Today we’d like to introduce you to Dr. Janine D’Anniballe.
Janine, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I began my career with my sights on being a sports psychologist. Then during graduate school, while I was working with the University of Tennessee women’s basketball program, many of the athletes began talking with me about scary and overwhelming things that they experienced growing up – and I realized that I didn’t have the knowledge or skills to really help them… so I began focusing on understanding and treating traumatic stress. I began to specialize in this area – particularly in the area of sexual assault – since 1994.
I began working with clients who experienced sexual violence and also began training on the topic. I served as a project trainer for the Ending Violence Against Women Project in Colorado where we trained multidisciplinary teams on sexual assault response all over the state. Later I joined the National Judicial Education Program where we trained judges on understanding sexual violence issues in the courtroom without undermining defendant’s rights. In 1999, I became the Director of Moving to End Sexual Assault (MESA) – the third oldest rape crisis center in the country. I have been working here since – entering my 21st year. I estimate that I have personally counseled over 600 survivors of sexual assault and supervised at least three times as many cases over the course of my career. I serve as an expert witness in sexual assault cases along the front range of Colorado.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It’s been a bumpy road at time doing this work. I’ve encountered pervasive rape culture along the way… eg., the sexual assault scandal at CU in 2002-04, the horrendous Brett Cavanaugh hearing where MESA saw it’s highest call volume ever – receiving 21 calls to our hotline the day that Dr. Christine Blasey-Ford testified. It’s tiring trying to raise funds to run an agency whose mission is not one that easily gathers support compared to other non-profit missions that are focused on the environment, animal welfare, or children’s services.
We’d love to hear more about your organization.
Moving to End Sexual Assault (MESA) is the sexual assault resource center serving Boulder County.
MESA provides support and services to ALL survivors of sexual assault and does not discriminate against any person based on race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, education, geographic location, age, ability, language, national origin, culture, immigration status, politics, profession, religious beliefs and/or spirituality.
We do any amazing amount of work with only 5 staff members. We have a reputation for high-quality client services and prevention education.
What were you like growing up?
Growing up I was an outgoing, leader, take-charge kind of person. I loved sports and animals the most. I played basketball, softball, ran track. I was the president of my high school class my Sophomore, Junior, and Senior years. I was always an advocate of underdog and had a keen interest in social justice. In high school, this quote was inside my locker:
If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality. It ended up being pretty prophetic for the path of my life and career!
- Address: Dr. Janine D’Anniballe
1455 Dixon Avenue, Suite 210
Lafayette, CO 80026
- Website: www.movingtoendsexualassault.org
- Phone: 303-443-0400
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @Fievelthefacilitydog (Fievel is my dog who is also the Facility Dog at MESA)
- Facebook: Moving to End Sexual Assault