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National Crime Victim Law Institute

2016 Gail Burns-Smith Excellence in Victim Services Award: Valenda Applegarth

June 07, 2016

  • Valenda Applegarth

Valenda Applegarth

2015 Gail Burns-Smith Excellence in Victim Services Award


A member of our Board of Directors from 2002 until her untimely death in 2009, Gail Burns-Smith was a tireless leader in the victim services community.  This award honors her legacy by recognizing outstanding efforts to advance the rights of crime victims.

Valenda is a Senior Staff Attorney at Greater Boston Legal Services in Boston, Massachusetts, and founder of the nation’s first Relocation Counseling Project. This model project, created in 1999, transformed victim services surrounding victim relocation and was a 2006 recipient of The Mary Byron Foundation “Celebrating Solutions Award” for innovative programming. In 2008, the original project was expanded to the current Relocation Counseling and Identity Protection Initiative, an OVW funded national technical assistance project in partnership with the NNEDV Fund. Ms. Applegarth has represented victims of sexual and domestic violence and stalking for more than 20 years. She has trained extensively on victim relocation, privacy, child custody jurisdiction and other related legal issues throughout the U.S. for the past 10 years. She is a graduate of Thomas M. Cooley School of Law and the University of Michigan.

Previous Recipients:

2015 - Johanna Costa
2014 – Catherine Harper Lee
2013 – Chanpone Sinlapasai
2012 – Jennifer Storm
2011- Anne Seymour
2010 – Steve Doell
2009 – Steve Derene
2008 – Roberta Roper
2007 – John Stein
2006 – Diane Moyer
2005 – Kathy Skaggs
2004 – Gail Burns-Smith