One of the world’s foremost experts on violence against women and children, Esta Soler is a pioneer who founded the Family Violence Prevention Fund (FVPF) 26 years ago and made it one of the world’s leading violence prevention agencies. With offices in San Francisco, Boston and Washington, D.C., and partners around the world, the FVPF develops innovative strategies to prevent domestic, dating and sexual violence, stalking and child abuse.
Under Soler’s direction, the FVPF was a driving force behind passage of the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 – the nation’s first comprehensive federal response to the violence that plagues our families and communities. Congress reauthorized and expanded the law in 2000 and again in 2005.
Soler has led the FVPF as it developed trailblazing public education campaigns that have reached millions of people, and innovative policies, advocacy, prevention, education and training programs that help lawmakers, health care providers, judges, employers and others stop violence and help victims. FVPF programs have been replicated in all 50 states and around the world. Its most recent initiatives, the “Coaching Boys Into Men” and “Founding Fathers” campaigns, are breaking new ground by inviting men to teach boys that violence against women and children is always wrong.
Soler is a trustee for the Blue Shield of California Foundation, and serves on the board of The Center for Family Policy and Practice. She has been a consultant and advisor to numerous public and private agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Soros Justice Fellowship Program, the Ford Foundation/Harvard University Innovations in American Government initiative, and the Aspen Institute. She was a member of the Violence Against Women National Advisory Council when it was co-chaired by Health & Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala and Attorney General Janet Reno.
Among Soler’s many awards are a Kellogg Foundation National Leadership Fellowship in 1990, the Koret Israel Prize in 1995, and the University of California, Public Health Heroes Award in 1998. In 2004, the Center for the Advancement of Women honored her for advancing the power of women worldwide. Her leadership resulted in the FVPF winning awards from the Sara Lee Foundation and the State Justice Institute, among others.
Soler has made numerous television and appearances including The Oprah Winfrey Show and CNN, and been placed guest editorials, informed commentary in and been featured in dozens of major media outlets. Soler is co-author of Ending Domestic Violence: Changing Public Perceptions/Halting the Epidemic. She graduated from Simmons College in 1968 with a Bachelor of Arts degree. She lives in San Francisco with her daughter, Marjorie.
Keeping guns out of the hands of domestic abusers will prevent more senseless tragedies
The Hill [11/27/17]
Esta Soler Elevates Child Trauma to National Policy Stage
The Chronicle of Social Change [December 2, 2015]
A Veteran Campaigner Reflects on 20 Years of Fighting Domestic Abuse
Time [September 9, 2014]
Violence against women - it's a man's issue
TED talk [December, 2013]
Ending Domestic Violence: Changing Public Perceptions/Halting the Epidemic (co-author)