photo, left to right: Pike County District Attorney, Honorable Ray Tonkin, Pike
County Victim Witness Coordinator, Mary Beth Sayles, and PDAI Victim Services
Training Consultant, Donna Hull
Individual Direct Service Award
Nominator: Donna Hull, Victim Services Training/SAVIN Consultant, PDAI
Award Recipient: Mary Beth Sayles, Victim Witness Coordinator, Pike County Victim Witness Office
Since 2000, Mary Beth Sayles has served as the Pike County’s Victim Witness Coordinator. In this role, she supports victims of all crimes by providing a comprehensive range of services. Mary Beth puts the needs of crime victims first, always remembering her objective to increase victims’ power by helping them to understand the justice system process and provide resources which allows victims to gain control of their lives.
As one victim stated, “She [Mary Beth] is someone very special…to all of us who end up on a random dark day in her office.” She has fully dedicated herself to help us provide the “right words, her hand with the tissues to dry tears… her moral support which has been unconditional.”
As the only county without a hospital bordering the states of New York and New Jersey, finding resources can be a challenge. Mary Beth has developed relationships with other victim advocates and allied professionals in neighboring counties and states, to find resources outside of Pike County to empower crime victims.
In addition to finding resources outside of Pike County, Mary Beth has worked to develop resources within Pike County. She worked to build the working relationship of her office with Safe Haven of Pike County. She has been essential in establishing the Pegasus Child Advocacy Center. Mary Beth recognized the need to support child victims and increase the collaboration between county agencies that investigate child abuse cases.
Mary Beth has made supporting and other professionals a priority. She provides support to first responders, which include law enforcement, when they have difficult cases, allowing them to process while educating them on the responses and challenges of victimization. Mary Beth is an essential member of the Pike County CJJAB, and she has become an important resource in Pike County.
Mary Beth recognizes the need to educate new victim advocates to ensure that all victims in Pennsylvania receive component empowering services. Mary Beth has provided training to new advocates at the Foundational Academy for seven years. She is also a member of the PDAI VS Training Subcommittee, helping to establish training priorities and objectives for victim advocates.
Mary Beth has demonstrated a history of outstanding service in meeting the needs of crime victims in Pike County and a spirit of empowerment, which is reflected in her enthusiasm for her work. Mary Beth’s creativity and innovation is demonstrated in her efforts to develop resources and services in Pike County and across the state through education and outreach. All of Mary Beth’s efforts have reflected her work to increase victims’ power following the trauma of victimization.
Ms. Sayles was presented the award by Representative Michael Peifer, Pike County District Attorney Ray Tonkin, and PDAI Victim Services Training Consultant Donna Hull on June 24, 2016 at a Commissioners' meeting.
On behalf of victims of crime and the victim services field, we thank you, Ms. Sayles, for your innovation, collaboration, and unfailing commitment to victims of crime.