December 2015

Verizon Wireless, a corporate leader in awareness and outreach about intimate partner violence (typically called domestic violence), has donated $2,000 to the Memphis Area Women's Council in support of our outreach to employers, "Victims at Home. Violence at Work."

 Verizon representative Stephen Kiernan presented a check for $2,000 to executive director Deborah Clubb on "Giving Tuesday" Dec. 1, 2015, at the Verizon store in Germantown. 

The conference is set for April 21, 2016, and will feature expert panelists and training for employers, business owners, managers and supervisors.             

Verizon's donation will support the half-day educational event designed to equip employers from any workplace to recognize IPV among employees and to deal with it proactively and with compassion.

The event will also feature introduction of a new advisory group of business leaders organizing to sustain and support "Victims at Home. Violence at Work."

Watch for more details in January - reserve space now by emailing


We are watching with interest as Mayor-elect Jim Strickland and his advisors reach out to women as they build the new city administration.

As of Dec. 16 - women in leadership in the Strickland City Hall include:
  • Fire Department Chief Gina Sweat - 23-year department veteran
  • Alexandria Smith, chief human resources  officer - from corporate human resources
  • Ursula Madden, chief communications officer - from WMC-TV anchor
  • Lisa Geater, chief of staff - from City Council administrator
Madden and Smith will serve on Strickland's team of six executives who will report directly to the mayor after he takes office on Jan. 1. Previously, directors reported to the chief administrative officer who reported to the mayor.

Keenon McCloy will continue as director of libraries. Yet to be named is the director of Parks and Neighborhoods -and little has been said about the status of Housing and Community Development where deputy director Debbie Singleton is serving as interim director since Robert Lipscomb resigned from HCD.

Some 200 positions in city government are appointed and all cannot be new people, Strickland has said. 


The Memphis Police Department completed construction of a $1 million forensic storage facility this month that will assure all sexual assault forensic material and kits are stored appropriately and tracked consistently.

At a two-day summit organized by the Memphis task force, Mayor A C Wharton described work underway on thousands of stored rape kits.  Summit attendees included the district attorneys from Detroit, Memphis and Cleveland; police officials from Houston and Memphis and Women's Council's Deborah Clubb. 

The new space in MPD's property and evidence facility in Frayser features a specially-ventilated drying room for collected evidence that is damp or wet and racks of shelving on rails that can hold 50,400 sexual assault kits.

The project was one piece of the city's response to the 12,000-plus stored inventory of rape kits that is being addressed by the Memphis Sexual Assault Kit Task Force appointed by Mayor Wharton and coordinated by Doug McGowen, now Mayor Strickland's chief operating officer.

So far 5,555 (45%) of stored kits have completed analysis; 2,897 (23%) are at laboratory awaiting analysis and 3,922 (32%) need additional analysis. All funds needed for lab testing, some $6 million, has been raised. Investigation and prosecution of all cases to arise from testing will take several more years as kits continue to go to and return from labs and be entered in the national crime database for possible identification of suspects.

Already 866 Investigations have been initiated and 176 Investigations remain active. The District Attorney has completed 142 requests for indictments against persons or DNA profiles. That includes 94 named suspects (35 multi case suspects) or 66% of indictments  and 48 John Does or 34% of indictments. Seven John Does are multi-case suspects (more than 4 rapes).


Bridge Builders Change teens display their passion for the Memphis Says No More campaign.

The Women's Council has signed on as a mentor partner organization with Bridge Builders CHANGE group - 25 teens from across Memphis who come together to create social change in our community.

This year the group is working in two teams on campaigns - one aimed at sexual harassment and assault and the other on leveraging teen voices on school issues.

Memphis Against Sexual Harassment and Assault (MASHA) is the campaign that has been started and is led by the teens who have experienced and witnessed sexual harassment and assault in the community. They decry the lack of responsiveness by school administrators and seek to end victim blaming.
They are using Tumblr -
 -- to blog personal stories of sexual harassment. They have surveyed 150 persons about their experience with sexual harassment and created a sticker that says "Sexual harassment/assault happened here." A bar code on the sticker leads to online information and the invitation to leave stories of sexual assault.  Using other social media to reach a wide audience, they can be found on Twitter ( @memphisasha and on the ASHA Facebook page, 
Memphis Against Sexual Harassment and Assault (

The teens' goal is to present the school board with data collected in their surveys to support their proposed revisions to the Shelby County Schools Code of Conduct.

The Memphis Area Women's Council is proud to be a partner with MASHA and to connect their activism to the Memphis Says No More campaign which seeks to end domestic and sexual violence.
Issue: 19
In T his Issue

2016 Employer DV Conference

New Mayor Appoints Women to Leadership Roles

New Rape Kit Storage

Teen Activists

Women of Achievement Awards


You still have time to nominate outstanding local women for Women o f Achievement awards. Nominations are due January 7. The form is at

Join WA to participate in the selection process on January 9. Find membership information on the website - pay using Paypal at or mail your check to PO Box 41096, Memphis, TN 38174.

Save the date for WA 2016 - a celebration of National Women's History Month - on March 13!
Call 901-378-3866 for more information or email 

Women of Achievement awards are seven salutes to remarkable women who change our community by their Courage, Initiative, Determination, Heroism, Vision, Steadfastness and Heritage. Each year since 1984, women from across the community have united to make and review nominations and to plan and produce the awards events. Join in the 32nd annual celebration on March 13!

Each of us can be part of ending domestic violence and rape:
GO to for resources to get help or help someone else.

TAKE this survey - to inform our future efforts at awareness and prevention -

BOOK our employer/workplace training called Victims at Home. Violence at Work. Employers Confront Domestic Violence." To book a workshop or a speaker about DV or rape - contact Deborah at o r 901-378-3866.

About Memphis Area Women's Council
The Memphis Area Women's Council is a non-profit dedicated to advocacy to assure equity and opportunity for local women and girls. Our goal is strategic changes in policy, procedure, law and regulations that remove barriers, eliminate sexism and assure equal access.  For more information or to donate go to
or contact Deborah Clubb at 901-378-3866 or