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Victims' Rights Advocate to Speak at WVNCC

Posted 03/01/17

JENNIFER STORMJennifer Storm, a survivor of sexual assault who became an expert on victims’ rights issues, will speak on LGBT Rights/Sexual Assault on Campus at the Wheeling campus of West Virginia Northern Community College.

Storm’s presentation, free and open to the public, will be held at 6 p.m. Monday, March 20, in the Student Union located on the second floor of the Barnes and Noble bookstore building. To RSVP by March 13, contact Ida Williams at 304-214-8917 or Light refreshments will be provided.

The speaker was appointed Victim Advocate of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in 2013 by the governor and was unanimously confirmed by the senate. She is charged with ensuring all crime victims’ rights and interests are protected at the state level. She oversees a program that assists more than 40,000 crime victims annually with their post-sentencing rights. She is legally required to actively advocate for victims’ rights before the Department of Corrections and the Board of Probation and Parole. Storm has increased victim registration by 30 per cent in her first three years in office, increased staffing by six full-time positions and manages a budget of $3 million.

Her appearance in Wheeling is made possible by a competitive grant awarded to WVNCC through the Diversity for Equity Grant administered by the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission and the Community and Technical College System.

Prior to her current position, Storm joined the Victim/Witness Assistance Program as the organization’s second executive director. A private, non-profit organization dedicated to serving victims of crimes, its mission is to reduce the trauma of a crime by empowering and assisting clients in reconstructing their lives through advocacy, support, information and referrals. Before joining VWAP, Storm was the first full-time director of the Statewide Pennsylvania Rights Coalition, a nonprofit coalition dedicated to securing and defending fully-inclusive civil rights for LGBT people in Pennsylvania. During her tenure at Pennsylvania Rights Coalition, Storm worked diligently on obtaining inclusive hate crime legislation.

In 2002, the Pennsylvania legislature passed one of the most inclusive hate crime statutes in the country. Gov. Edward G. Rendell appointed Storm as a commissioner to the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency. She later was appointed to the Homeland Security, Law Enforcement and Justice Systems Advisory committees where she also serves on the Terrorism Prevention and Local Law Enforcement Subcommittee.

She was born and raised near Allentown, Pa., and attended Northampton High School. She graduated from Pennsylvania State University with a bachelor of science in rehabilitation services and a master’s degree in organizational management from The University of Phoenix. Most recently Storm received a certificate from Cornell University in Conflict Resolution and Dispute Management.

Her media appearances are vast, and include frequent appearances on all major networks including ABC, FOX, NBC, NPR, CBS and PBS. She has appeared on The Today Show, ABC World News with Diane Sawyer, CBS 48 Hours Live to Tell program and E! News online.

She has been profiled or appeared in the following publications: People Magazine, Business Week, The Washington Post, LA Times, San Francisco Chronicle, The New Yorker, Cosmopolitan Magazine, Marie Claire Magazine, Curve Magazine, The Advocate, Time Magazine, Rolling Stone, WE Magazine, Women Magazine and many more.

Storm has traveled the country giving keynotes, lectures, workshops and panel discussions regarding victims’ rights, LGBT rights, addiction and recovery and civil rights. She is the author of four critically acclaimed books on addiction, recovery and victimization: “Echoes of Penn State: Facing Sexual Trauma,” “Picking Up the Pieces Without Picking Up: A Guidebook Through Victimization for People in Recovery,” “Leave the Light On: A Memoir of Recovery and Self-Discovery” and “Blackout Girl: Growing Up and Drying Out in America.”