July 20, 2019
HAWC Names Sara Stanley as Its New Executive Director

Sara Stanley
July 3, 2018 — Healing Abuse Working for Change, a domestic violence agency based in Salem, serving 23 communities on Massachusetts' North Shore, yesterday announced that Sara Stanley, deputy director of the organization, has been named executive director.

Stanley succeeds Paula Herrington, who is retiring and had been serving as the agency’s director since 2016, and who also served in the role on an interim basis in 2013.

Meredith Flanagan, board president of Healing Abuse Working for Change (HAWC), said, “We are beyond grateful to Paula for providing her many years of nonprofit management experience to HAWC over the last several years, and we are excited for her as she starts her new chapter. We feel confident that Sara will be a great successor to Paula. Sara has been a fierce champion for HAWC’s programs and survivors and is a natural fit to lead the agency forward.”

Stanley first became involved with HAWC in 2014 as a hotline volunteer. She formally joined the HAWC staff in June 2015 as attorney director of legal services and grew that component of HAWC’s programming exponentially.

While Stanley oversaw the legal program, HAWC obtained funding from the Massachusetts Office of Victim’s Assistance to add two paid advocates in local courts and grew its Legal Clinic program, in which pro bono attorneys offer clients free legal advice.

Last summer, Stanley was promoted to deputy director of HAWC with the intention of further growing her leadership skills and solidifying her effort to build more community partnerships.

“I am deeply humbled by the opportunity to lead this important organization,” Stanley said. “I am grateful to have the benefit of learning from a talented and experienced leader like Paula. During her tenure, Paula has developed a dedicated and ambitious senior leadership team. I am excited about what we can accomplish together with the North Shore community in HAWC’s next chapter.”

Previously, Stanley worked as an attorney at a number of law firms, served as a pro bono attorney with the Women’s Bar Foundation, and volunteered at the Jeanne Geiger Crisis Center.

Stanley earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Haverford College and juris doctorate from Suffolk University.

Herrington will remain at HAWC as a consultant through the remainder of the summer.

HAWC, which with a staff of 21 people serves 3,000 people annually, is the oldest, most comprehensive domestic violence agency serving the North Shore. It provides services and support to victims of domestic abuse, including a 24-hour hotline, support groups, individual, legal and hospital advocacy, children’s services, a shelter program, community education and a Parent-Child Trauma Recovery Program.

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