Passion, experience, and commitment to a clear mission.

The mission of the Center for Domestic Violence Policy is three-fold:

Ensure that every state has the necessary legislation to eradicate domestic violence, including the violence that spills over into the workplace

Train criminal justice personnel by utilizing proven, effective practices in combating domestic violence

Educate individuals, including our youth, on the warning signs of dangerous partners and help them become aware of ways to avoid intimate partner violence situations

Our focus and impact.

The Center for Domestic Violence Policy focuses on three primary objectives: Training, Education, and Advocacy.  Learn more about each area by clicking on a topic below.

At least half the women who leave their abusers are stalked, harassed, or attacked by them. In many cases, violence may quickly escalate after the separation, and there are common risk factors that clearly point to the likelihood of extreme violence or even intimate partner homicide.

It's not uncommon for abusers to show up at their partners' workplaces, and more and more companies are developing comprehensive policies to help managers and employees deal with these potentially dangerous situations. In fact, many states are now requiring companies with a minimum number of employees to have written domestic violence policies and practices in place.

Our Corporate Training programs provide useful and comprehensive classroom-style training, webinars, and presentations for HR Directors, Managers, and Employees. Over years of expertise focusing on domestic violence issues, we've developed proprietary learning tools that help ensure participants get the most from the program. In addition to our training programs, the Center for Domestic Violence Policy provides consulting to assist companies with any legally required domestic violence compliances.

Early intervention and education is key to preventing escalation of this crime that finds its way from generation to generation. Domestic violence awareness is critical for all age groups, especially younger teens. Teen dating violence is at an all-time record high…thus, choosing a partner can not only be difficult, but can lead to catastrophic situations.

Education programs are designed for all types of audiences. Providing useful and comprehensive training programs in companies, schools, community organizations, and associations are just one way CDVP creates awareness. Classroom-style training, webinars, and presentations are utilized regularly. These programs encompass interactive tools, table-top exercises, and role playing to ensure the participants get the most from the event.

Educating young people, both boys and girls, on the signs of potential partners that may have personality disorders, and/or become abusive is a critical element of the education initiative. Often times, abusive individuals can court their victims in a very attractive and enticing manner. However, if these individuals have been educated on the signs, characteristics, and patterns of individuals who are abusive, they are much more likely to recognize these traits early on in the relationship and terminate the relationship without harm.

At least half the women who leave their abusers are stalked, harassed, or attacked by them. Violence quickly escalates after the separation. There are common risk factors that clearly point to the likelihood of extreme violence and/or intimate partner homicide. Threat assessment becomes an instrumental tool in preventing and minimizing future violence and can be the difference between life and death. In many stalking cases, setting an appropriate bond can be difficult in light of the fact that the offender may not have any previous contacts with the law. Illinois amended their statute to include dangerousness assessment for purposes of bail. Other states have also created similar statutes to address this issue. Thus, the prosecutors can now introduce lethality indicators to the Judge during the bail hearing.

This training program, geared towards those in law enforcement and the judicial system, provides participants with the ability to recognize and assess lethality indicators during all court proceedings. Participants will be able to identify lethal risk factors based on the most recent research and studies, identify the future risk to the victim and the community, and will be able to assess and apply that information during a bond hearing, motion in limine, trial and/or sentencing.

In addition, training is provided on methods to create or enhance the existing domestic violence division of a municipality. These include strategies to develop public-private partnerships, programs to target high-risk abusers, and developing on-site resources for victims.

Many forms of legislation surrounding the issue of domestic violence exist on various federal, state, and local levels. Across the country, some states are doing better than others in enacting laws that protect victims. Police protection, judicial protections, and protections in the workplace are all examples of the types of laws that currently exist. Not all states, however, are doing enough. Even federal laws as well engrained as OSHA come up short in requiring organizations to create a work environment free of dangers, such as workplace violence.

Bringing consistent and cutting-edge, life-saving domestic violence legislation to every state in the country to ensure every victim has equal protections against this heinous crime is a primary goal of the Center for Domestic Violence Policy. For example, organizations should be able to receive protection orders against potential offenders to ensure a safe working environment for victims and their coworkers. These organizations should also be required to provide job protection for victims of domestic violence, something that very few states have actually enacted. Expanding legislation such as VESSA, in Illinois, to include tougher and broader language is also needed.

Our executive team, devoted to the cause.

Dorothy Coletta

Executive Director

Dorothy Coletta

Dorothy has over 20 years in volunteer board experience including 15 years of leadership roles for school, civic and service organizations. Having spent the last 12 years working with Junior Leagues in both Northern Westchester, New York, and Evanston, Illinois, Dorothy has solid experience in raising awareness and supporting domestic violence victims. As a Junior League Delegate for the New York State Public Affairs Committee Dorothy advocated in Albany, NY, for women survivors imprisoned due to acts of self-defense. As President of the Junior League of Evanston-North Shore, she was instrumental in setting the vision of advancing employment and supporting families of victims on Chicago’s north shore. Her professional career includes 10 years with the National Accounts division of Automatic Data Processing and 8 years in employee benefits leadership and consulting roles.



  • Northern Illinois University, B.S. Business/Marketing

Activities & Affiliations

  • Haven Youth and Family Services – Executive Board President
  • Junior League of Evanston-North Shore – Finance Director
  • Junior League of Evanston-North Shore Thrift House – Executive Board
  • Morton Grove Park District Board – Commissioner


John P. Savas

Chief Operating Officer

1 (312) 952-6500

John P. Savas, SHRM-SCP, SPHR

John has more than 25 years of human resource experience in both corporate and consulting roles. He has worked with a variety of industries including public and private companies, family-owned businesses, and non-profit organizations. Throughout his career, he has been exposed to virtually all areas within HR and would be characterized as a true senior HR generalist and expert. He has successfully managed and participated in projects relating to strategic planning, employee communications, performance management, re-designing and implementing health and retirement benefit programs, leadership training, employee and labor relations, total rewards and compensation, staffing and recruitment, and numerous talent management initiatives. He has been instrumental in the development and implementation of numerous workplace violence prevention and intervention programs, including domestic violence in the workplace. He speaks and trains frequently on human resource topics such as performance management, leadership, harassment and discrimination, workplace violence, as well as personal development.


Prior to co-founding the Center for Domestic Violence Policy, he formed Odasi Consulting, a human resource consulting firm. Previously, he was the Practice Leader for Forest Financial Group, Inc., where he led both the human resource consulting and workplace violence consulting practices. John was formerly a Partner and Human Resource Practice Leader for Blue Prairie Group, a human resource and investment consulting firm, helping it to become one of INC 5000’s Fastest Growing Privately Held Companies in 2009 and 2011. Prior to that, he was an Officer and Vice President of Human Resources for The Pampered Chef, a Berkshire Hathaway company. His senior leadership experience was also demonstrated at Tuthill Corporation, where he was successful in starting-up the company’s first corporate Human Resources Department. He has previously held senior management positions with DSC Logistics and The John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Much of his professional life has been dedicated to improving processes and systems, developing the people around him, and adding value to organizations by documenting and quantifying the successes of the Human Resource function.


  • Northern Illinois University, Masters of Business Administration
  • Northern Illinois University, B.S., Personnel & Industrial Relations Management

Activities & Affiliations

  • Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago – Board of Directors
  • James Jordan Boys & Girls Club – President


Alexandra Ziogas

Director of Fundraising & Junior Board Chairperson

1 (630) 730-3140

Alexandra Ziogas

Alexandra is a senior at Loyola University of Chicago where she is a double major in Finance and Marketing. She has always been interested in business as she witnessed from a young age her parents running their own small business and has interned with them through high school. Alexandra has also had various finance internships throughout her college career. From these experiences, Alexandra learned the value of hard work and the importance of building relationships. She is a natural leader with an excellent work ethic and a self-starting, positive attitude.

Alexandra began working with The Center for Domestic Violence Policy (CDVP) in 2017 as their Director of Fundraising. She is passionate that this is an issue that deserves attention and prevention. She managed and executed on all aspects of planning the CDVP’s last fundraiser in November 2017 where she successfully raised over $20,000 for the organization with a zero-dollar budget. Alexandra consistently produces strong results with a high degree of integrity, dedication, and passion to always create the best work.  She is excited to start further developing CDVP’s Junior board this year and looking forward to assembling the team of volunteers.


Alexandra will be graduating in May 2018 with a Bachelor’s in Business Administration and plans to work for an innovative and growing company where she can utilize both her finance and marketing background. When not attending class or studying for exams, she enjoys being with family and friends, working out, traveling and exploring new places.


1 (312) 401-6364

Pam Paziotopoulos, Esq.

Pam began her career in 1990 as a prosecutor for the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, quickly focusing on the area of domestic violence. In 1996, she joined the American Prosecutor’s Research Institute’s Criminal Prosecution Division as a Senior Attorney traveling to 38 of the 50 states, conducting training and speaking on domestic violence. She oversaw curricula development and education in domestic violence prosecution, provided technical assistance to prosecutors and allied professionals, and developed training materials in the areas of domestic violence and stalking. In 1997, she was recruited to the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office to create and supervise the Domestic Violence Division. She monitored the prosecution of over 100,000 domestic violence cases emanating each year from the city of Chicago and surrounding area. She created a Career Resource Center that continues to assist victims of domestic violence by providing a transition from welfare to work and established an “Adopt a Shelter Program” partnering Cook County agencies with various domestic violence shelters. She helped secure over $900,000 in federal, state and private money to supplement these initiatives and served as Chairperson and member of various domestic violence committees throughout Cook County and the State of Illinois.


In 2000, she became part of the elected State’s Attorney, Richard Devine’s, executive staff, and served as the Director of Public Affairs for the office. In 2002, Paziotopoulos formed her own consulting group, serving both the public and private sectors. Prior to founding the Center for Domestic Violence Policy, she joined Forest Advisors as Senior Vice President assisting clients and other organizations through education and workplace violence policy guideline development.

Paziotopoulos has developed and presented numerous training sessions on the topic of domestic violence, stalking and workplace violence to corporations, security directors, human resource professionals, doctors, nurses, employee assistance providers, prosecutors, advocates, judges, law enforcement agencies, psychologists, shelter personnel and court watchers. She has trained the Albanian National Police on domestic violence policy and procedures in Tirana, Albania.

Paziotopoulos has frequently been a keynote speaker on domestic violence. She has also appeared on CNN, CNBC, and the Oprah Winfrey Show as well as numerous national radio and news stations. She has appeared on the FBI’s Training Network discussing domestic violence in the workplace. She was a consultant and participant in the FBI’s Violence in the Workplace Symposium, ASIS Workplace Violence Guidelines, the ABA Workplace Violence book, and the new 2011 SHRM workplace violence standards. She has authored numerous articles on the issues of domestic violence and stalking. Her article, “Violence Against Women Act:  Federal Relief for State Prosecutors,” has been cited by Federal Courts of Appeal as decisive in defending the landmark legislation VAWA.

In July 2000, she was selected by Today’s Chicago Woman as one of 100 women making a difference in Chicago. In November 2000, she received the first Distinguished Alumni Award from Hinsdale South High School. In December 2008, she received an award from the Illinois Security Chiefs for making a difference in Security, Safety and Law Enforcement.

Paziotopoulos remains active with the Justice Department and continues to conduct research in the area of domestic violence. She also focuses on teaching corporations how to raise awareness and create practical solutions to workplace violence issues. She is licensed to practice law in Illinois and in Federal Court.


  • IIT Chicago Kent College of Law, Juris Doctor
  • University of Illinois, B.A., Speech Communications

Activities & Affiliations

  • Kent College of Law – Adjunct professor
  • Adler Planetarium, Women’s Board – Member


Center for Domestic Violence Policy
Board of Directors

Mark Fera

Dorothy Coletta
Executive Director

John Savas

Richard A. Devine

Karen Callahan Roddy

Georgia Loukas Demeros

Eleni Kouimelis

Judy Serfecz Edlund

Contact Us

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