TOPEKA – (July 2, 2015) – Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt today announced the appointment of Marlou Wegener of Topeka as chairperson of the Batterer Intervention Program (BIP) Advisory Board.
Wegener has served as community relations manager at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas (BCBSKS) since 1991. She assisted BCBSKS in becoming one of the first major employers in the state to implement a workplace policy on domestic violence. She has assisted with efforts to encourage other employers to do the same. Wegener was selected as State Ally of the Year by the Kansas Coalition against Sexual and Domestic Violence in 2014 and previously served on the Board of the YWCA of Topeka, where she was involved with the annual Week Without Violence events for the Center for Safety and Empowerment. Wegener is a graduate of Leadership Kansas and represents BCBSKS on various health-related boards and workgroups.
Wegener takes over this role from Curt and Christie Brungardt of Jana’s Campaign, who chaired the committee since it was created in 2009. The Brungardts, of Hays, were instrumental in assisting the office of the attorney general in implementation of the state standards to ensure that quality programs are available to assist the perpetrators of domestic violence to change their behaviors.
Schmidt appointed Wegener to a four-year term as chairperson, which will expire in June 2019.
The BIP Advisory Board is composed of statewide representatives from the fields of law enforcement, prosecution, victim services, corrections, batterer intervention, the private legal community, higher education and the public health service. The members are dedicated to having quality batterer intervention programming statewide, and will continue to provide information and awareness to programs and communities to help ensure effective outcomes of these programs, and the reduction of domestic violence in Kansas. BIP’s are certified by the Attorney General’s office to ensure that intervention programs that serve domestic violence offenders follow minimum standards that include research-based strategies and techniques to hold offenders accountable and increase victim safety. Currently, there are 30 certified batterer intervention programs in the State, with 10 additional programs in the process of becoming certified. For additional information about BIP certification, please visit the Attorney General’s website at: http://ag.ks.gov/victim-services/bip .