Bengis earns national honor for work with abuse victims, sex offenders

Tracy Cox, Communications Director

National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC)

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ENOLA, Pa. – The National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) and the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers (ATSA) are pleased to honor Steve Bengis with the fourth annual Gail Burns-Smith Award, during the National Sexual Assault Conference in Los Angeles from Aug. 28-30. 

The award, jointly sponsored by ATSA and the NSVRC, is named in honor of Gail Burns-Smith, who devoted her life to strengthening the partnership between victim advocates and those working in the area of sex offender management and treatment – both groups committed to the same goal of preventing sexual violence. 

Bengis is the Director and Co-Founder of the New England Adolescent Research Institute Inc., (NEARI) in Holyoke, Mass. NEARI offers books and online courses to professionals working with sexual assault victims and/or sex offenders.  In addition to Bengis’ work with NEARI, he also is the President of the Massachusetts Adolescent Sex Offender Coalition (MASOC). Through his work with MASOC’s conferences, Bengis has helped bridge the divide between individuals working with sexual assault victims with those working with sex offenders. Thanks to his leadership, MASOC has two victim advocates among its board of directors.  

“Steve has a strong commitment to stopping sexual violence. He has a ‘victim-centered’ approach to his work, and he has demonstrated this by forming authentic, lasting relationships with victim advocacy groups,” NSVRC Director Karen Baker said.

“For more than 30 years, Steve has focused on making communities safer. His work reflects that everyone deserves compassion and respect. This award celebrates his vision and accomplishments,” ATSA Executive Director Maia Christopher said.

ATSA is an international, multidisciplinary organization dedicated to preventing sexual abuse.  Visit www.atsa.com for more information on the treatment and management of individuals who have sexually abused or are at risk to abuse.

Founded by the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape in 2000, NSVRC identifies, develops and disseminates resources regarding all aspects of sexual violence prevention and intervention. For more, visit www.nsvrc.org, www.facebook.com/nsvrc and www.twitter.com/nsvrc.

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