Four local advocates awarded

The Wyoming Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault named three local women as PEACE Award recipients, and they were recognized in October. Pictured are Evanston Police Department victim/witness coordinator Vanessa Weekly, a PEACE Award winner; Uinta County Attorney’s Office victim/witness coordinator Leisa Reiter, a PEACE Award winner; Uinta County Attorney Loretta Howieson-Kallas; and Uinta County Attorney’s Office victim/witness coordinator Maria Orzo, a PEACE Award winner. (HERALD PHOTO/Kayne Pyatt)

Three Evanston women and one Bridger Valley woman were recognized last month after the Wyoming Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (WCADVSA) announced they were selected to receive a 2021 PEACE Award.

The PEACE Awards are given annually by the WCADVSA to acknowledge the valuable role individuals and organizations play in the effort to end violence against women and empower victims across Wyoming. As peace is the antithesis of violence, the award stands for “Promoting Excellence in Advocacy for Change and Empowerment.” The PEACE Award also serves as a challenge for all to work collectively to improve life for those affected by violence in our communities and worldwide.

Debarah Bindl, a victim advocate at the Bridger Valley office of the Uinta County Sexual Assault & Family Violence Task Force, was named Outstanding Advocate; Maria Orzo and Leisa Reiter, victim/witness coordinators at the Uinta County and Prosecuting Attorney’s Office and Vanessa Weekly, victim/witness coordinator at the City of Evanston Police Department were named Partners in Advocacy.

Nomination remarks include:

“Debi makes it a practice to go the extra mile for her clients. She shows true empathy and works hard to empower her clients as they strive to not only be survivors, but to thrive as well.”

“Without Ms. Orzo’s knowledge, training, support and professionalism, the victims of crimes in our area would not be taken seriously about the traumatic events they have just been involved in.”

“Ms. Reiter takes her position in helping the victims in our community very seriously.  We need more people in the world like Ms. Reiter.”

“The support Vanessa provides to victims is awe-inspiring.  She collaborates with others to find support for her clients and ensures their needs are met.”

For more information on the PEACE Awards visit https://www.wyomingdvsa.org/peace-awards.

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