SafePath honors community members who help fight child abuse in Cobb
by Lindsay Field
December 13, 2012 01:28 AM | 2187 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
 (left to right) Jinger Robins, SafePath Executive Director; Belk award recipients (Dave Brewer, Leslie Johnson, Lori-Brown Jackson, Brittany Ponder, Budd Williams), TV23 recipient (Brad Plumley), Kimberly McCoy, Erin Coleman, WSBTV; Bob Snelson, SafePath Board President
(left to right) Jinger Robins, SafePath Executive Director; Belk award recipients (Dave Brewer, Leslie Johnson, Lori-Brown Jackson, Brittany Ponder, Budd Williams), TV23 recipient (Brad Plumley), Kimberly McCoy, Erin Coleman, WSBTV; Bob Snelson, SafePath Board President
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MARIETTA — SafePath Children’s Advocacy Center recently recognized individuals and community members who help prevent child abuse in Cobb

County.

During an open house on Dec. 7, Kim McCoy received the VIP Award, retailer Belk received the Crystal Gavel Award, and Cobb’s TV23 received the Prevention Award.

McCoy, director of the Victim Witness Unit in the District Attorney’s Office, is the “heart and soul” of keeping families and victims informed after a crime has been committed, said Jinger Robins, SafePath’s executive director.

“She educates them from beginning to end, holds their hands, gives them tissues,” Robins said. “Kim is just an advocate … just fabulous because she keeps victims whole and in tact during the prosecution.”

McCoy said she was “pleasantly surprised and humbled” by the recognition.

“We work in a field where we can’t do this alone, so I have a great staff that works with me and a great boss who supports what Victim Witness does and the other agencies in the community like SafePath and the YWCA,” she said.

Her staff of 14 is responsible for supporting crime victims throughout the prosecution process. McCoy said her unit, which she has led for 13 years, served about 57,000 people in 2011.

“I was fortunate to be steered to do an internship in college and fell in love with the field,” she said. “My entire professional life has been involved in this.”

Robins said SafePath selected TV23 for the Prevention Award because the county’s cable station shows educational programs about how to prevent or decrease sexual child abuse.

TV23 has provided the service to SafePath for five years, and in January will begin showing a program called “It’s Time to Talk,” to address sexual abuse, she said.

Belk was honored because the retail chain’s employees volunteer their time to help decorate the SafePath tree at the Festival of Trees at Cobb Galleria and make annual donations year after year, Robins said.

SafePath started its annual awards and open house in 1999. Winners are selected from nominations by the board of directors and members of the community.

“We had a big group this year, about 120 people, who came and ate, chit-chatted and committed again to keeping kids safe in Cobb,” Robins said.

SafePath is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization whose vision is a community free of child abuse. For more information, visit SafePath online at www.safepath.org.
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