Willow Domestic Violence Center’s interim director named to permanent position

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Jessica Beeson, the interim executive director of the Willow Domestic Violence Center, has been selected for the permanent position at the helm of the organization.

Beeson has worked at the Willow since August 2018. She was named to the interim role almost a year ago, in April 2023, after Megan Harrison left the position.

“The Willow is an incredible agency with dedicated, compassionate staff and board members,” Beeson said in a Monday news release from the organization. “I am humbled, honored, and incredibly excited to be the Executive Director. I look forward to stewarding the Willow’s mission of creating a safe place for all survivors and educating our communities to break cycles of violence.”

Beeson was born and raised in Lawrence, according to the release. She has served in multiple roles at the University of Kansas and was a Lawrence school board member from July 2015 through January 2020.

“Her dedication and commitment to the (Willow’s) cause quickly became apparent, leading her to assume roles of increasing responsibility within the organization,” according to the release.

The Willow’s board announced Monday that Beeson had been selected for the permanent executive director role.

“Jessica’s exceptional leadership qualities make her the ideal candidate to steer our agency towards its vision and values,” Willow board President Torrez Dawson said in the release. “We eagerly anticipate her guidance as we embark on a new chapter, delivering high-quality community services for survivors and their families.”

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Get help in Lawrence

Domestic violence situations: The Willow Domestic Violence Center
  • Reach the Willow for help 24/7 at 785-843-3333.
  • Find more resources on the Willow’s website at this link.
  • National hotline: Call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233), text “START” to 88788, and/or visit thehotline.org to chat and learn more, 24/7.
File for an order of protection

In Kansas, victim-survivors of stalking and abuse can file for court orders of protection from abuse or stalking online. Visit kspop.org and follow the instructions on the website. The service is available for any county in Kansas. You can also file for a protection order with traditional paper forms; check this link for more information.

Learn the warning signs

Read about warning signs of domestic violence and emotional abuse and learn how you can help at this link.

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