Updated Wed, Dec 14, 2011 2:14 pm
The former executive director of a women's shelter in Athens is one of the recipients of this year's Foster B. Cornwell Awards.
This annual award is given by the Athens Foundation to recognize outstanding personal dedication to the Athens County community.
Kate McGuckin had served more than 26 years at My Sister's Place, a shelter providing services to domestic violence victims in Athens County.
She recently retired from her long-time director position.
In the past two decades, McGuckin had built My Sister's Place into a model women's shelter in Ohio.
McGuckin says the agency was the first shelter to offer free protective orders in Ohio and also the first in the state to be a licensed residential care facility.
"We did model programming in a rural community that put us ahead of the game," says McGuckin.
She says that rural domestic victims face a different set of circumstances, due to poverty and lack of fundamental facilities such as hospitals, public transportation and even cell phone reception.
McGuckin says domestic violence victims today are more likely to come forward.
"We've taken the stigma away from it. It's now okay to say you are a victim, you don't have to hide it," McGuckin says,"…We have done a tremendous amount of education in the community about the availability of our services. They rely more and more on us. "
McGuckin says she will continue to advocate in her retirement.
McGuckin appeared on WOUB Television's Newswatch program last night.