Fay Honey Knopp Memorial Award
Walter Bera, PhD - 2003
Fred Tolson - 2001
Mic Hunter, PsyD - 1999
Peter Dimock, LICSW - 1997
Born in Bridgeport, Connecticut on August 15, 1918, Honey died Thursday, August 10, 1995 at her home in Shoreham, Vermont. Her death was caused by complications from ovarian cancer.
Honey’s involvement and commitment to social change was crystallized in 1939 when she began a lifelong association with the Religious Society of Friends. She formally became a Quaker in 1962 and was designated as a Quaker “minister of record” to serve as a prison visitor. She was one of only two people permitted by the Federal Bureau of Prisons to visit any federal prison in the United States. As a Friend, Honey had found a way of spiritually expressing herself that was consistent with her spiritual sense of community and sense of service.
As Honey began her prison ministries, she recognized the futility of locking people up and not providing therapy to facilitate change which resulted in releasing many of them to continue the same behaviors that precipitated their incarceration. In the process of investigating alternatives to primarily punitive based prisoner programs, Honey established the Prison Research Education Action Program in 1976. In the early 1980’s PREAP became the Safer Society Program and Press. Under Honey’s direction, guidance and leadership, SSPP grew to be an internationally respected program dedicated to research and advocacy for crime prevention, with special emphasis on treatment for sex offenders. Although she stepped down as Director of SSPP in 1993, she was quick to clarify any misconceptions about her retirement! From the original SSPP office, which was attached to the log home the Knopp family built when they moved to Vermont, Honey had actively continued her busy schedule of public speaking, media interviews, phone consultations, and her writing. Her latest book about the complexities of traumatic memories of child sexual abuse was published in January 1996. She continued to actively participate on several task forces, committees, and Advisory Boards — including the ATSA Advisory Board and the ATSA Public Policy Committee.
During her career Honey received numerous awards and honors, including being named one of the 100 Outstanding Women of Connecticut by Governor Ella Grasso in 1978. In 1980 she received the Martin Luther King, Jr. Award from the Fellowship of Reconciliation; in 1981 the Fortune Society presented her with the Karl Menniger Award; in 1990 Governor Madeline Kunin designated her an Extraordinary Vermonter; in 1991 she was presented with the Public Service Award from the University of Minnesota Program in Human Sexuality and in 1992, the Dismas House, a transitional living center for inmates re-entering society, presented her with the Jack Hickey Award.
Her numerous achievements also included bringing together the male survivor movement in its infancy. She was a keynote speaker at numerous conferences, including early male victimization, Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers, and National Adolescent Perpetrator Network. She believed in “networking” people before the word became fashionable. The male survivor movement owes a great deal to Honey’s networking individuals who were essentially working with survivors in a professional vacuum. Several years before the first books were written about male victimization issues, Honey, through her networking, brought together individuals and inspired us to develop a movement which is growing today. The seed which she planted evolved into a process of letter writing between several of the early pioneers in our Male Survivor Movement, leading eventually to the conception of a national conference and the National Organization on Male Sexual Victimization (NOMSV). NOMSV changed its name to MaleSurvivor: National Organization against Male Sexual Victimization in 2002.
Honey attended the inaugural Male Survivor Conference in Minnesota in 1988—the first opportunity for many in the field to meet. She continued her behind-the-scenes support for the organizational efforts of several of the subsequent national conferences.
We are deeply honored and grateful for her having touched our lives. We hope, through this tribute, that Honey’s example will serve as an inspiration to all those working to end sexual violence and social injustice. She will be sadly missed.