SP Officer Up for Statewide Advocacy Award
A Southern Pines police officer is up for a statewide award hailing his work against domestic violence.
The nonprofit Friend to Friend has nominated Lt. Rodney Hardy for the North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence "Men of Change" Award.
"He so rightly deserves the nomination due to his professional, competent and compassionate leadership against domestic violence," director Anne Friesen said. "His ability to understand and relate to the survivors of domestic violence coupled with his training and diligence to bring perpetrators to justice makes him a fine candidate for the award. We hope him the best in the running for the award because he gives his best effort in the fight against domestic violence."
Hardy exemplifies the ultimate victim success story, Friend to Friend said in proposing him. He was a witness to domestic violence in his own home growing up.
Rather than continuing the cycle of abuse as many do, Hardy did just the opposite, instead becoming an unyielding advocate for women who have suffered the same traumatic abuse his own mother did. A father to two daughters himself, he carries his education and passion for ending domestic violence and empowering women both in and outside his own home.
In his role as a law enforcement officer, this policeman especially tries to involve himself in domestic violence disputes. Because he knows and understands the domestic violence that his own mother suffered at his father's hands, Hardy came to believe strongly that education is the key to breaking the incredibly destructive cycle of abuse.
"I have a desire to make a difference in families where something is broken and believe that in order to do this, children have to be educated and learn to appreciate what is acceptable behavior," Hardy said. "If the cycle is interrupted through retraining these behaviors, then we can impact lives unequivocally."
At 7, Hardy was already showing the kind of courage that would carry over into his career, Friend to Friend said in nominating him.
"Hardy witnessed his father pulling out a semi-automatic handgun and aiming it at his mother," Friesen said. "He remembers lunging toward his dad, in hopes of intervening to save his mom. While this is not the most recent instance of Hardy's bravery, it exemplifies the type of man and advocate that he has become today."
Friend to Friend says that Hardy is one man who can relate to victims and victims' children in a way that someone who has not been in their position perhaps ever could. As a result, he is especially focused on the importance of educating young people about domestic violence and sexual assault as a pre-emptive strike against these forms of violence.
Hardy is a strong advocate for victims within the Southern Pines Police Department. He has aided in the intervention in countless domestic violence disputes, and - through his work in educating the community - helped victims, or potential victims, break free from the chains of abuse, the nonprofit said in nominating him.
Hardy is currently a lieutenant and an integral part of the investigation division at the Southern Pines Police Department.
Additionally, Hardy is certified as a Victim Advocate through the North Carolina Victims Assistance Network. He is a member of the county's Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault task forces.
The awards ceremony will be held at 6 p.m. Nov. 15 in Chapel Hill at the William B. and Ida Friday Center.
Contact John Chappell at (910) 783-5841 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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