Carolyne has over 20 years of experience in the field of violence prevention. She served as a member of the Portland Police Bureau for over nine years, first as a volunteer WomenStrength instructor, teaching empowerment self-defense to women. In 2008 she was hired to develop and oversee GirlStrength, a citywide violence prevention program for girls ages 10-17. As the Program Director, Carolyne created and developed curriculum for workshops, camps, trainings and programs. Over a three-year piloting period, Carolyne expanded the curriculum so that it was inclusive and covered topics such as healthy relationships and communication, dating violence, gender equity, child abuse and sex trafficking. In 2014, Carolyne co-founded BoyStrength, a comparable violence prevention program for boys ages 10-14 to ensure boys had access to the same information girls were receiving. This program was designed to address gender equity and privilege and hyper-masculinity. The training focused on helping boys understand consent and respecting boundaries, while increasing their verbal and nonverbal communication skills using games, theatre techniques, movement, mindfulness and yoga. Under her leadership over 7,000 girls and boys from over 100 schools, community centers and youth organizations received violence prevention training and self-defense skills.
Carolyne also served on the Portland Police Bureau’s Equity Leadership Council, a committee that aimed to improve equitable practices and policies within the Bureau, where she assisted with equity and privilege training of officers and command staff. Additionally, for seven years, she was a co-instructor for Safety-Zone, a personal safety program for adults with developmental disabilities. During her employment with the Police Bureau Carolyne received training on: diversity, equity and privilege; communication styles; conflict resolution and de-escalation; commercial exploitation of children (CSEC); sextortion; domestic and intimate partner violence; dating violence; trauma; sexual assault; harassment and stalking. She has worked with people with disabilities, adults and children; engaging men and boys in ending violence.
Carolyne served as a member of the Oregon Sexual Assault Task force (2012-2018). She was the Co-chair of the Men’s Engagement Committee and a member of the Steering and Prevention and Education Committees. The task force seeks to facilitate cross-discipline collaboration and to cultivate victim-centered approaches to sexual assault primary prevention, victim advocacy, medical forensic care, criminal prosecution and sex offender management and treatment.
Teaching has always been Carolyne’s passion. In 2014 she was asked to co-facilitate parent education classes for Multnomah County Family Court Services. These classes are for parents and caregivers whose families are experiencing separation and divorce and are are focused on providing information on the impact of conflict on children. She also serves on Core and the Facilitation Team for the Portland chapter of SURJ, (Showing up for Racial Justice) and is passionate about ending systematic oppression.
Carolyne’s self-defense training began in Chicago, IL, where she studied the Korean martial art of Taekwon-Do through the Universal Taekwon-Do Federation (UTF). Carolyne cofounded the Portland, OR and Madison, WI chapters of the UTF with her partner Ray. She holds two black belts: a second-degree black belt in Taekwon-Do, and a second-degree black belt in Shotokan Karate.
Prior to her career in violence prevention, Carolyne’s love was theatre and drama. She has an MFA in Directing Theatre from the UW-Madison and was the Director of University Theatre at UW-Rock County in Janesville, WI, where she used theatre as a tool for transformation and change and addressing social justice issues on campus. She loves living in Portland and is very grateful for all the support her community, friends and colleagues have given her through the conception, planning, and implementation of EMERJ-SafeNow.
Victoria Hellman is a feminist and social justice activist who has enjoyed volunteering in organizations such as: women’s counseling service, anti-hunger programs, and women’s self-defense programs. Currently Victoria works at the Bureau of Emergency Communications  in an administrative support capacity. This work affirms and contributes to her commitment to social justice.
As a volunteer instructor for Portland Police Bureau’s WomenStrength program Victoria finds it very rewarding working with diverse populations to offer opportunities for women and girls to gain self-confidence and a sense of empowerment.
Through her work as a director of a federally funded child development agency, an administrator for a women’s clinic and owner of a small business Victoria has approached leadership responsibilities with integrity, accountability and a commitment to empowering others.
Victoria’s personal values include a commitment to consensus building, respecting our differences and promoting equity and peace.
EMERJ-SafeNow is located in Portland, Oregon.
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