Monday, August 17, 2009

Award for Excellence in the Media - Victoria Balfour

[Original post date: 08/17/09 6:00am PST]
Victoria Balfour, author and reporter, who was driven to action by a colleague’s story of abuse at the hands of psychiatrist William Ayres, managed to figure out who he was, that he was still practicing his “unique” medicine, and became an unstoppable victim’s rights advocate, has been selected as the 2009 recipient for the Award for Excellence in the Media for meritorious public service.

This award is given annually by the Institute of Violence, Abuse, and Trauma and the Leadership Council on Child Abuse & Interpersonal Violence.

Each year the organization recognizes the top media presentations that they feel have contributed the most toward raising social awareness about child abuse and its potential for causing long lasting pain. This year the organization is pleased to present Victoria Balfour for her efforts to expose the allegations against William Ayres which ultimately led to his prosecution. In its notification letter of the award to Balfour, the Council said, "We believe you have performed a valuable service to society by using the power of the media as a catalyst for pursuing justice."

Balfour will be honored in person at the 14th International Conference on Family Violence, Abuse and Trauma in San Diego on Friday September 25, 2009 at the Town & Country Hotel Atlas Ballroom in San Diego, California.

Past honorees of the Award for Excellence in the Media include former pro football player Herschel Walker for his autobiography, Breaking Free; the Mark McGwire Foundation for the documentary on child sexual abuse, "Close to Home"; investigative reporter Kristen Lombardi and the Boston Phoenix for their exposure of the priest pedophile scandal; Amy Berg for her documentary "Deliver Us From Evil"; New York Times reporter Kurt Eichenwald for his investigation into on-line predators.

Karen Franklin at the "forensicpsychologist" blog has also made mention of this story, and has covered the ayres case in the past.


  1. Very prestigious!

    Congratulations to Victoria Balfour and the former recipients!

    A wonderful award indeed, and well deserved!

  2. Congrats, Victoria.

    I know that your position has to be tough sometimes. Often the fact that this all became public is extraordinarily painful to us. (meaning me, and I assume some of the other guys too.)

    Sometimes a festering wound has to be excised to heal properly. (I don't want to accept that this is true even in saying this, but I know it is true, and that it applies handily in this case.) And it must be difficult at times to see people that you want to help, in pain.

    Perhaps this isn't exactly what one would hope to see in a congratulatory message, but I think it's important for people to understand that this is such a messy, difficult to discuss subject, that that's exactly why it's important that they have such awards, and that they get them to people who can muster the strength to do the right thing in the face of much pain.

    So Congratulations, and thanks for being persistent, and give me a break when sometimes I'm frustrated that I now have to deal with this.

  3. Congratulations, Vicki--as has been said many, many times--If it weren't for your persistence, Ayres would have never been exposed. You have stood up to "the powers that be" and worked for so many years without compensation, at personal expense --both monetarily AND emotionally! It is wonderful to see your efforts appreciated in such a public way. We all salute you!

  4. Do you think the San Mateo Board of Supervisors might ask Ayres to give back that Lifetime Achievement Award they gave to him in 2002, for his "tireless efforts to improve the lives of children?"

    Maybe they should give it to Balfour instead.

  5. Well, I suppose if they could expunge ayres' name from San Mateo County's Lifetime Achievement Award, then Victoria would be a great candidate.

    As it stands now, I can't see anyone wanting to be associated with THAT award! Are they still giving it out? How embarrassing for San Mateo County and all of the recipients of that award.

    Perhaps Rich Gordon the county supervisor who ayres served with on the "Children and Families First" commission (Along with Jim Fox) would like to rescind his presentation of the award?

  6. Carol Abrams and Barbara Ross appeared before the County Board of Supervisors earlier this year and pleaded with them to rescind the award to Ayres, but they took no action. Maybe after he is convicted, they will??? I wouldn't hold my breath, however!

  7. The Board of Supervisors is that a political organziation? Well, let's see the Civil Grand Jury said Carole Groom should not have been appointed......will Carole Groom give back her position?

    I doubt it.

    It's all so co-mingled......corruption....

    I bet Ayres will get to keep his award, maybe we can mail him the mounting hardware to hang it up in his prison cell!

  8. CONGRATULATIONS!! I can't think of anyone who deserves it more then you Victoria... YOU ARE A ROCKSTAR!