September 12-14, 2019
First Baptist Church, 360 Canco Road, Portland Maine
A FREE Community Conference for the Prevention
of Child Sexual Abuse
Our Speakers and Presenters
Victor Vieth, J.D., M.A.
Victor Vieth has trained thousands of child-protection professionals from all 50 states, two U.S. Territories, and 17 countries on numerous topics pertaining to child abuse investigations, prosecutions and prevention. Victor gained national recognition for his work in addressing child abuse in small communities as a prosecutor in rural Minnesota, and has been named to the President’s Honor Roll of the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children. In 2012, Victor was awarded the Pro Humanitate Award from the North American Resource Center for Child Welfare
Victor is the Director of Education and Research of the Zero Abuse Project, a 501©(3) public charity based in St Paul, MN, committed to education, training, and survivor support in order to eradicate child sex abuse and remedy its resulting harms. He is the 2018 President of the Academy on Violence & Abuse, and founder of the National Child Protection Training Center. With NCPTC and its partners, Victor has been instrumental in implementing 22 state and international forensic interview training programs and dozens of undergraduate and graduate programs on child maltreatment.
Mr. Vieth graduated magna cum laude from WSU and earned his Juris Doctor from Hamline University School of Law (HUSL). In 2017, Victor earned an MA in theology from Wartburg Seminary. Mr. Vieth has published countless articles related to the investigation, prosecution and prevention of child abuse and neglect. He is author of Unto the Third Generation, a bold initiative that outlines the necessary steps we must all take to eliminate child abuse in America in three generations, and On This Rock: A Call to Center the Christian Response to Child Abuse on the Life and Works of Jesus (Wiff & Stock 2018).
Peter Singer, MA, LCSW
Peter Singer, is a licensed independent clinical social worker having over 27 years’ experience working with trauma in a variety of settings, including schools, group homes, foster care, home-based services, outpatient therapy, law firms, and more. As such, Mr. Singer has performed a variety of roles, including direct service professional, foster parent, school social worker, clinical therapist and supervisor, organization executive director, consultant, and others. Pete has worked extensively with families, teens, and children who have experienced trauma, including maltreatment, medical trauma, assault, violent loss, and captivity.
Peter received his Masters in Social Work from the University of Minnesota, and is scheduled to complete a certificate in Trauma-Effective Leadership from the University of Minnesota in 2018. He is a licensed school social worker, board-approved supervisor, and registered parent educator with Circle of Security - Parenting, an attachment-based parenting approach for families who may be at risk or who have emotional and behavioral concerns. Pete has trained extensively on and implements Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, an evidence-based approach for working with children who have experienced trauma.
Peter is the Founding Director of Care in Action Minnesota, a non-profit organization that works to equip faith communities as well as the broader community to better prevent and respond to child maltreatment. He has served on several workgroups, including the Cultural Provider’s Network, Ramsey County Ending Racial Disparities Workgroup, Youth in Transition Workgroup, Washington County Foster Care workgroup, and more. Pete founded and acts as the lead consultant/trainer for Advanced Trauma Consulting. In that role, he provides training and consultation on individual and organizational trauma-effective practices. Additionally, Pete provides ongoing consultation and training to organizations in the legal, healthcare, human service, and education fields including for the Child Friendly Faith Project, Minnesota Association for Children’s Mental Health, Minnesota School Social Workers Association, Minnesota Department of Education, and for local schools and faith communities.
Peter joined Gundersen NCPTC’s Speakers Bureau in 2016 and has presented at our 2017 and 2018 VIP Summit and at several of our SET Your Faith Community trainings throughout the United States.
Catherine Ann Wilson
Abused repeatedly from first grade on for nearly 20 years of her life, Catherine Ann Wilson spent most of her years from age 12-17 living on the street. By age 15, starving and desperate, she was lured into sex trafficking -- taken in and then held against her will by a local pimp. After her escape at age 17, she spent the next 20 years tenaciously seeking various forms of therapy to recover from this trauma.
Slowly, consistently, she made her way up the ranks to becoming a national sales manager, earning a six-figure income based 100% on commission. At age 40, she purchased her dream lake house in Maine. After finding her own freedom from suffering, Catherine realized that the sexual abuse and sex trafficking that had claimed her life 35 years ago was unbelievably still going on, destroying the lives of thousands of children in Maine today.
She founded Stop Trafficking ME, now known as Stop Trafficking US, with the goal of stopping grown-ups from sexually exploiting children. Via public and private speaking engagements, social media, TV, radio and print, Stop Trafficking US works to educate the community on the life cycle of abuse, and the horrific domino effect that occurs after a child has been sexually abused in any way.
Bill Legere is a Family and Emergency Medicine Nurse Practitioner currently practicing at St Mary’s Regional Medical Center. He has cared for people in emergency departments for over 20 years, has been the recipient of several honors and awards, and uses his talents to help educate the next generation of healthcare providers.
His area of passion remains with working with vulnerable populations where he has focused on childhood instability and abuse, refugee and immigrant populations affected by torture and trauma as well as victims of gender-based violence and exploitation in human trafficking.
His heart for the vulnerable began almost 15 years ago during a medical mission trip to Romania. Since then he and his wife, Teresa, have adopted six girls from around the world, led several mission trips, founded the Foundation for Hope and Grace to help care for vulnerable children, and co-founded Not Here Justice in Action Network (NHJAN) in an effort to facilitate collaboration with key members of society to address the threats of human trafficking and exploitation, child abuse, sexual violence and gender inequality.
His current area of focus is addressing the need to improve care to those struggling with mental illness related to trauma and abuse. He has recently completed a post-graduate program at Harvard Medical School that focused on mental health care delivery to Refugees and Immigrants who have experienced trauma and torture. He is also transitioning his practice to include board certification as a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. His research interest lies in understanding how Adverse Childhood Experiences(ACEs) impact long term health outcomes for individuals and communities, and the potential for ACEs research to build more resilient communities through systemic changes in public health policy.
Isabelle Langis a freshman at Thomas College in Waterville, ME. She holds a double major in forensic psychology and criminal justice and plays soccer. Isabelle hopes to have a future in law enforcement. She operates the Dauntless Project out of Lincolnville, Maine -- a child victim identification and rescue network working with the Maine State Police Computer Crimes Unit and certified computer forensic examiners.
Jennifer Wiessner, LCSW, CST
Jennifer Wiessner, LCSW, CST is a licensed clinical social worker, an AASECT certified sex therapist, sex educator and writer in Cumberland, Maine. She was also the only therapist in the inaugural class of the Sexual Health Scholars Program for medical students in 2010. She has a private therapy practice and sees couples and adult individuals and creates and facilitates Raising Sexually Healthy Children workshops across the state to educate parents and those who influence youth on why talking to their kids and teens about sexuality is a healthy and normal part of life and critical to health and wellbeing. Jennifer is also the co-creator and facilitator of Girls on Fire, an annual educational forum for teenage female-identified people on healthy relationships and sexuality.
Jennifer also consults with parents, medical students, nurses, physicians, schools, professionals and therapists on sexual health. Jennifer believes in a society where all people and all religions can coexist under the umbrella of healthy sexuality creating improved health, happiness and non-judgement. Jennifer is a mom to a 7th and 4th grader and wife to Greg.
Denise is the Prevention Support Specialist for Maine Children's Trust. Maine Children’s Trust oversees Maine’s network of Child Abuse and Neglect (CAN) Prevention Councils. Denise provides curricula training and technical assistance to council staff. Denise assists each council to successfully implement county specific primary prevention services that include raising awareness of child abuse prevention, providing evidenced based parent education and training professionals that work with children and families.
Denise has worked with families and children for over twenty years; many of those years focused on the prevention or intervention of child abuse. Denise’s background includes training in mental health and human services, home visiting, social work, child welfare reunification services and residential services for adolescent mothers.
Meg Hatchis the Program Coordinator for the Maine Network of Children’s Advocacy (the Network). Meg provides technical assistance, training, and other supports to Maine’s CAC programs. Meg joined the Network in October of 2014 after spending four years as the Program Manager and Forensic Interviewer at the Children’s Advocacy Center of Kennebec and Somerset Counties in central Maine. Prior to her work with the CAC, she worked as a Sexual Assault Response Team Advocate and Community Educator for the Sexual Assault Crisis and Support Center.
Dee Clarke founded SSUSA in 2015, following involvement with Maine’s burgeoning anti-trafficking movement. Clarke’s experiences sharpened her belief that survivors must be driving solutions. Survivor Speak was formed to push the movement to address root causes of what we call ‘sexploitation’: systemic poverty, racism, and misogyny. SSUSA lives out its mission via a combination of outreach, education and training, legislative policy advocacy, and intensive survivor mentorship and leadership development. The programming centerpiece is the Survivor Advocacy and Leadership Training (SALT) program. SALT follows a multi-faceted curriculum that enables survivors to begin healing, build fellowship, and develop into survivor-leaders.For more than 16 years, Dee Clarke has been organizing, educating and empowering adults and youth to speak out for public policy that affects their lives. She has organized groups to march, demonstrate, collaborate, dialogue, create, to have and give voice, and to be at the table of decision-makers. Dee is known for her diplomacy and grace, from meeting with governors and
legislators to interacting directly with sex-trafficked and exploited women. Dee comes by her wisdom from experience. She grew up in a severely abusive environment in a Boston housing project, in and out of foster care from ages 5 to 8. By 12 years old, she was being sex trafficked by a pimp and finished growing up in the combat zone as a go-go dancer and stripper. As a young mother she sometimes ended up homeless and in shelters while working several jobs and relying on soup kitchens, food stamps and food boxes.
Tricia Grant is the Director of Not Here and Founder and Director of If Only 1. She is a survivor of sex trafficking who now educates and mentors youth and adults in large group and one-on-one settings about the reality of human trafficking and exploitation. Having been trafficked in Maine and throughout New England when she was 15 and living on her own with her little boy, Tricia has been able to connect deeply with at-risk youth and encourage victims of trafficking and sexual trauma as they move forward in their healing process. She shares her story with the hope that it will help others understand that trafficking can happen to anyone anywhere and prevent victims from waiting 16 years to talk about it, as she did.