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Beth Bonniwell was honored by Safe Harbor with the 2013 Beacon of Hope award on October 17. The Beacon of Hope was created in 2007 to recognize an outstanding individual or agency in the Henrico County community that has been instrumental in empowering survivors of sexual and domestic violence and/or promoting healthy relationships for all.
“Beth Bonniwell is an amazing advocate serving those who experience sexual and domestic violence and working to enhance our community’s response to domestic and sexual violence,” said Safe Harbor Public Information Officer Angela Verdery, MSW. “We are so grateful to have her as a colleague and wanted to recognize the significant ways she has made a difference in the lives of many!”
Beth began to work for SCAN in 2002 in the Family Support Program. The FSP program provides treatment groups and education groups each week for families who have experienced, or are at high risk of experiencing, child abuse or neglect. She started out as a Children’s Group Facilitator.
“The children motivated me to be there each week,” said Beth. “SCAN does remarkable work in the community to support families, protect children, and encourage healthy parenting styles. SCAN is an agency that I am proud to say that I work with.”
Beth has since focused her energies on the FAM Prevention Program at SCAN. Beth is an authorized Stewards of Children facilitator and provides professional education to the community on bullying, communication skills, self-esteem, stress, and many other topics that enhance parenting skills, build social networks, and increases knowledge of child development.
Beth has also worked for the Henrico County Police Division since 2005. She is responsible for training law enforcement officers and supporting their work responding to stalking, sexual violence and domestic violence calls for service. Beth trains within the department and across the state on these issues. She has also held positions with VCU School of Social Work and Chesterfield County Community Corrections.
“I didn’t actively choose to work in the area of domestic violence,” Beth said. “I was given an opportunity to work in the field and have learned a lot from others. The longer and more involved I became with the issue, I started to see positive changes for victims and more accountability for offenders. I believe that people have a right to live in violence free homes and communities.”
Beth is an unwavering advocate for many children, families and victims in the Greater Richmond community. We are grateful for her service at SCAN and are so proud of her and this deserving honor.