End Violent Encounters (EVE), Inc. hires new executive director

April events planned for community to honor survivors for Sexual Assault Awareness Month

CONTACT: Sam Stiles

sstiles@eveinc.org, 517-945-4662

LANSING, Mich. – End Violent Encounters (EVE), Inc. today announced the hire of Jonquil Bertschi, J.D., as executive director of the organization, tasked with leading Greater Lansing’s foremost domestic and sexual violence prevention and response organization serving Ingham, Eaton and Clinton Counties.

“I’m thrilled to join the team at EVE to build on their decades of work advocating for and supporting survivors of sexual and domestic violence,” said Jonquil Bertschi, J.D., executive director of EVE. “This community has been through a lot over the past couple of years, and I look forward to continuing to build on the important work our staff continues to do day in and day out. We are excited to expand our mission and our reach so we can better serve the entire community – including women, men, children, people of color and the LGBTQ+ community.”

Studies show that instances of domestic and sexual violence can increase in times of social isolation, such as a natural disaster or a global pandemic. As captured in the 2020 Annual Report, EVE staff and volunteers over the past year served our community by providing, supporting and staffing:

· 7,846 nights of safe shelter

· 1,609 crisis line calls

· 97 residential clients

· 57 children

· 674 non-residential clients

· 2,470 hours of counseling

· 401 sexual assault clients

· 259 medical advocacy clients

· 2,454 Personal Protection Orders

· 99 clients through legal services

· 11,933 community members educated

“EVE plays an integral role to support the health and safety of the Greater Lansing community,” said Bertschi. “As times of isolation have increased, our staff has recommitted themselves to providing supportive, comprehensive support to some of our most vulnerable populations. I look forward to building on this foundation of commitment and service to ensure that we can meet the needs of all survivors of sexual and domestic violence.”

A 2002 graduate of the University of Michigan Law School, Bertschi brings decades of nonprofit management experience to EVE, Bertschi began and built her career in Flint as a staff attorney with the Legal Services of Eastern Michigan, executive director of Weiss Child Advocacy Center (now Voices for Children), social action program director of domestic and sexual violence response program and shelter HAVEN in Pontiac, Mich., and most recently executive director of Justice for Our Neighbors, which provides free immigration legal services for low-income immigrants, asylum seekers, and refugees statewide. Bertschi also received a certificate in financial success for nonprofits from Cornell University and a certificate in fundraising management from the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.

“We’re thrilled to bring Jonquil on board to help build upon and elevate the mission of EVE and continue to provide comprehensive, productive and empathetic services to our clients,” said Caitlin McGinn, president of the EVE Board of Directors. "Our staff has gone above and beyond for our clients and our community during the public health crisis, and I look forward to making meaningful steps to expand our reach and capacity to continue to serve the Greater Lansing community. We’re grateful for the support we’ve received over the years, and look forward to working with community leaders to continue to build upon our services and programs and find innovative and diverse ways to support residents of Ingham, Clinton and Eaton Counties.”

Intervention and support services provided by EVE include:

· 24/7 hotline and online chat support

· In-hospital sexual assault advocacy

· Family and children’s counseling

· Support groups for women and children

· Domestic violence awareness training to area law enforcement agencies, courts, health care professionals and Department of Health and Human Services staff

· Sexual assault prevention education; dating violence prevention education in middle and high schools

· Community education and outreach to groups such as area schools, churches, civic groups, and businesses

· A growing non-residential and transitional housing programs

The hiring of Bertschi is right on time for Sexual Assault Awareness Month, which is every year in April. In addition to all regular services and resources available to the community, EVE is also hosting special events to help support survivors of sexual assault and abuse.

“Paint The Town Teal” is happening all month long. Businesses, storefronts, or teams are being asked to "paint" their visible location teal. This could be with window paint, chalk, ribbons, etc. The design is up to each participating organization, so long as it send a positive and uplifting message. The purpose of this is to show survivors of sexual harassment, sexual assault, and sexual abuse that they are not alone and that our community supports them. For more information visit: https://www.eveinc.org/paint-the-town-teal

Also for the duration of April is EVE’s “Go-A-Thon” fundraiser. EVE is asking folks to commit to moving 20 miles or hours over the next 30 days, or they can create a team and divide 20 miles or hours amongst them. Participants will get sponsors or ask friends, family, co-workers, neighbors or church group to donate for each mile/hour completed, and then share their journey on social media. Team members can take photos or videos of a walk, run, roll, skip, dance, or jump to empower others and post them using the hashtag #GoingTheDistanceWithSurvivors and #LansingBelievesSurviors to let Lansing know that survivors of sexual assault and abuse aren't alone. Sign up link here: https://p2p.onecause.com/eve-believes-survivors-2021/event/miles-for-survivors-eve-lansing-stands-with-survivors-2021

On April 24, 2021 at 10:00 a.m., EVE is teaming up with Sparrow Hospital and partners in the sexual assault response space for a “Rally to Empower Survivors.” This will be a socially distanced event with resources available to survivors, community speakers, and survivor stories. The rally will be held at Sparrow Hospital at 1215 E Michigan Ave., Lansing, MI. The goal is to let survivors know that they are not alone and that the greater Lansing community is here for them! Registration begins at 9am. If you’d like to provide a resource table at this event, please contact jwhitenburg@eveinc.org. For more information visit: https://www.eveinc.org/rally-to-empower-survivors

If you or someone you know have experienced or are currently experiencing sexual or domestic violence and/or abuse and are seeking resources or to talk to a trained professional, you can call the 24-hour crisis line at (517) 372-5572, or reach out through the EVE online chat at www.eveinc.org/24-hour-hotline

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