Kelly Vates is the Cofounder and Executive Director of Fair Haven Center for Women. She was born and raised in Lake County, Indiana and has received certifications in Crisis Counseling, Christian Leadership, Biblical Counseling and Sexual Assault Victim Advocacy.


Breaking the silence that surrounds sexual violence and educating others on the pervasive and enduring effects of sexual assault is Kelly’s calling and passion. As an adult survivor of child sexual abuse, she too spent her childhood suffering in silence. Desperately searching for a way out, she found her “prince charming” and married at the age of 19 in hopes of “Happily Ever After.” However, the persistent effects of sexual trauma began to haunt her daily through debilitating depression, flashbacks, panic attacks and body memories. Kelly felt so hopeless; she began to pray to die. Gratefully, her story does not end there. Kelly was introduced to recovery in 1994 and began to walk the long journey toward healing.


In June of 2001, Evergreen Press published Shattered Innocence. Kelly’s story exposes the devastating effects of child sexual abuse, the aftermath it leaves in ones adult life and offers survivors a ray of hope through healing and recovery.


Today, Kelly has over 20 years experience in recovery and 13 years experience in Sexual Assault Victim Advocacy. She is a National Speaker and Trainer on Sexual Assault and has been invited to numerous conferences throughout the country to share her story of hope and healing.

Kelly is still married to her “Prince Charming” (Joe) whom she married nearly 27 years ago. They are enjoying the empty nest as all three of their adult children are now married to their college sweethearts. Additionally, their first grandchild was born this year.


Kelly has dedicated her life to the education and prevention of abuse and sexual violence. It is her way of taking the pain of her past and turning it into a blessing. Her encouragement to other victims of violence: “There is life without pain! The journey towards healing begins with one small step.”

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