One in three women have been victims of some form of physical violence by an intimate partner. Although advocacy groups have increased public awareness of violence against women, the numbers of women affected by violence is still shockingly high. This workshop will give participants tools to understand the magnitude and costs of violence against women in this country and to support advocacy and legislation that gives women greater protection under the law.

Location: Payden 103

Moderator: Laura Morris



Ms. Lauren C. Vaughan, Secretary of the District of Columbia

Lauren C. Vaughan was appointed to serve as the Secretary of the District of Columbia in January 2015.  In this role, she is the custodian of the Seal of the District of Columbia and manages the City’s ceremonial services; government document publishing and issuances; notary commissions and authentications; international and diplomatic activities; and public records and archive maintenance.

Ms. Vaughan has a Master of Science degree from George Washington University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Hampton University.  



Ms. Karma Cottman, Executive Director of the DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Ms. Cottman joined the DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence (DCCADV), as Executive Director in 2010.  As the membership agency for domestic violence agencies in the District, DCCADV provides leadership on how to respond effectively to the needs of domestic violence survivors and their children. 

Ms. Cottman is a Washington D.C. native and currently serves on the steering committee of the Institute on Domestic Violence in the African Community and the Policy Partnership for Communities of Color.  


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Ms. Jen Pauliukonis, President of Marylanders to Prevent Gun Violence

Ms. Pauliukonis is a mother and former educator who has spent her career working to protect families, schools, and communities from gun violence.
Under her leadership, Marylanders to Prevent Gun Violence has grown its grassroots participation and changed the landscape and culture of gun related legislation in Annapolis, Maryland. Already, the organization has made progress in getting life-saving legislation passed and blocked bills and executive appointments that would weaken the state’s gun laws and standards.


Shirley Marie Johnson, Founder, Exodus, Inc.

Ms. Johnson is a survivor of abuse, an activist and founder of Exodus, Inc. Her story of abuse was recorded by Story-Corps, NPR and NPL and is recorded in the Library of Congress and the new African American History Cultural Museum at the Smithsonian Institute. Last year, Ms. Johnson won Survivor of the year by MUATB “Meet Us at the Bridge.” To raise awareness on this issue, Ms. Johnson hosted a radio show for four years with over 400 stories from survivors of abuse, guests included Jim Baker’s new wife Lori Baker, Thelma Wells of Women of Faith, Extraordinary Women and many, many more.

In addition, she has lectured at Vanderbilt University to 75 doctors in attendance on “Child Human Trafficking”, spoken at the NOVA National Convention on Child Abuse 101. And in 2017 Ms. Johnson was a main organizer in January’s Women’s March, helping many women from Tennessee get to DC for the march.


Sarah Dachos, DC Chapter Leader, Moms Demand Action

Sarah Dachos firmly believes that we can only make the greater world a better place by improving and building connections in our local community. In that spirit, she is an urban beekeeper who manages hives throughout the city; tries to eradicate an invasive species of fish while contributing to hunger-relief with her work at Wide Net Project; and advocates for gun sense legislation as the DC Chapter Leader for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.