Karen Benton, assistant professor, and Criminal Justice Program Coordinator for Clark State College has been appointed as Vice Chair of Project Woman of Ohio effective this July.
Laura Baxter, executive director of Project Woman of Ohio said Benton is a dynamic professional that is an excellent mentor to her students – provoking thought and challenging them to be engaged in the community toward making a difference.
“Though Karen is fairly new to the Project Woman Board of Directors [joined in May 2020] she is now part of the leadership of the board and begins her first term as Vice Chair,” said Baxter. “She is very well-suited for this role. Karen has always been a champion for the mission of Project Woman. She works intentionally to engage students and the community toward ending violence and empowering victims/survivors and their families.”
Benton said Clark State’s criminal justice program curriculum was modified to include a victimology course that is required of students in both the law enforcement and corrections areas of emphasis. Correctional Case Management is a newer course that is required of the corrections majors; advocacy is one area of emphasis in this course.
“It is anticipated that I will be training advocates at Project Woman regarding case management strategies this year,” said Benton. “My participation on this board will help me provide the most current information regarding victimization issues and options available to future criminal justice practitioners.”
Benton has long been a victim’s advocate having worked in the juvenile justice system and being trained as a mediator prior to becoming an educator.
As the program coordinator and criminal justice instructor, Benton felt it was necessary to bring speakers into the classroom to discuss issues such as domestic violence and human trafficking, as well as many other topics.
“Project Woman has been one of the entities that has enlightened our students to the signs of domestic violence and the resources that are available to those who may be experiencing it,” she said. “I believe that criminal justice practitioners must speak and advocate for those who cannot do so themselves. It is my hope that our criminal justice graduates will have a better understanding of the dynamics of abuse and domestic violence and have more awareness of the services available to the victims.”
Project Woman is dedicated to ending domestic violence and sexual assault by providing services and programs to protect, educate, and empower.