GRACE Announces New Director of Institutional Response
GRACE has announced that Samantha Kilpatrick will be transitioning into the full-time role of director of institutional response.
GRACE—Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment—is a nonprofit that provides Christian communities with education and resources on how to recognize, prevent, and respond to various kinds of abuse. The organization said it has experienced an “unprecedented increase” in demand for their independent institutional response services over the past year.
“[Kilpatrick] will be bringing years of professional experience, but, more importantly, she has also demonstrated a deep sensitivity to and understanding of survivors who have experienced abuse within faith communities,” GRACE wrote in a newsletter.
“Scripture calls us to this work,” Kilpatrick told GRACE. “Abuse in faith-based institutions is a real thing with lasting physical, emotional, and spiritual consequences. And the way an institution responds to a disclosure of abuse directly affects the healing journey of the survivor.”
Kilpatrick is an attorney with over 24 years of law experience, most recently as an owner and managing member of Kilpatrick Law Group, PLLC, “where she represented survivors of abuse and also advised and trained faith-based institutions on abuse prevention, reporting, and policy,” according to GRACE’s website. Before this, Kilpatrick worked as an assistant district attorney, which involved prosecuting cases of abuse and sex crimes.
“I see this as a total God-thing in that many of my prior experiences and passions all intersect in the work that GRACE does,” said Kilpatrick in a statement. “I look forward to joining this work alongside the many wonderful people at GRACE.”
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Kilpatrick studied at Meredith College and University of North Carolina School of Law. Recently, she also received a master’s in Christian marriage, family, and individual counseling from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.
“My number one priority is to be focused on making sure our work is trauma-informed and upholds scriptural principles,” Kilpatrick told GRACE.
Kilpatrick is replacing Amy Stier for the directorial role. Stier has worked with GRACE for over a decade, and she is now moving to a part-time institutional response specialist role so that she can spend more time with her family. Stier will assist Kilpatrick with the transition into the directorial role.