TONYA M. SAUNDERSSenior Consultant & Advocate, NewPoint Strategies
Tonya Saunders, is a Public Policy expert and serves on the team developing “de-escalation” strategies for community policing and intimate partner violence for NewPoint. Founder of Washington Premier Group a government relations and Public Policy firm, that represents a range of private and public clients. Ms. Saunders has an extensive background in federal government affairs and legislative policy that spans over 20 years. She began her career on the staff of Jay Rocefeller and later became a Sr. Vice President at McAuiffe, Kelly & Raffaelli (a firm founded by Governor Terry McAuliffe).
In a chilling period, as a victim of stalking and intimate partner violence, Ms. Saunders was forced to flee for her life. Ms. Saunders used her professional skills and abilities to help legislate for victims of stalking in the aftermath of her own victimization. She was determined to move beyond her own issues and use that experience to advocate for other victims. She chose to work on behalf of the still, little understood and frequently over-looked crime of stalking. She has met with and helped others to understand the importance of addressing the special needs of stalking victims. She frequently provides training and shares her insights with law enforcement, victim advocates, allied professionals and agents of the criminal justice system. She has worked with the commonwealth of Virginia in adding laws to assist victims of stalking. She has served as a Victim Assistance Network (VAN) Volunteer, answering the critical hotline calls from victims across Northern Virginia. She has appeared on The Today Show informing viewers who find themselves in dangerous relationships, based on her own personal experience – how to remain safe.
She is a victim survivor who has chosen to turn adversity into victory by using her exceptional professional skills and experience, coupled with her compassionate nature to support and empower other victims.
Notable Awards and Commendations:
2007 Victory Award (Fairfax County Victim Services, Fairfax County Police)
2008 Department of Justice Victim Advocates Award of the Year
2008 National College of District Attorneys Advocacy Award
ID Show: January, 2010, “On the Case with Paula Zahn – Stalking Awareness Month”
Today Show: August, 2005 “How to Recognize a Dangerous Relationship”