BROCKTON – On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. During one year, this equates to more than 10 million women and men, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
Health Imperatives, a nonprofit that works to improve the health and well-being of low-income or vulnerable families and individuals in southeastern Massachusetts, has honored five community leaders for their work on behalf of survivors of domestic violence, as well as human trafficking.
The nonprofit has existed since 1977 and has been honoring local people for community work against domestic violence and human trafficking since 2017.
"The work these community leaders have done, many survivors of violence have gone from life-threatening circumstances to permanent homes, and they now have an opportunity to thrive," said Julia Kehoe, president and CEO of Health Imperatives.
The following people were honored:
Amanda Fowle has been an assistant district attorney in the Plymouth County District Attorney's office since 2011 and has overseen the prosecuting of human trafficking cases in the DA's office.
She also works in the family protection unit, where she handles all child abuse-related referrals in the Brockton area as part of the Children’s Advocacy Center and multidisciplinary team response, according to Health Imperatives.
“Amanda Fowle has been tireless in her efforts to get victims of human trafficking the desperate help and services that they need, while also investigating and prosecuting those who traffic human beings," said Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy Cruz in a written statement.
Thi Sanborn is a self-sufficiency specialist at the Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA), providing DTA resources to domestic violence survivors.
“As a self-sufficiency specialist with DTA, Thi brings her commitment and passion every day to helping our young families overcome challenges and achieve their educational and life goals,” DTA Commissioner Amy Kershaw said.
Sanborn has worked at the DTA for 10 years, helping clients at Penelope’s Place, a Brockton-based emergency domestic violence shelter that provides temporary housing and a range of services. Sanborn helps clients when they are seeking DTA benefits as they transition from the shelter and into permanent housing, a job and a violence-free life.
She helps survivors complete the required paperwork and troubleshoots any problems that occur.
Debbie Piltch and Rachael Piltch-Loeb
The mother-daughter duo of Debbie Piltch and Rachael Piltch-Loeb were honored as well for their work with the Brockton-based emergency domestic violence shelter Penelope's Place.
The duo works with multiple state organizations that assist domestic violence survivors like the Safe Housing Initiative, to reduce barriers for domestic violence survivors to find housing.
Craig Frand, a commercial sales account manager at Bob’s Discount Furniture, was the fifth honoree for his work in helping survivors furnish their new homes.
Frand has worked directly with Penelope's Place to provide furniture to domestic violence survivors transitioning into new homes.
Last year, he helped deliver more than $2.7 million in furniture to his clients across the Northeast.
He offers accommodating services particularly to domestic violence survivors, offering discounts and accelerating delivery days to minimize wait times for victims.
The honorees were supposed to be honored at a Purple Tie and Purple Purses breakfast on Oct. 27 at the Mockingbird Restaurant in East Bridgewater, but the residual effects of the nor'easter forced them to cancel.
Enterprise staff writer Darvence Chery can be reached at email@example.com. Support local journalism by purchasing a digital or print subscription to The Enterprise today.
This article originally appeared on The Enterprise: Brockton domestic violence: Health Imperatives honors local heroes