Kirkman to be honored by Safe Havens

Judge J. Thomas Kirkman ended his tenure as first justice of the Edgartown District Court in May. –Gabrielle Mannino

Former Edgartown District Court Judge J. Thomas Kirkman, who retired earlier this year, is being recognized for his work against domestic violence by Safe Havens, according to a press release.

Safe Havens Interfaith Partnership Against Domestic Violence and Elder Abuse was founded in 1991 with the purpose of engaging faith leaders (both lay and clergy) and congregations in addressing domestic violence and elder abuse, and building bridges between domestic violence service providers and faith communities, the release states. Kirkman is a member of the Safe Havens advisory board, and said he planned to continue his work with the group in retirement.

The IMPACT (Individuals and Institutions Making Progress Against Abuse in Communities Together) Award has been honoring individuals and organizations whose partnerships and commitment strengthen the work of Safe Havens and contribute to justice and hope for victims and survivors of domestic violence and elder abuse since 2015.

According to the release, Kirkman first became involved with the agency many years ago when he served on the Faith Community Task Force of the Governor’s Commission on Sexual and Domestic Violence. Kirkman has worked in the commonwealth for over 25 years to support survivors of abuse in many capacities. He was the director of a Domestic Violence Prosecution Unit in the Cape and Islands D.A.’s office for 16 years, and served on the D.V. Committee of the Massachusetts. District Courts during his 10 years as a judge. He has worked for legal services in Massachusetts and Illinois. Kirkman serves on the Governor’s Council to Address Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence, the release states.

The awards ceremony is scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 3, from 3 to 5 pm at the Congregation Kehillath Israel, 384 Harvard St., Brookline. Tickets for the event are $18 (the number 18 is a celebratory number in Judaism, and means “life” in Hebrew).

Tickets may be purchased and sponsorships secured online at or by contacting Safe Havens at or 617-951-3980.