IBJNews

2011 WOMAN OF INFLUENCE: Kerry Hyatt Blomquist

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Legal Director, Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Sphere of Influence: She has spearheaded the fight against family abuse statewide. She has created programs to offer victims immediate protection from the time they enter a hospital and she founded the state’s first domestic-violence education program for attorneys.

Most lawyers who start out in public service work eventually opt out, drawn by the higher salaries and financial security of private practice. But not Kerry Hyatt Blomquist, 50, legal director of the Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

“People who have the most influence in this kind of issue are the ones that have been around the longest,” Blomquist said. “It’s like Congress. You pretty much have to be there for a while before you have any sort of power or can work for the betterment of the problem.”

Domestic violence killed 62 Hoosiers between July 2010 and June 2011, and drove nearly 11,000 to take refuge in an emergency shelter, according to the ICADV. More than 20,000 victims received other services, and 65,000 called a crisis line.
 

blomquist-kerry04-15col.jpg (IBJ Photo/ Perry Reichanadter)

Once Blomquist realized the extent of the problem several years ago, she decided to work for change. She became executive director of the Protective Order Pro Bono Project of Greater Indianapolis Inc. in 2001, which was eventually absorbed by ICADV, where Blomquist has worked since 2005.

In her current position, Blomquist represents domestic-violence survivors in emergency hearings, provides expert testimony in criminal and civil cases, trains law-enforcement recruits and speaks statewide on the impact of family violence on the legal, health care and social-service system.

She worked closely with the Indiana Supreme Court to develop the online Protective Order Registry, which allows police to verify protective orders 24/7. She also created a pilot program that makes law students available to represent domestic-violence victims at all times, and puts judges on standby around the clock to issue protective orders even before victims leave a hospital.

Blomquist founded the state’s only domestic-violence legal education program at the law school, which she touts as her most significant accomplishment. Teaching at her alma mater allows her to put domestic violence on the radar screen of future attorneys.

“If you’re a lawyer that works in family practice or in any kind of practice with clients on personal issues, and if you don’t screen for domestic violence, you’re arguably committing malpractice, because it’s so relevant in so many areas of the law,” Blomquist said.

One of the things she values about her job is the opportunity to expose her children and herself to problems far worse than they have ever faced themselves.

“When you’re starting to feel so self-absorbed that little tiny things drive you crazy, sometimes it’s time to revisit the big picture,” Blomquist said. “I’m consistently grateful because I see people with seemingly insurmountable challenges every day.”

The plight of victims makes her impatient for change, which she said is her greatest professional weakness. Gradually she has learned to pare her goals down and approach them with patience, rather than frantically pursue every good idea that occurs to her.

Blomquist also has been active in the legal community. She is first vice president of the Indianapolis Bar Association and will become president in 2013.

A native of Evansville, Blomquist is single and has two sons: Michael, 18, and Eric, 15. She enjoys running and is learning the art of home repair.•

_____

Click here to return to the Women of Influence landing page.

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. Hiking blocks to an office after fighting traffic is not logical. Having office buildings around the loop, 465 and in cities in surrounding counties is logical. In other words, counties around Indianapolis need office buildings like Keystone, Meridian, Michigan Road/College Park and then no need to go downtown. Financial, legal, professional businesses don't need the downtown when Carmel, Fishers, North Indy are building their own central office buildings close to the professionals. The more Hamilton, Boone county attract professionals, the less downtown is relevant. Highrises have no meaning if they don't have adequate parking for professionals and clients. Great for show, but not exactly downtown Chicago, no lakefront, no river to speak of, and no view from highrises of lake Michigan and the magnificent mile. Indianapolis has no view.

  2. "The car count, THE SERIES, THE RACING, THE RATINGS, THE ATTENDANCE< AND THE MANAGEMENT, EVERY season is sub-par." ______________ You're welcome!

  3. that it actually looked a lot like Sato v Franchitti @Houston. And judging from Dario's marble mouthed presentation providing "color", I'd say that he still suffers from his Dallara inflicted head injury._______Considering that the Formula E cars weren't going that quickly at that exact moment, that was impressive air time. But I guess we shouldn't be surprised, as Dallara is the only car builder that needs an FAA certification for their cars. But flying Dallaras aren't new. Just ask Dan Wheldon.

  4. Does anyone know how and where I can get involved and included?

  5. While the data supporting the success of educating our preschoolers is significant, the method of reaching this age group should be multi-faceted. Getting business involved in support of early childhood education is needed. But the ways for businesses to be involved are not just giving money to programs and services. Corporations and businesses educating their own workforce in the importance of sending a child to kindergarten prepared to learn is an alternative way that needs to be addressed. Helping parents prepare their children for school and be involved is a proven method for success. However, many parents are not sure how to help their children. The public is often led to think that preschool education happens only in schools, daycare, or learning centers but parents and other family members along with pediatricians, librarians, museums, etc. are valuable resources in educating our youngsters. When parents are informed through work lunch hour workshops in educating a young child, website exposure to exceptional teaching ideas that illustrate how to encourage learning for fun, media input, and directed community focus on early childhood that is when a difference will be seen. As a society we all need to look outside the normal paths of educating and reaching preschoolers. It is when methods of involving the most important adult in a child's life - a parent, that real success in educating our future workers will occur. The website www.ifnotyouwho.org is free and illustrates activities that are research-based, easy to follow and fun! Businesses should be encouraging their workers to tackle this issue and this website makes it easy for parents to be involved. The focus of preschool education should be to inspire all the adults in a preschooler's life to be aware of what they can do to prepare a child for their future life. Fortunately we now know best practices to prepare a child for a successful start to school. Is the business community ready to be involved in educating preschoolers when it becomes more than a donation but a challenge to their own workers?

ADVERTISEMENT