The North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCCADV) presented Safe Space Inc. with its Excellence Award — recognizing the Franklin County group’s focus and efforts to reduce relationship violence.
“I am extremely happy,” said Safe Space Executive Director Monica Kearney. “What this award does is give validation for the significance of the work we are doing.
“We all do so much and to be able to bring this back home, to this staff of 21 people on this team, I’m speechless.
“What this award says is that our hard work is not unnoticed,” she said. “To the volunteers and board members who put in countless hours supporting us, it just means a lot.”
The Change Awards banquet was held at the PNC Triangle Club in Durham and it gave NCCADV a chance to recognize advocates, community members, students and organizations from across the state that are seeking to end domestic violence while offering resources to its victims.
Nominees and awards were handed out in categories ranging from those making legislative inroads to aspiring activists.
Safe Space was nominated for the Excellence Award, along with the Abuse Prevention Council in Shelby, the Compass Center in Chapel Hill, Helpmate in Asheville, Mainstay in Hendersonville, and Oasis in Boone.
NCCADV Executive Director Dana Mangum said Safe Space has the expected resources in place, such as a strong court advocacy program and a shelter that helps victims get their footing.
What has helped set Safe Space apart, Mangum said, is their commitment to reaching out to the community in their efforts, most notably through the Domestic Violence Task Force — a group of organizations, law enforcement officers and court personnel brought together by Kearney to improve the county’s response to domestic violence cases through a coordinated, systematic approach.
“Having a community response to domestic violence is so essential because they can’t do if all by themselves,” Mangum said. “No one can.”
Outside of that, Mangum said, Safe Space also does strong work in the areas of intervention and prevention and child advocacy.
“But what really set them over the edge,” Mangum said, “was that Monica has so much enthusiasm and so many big ideas and we have seen her implement them. “We just hope this award will support her in a way that will continue that enthusiasm.”
CAREY JOHNSON, Times Staff Writer
Pictured (Above): AWARD WINNING. Safe Space Inc. Executive Director Monica Kearney, center, and her team received an Excellence Award from the North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence. From left are Joycelyn Privette, Renale Giles, Maria Renteral, Tabitha Preddy, Kelly Wakefield, and Safe Space Board member Larry Marciniak. (Contributed photos)