Ohio Crime Victim Justice Center
Nominator: Cathy Harper Lee
Joanne Aubrey is a pioneer in the anti-domestic and sexual violence movements.
Joanne endured several years of abuse by her husband. On December 18, 1969, three weeks after she left him, Joanne’s husband shot her at close range with a sawed off shotgun. Joanne was 31 years old.
It was nothing short of a miracle that Joanne lived. She lost her spleen, a kidney, part of her liver, part of her pancreas, two-thirds of her stomach, and pieces of her ribs. It took 18 months, and ten major surgeries to recover.
For attempting to murder Joanne, her husband only spent 24 hours in jail and was released on a $5,000 bond. He then drained her bank accounts and fled to another country. Although Joanne discovered where he was, justice officials would not extradite him.
Joanne, determined to help domestic violence victims, decided to become a lawyer. In 1981, Joanne began her legal career as a domestic relations attorney with an emphasis on helping domestic violence victims. She also began reaching out to justice officials, and countless other groups, to provide education about domestic violence and needed improvements in the criminal systems response. She appeared on numerous radio and TV programs. Keep in mind, the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA), the first federal source dedicated directly to domestic violence shelters and programs, wasn’t yet established. Joanne has always been a pioneer.
Since May 2015, Joanne Aubrey has had the passion, energy, drive, and commitment to help protect the rights of hundreds of crime victims each year by donating her time and expertise to Ohio Crime Victim Justice Center.
At 79 years old, Joanne is still demonstrating her compassion, commitment, and pioneer spirit of improving the lives of crime victims by currently helping draft implementation legislation for the Marsy’s Law Ohio constitutional amendment.