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Press release content from Globe Newswire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.

Mary Byron Project awards $40,000 to innovative domestic violence programs

January 6, 2021 GMT

LOUISVILLE, Ky., Jan. 06, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- To mark its 20th anniversary and shift to new programming priorities, The Mary Byron Project, Inc. — an organization focused on enhancing justice to end intimate partner violence — will present cash awards to five exemplary programs that serve as models for the nation for their innovative work.

Since 2003, the Mary Byron Project has used its Celebrating Solutions Awards to showcase innovative programs across the nation that have been proven effective on a local level in the quest to end intimate partner violence and that are replicable in other communities.


One former winner, WomensLaw.org — part of the National Network to End Domestic Violence based in Washington, DC — will receive a $20,000 Celebrating Solutions Award for Excellence for its continued legacy of innovation and leadership in ending intimate partner violence.

WomensLaw.org is an online resource and email hotline that provides state-specific, plain-language legal information to more than 1.6 million people annually. Its email hotline is the first of its kind through which trained attorneys provide personalized legal information and referrals to people impacted by intimate partner violence.

“The Award for Excellence is a shining example of the tremendous impact that technology, innovation, and commitment can have as we seek to make the world a safer place for those who are victimized, mostly women, by intimate partner violence,” said Dorislee Gilbert, executive director of the Mary Byron Project. “After WomensLaw.org won the Celebrating Solutions Award in 2005, it gained greater nationwide presence and reach through a merger with the National Network to End Domestic Violence. The spotlight shone on this important project by the Mary Byron Project helped magnify the impact of this program.”

In honor of founding Board Member Mike Davis’s continuing commitment to bringing safety through innovation, the Mary Byron Project will present four former Celebrating Solutions Award winners with special recognition awards of $5,000 each:

  • Day One NY in New York, New York, partners with youth to end dating violence and domestic violence through prevention education, legal advocacy, supportive services, and leadership development. They train nearly 30,000 youth and adults each year.

  • New York Legal Assistance Group, Project Eden in New York, New York, provides culturally sensitive, comprehensive, and holistic legal services to Orthodox Jewish survivors of intimate partner violence. Project Eden’s successful model has been replicated through a similar program called Project RISE, through which culturally and linguistically competent attorneys serve vulnerable immigrant survivors of intimate partner violence and sexual and gender-based violence.

  • The SAFE Alliance, Expect Respect in Austin, Texas, promotes safe and healthy relationships for youth through school-based support groups and counseling, engages youth as leaders and influencers, and builds capacity among adults for response and prevention. Expect Respect provides services to more than 10,000 youth and adults in 35 local K-12 schools.

  • National Crime Victim Law Institute, Responding to Violence Against Women Project in Portland, Oregon, works to ensure that victims of intimate partner violence, sexual assault, stalking, and child abuse are re-empowered rather than re-victimized when they access justice. Legal technical assistance as well as amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) participation on key cases nationwide is also provided. NCVLI has been before the United States Supreme Court to secure protection for victims of intimate partner violence.


The Mary Byron Project invited all previous Celebrating Solutions Award winners to apply for the Award for Excellence. Of the 67 total winners, 60 programs are still operating. Of those, 41 submitted applications and 13 semi-finalists were chosen. 

“All the winners represent a broad range of high-quality programs that emphasize prevention of and safety after violence by providing culturally sensitive and varied services including legal, housing, and educational services to a variety of populations, including historically and regionally underserved populations,” Gilbert said. “We asked them to describe changes and growth in their program since their win. Overwhelmingly, they told us that recognition through the Celebrating Solutions Award was a powerful step in the continued, expanded work of these successful programs.”

The Celebrating Solutions Awards are being retired as the Mary Byron Project turns its thought leadership and services more directly to the legal system’s response to intimate partner violence.

“We see these final awards as a fitting way to close out a chapter of our organization’s journey as we shift to new initiatives designed to improve the role of the justice system in ending intimate partner violence,” Gilbert said. “As we do so, we’ll continue to engage with and support programs across the nation that are allied in a mission to eradicate intimate partner violence.”

About the Mary Byron Project

The Mary Byron Project was established in 2000 in memory of the young woman whose tragic murder led to the creation of automated crime victim notification technologies. Its mission is to enhance justice to end intimate partner violence. The Mary Byron Project is inspired by the belief that people like Mary who think the law is protecting them should, in fact, be protected by the law. It seeks to enhance justice through appellate advocacy, legislative and policy work, and education and training. For more information about the Mary Byron Project or to donate to its work, visit www.marybyronproject.org.

Contact: Dorislee Gilbert, Executive Director dgilbert@marybyronproject.org (502) 992-5801