Victims’ Safe Harbor Foundation, Inc. (VSHF), a 501(c)(3) social impact organization that provides direct legal services, educational presentations, including continuing legal education, and research services to expand the knowledge base regarding domestic violence, intimate partner violence, coercive control, and child abuse. VSHF also works for policy change to improve the lives of its victims/survivors to help them achieve a safe, healthy, and happy future that is free from the terror of ongoing abuse.
Donna J. King
Dr. Donna King, Esq serves as President and Director for Victims’ Safe Harbor Foundation, Inc. She received her PhD in Sociology from the University of Central Florida where her areas of expertise focused on domestic violence, social inequalities, law and society, gender, and criminology. She also holds a juris doctorate from Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University College of Law and is a Florida licensed attorney in good standing. She currently serves on the Board of Directors as Secretary of the Florida Partnership to End Domestic Violence, a federally recognized statewide Domestic Violence Coalition.
Donna’s unusual personal background is what ultimately led her to Victims’ Safe Harbor Foundation, Inc. She grew up in Northern Virginia and moved to Florida in 1987 to attend UCF as an undergraduate student. Shortly after graduation, she married and became a mother to two beautiful daughters. While married, Donna trained exotic animals, including big cats, and co-owned a women-owned company that facilitated educational shows to raise awareness about endangered animals. However, revelations about her marriage appeared after her husband’s forced dissolution of her company. Upon separation and divorce, Donna faced adversity and domestic violence, particularly through the family law judicial process. Donna persevered, obtained her state certified general contracting license, and ran her own 8(a)-certified, woman-owned company. Ultimately, with the litigation lasting over 20 years, Donna was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder due to the abusive litigation. She obtained a PTSD service dog to assist her, and her incredible support system has allowed her to make tremendous strides towards healing. It is because of her personal experience with abusive litigation that she developed her expertise in judicial terrorism® and identifying the judicial terrorist®.
Donna attended law school to gain an educated perspective on the injustice to which she and her daughters were subjected by the protracted litigation and to learn how to bring the litigation to an end. However, she learned that abusers utilize the judicial system as a legal weapon against their victims for continuing abuse long after separation and divorce. While in law school, she published two articles on domestic violence and women’s rights. She also co-authored a law journal article on the use of absolute privilege by abusers against domestic violence victims in judicial proceedings with her husband, Dayton King. Donna registered two trademarks for the terms judicial terrorism® and judicial terrorist® to help educate others on abusers’ use of the judicial system for domestic violence. As a PhD student, she had the opportunity to teach and present diverse topics and articles, including a paper titled “The Frequency of Coercive Control Legislation: Legislating against Non-Violent Forms of Domestic Violence,” which lends its findings to her dissertation research that also looks at coercive control in the context of intimate partner homicides. This idea was born after Donna presented to the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime regarding risk assessments for domestic violence victims because not all victims experience abuse in the form of physical violence but may, in the end, be just as much at risk of death. Her dissertation, “I Decide When You Die: A Mixed-Methods Analysis of Prior Reporting of Physical Violence for Intimate Partner Homicides by Heterosexual Spouses in Florida,” is scheduled to publish as a book in the Spring of 2024 under the title, “Voices of Intimate Partner Homicide: An Exploration of Coercive Control and Lethality.” Donna’s personal background and passion for research and education provide a unique perspective for her goal to help victims/survivors, as well as to educate the public, judiciary, lawyers, and advocates on how abusers utilize the non-violent tactics of coercive control for ongoing domestic violence, especially within the judicial system.
Courtney M. Kalmanson
Dr. Courtney Kalmanson is a pre-licensed psychologist in clinical psychology. She received her doctorate in clinical psychology from Florida Institute of Technology (FIT) and a master’s degree in clinical psychology from FIT. She also obtained a master’s degree in clinical/counseling psychology from Radford University. Dr. Kalmanson completed her predoctoral internship at a community mental health center in Northwest Indiana. She has experience in residential and inpatient settings, community mental health, and private practices utilizing a variety of therapeutic interventions with individuals across the lifespan.
Dr. Kalmanson’s area of focus includes working with underserved and underprivileged populations, including treating survivors of domestic violence and child abuse. While at FIT, she worked as a Sexual Abuse Treatment Program counselor at The Family Learning Program (FLP) where she was an Associate Director for FLP and assisted the director with the management and operations of FLP. She has experience treating families and individuals that have experienced trauma and other related adversities.
While at FIT, Dr. Kalmanson engaged in many clinical opportunities, including treating clients at various community outpatient clinics and obtained extensive assessment training through her doctoral program. She also has obtained teaching experience in a variety of psychology-related courses, including child advocacy courses. Her dissertation topic related to identifying an internal protective factor that moderates the impact of childhood sexual abuse and the development of posttraumatic stress symptoms. She is a member of Division 56 (trauma psychology) and Division 53 (society of clinical child and adolescent psychology) of the American Psychological Association.
Dr. Kalmanson is currently working in Chicago, IL within private practice where she continues to help survivors heal from their past experiences. Following her postdoctoral training year, she will obtain her license to be a clinical psychologist. Victims’ Safe Harbor Foundation, Inc. is very excited to have Dr. Kalmanson on its Board of Directors for her expertise in child abuse and trauma, as well as her work with adult trauma survivors.
Jerrell D. King
Jerrell Dayton King, Esq., M.A. holds a Juris Doctor from the University of Florida, Fredric G. Levin College of Law and a Master of Arts in Women’s Studies from the University of Florida, Center for Gender, Sexualities, and Women’s Studies Research. He is a Florida licensed attorney in good standing and focuses on domestic violence and coercive control, social inequalities, gender issues, and law and society as an advocate for victims, as well as bringing awareness of how these societal effects impact the functioning of the U.S. justice system. Mr. King’s current position as staff attorney for Safehouse of Seminole allows him to put his education to use by serving the domestic violence community daily. Victims’ Safe Harbor Foundation, Inc. is fortunate to have Mr. King as a member of its Board of Directors.
Victims’ Safe Harbor Foundation, Inc.
Office: (352) 720-3877