A leading expert on violence against women and children, Esta Soler is a pioneer who founded the Family Violence Prevention Fund (FVPF) 30 years ago and made it one of the world’s leading violence prevention agencies. The FVPF develops innovative strategies to prevent domestic, dating and sexual violence, stalking and child abuse.
Under Soler’s direction, the FVPF was a driving force behind passage of the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 – the nation’s first comprehensive federal response to the violence that plagues families and communities. Congress reauthorized and expanded the law in 2000 and 2005. It is due to be reauthorized again in 2011.
Soler is spearheading efforts to pass the International Violence Against Women Act, building a broad-based coalition, raising awareness about the scope and severity of violence against women and girls worldwide, and helping to lead public education on the need for passage.
She has led the FVPF as it developed trailblazing public education campaigns that have reached millions of people, and innovative policies, advocacy, prevention, education and training programs that help lawmakers, health care providers, judges, employers and others stop violence and help victims. FVPF programs have been replicated in all 50 states and around the world. Funded by some of the nation’s leading philanthropies and corporations, recent FVPF initiatives include the “Know More” campaign, “Coaching Boys Into Men,” “Give RESPECT” and “That’s Not Cool” campaigns.
Soler’s many awards include a 2010 Woman of the Year honor from a California legislator, a Kellogg Foundation National Leadership Fellowship, a Koret Israel Prize, and a University of California, Public Health Heroes Award. Soler is co-author of Ending Domestic Violence: Changing Public Perceptions/Halting the Epidemic.