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.           

Professional Experience

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 reclaim their power.

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 schools, youth-serving organizations, community groups and parent groups on child sexual abuse prevention, consent, bystander intervention, bullying, internet safety, and human trafficking. Speaker at various educational and professional conferences. Founded the non-profit Educate to Eliminate in 2018.

Legislative Consultant  2010 - 2017

Worked with Chelsea’s Light Foundation and Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher to help pass Chelsea’s Law AB1844 for sexually violent predators.

Author 2010 - Present

  • Co-Author Guidance & Resources for Victims of Sexual Harassment for 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 and Red-Tricycle

Education & Training

I continue my education and training on a regular basis to stay up-to-date on trauma-informed, 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.

  • 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 & ArizonaTraining 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.

End Violence Against Women International -

  • Reading Victims and Judging Credibility - Best Practices in Promoting Victim Centered Investigations and Prosecutions by Wendy Patrick

  • Drug and Alcohol Facilitated, Non-Stranger Sexual Assault

Institute on Violence, Abuse, and Trauma Annual Conference:

  • Identifying Sexual Victimization in Children with Developmental Disabilities and Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • School Employee Sexual Misconduct: Lessons Learned from a Title IX Policy Implementation Study

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.

Lawyers Club Human Trafficking Training - Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children - CSEC - Trained to present human trafficking training to schools and youth-serving organizations.

QPR Institute - Suicide Prevention Training provided by the San Diego County Office of Education.

Suicide Resource Prevention Center - CALM training = Counseling on Access to Lethal Means suicide prevention.

Cornell University - Bystander Intervention Training to be a Facilitator of the Cornell Health program Intervene for college students, faculty, and parents. 

United States Coast Guard Bystander Intervention Training

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.

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.

TAALK – Talk About Abuse to Liberate Kids – Child Sexual Abuse Prevention training for youth-serving organizations.

Lauren’s Kids – Trained to present Safer, Smarter Kids Curriculum to teachers and students K-12.

California Department of Education – California Mandatory Reporter training taken annually.

Associates Degree, Marketing, FIDM

Community Engagement / Volunteer Work

SART Volunteer Advocate - Center for Community Solutions San Diego 2018 - Present

  • Sexual Assault Response Team Advocate, Certified Domestic Violence / Intimate Partner Violence & Sexual Assault Counselor. Attend SART exams and help victims of sexual assault.

San Diego Trauma Informed Guide Team, Training Committee 2018 - Present

Lawyers Club of San Diego Sexual Harassment Task Force 2018 - Present

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

Women's Advocacy Award - 2017 - from Hera Hub

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

Amber Eck, Partner, Haeggquist & Eck, LLP

Louann Masry, Attorney, Taylor Ring Trial Lawyers

Amanda Allen, Attorney, Aguirre-Allen Law

Devin Storey, Attorney, The Zalkin Law Firm

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.