Domestic violence executive joins board
B.J. Bayne, Executive Director of Steps to HOPE, has joined the Board of Directors for Polk County Health & Wellness Coalition.
“It is no secret that domestic violence and sexual assault are very real problems here in Polk County,” Coalition President Jessica Raines said. “They certainly impact the health and wellness of many people. It is with that thought in mind that I welcome B.J. Bayne as a member of the board of directors for the Coalition. Her work and experience in law enforcement — dealing with abused children, the mentally ill, drug abuse, and domestic violence — will give the Coalition direct paths to improving the quality of life in Polk County.”
Bayne has extensive experience in law enforcement and related community issues. She has been a law enforcement professional for more than 15 years. Ten of those years were with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office. She also worked with the University of North Carolina-Asheville Police Department for five years and the US Postal Service for 10.
Her titles have included Captain with the Sheriff’s Office, Assistant Police Chief, Criminal Investigator, Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Investigator, School Resource Officer and Patrol Deputy. Her community service includes work with the Polk County Child Fatality and Protection Team, Polk County Mental Health Task Force, Be A Voice 4 Kids, Green Creek Fire and Rescue, Substance Abuse Coalition and the Green Creek Community Center.
Bayne has been a resident of Polk County for more than 20 years. She is a member of the Pea Ridge Baptist Church, and she and her husband have three children.
“I love Polk County, and I am always willing to do whatever I can to make it a better community,” Bayne said. “Health and wellness go hand-in-hand with domestic violence and sexual assault — unfortunately. Every day I see women suffering from physical and mental abuse. I see how drugs and mental illness can destroy homes and families. I see children who need protection and love. We need to approach many of these legal and criminal problems from different angles, such as prevention, education, and awareness. I look forward to working with the Coalition and making a difference in how we define health and wellness in Polk County.”
Currently, Bayne is the Executive Director of Steps to HOPE, an emergency and temporary safe shelter for those seeking refuge from domestic violence and/or sexual assault. The shelter provides education, advocacy and victim assistance. For a more complete understanding of Steps to HOPE, please visit StepsToHope.org.
Polk County Health & Wellness Coalition is a nonprofit agency on a mission to improve the lives of local citizens through engagement, awareness, education, stewardship and inter-agency partnering.
For more information, please visit the Coalition’s website, PolkHealthAndWellness.org.
Submitted by Steve Wong