Leadership Ideas, Information and News

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Little Rock Field Office Presents the FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award for 2011 to Kathy Manis Findley

Kathy Findley is a tireless advocate for abused women and children. She has devoted her life to promoting nonviolence and helping survivors of sexual abuse, domestic violence, and child abuse achieve physical and mental well-being. That devotion led her to founding in 2002 the charitable, nonprofit organization called Safe Places: The Center for Healing and Hope with only a $3,000 grant.

Findley has dedicated her life to helping children and young adults from abusive environments. The organization she founded, Safe Places (www.safeplaceslr.org), provides support to those who suffer from the physical and emotional effects of violence and provides violence prevention education throughout the community. The mission statement of Safe Places best describes Findley’s life dream—“To create communities where every child is protected, every home is a safe place, and where every person can live free from violence.” Today, Safe Places offers to our community professionally trained staff who can provide a variety of services to victims of violence and abuse, as well as training for parents, other community professionals, and organizations. Some of their services include: 24-hour crisis intervention and supportive services for victims of violence and abuse; advocacy, intervention, education, and traumafocused therapy for child victims of violence; specialized trauma counseling for families experiencing violence or abuse; therapeutic interventions through specialized victim impact statements designed to help children and adolescents deal with the effects of being a victim of violent crime; immediate crisis intervention; long-term child and family advocacy, etc. These are just a few of the types of programs Safe Places provides at no cost to victims of violence and abuse. She and her organization have willingly assisted the FBI and other law enforcement agencies throughout the state in providing counseling and other support services to victims of violence.

Findley holds advanced certification in victim assistance from the Joint Center on Violence and Victim Studies. She is trained as a child forensic interviewer through the American Prosecutors Research Institute’s National Child Protection Training Center.

Findley was selected by the Congressional Medal of Honor Society as the Arkansas Honoree for the 2008 Above and Beyond Citizen Honors, called the most prestigious civilian award in America. She was named the 2009 Arkansas Business Nonprofit Executive of the Year for her work with Safe Places and was featured in the High Profile section of the Arkansas Democrat Gazette on October 24, 2010. She was selected as one of the two Arkansans to receive a $50,000 grant by the Foundation for the MidSouth that considers candidates from the states of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Arkansas.

Findley currently serves on the board of directors of the American Society of Victimology and the National Advisory Council of the Joint Center on Violence and Victim Studies, and was appointed by Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe to serve on the Arkansas State Council for Interstate Juvenile Supervision. She was appointed by the City of Little Rock Board of Directors to serve on the Little Rock Commission on Domestic Violence and has served as its chairperson for three terms. She has also served on the Little Rock Commission on Children, Youth, and Families as the commissioner for issues related to domestic violence. She is a trainer for the Arkansas Victim Assistance Academy at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. She served as the first president of the Crime Victims Assistance Association of Arkansas and served two terms as president of the Arkansas Coalition Against Sexual Assault.

Findley is the author of two books—Voices of Our Sisters and the Survivor’s Voice: Healing the Invisible Wounds of Violence and Abuse—as well as numerous publications.

She is committed to making her community better and actively participates in city, state, and national initiatives.

Based on her compassionate vision, her tireless dedication to this community and its defenseless victims, and her accomplishments in a field that often goes unrecognized, Special Agent in Charge Valerie Parlave and the employees of the Little Rock Field Office are proud to present the 2011 Director’s Community Leadership Award to Kathy Findley.

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