domestic violence, and often cnsidered the most damaging to victims. In 2010, France became the first country to ban “psychological violence within marriage.” The United Kingdom passed The Serious Crime Act 2015 that makes it an offense to use controlling or coercive behavior in intimate or familial relationships."  READ MORE→

Oregon House passes bill to close ‘boyfriend loophole’ in background checks for guns
Gun violence and domestic violence are highly correlated.  In the wake of the Parkland, FL mass school shooting, the Oregon House of Representatives passed a bill to expand a federal gun ban to include people convicted of domestic violence against partners they’re not married to. This effectively closes the so-called “boyfriend loophole.” Also the bill bans people convicted of misdemeanor stalking from owning a gun. READ MORE→



We need more incredible advocate attorneys like California's Tia Katrina Taruc Canlas, who helps victims sue their abusers to help give them a chance to attain their independence.  READ MORE→



DV and the Church Flyer jpeg.jpg

MARCH 27, 2018 | 9AM - 4 PM

Julie will be the training provider at a free, all-day conference for pastors, church leaders and others interested in addressing domestic violence in Christian homes. Julie and a number of other survivors will share their stories. Among the topics that Julie will cover are:

  • The historical abuse of women in the church
  • What Christian survivors may believe 
  • Myths about DV often held by faith leaders 
  • Complex scriptural Issues: Biblical gender equality, husbands' "headship",  wifely submission, divorce, forgiveness, a Christian's suffering 
  • Supporting Christian Victims: What helps, what hurts 
  • Do's and don'ts for faith leaders and DV advocates 
  • Creating a helpful response in churches  
  • Resources for victims, abusers, faith leaders, and DV advocates 


Praxis Intl. (developed by Dr Ellen Pence, co-developer of the Power and Control Wheel) is accepting applications for its 18-month course for advocacy teams.The course gives advocates, advocacy program managers and coalition staff a rare chance to come together for self-reflection, inspiration and an opportunity to re-think approaches to individual, institutional and community advocacy. READ MORE→


  • Training the Bank of America domestic violence violence employee advocacy team. Since 2016, when this unique corporate team of Life Events Specialists was created, Julie has been the primary trainer. Team members help bank employees directly affected by domestic violence, providing one-on-one support, connection to relevant resources including confidential counseling and legal services, as well as safety planning and security support at work.
  • Testifying as an expert witness for a domestic violence victim in a custody trial.
  • On-Call Expert Consultant regarding intimate partner violence, violence against women and human trafficking for News Rising, the morning news show on WCCB-TV, the CW affiliate in Charlotte, NC. Julie will begin providing in-person interviews responding to breaking news stories when she is in Charlotte, and Skype interviews when she is away
  • Consulting with the Board of Directors of "Pathways to Safety International", the victim assistance agency for Americans who have been assaulted overseas. Learn about the work of this great one-of-a-kind organization here.