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Listening to Survivors

Nonviolence Programs

Legal and Policy Reform

Training and Education

Together, we can end gender-based violence against women and girls.

Global Rights for Women provides legal reform and systems change support through a survivor-centered coordinated community response that prioritizes equality and safety.

At least 1 in 3 women in the world are victims of domestic and sexual assault.

WHO, Violence against women prevalence estimates, 2018.

An organization dedicated exclusively to a woman’s human right to be free from violence.

This injustice and so many others convinced our founder and Executive Director, Cheryl Thomas, acclaimed human rights attorney, that women need an organization dedicated exclusively to their human right to be free from violence. Where survivor’s voices and experiences are the basis for legal reform and systemic change.

Since 2014, our global partnerships include 60+ women’s nongovernmental organizations, government agencies and U.S. Embassies, the United Nations, and global and local experts on violence against women. These trusted partnerships have advanced laws, values and practices aimed at eliminating violence against women and girls.

Together, we’ve impacted more than 65 million women with improved laws, policies and practices, and we will continue our work until all women are provided the human right to live free from gender-based violence.

Our Team

Programs Staff

Cheryl Thomas

Founder and Executive Director

Since 1993, Cheryl has worked with partners around the world to promote women’s human rights and achieve effective reform on violence against women.

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Melissa Scaia

Director of International Training

Melissa brings a wealth of experience as the former executive director of Domestic Abuse Intervention Programs (DAIP), also known as “the Duluth Model.”

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Laura Williams

Director of Systems Advocacy

Laura started the first Sexual Violence Justice Institute (SVJI). As a founder of the Sexual Violence Justice Institute, she has written, consulted, and trained extensively on the multi-agency, multi-disciplinary response to sexual assault.

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Mingyu Ma

Program Coordinator

Mingyu recently graduated with a Master of Public Policy degree concentrating on gender policy and international education from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. She holds a great interest in empowering underprivileged women in vulnerable situations through enhancing their exposure to educational and economic opportunities.

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Lachlan Anders-MacLeod

Program Administrative Associate

Lachlan is a recent graduate of University of Wisconsin-Madison having majored in Political Science. Lachlan is passionate about international relations, political advocacy and interpersonal communication.

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Pathways to family peace Staff

Lori Stavnes

Pathways to Family Peace Facilitator

Lori is a 5th-generation survivor of domestic violence with a professional background in advocacy and co-facilitating non-violence groups for men and women. 

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Jon Heath

Pathways to Family Peace Facilitator

Jon is recognized internationally for groundbreaking work conducting men’s non-violence batterer intervention programming.

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Hunter Cardwell

Pathways Program Manager

Hunter graduated with her Master’s from Lindenwood University in Criminal Justice Administration. She found a passion in helping victims of violence seek justice.

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Administrative Staff

Christy Flikke

Finance Manager

Christy has a Finance Degree and worked with high net worth clients and their businesses at U.S. Bank Private Client Group and before that in Credit Administration at Marquette Bank.

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Patricia Cumbie

Communications Manager

Patricia’s career has been focused on working with mission-driven organizations seeking to tell their stories through partnership and collaboration.

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Sara Mowchan

Director of Development

Sara brings over 10 years of experience in driving organizational growth, including nonprofit consulting and management for organizations in Minnesota, Washington D.C. and abroad.

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Sophia Morrissette

Administrative Associate

Sophia graduated from Chapman University. She is passionate about creating sustainable solutions to end global gender-based conflict and tackle international policy reform.

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help end violence for women and girls

Join the team

GRW staff have been working in the violence against women field for decades. We’re tireless in our efforts to ensure that our network of partners has consistent access to the current best practices and developments happening across the globe on bettering responses to violence against women.

CONSULTANT EXPERT TRAINERS

Judge Kathryn Quaintance

Kay Arola

Carol Arthur

Marcus Brunning

Judge Elizabeth Cutter

Gabrielle Davis

Rhonda Martinson

Scott Miller

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Lynn Anderson, President, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Holiday Companies

Rebecca J. Bentzinger, Development and Communications Chair

Jane Blaney, Associate General Counsel, Faegre Drinker

Kathryn Goodwin Brackney, Board Member

Holly Eng, Vice President, VP Global Law: Business Operations, Sustainability & Communications, Cargill

Amanda Golly, Vice President of Human Resources, Metropolitan Alliance of Connected Communities

Bob Hamilton, Treasurer, Chief Operating Officer, Fredrikson & Byron, P.A.

Imani Jaafar, Director, Lead Risk Consultant, Target Corporation

Jim Jacobson, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Medica (retired)

Imrana Jalal, Panel Member of World Bank Inspection Panel

Kelley Lindes, Board Member

Rachel Pollock, Associate General Counsel, Meritex

Lynn Schubert, President, Surety & Fidelity Association of America (retired)

Sally Spence, Global Studies Program Specialist, Office of Global Studies, St. Catherine University

Janet Walsh, Senior Fellow, University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs

Sujata Warrier, Training and Technical Assistance Director, Battered Women’s Justice Project

Join the movement

Join the global movement to end gender-based violence.  

Get updates from the Global Rights for Women team about the work around the world to ensure justice for survivors and how you can advocate for ending gender-based violence in your community.


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