In the Vineyard :: August 1, 2014 :: Volume 14, Issue 14

Kathy Weyer Named
Champion for Change

Long-time VOTF leader Kathy Weyer, who presently serves as president of Greater Cincinnati VOTF, is being honored with a Champions for Change Award from the Cincinnati-area Family Nurturing Center. The Center provides social services in northern Kentucky and Hamilton County, Ohio. Their Champions for Change Award honors those who seek to change how society views and responds to child abuse.

Much of Weyer’s work on behalf of VOTF since becoming actively involved in 2003 has been directed toward child protection, specifically prevention of child abuse. “Advocacy for policies and actions to ensure that children are safe in our churches, our schools and our community, are the focus of my efforts over the past several years,” Weyer said in a statement to the Champions for Change Award committee.

Among her accomplishments has been the work she and fellow parishioners at Immaculate Heart of Mary parish did in 2004 to establish the subcommittee for Child Protection Advocacy. This ongoing committee works under the parish social ministries commission to ensure the parish is fully compliant with church polices for protecting children and provides volunteer support.
In 2007, she was a member of the planning committee for the Cincinnati VOTF-sponsored Gathering for Justice Conference that brought local, regional, and national speakers together to educate, inform, and share ideas.

Also through her volunteer work with VOTF and her parish community, Weyer has met with local Catholic Church personnel to provide input on local and national church policy reviews and the most recent U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops compliance audit of the Cincinnati diocese.

She is the parish facilitator for the VIRTUS adult education program and has been a Stewards of Children authorized facilitator for the past five years, advocating for best practices in prevention, and promoting outreach to victims and accountability within the church.

She and her local VOTF colleagues have supported legislative change to protect children better and provide opportunities for justice for victims; reached out to work side-by-side with others in the community, including Connections: A Safe Place, Family Nurturing Center and Care House; promoted and facilitated Stewards of Children in church communities; and initiated and supported Blue Ribbon Child Abuse awareness events in the community.

“I am deeply committed to prevention of child sexual abuse and advocacy and healing for victims, Weyer said.

“Over the 30 years I’ve worked in mental health,” she said, “I have met and worked with hundreds of victims of childhood abuse. I have heard many stories. Unfortunately the stories continue. They come slowly, quietly, often in the slight whisper of an afterthought. They come in the midst of tears and deep depression; they come out in the rage of self-mutilation and suicide. For some the stories are locked and frozen in time in the recesses of the victim’s very heart and soul. They are the voiceless children, teens, and adult victims who are trapped in the pain and shame that continues to stigmatize them as a victim of childhood sexual abuse.

“Today we face the same challenges that I saw many years ago. How can we as family, friends, community, and society bring an end to this heart-wrenching problem?”

Weyer will receive her award at the Family Nurturing Center’s 20th Annual August Affair-Jeans & Gems, Aug. 22, in Hebron, Kentucky.


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