At the age of seventeen, Angela was abducted at knifepoint while leaving her job at a shopping mall in the suburbs of Chicago. She was taken and then assaulted by a repeat sex offender on parole for murder. Angela was eventually let go by the offender; a bruised and disoriented Rose was then shocked at the treatment of her case by the authorities. All of the anguish that existed during the abduction was immediately replaced by anger and a strong sense of vigilance. Angela worked with the perpetrator's previous victims as well as the community to help enact Illinois Sexually Dangerous Persons Commitment Act in 1998. Upon attending the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Angela became frustrated by the lack of activism on this crucial issue. Angela then founded the organization PAVE to create education and action surrounding the issues of sexual violence, which was inclusiveness to all individuals and their experiences. As the Executive Director, Angela has cultivated PAVE into a national organization and continues to inspire others to join the movement to end sexual assault by traveling the country and abroad.
Stephanie Byrnes, PAVE Leader and incest survivor, graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2003 with a degree in Journalism that emphasized Advertising and Public Relations. During college, she became very involved in Women’s issues and eventually became Chair of University of Wisconsin PAVE Chapter her senior year. Stephanie has also done volunteer work for the National Organization for Women (NOW) where she worked on the Governor/ Lieutenant Governor campaigns for Kathleen Falk and Barbara Lawton. Currently she works as the Advertising/Marketing Coordinator for a local community bank in Wisconsin while continuing her involvement with National PAVE.
While an undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, Laura became an outspoken victim of sexual assault. Her passion for victims’ rights was ignited after finding out that Wisconsin still had no legislation on the issue of alcohol-facilitated sexual assaults, making her case virtually unprosecutable. To turn her outrage into activism, Laura became involved with PAVE at the University of Wisconsin PAVE Chapter. She became the Media Advocate her senior year and was involved with the first Survivor Justice Campaign on behalf of ‘Patty’. After receiving her B.A. in Psychology & Legal Studies, she was accepted into Teach For America in New Orleans, Louisiana. She is currently finishing up her two-year commitment teaching at an inner-city school freshly opened after Hurricane Katrina, while also volunteering for National PAVE.
Jamila has always been emphatically involved in organizations that uplift women spiritually, emotionally, educationally and physically. Jamila received her undergraduate degree in Business Administration from Florida A&M University as well as her MBA. Jamila is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and also on the Future Leaders Council of the YWCA, whose mission is to eliminate racism and empower women. Jamila has been blessed to travel abroad to places such as Africa, Germany, Austria, England, and other various Islands in an effort to raise awareness to cultural differences. In addition, she currently runs a health and wellness business through Arbonne International while also working as an Associate Director for Employee Benefits.for a non-for profit organization that provides insurance services to colleges and universities.
Malissa was a co-worker with Angela Rose when she learned about Roses’ abduction and assault. In support, Malissa attended the sentencing of the perpetrator in Roses’ case. Sitting with the perpetrator’s previous victims and seeing Angela’s passion and activism, Malissa decided to get involved in the movement to end sexual violence. Malissa avidly tracks coverage of sexual assault cases and PAVE’s education and activism in the media. Additionally, she currently is involved with WEAVE (Women Escaping a Violent Environment) while working as a photographer in Sacramento, California.
As a three-time rape survivor, this theme has been the motivation for Jaime Gill who has moved from feeling cursed and victimized to blessed and empowered. Jaime believes that God allowed her to survive such painful and traumatic experiences to become a witness to other rape/sexual abuse victims around the world. As a sought after public speaker for youth impact and women empowerment, she has shared her own story to encourage victims to begin the healing process. Currently, Jaime serves as the Television Producer/ Senior Editor for New Faith Baptist Church International (Matteson, IL). Jaime’s ministry takes her across the country and into Africa, often leading to contact with countless victims that feel silenced, scarred, trapped, insecure, and afraid. Whether through media, public speaking, Jaime strives to PAVE the way for survivors through her courage and voice.
At the age of 22, Gabe became a rape victim, an experience that left him confused, hurt, ashamed and angry. Those feelings continued for him until he finally found the courage to "speak out" as a survivor. Gabe first spoke out in the Red Eye, a local Chicago paper, and later became featured in the ‘The Voices and Faces Project’. Gabe has since attended a National Male Victimization Conference and spoken out at various schools and community agencies about his work as a male rape survivor. Having previously received his bachelor’s degree in Parks and Recreation Administration from Illinois State University, Gabe has gone on to earn his Master’s degree in Higher Education Administration, with an emphasis on Student Affairs from Northern Illinois University. At his university, Gabe became instrumental in founding the organization MASIV (Men Against Sexual Interpersonal Violence) that reaches out to various communities within college campuses, speaking out about sexual violence and the encourage men to take an active role in the understanding and prevention of sexual violence. One of Gabe’s many passions is to bring a voice to sexual victimization in the Deaf Communities. He strongly believes that every victim/survivors should be recognized regardless of their race, religion, creed, physical ability, gender, or sexual preference since giving survivors their own identity back is a form of empowerment.
Julia is PAVE's LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer) Director. She attended Columbia College where she worked towards a degree in Cultural Studies and Theatre, with a focus on Queer theory and Gender studies. After graduating, Julia created a one-woman, interactive performance Anthropos, which aims to cultivate social and cultural awareness around the topic of gender, sexuality, and violence within the community. Through her performances Julia makes her audience more acutely aware of stereotypes, hatred and violence. Her passion is to end the ignorance that breeds violence, while also creating solidarity for the audience members.
Diana Riser graduated with a B.A. in Psychology & Philosophy from the University of Alabama - Huntsville. She immediately followed her passion of working with survivors of sexual abuse and took a job with Safe Place and Rape Crisis Center (SPARCC) as an educator and then manager of education, from 2003 to 2007. At SPARCC, Diana coordinated and provided education on domestic violence, dating violence, rape, child sexual abuse, sexual harassment, as well as provided counseling to teenage and adult survivors of sexual abuse. Currently, Diana Riser is pursuing her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology at Virginia Tech. Her research focuses on risk, resilience, trauma in child and adolescent development, and on pedophilia. Diana hopes to provide greater insight into the occurrence of sexual abuse and subsequent recovery of victims, support for survivors, intervention for offenders, and the overall prevention of sexual abuse.
Austin has been active with PAVE since its first meeting on the University of Wisconsin- Madison’s campus in the spring of 2001. Austin served as a male speaker in countless events with PAVE's brother organization, MOSA (Men Opposing Sexual Assault), while also working behind the scenes for PAVE on one of his life's passions: progressive policy and legislation. Together with PAVE founder Angela Rose, Austin developed and guided PAVE's early legislative efforts on fair and humane treatment of survivors. Austin went on to become a Madison, Wisconsin City Council member in 2003, was re-elected in 2005, and served as the Common Council’s president in 2006 (becoming the youngest in the city’s 150 year history). While in office, he spearheaded the “Justice for Patty” Resolution that offered a long-overdue apology and compensation from the city to a rape survivor who was disbelieved and vilified upon reporting her assault. The resolution also provided consequences to an unscrupulous law firm that represented the city in her case and mandated that the Madison Police review their use of deception and ruses against victims of sensitive crimes. Currently, Austin resides in New Orleans, Louisiana, where he serves as the National Director of the Financial Justice Center for ACORN, the nation's largest community organization of low- and moderate-income families.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
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