Christy Heiskala Curriculum Vitae
Personal Background & Mission
In 2007, the molestation of her daughter by her third-grade teacher, sent Christy on an eight-year learning experience of the justice system; navigating a criminal case, a civil trial, and subsequent appeals which resulted in a precedent-setting, published opinion by the California Court of Appeals. The other victims' parents involved said they wouldn’t have been able to get through it without her. Christy emerged from the experience determined to make a measurable impact in reducing child abuse and sexual assault through training, speaking up, and taking action on behalf of victims and their families.
Certified Victim Advocate, Consultant, Civil Litigation Support 2010 - Present
Provide victims of sexual abuse, assault, and harassment resources and help them navigate the reporting, legal, and personal process to help them move forward.
Work with civil attorneys by providing their clients with resources, support, empathy, and empowerment from someone who has been in their shoes.
Sexual Abuse Prevention & Bystander Intervention, Non-Profit Founder 2007 - Present
Consult and train parents, schools, youth-serving organizations, and community groups on child sexual abuse prevention, consent, bystander intervention, bullying, and internet safety. Speaker at various educational, professional and legal conferences. Founded the non-profit Educate to Eliminate in 2018.
Legislative Consultant 2010 - 2017
Advocated with Chelsea’s Light Foundation and Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher to help pass Chelsea’s Law AB1844 for sexually violent predators.
Author 2010 - Present
Know Your Rights: Guidance & Resources for Sexual Harassment Victims - Lawyers Club of San Diego (co-author)
Inviting the outsider in | Empathy helps you help your clients - Lawyers Club of San Diego
I Started this Fight for My Daughter, I Will Finish it For Yours – Memoir and call-to-action, including lessons learned from my experience in the criminal and civil trials and information to empower parents and victims to speak up and take action.
Regular blogger for TODAY Parenting, Thrive Global, Medium, and Red-Tricycle
Education & Training
I continue my education and training on a regular basis to stay up-to-date on trauma-informed / responsive, culturally-humble, and victim-centered best practices.
Office for Victims of Crime Training and Technical Assistance Center (OVCTTAC):
Victim Assistance Certificate Program – Victim Advocacy Certificate Course to prepare victim advocates to work in many arenas, such as domestic violence shelters, crisis centers, crisis hotlines, and with state and county governments to assist crime victims in progressing through the justice system and toward successful recovery. Course topics include legal terminology, legal process, legislation regarding victim’s rights, jurisdiction and venue, ethics, effects of victimization on the victim, victim advocate skills, guardianships and crisis intervention. Counseling skills for victims of assault, battery, robbery, domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse, murder and homicide. 2016
Assisting Male Victims of Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse
National Center for Victim of Crime / National Training Institute:
Bridging the Gap between Civil and Criminal Legal Systems, Civil Remedies for Victims of Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, and Stalking, Intra-familiar Juvenile Sexual Abuse, Restorative Practices for Grief and Healing, Removing Barriers of Care and Transforming Services for Survivors of Violent Crime,
Civil Justice for Victims of Crime in California & Arizona – Training for Victim Service Providers on victim motivations to pursue civil justice, victim compensation, criminal restitution, criminal vs. civil, advantages and disadvantages of civil litigation, types of defendants, intentional torts, negligent torts, satisfying a judgment, victim perspective, and the role of victim service providers.
Center for Community Solutions San Diego - Crisis Intervention Training
66 hour CalOES (California Office of Emergency Services) certification training on Domestic Violence / Intimate Partner Violence and Sexual Assault. Training included cultural humility, oppression, immigration, law enforcement, SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner), LGBTIQA, incarcerated victims, criminal justice, civil justice, child welfare system, and community partners. 2018
End Violence Against Women International:
Neurobiology of Trauma: Gifts and Limits of Training for Professionals 2019
Helping Officers and Advocates Respond to Victims with Mental Health Disorders
A Coordinated Response To Sexual Violence in K-12 Education 2019
Adolescent Sexual Assault: Identifying and Overcoming Challenges Through Coordinated Responses 2019
Reading Victims and Judging Credibility - Best Practices in Promoting Victim Centered Investigations and Prosecutions by Wendy Patrick 2018
Drug and Alcohol Facilitated, Non-Stranger Sexual Assault 2018
Institute on Violence, Abuse, and Trauma Annual Conference:
Identifying Sexual Victimization in Children with Developmental Disabilities and Autism Spectrum Disorder 2017
School Employee Sexual Misconduct: Lessons Learned from a Title IX Policy Implementation Study 2017
Harvard University, HarvardX: Child Protection: Children’s Rights in Theory and Practice 2019
Vera - Center on Victimization: Autonomy is Safety: Using Supported Decision Making to Facilitate the Safety of People with Disabilities. 2019
Advocate University at Voices for Children - Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) training on Child Development, Court Report Writing, Working with Parents, Educational Advocacy, Relationship Building, Early Intervention Training, Policies and Procedures, Child Welfare Services, Dependency Law, Courtroom Procedures/Court Files, Diversity, Teen Issues, Domestic Violence, and Substance Abuse. 2016
Lawyers Club Human Trafficking Training - Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children - CSEC - Trained to present human trafficking training to schools and youth-serving organizations. 2017
QPR Institute - Suicide Prevention Training provided by the San Diego County Office of Education. 2017
Suicide Resource Prevention Center - CALM training = Counseling on Access to Lethal Means suicide prevention. 2018
Cornell University - Bystander Intervention Training to be a Facilitator of the Cornell Health program Intervene for college students, faculty, and parents. 2016
United States Coast Guard: Bystander Intervention Training for Sexual Assault and Harassment 2018
The Resilience Toolkit - teaches you to confidently implement mindfulness and movement practices that reduce stress, build strength, and tap your resourcefulness.
University of Penn Law – Introduction to Law., eight-week certificate course. 2016
Darkness to Light – Certified Facilitator of Stewards of Children®- Certified to teach child sexual abuse prevention to adults, schools, youth-serving organizations, churches, and sports teams. 2016
TAALK – Talk About Abuse to Liberate Kids – Child Sexual Abuse Prevention training for youth-serving organizations. 2015
Lauren’s Kids – Trained to present Safer, Smarter Kids Curriculum to teachers and students K-12. 2015
California Department of Education – California Mandatory Reporter training taken annually.
Associates Degree, Marketing, FIDM, 1989
Community Engagement / Volunteer Work
SART Advocate - Center for Community Solutions San Diego 2018 - Present
Sexual Assault Response Team Advocate, Certified Domestic Violence / Intimate Partner Violence & Sexual Assault Counselor. Help victims of sexual assault by providing crisis counseling and accompaniment to forensic exams.
San Diego Trauma Informed Guide Team, 2018 - Present
Committee to Restore Integrity to USOC - United States Olympic Committee, 2019 - present
Lawyers Club of San Diego Sexual Harassment Task Force, 2018 - 2019
Lawyers Club of San Diego Human Trafficking Collaborative, 2016 - Present
Co-Chair Community (formerly Survivor Services) Committee 2017-2019
Lawyers Club of San Diego Women's Advocacy Committee member, 2016 - Present
Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Voices for Children, 2016 - 2017
Regularly visited foster kids I was assigned to. Followed up with their social services, development screenings, therapists, school, foster parents and bio parents. Attended all court hearings. Wrote reports to the judge on all of the above and my recommendations.
La Mesa / East County Collaborative 2014 - 2018
Member of collaborative comprised of social services, school district administration, and victim services, providing community educational events in East San Diego County.
Chelsea’s Light Foundation 2010 - 2015
Chelsea’s Run Planning Committee and Chelsea’s Law Advocacy Committee.
Awards and Recognition
National Crime Victim Award for Innovative Victim Services and Special Courage Award - 2018 - Nominated for pioneering the use of Victim Advocates in Civil Litigation.
Women's Advocacy Award - 2017 - from Hera Hub for continued work advocating for women.
Changemaker® Award 2017
Chelsea’s Light Foundation honored me for the work I have done to protect kids.
One of Top 14 San Diego Power Moms Redefining Motherhood 2016
Red Tricycle Parenting, online platform and print magazine, recognition for making a complete career to follow my passion for helping victims and protecting children.
I Leap Award 2015
Leap to Success, a leadership program for helping victims of domestic violence, recognition award for bold women in our community who inspire other women to break through barriers and take courageous action.
Referrals & Recommendations
Mike Bomberger, Partner, Estey-Bomberger, LLP
Amber Eck, Partner, Haeggquist & Eck, LLP
Devin Storey, Attorney, The Zalkin Law Firm
Louann Masry, Attorney, Taylor Ring Trial Lawyers
Amanda Allen, Attorney, Aguirre-Allen Law
Allison Soares, Attorney, Vanst Law
“Christy is one of the most passionate advocates for justice involving children and families. Her depth of knowledge and experience has made her a key catalyst in the movement to protect children. Christy is a strategic collaborator and her commitment to social change is unparalleled.” Kristie Grover, Executive Director, Chelsea’s Light Foundation.
For more recommendations on my child/victim advocacy and leadership skills please see my LinkedIn profile.