Carolyn Russell, a native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, recently received the Women of Distinction Empowerment Award from First African Methodist Episcopal Church (FAME) in Oakland for her over 30 years of service to victims of domestic violence.
Russell is the Executive Director of A Safe Place, a domestic violence assistance program in Oakland.
Since 1978, A Safe Place has provided intervention services and prevention activities to victims of domestic violence.
Under Russell’s leadership, the implementation of programs and services has continued to increase and impact the lives of thousands of adult victims and their children. The agency has a comprehensive domestic violence assistance program.
“I have committed my life to empowering women to reach their goals in life and to create a violence-free home for themselves and their children,” said Russell.
“I am honored to have received this award,” she said, that “acknowledges my personal contribution to promote, create and impact positive social change for victims of domestic violence, primarily women and girls.”
“This acknowledgement also recognizes the issue of domestic trauma and its impact on families and our community,” said Russell.
During their Women Empowerment Weekend, FAME recognized women in the community who are making a difference. FAME has been highly supportive of A Safe Place and its efforts to create a high level of visibility on domestic violence and intimate partner abuse.
“We identified Carolyn Russell as one of those change agents in this community because of the outstanding committed work she’s doing with A Safe Place,” said Pastor Harold Mayberry of FAME. “Carolyn has consistently been on the wall attempting to change the life circumstances of not only women, but also men in our community who find themselves victims of domestic violence. We applaud Carolyn for not only recognizing the issue but for effectively addressing it.”
Historically a battered women only program, A Safe Place now serves male victims of domestic violence. Services to male victims with children have become a high priority for domestic violence programs. Services to male victims will continue to increase as men speak out about their experience as a victim of domestic violence.
For more information on A Safe Place, visit their website at asafeplacedvs.org.