At The Domestic Violence & Abuse Center, we are committed to treating our clients with dignity and respect. Every member of our staff is guided by kindness, compassion, and empathy for every person who walks through our doors.

Debra Olson

Executive Director

Debra is originally from Cooks Creek, Manitoba, Canada. She currently lives in Park River, ND with her husband. The two of them enjoy riding their motorcycle together and spending time with friends and family. She surrounds herself with positive people and firmly believes that to truly enjoy life, you need to have fun. She is notorious for her adventurous side, which includes swimming with sharks, parasailing, scaling down a 17-story building, skydiving, and snorkeling. Debra was the Valedictorian at Robertson College in 1992 and has previously worked as a researcher in Pediatric Allergy and Clinical Immunology at the Children's Hospital in Winnipeg, Campus Director at Robertson College in Manitoba, and Program Director at Eden Health Care Services in Winkler, Manitoba. She is also a published author in three medical journals for Allergy & Clinical Immunology. Her extensive background in human services and mental health makes her a natural leader that everyone gravitates to for advice and support.

Office phone: 701-331-2346
Direct email:



Assistant Director

Tara specializes in elder abuse, and has previous experience working with the elderly in a care home, including the special care unit for Alzheimer's and dementia residents. She was born and raised in Mayville, ND, and has a genuine passion for the work that she does at DVAC. Her steadfast faith and commitment to serving others makes her the perfect person to turn to in times of crisis. She also has a contagious enthusiasm for working hard and making a difference, which benefits both clients and other staff members. Her compassion, patience, and trustworthiness make her a valuable asset to this organization.

Office phone: 701-331-1378
Direct email:



Walsh County Advocate

Jesse was born and raised in Grafton, North Dakota and has previously worked as a Paraprofessional Teacher at the local middle school. She loves gardening and enjoying the outdoors, along with spending time with her friends and family. She has a big heart and loves helping people improve their lives. Her enthusiasm for spreading kindness and her great sense of humor make her a welcome addition to our Walsh County location.

Office phone: 701-331-1267
Direct email:



Walsh County Advocate

Litzy is originally from Rio Grande, Texas, but is currently residing in Grafton. She's passionate about photography and always tries to her best to make other people happy. She values spending time with the people she cares about, and is always striving to be the best person that she can be. Her light-hearted and lively personality make her an easy person to talk to and a great addition to our team.

Office phone: coming soon
Direct email:



Pembina County Advocate

Staci is currently the Program Coordinator for Choice to Change, our batterer's treatment group for men. You may have also seen her at the schools in the area as our Prevention Coordinator, where she focuses on educating students about healthy relationships in all three counties. Staci knows and appreciates how important it is for her clients to take care of themselves, including mind, body, and spirit. She loves getting to know new people and naturally shares her joy with everyone she meets. Her positive attitude and compassion for others are what help her excel at everything she does.

Office phone: 701-265-8686
Direct email:



Cavalier County Advocate

Shilice was born in San Diego, California, and grew up in Minnesota. She found her way here to "God's Country" through and moved to Nekoma, North Dakota where she married her husband in February of 2018. She has previously worked as a Fundraising Director, Housing Coordinator, and a Direct Care Worker, and has also worked in Medical Billing. She was the Top Fundraising Director for 13 years! Her values include fairness, truth, honesty, and respect, and she loves seeing other people happy. 

Office phone: 701-256-6204
Direct email:



Digital Content Coordinator

While pursuing her college degree, Emily completed an internship at the school in Grafton where she worked with the school counselors and gained an appreciation for adolescent mental health. She is a lover of nature, and enjoys hiking, bike riding, and anything else that she can do outdoors. Kindness and empathy are her biggest strengths, and she also continues to strive for new ways to improve and update the technology and design aspects of running a non-profit. She loves that she's able to make a difference right in her own community.

Office phone: 701-331-0419
Direct email: