[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.