Latina Domestic Violence Advocate From Cuba, Spain to the US

Ivon Mesa

Meet Ivon Mesa a 2016 Hispanic Woman of Distinction, Director, Violence Prevention and Intervention Division, Miami-Dade County Community Action and Human Services Department


“It is upon us Latina women and mothers to pass on our culture and traditions to our children, to instill  a sense of pride on being Hispanic and to teach them our values, otherwise, our rich Hispanic culture in the United States will slowly disappear."- Ivon Mesa, Director, Violence Prevention and Intervention Division, Miami-Dade County Community Action and Human Services Department

After emigrating from her homeland of Cuba to Spain, Ivon moved to Miami in 1989 and went on to earn her Bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Florida International University and then her Master’s degree in public administration from Nova Southeastern University.

Ivon MesaIvon interned in the Domestic Violence Intake Unit of Miami-Dade County Human Services Department while still in college. Recognizing that she was a valued asset, she was quickly hired full-time and soon after was named Director of the Intake Unit.

Her heartfelt drive to ensure that domestic abuse was not quietly swept under the rug brought Ivon national and international attention, speaking engagements, media interviews and more opportunities for partnerships and funding for the ever-expanding programs she helped develop or worked on.

In 2008, Ivon became the Director of Coordinated Victims Assistance Program for Miami-Dade County and, in 2013, she became the Director of Violence Prevention and Intervention Division. As that division’s head, Ivon not only handles matters of domestic abuse but also Miami’s massive problem of human sex trafficking.

Ivon is the intellectual author and administrator of the Coordinated Victims Assistance Center which is the only Family Justice Center in the State of Florida and is also the founder and present chair of the Miami-Dade County Human Trafficking Coalition.

Ivon has received numerous awards for her efforts from local, state and city governments and civic organizations including “Ivon Mesa Day” in Miami-Dade County, the Peace At Home Award given by the Governor and was selected as the “Woman of the Next Century” by the Miami-Dade County Women’s Association.

She enjoys a happy home life with husband, Ulises Quintana, and sons, Ulises and Ivan.

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For more information, visit Hispanic Women Of Distinction or (954) 709-1622.

About the author

Phyllis Cambria

Phyllis Cambria is a freelance writer based in South Florida with an international roster of clients. As a retired, award-winning event planner, she co-authored several party planning books and has written or been the subject of articles for numerous local and national print and online publications. Phyllis writes online and print content on a wide-array of subjects including entertaining, show business, etiquette, weddings, restaurant reviews, travel, relationships and marketing materials.