John Byron (father of Mary Byron) and West Virginia First Lady Gayle Manchin display the award with Sue Julian (Executive Director of the Coalition Against Domestic Violence) and Adrienne Worthy (Executive Director of Legal Aid of West Virginia).
Pat Byron (mother of Mary Byron and president of the
Mary Byron Foundation) presents the award to Sue Julian (Executive Director of the West Virginia Coalition Against Domestic Violence) and Adrienne Worthy (Executive Director of Legal Aid of West Virginia).
CHARLESTON — No good deed goes … unrewarded.
The West Virginia Legal Assistance to Victims Partnership, a joint effort of Legal Aid of West Virginia and the West Virginia Coalition Against Domestic Violence, has been selected as the 2008 “Celebrating Solutions Award” recipient by the Mary Byron Foundation of Louisville, Ky.
Along with the recognition of receiving the award, the Partnership will receive a $10,000 cash prize for their pioneering efforts.
West Virginia First Lady Gayle Manchin hosted the Partnership members and representatives from the Mary Byron Foundation at an award ceremony at the Governor’s Mansion.
“We know that far too often domestic violence destroys lives,” Manchin said at the ceremony. “This is a wonderful opportunity to recognize a truly innovative and deserving effort. This is a time of celebration as we consider the gains made toward preventing further violence through the Partnership that is honored today as a national model.”
The Mary Byron “Celebrating Solutions Award” recognizes institutions that demonstrate an innovative approach to confronting the root causes of domestic violence and developing solutions to break the cycle.
The West Virginia Legal Assistance to Victims Partnership provides comprehensive court based advocacy and legal representation to victims of domestic violence.
In state fiscal year 2007-2008, the Partnership served a total of 2,515 victims through West Virginia, a notable achievement considering inherent challenges of reaching victims in rural areas with limited resources.
The partnership is an example of dedication, skill and collaborative work within West Virginia to prevent further domestic violence that has profound effects on so many families. In the past 12 months, from October 2007 to October 2008, there appears to have been 28 deaths because of domestic violence in West Virginia.
The Mary Byron ‘Celebrating Solutions Award’ was named for Mary Byron, who on her 21st birthday, was killed by her ex-boyfriend after he was released on bail for violent crimes committed against her. Mary’s murder was a catalyst for change in her home state of Kentucky, where the first automated system was developed to notify crime victims when their offender is released from custody.
The Mary Byron Foundation created the “Celebrating Solutions Award” to showcase and applaud local innovations that demonstrate promise in breaking the cycle of domestic violence.