National Director of Programs and Campaigns

Debra K. Adams, M.A.

For the past 20 years, Debra K. Adams, M.A. has developed a career working to serve anyone affected by human trafficking, sexual assault, domestic violence and all forms of violence in a variety of roles, such as: Consultant, Speaker, Trainer, Facilitator, Author, Researcher, Educator, Organizer, Leader, Advocate, Activist, and Mentor. She is a self-identified survivor of domestic violence who finished raising 4 teenagers as a single mother. Over the span of those 20 years Debra provided innovative curricula, awareness, and education for many professional and service organizations, as well as delivering workshops for the NCADV conferences in 2002 and 2006.


Debra’s undergraduate (BA) and graduate (MA) degrees (Interdisciplinary Studies: Gender, Culture and History) focused on the intersection of poverty, sexism, racism, human rights, and homelessness with human trafficking, domestic violence, sexual assault, sexual violence, stalking and all forms of violence against women, with a special interest in the survivors’ perspective including Native American and Spanish-speaking survivors. As a member of Cohort VII Program on Domestic Violence of the Graduate School Of Public Affairs of the University of Colorado-Denver, Debra has been inspired and motivated to form her own businesses. Self Empowerment Strategies works to create and promote change in social and cultural norms, locally and globally, to eliminate all forms of violence against women. Debra’s radio show 3 DVas, LLC is a partnership of three women who developed a talk/chat format show intended to discuss current events through the lens of their careers, academic studies, and personal experiences.


In March 2011, Debra was chosen from a pool of 6 United States domestic violence experts, to travel to the country of Belarus, where she spoke, advised, and consulted with the YWCA of Belarus for their national summit on one day and presented at a multi-international government conference on domestic violence the second day. For her third day, Debra spoke to students attending the University of Belarus in their Sociology Department. Being a survivor of domestic violence, Debra enjoys working with multiple and different groups of survivors over the past 20 years, in capacities such as organizing, leading, mentoring, supporting, and sharing empowerment strategies. Her most recent national work was in May 2012 at the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence at the 15th Annual Rural Conference; in July 2012 for Safe Place DV & SA Program in Olympia, WA; and in October 2012 as a keynote speaker for the Unity Against Violence Summit for United Way, Soroptimist International, and the Human Response Network in Centralia, WA