Dear Friends and Colleagues:
As I prepare for this next chapter in my career and life, it’s humbling to reflect on the strides we’ve made for Florida’s survivors over the last fifteen years. While it’s difficult to enumerate all of the advancements, please take a moment with me to consider some of our team’s significant work.
More than 800 healthcare professionals have received our 40-hour Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner training. Hundreds of law enforcement officers and leaders have been trained in trauma-informed investigative techniques, and are now training others. Thousands of survivors have received life-saving services at Florida’s certified sexual assault programs.
FCASV has championed landmark victim-centered legislation that has significantly improved our state’s response to and for survivors of sexual violence. We collaborated with public officials, survivors, and other victim advocacy organizations to identify and promote necessary changes to Florida’s mandatory reporting law; end the statute of limitations on prosecution of child sexual abuse; and ensure that forensic evidence collected from victims’ bodies will never again languish, untested, while offenders go free. Not only have we advocated for public policy changes, we’ve also brought together sexual assault programs, law enforcement agencies, healthcare providers, state attorneys, and other allied professions to guide local communities in implementing statutory changes.
As hard as it is to leave FCASV, I’m confident in the knowledge that our team -- passionate, strong, and hardworking -- will continue to lead our state in the work to create safe and just communities for everyone.
Currently, FCASV’s Board is in the process of interviewing and selecting a new Executive Director. In the interim, I will remain in the office two days a week to ensure there are no leadership gaps during this transition.
I know you will continue to amplify the voices of those who are still ignored, working together in unity, and moving forward as leaders in your communities, inspiring others with the courage in your hearts and the goodness of your work.
It has been a tremendous honor to represent Florida’s certified sexual assault programs over the past 15 years. I count you not just as colleagues but friends, friends whose constancy has sustained me during the most challenging times. Your commitment to survivors, and to justice, will inspire me long into the future.
Jennifer L. Dritt, LCSW