(CBS DETROIT) – The executive policy director for the Michigan Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence has been chosen as this year’s recipient of the Champion of Justice Award.

Long-time advocate, Kathey Hagenian, is the recipient of the award from the Michigan Domestic and Sexual Violence Prevention and Treatment Board.

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From left, The Hon. Amy Ronayne Krause and Kathy Hagenian | Credit: Jordan Kennedy, The Michigan Department of Health & Human Services

The Champion of Justice Award recognizes people who work to improve victims’ access to justice and affect policy reforms in the areas of domestic violence, sexual assault, and intimate partner violence.

“Throughout her 35 years of experience in the movement to end violence against women and children, Ms. Hagenian has been recognized for her commitment to survivor empowerment and to ensuring the experiences of survivors and advocates remain at the forefront of our work,” said Debi Cain, executive director of the Division of Victim Services in the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. “Her training and policy focus is centered on honoring the lived experience of survivors, which includes understanding trauma while emphasizing survivors’ strength, resilience, and healing.”

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Hagenian has served as the policy director for Michigan Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence since 1996.

Kathy Hagenian | Credit: Michigan Department of Health & Human Services

She is well respected for her policy leadership and involvement in the Coalition to End Legalized Rape, fighting to include domestic violence indicators in child custody laws, playing a part in making Michigan the first state in the nation to define stalking as a general intent crime, and other anti-stalking laws.

“I am deeply honored by this recognition from the board,” Hagenian said. “I am also profoundly grateful for the privilege to work alongside so many incredible leaders, beginning with survivors, who individually and collectively founded our movement with courage, tenacity, expertise, passion, hope, and wisdom. Though we still have much to do, we have made incredible progress, and I look forward to continuing our journey toward social justice in ending domestic and sexual violence.”

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