Happy 40th Anniversary, SARA!

Last week, Action Alliance staff traveled to Charlottesville to attend the 11th Annual SARA (Sexual Assault Resource Agency) Awards Breakfast. We cherish opportunities to be included in our members’ events and this event was particularly exciting as it also marked SARA’s 40th anniversary. The event honored SARA’s past, present, and the future they see towards a vision of eliminating sexual violence.

Six people standing around a banner that says, "eliminating sexual violence in our community- SARA"

Action Alliance staff celebrating SARA’s 40th anniversary at their annual breakfast.

To honor the past, the morning was filled with stories from current and former staff, board members, and community supporters about the immense and invaluable impact SARA’s services have had on survivors.

To honor the present, we presented Becky Weybright, SARA’s Executive Director, with the 2019 Visionary Voice Award from The National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC). This award recognizes the creativity and hard work of individuals around the country who demonstrate outstanding work to end sexual violence. Each year, state coalitions select an outstanding individual to nominate for the awards and for 2019 our leadership team excitedly identified Becky as the perfect candidate.

Becky is a thoughtful and strategic leader in the statewide movement to end sexual violence. She’s worked in the sexual and domestic violence field since 1988 and now provides excellent leadership as the Executive Director of SARA. Becky successfully navigates that balance between supporting compassionate direct services and building evidence-informed and effective prevention strategies, recognizing that both advocacy and prevention need to be cultivated. As a director, she genuinely cares about her staff.  She leads by example and has the respect and gratitude for those whom and with whom she serves.  Becky doesn’t hesitate to answer the phone or serve a walk-in client.  She is respected by her community partners for having a strong vision for the agency and creating a space for survivors in the community to have a voice. She is proud to be a part of a team of dedicated staff, board, and volunteers and pleased to support the work of her state coalition.

Kristi VanAudenhove and Becky Weybright holding her clock award.

Kristi VanAudenhove and Becky Weybright at SARA’s 40th Anniversary celebration, where Becky was awarded the NSVRC’s 2019 Visionary Voice Award.

To honor the future, the focus shifted to SARA’s leadership and dedication to prevent sexual violence. Dr. Lisa Speidel, a former SARA staff and now UVA Assistant Professor, carried this theme of honoring the past and while continually pushing towards a more equitable, safe, and thriving future. The road forward requires investing in prevention, taking an intersectional approach to our work, centering community norms that reinforce empathy, supporting healthy sexuality, and teaching nuanced consent skills.

It’s often said by those of us in this movement that we’d like our communities to put us out of business. Until that happens, we are grateful to work alongside agencies such as SARA to ensure all survivors are treated with dignity. Cheers to 40 wonderful years of advocacy and prevention!

About SARA: SARA works to eliminate sexual violence and its impact by providing education, advocacy and support to men, women and children. Their vision is a community free from sexual violence. They are based in Charlottesville, Virginia, and serve residents of Charlottesville, Albemarle, Nelson, Louisa, Fluvanna and Greene.


Kat Monusky is the Director of Resilience & Capacity-Building at the Virginia Sexual & Domestic Violence Action Alliance where she works with the Movement Strategies team to lead coalition social change initiatives focused on primary prevention and trauma-informed advocacy.

Thank You Members, Donors and Supporters!

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Our 2018 Annual Report highlights the work we accomplished last year, including milestones in prevention, policy, community engagement, and statewide advocacy. We invite you to view the report online and learn where our energy has been directed recently, and also to see our vision of where the future might find us.

Additionally, we acknowledge, with immense gratitude, that this work was only possible because of our members, donors, and supporters. From all of us at the Action Alliance, thank you for being a part of the movement to end sexual and domestic violence in Virginia!

If you would like to join the number of people and organizations supporting our efforts, you can learn how to become a member here.

2019 Act. Honor. Hope.

Each year, the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance hosts Act. Honor. Hope., an event to recognize individuals and groups who have gone above and beyond to turn the tide and support the development of safe, healthy, and thriving communities across the Commonwealth.

This year, we celebrate and honor the action of individuals and organizations that embody change and empower the communities around them to promote conditions in which every person can thrive. These agents of change provide an example for us all.

December 6, 2019 11:30 to 2:30pm, Virginia Crossings Hotel and Conference Center, Glen Allen, Virginia. Act. Honor. Hope. Member Celebration Luncheon honoring leaders who take extraordinary action to end sexual and domestic violence, and offer hope for a better tomorrow. Action Logo of two intersecting A's in gray and green.

This year’s honorees are:

An organization challenging racial injustice in Virginia by working to dismantle the youth prison model and promoting the creation of community-based alternatives to youth incarceration.

  • Carol Adams — Richmond City Police

Sgt. Adams’ foundation has become a resource center connecting domestic violence victims with services such as counseling and housing, serving the Richmond area’s historically underserved and unserved communities.

A tireless advocate for women’s rights, who, for the past 33 years, has nurtured and grown the Women’s Resource Center into an agency that helps 3,500 survivors each year, providing resources, advocacy, and education.

Del. Carroll Foy has devoted her life to public service and started a political action committee, Virginia for Everyone, aimed at supporting women of color entering political leadership. She has been a passionate advocate and spokesperson for ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment in Virginia.

Act. Honor. Hope. is an opportunity to celebrate the incredible work that has been accomplished this year by the honorees, join with advocates and allies from across Virginia, and raise the necessary funds to continue this critical work.

Please join us in HONORing these leaders who have taken extraordinary ACTION to bring about the change necessary to end sexual and domestic violence. Their leadership offers HOPE for a better tomorrow.

Act. Honor. Hope. will be held on December 6 from 11:30am to 2:30pm at the Henrico Ballroom at Virginia Crossings Hotel & Conference Center in Glen Allen, Virginia and will include lunch as well as a silent auction. Proceeds support the policy, prevention, and advocacy efforts of the Action Alliance. We hope you will join us and bring a friend! Purchase your tickets here by Nov. 22, 2019.