Mr. Speaker, the Safety, Advocacy, Growth, and Empowerment (SAGE) program in Wenatchee Valley, Washington works to aid individuals who have experienced domestic abuse. For the past 12 years, Jessica Johnson has gone above and beyond, serving SAGE to the best of her ability.
Her hard work and dedication paid off. In 2016, Jessica was promoted to Executive Director, propelling Jessica to even greater heights. Her work with SAGE has helped to provide a safe-haven for those who faced sexual abuse, domestic violence, stalking, poverty, and sex trafficking in Central Washington. During her time at SAGE, Jessica has overseen the creation of a 24-hour crisis line, a Crime Victim Service Center, and a Domestic Violence advocacy program.
Each of these programs has been instrumental in providing aid to crime victims. Jessica has not only focused her efforts on the larger central communities, but has implemented outreach to rural areas as well. This outreach has expanded opportunities for those who need assistance the most and helped victims reach the resources they desperately need.
Jessica has also established group counseling programs in high schools and worked with schools to ensure faculty and staff are given adequate training on spotting the signs of domestic abuse. Perhaps some of the most important services SAGE and Jessica have provided is through the Child Advocacy Center.
In the Child Advocacy Center, law enforcement agents conduct forensic interviews with children who have been victims of sexual and domestic abuse. This service has been an invaluable resource and helped create a safe environment to interview and assist vulnerable children.
Each year the Congressional Victims’ Rights Caucus honors outstanding individuals and organizations for their tireless efforts supporting and empowering survivors of crime. Cochaired and co-founded by JIM COSTA (D–CA) and myself, the bipartisan caucus advocates for crime victims and protects programs that provide critical support for related services.
I am proud to announce Jessica Johnson as the recipient of the Congressional Victims’ Rights Caucus Ed Stout Memorial Award for Outstanding Victim Advocacy. The Stout Memorial Award is in memory of Ed Stout, the Director of Aid for Victims of Crime in St. Louis. The Honoree is a professional or volunteer whose efforts have directly benefited victims and survivors of crime. I am honored to recognize Jessica and her relentless fight in advocating for crime victims. With the help of Jessica and SAGE, victims from all over Washington have access to resources needed to help rebuild their lives.
And that’s just the way it is.