Safe Futures Announces Katherine Verano as Executive Director

New London, CT – Safe Futures is pleased to announce that Katherine Verano is its new Executive Director, effective January 1, 2017. Ms. Verano has been with Safe Futures for 23 years and is the natural choice to lead the organization into its next phase of serving those impacted by domestic violence and sexual assault throughout the area.
Ms. Verano will bring passion and vision to her leadership of Safe Futures. While she is focused on the future of the agency, she has also been an integral part of its history. For more than two decades, Ms. Verano has worked in all direct service areas of Safe Futures. She helped establish and has maintained one of the leading Domestic Violence Docket Courts in the State since 2000. She is a leader in the creation of partnerships and cultivating alliances with peer human service agencies, the police, prosecutors, civil/legal providers, health care providers, job search support and educators to work together through training, collaboration and shared resources.
Ms. Verano is a recognized leader, change agent and expert in the field of domestic violence.  As the Public Policy Legislative Liaison for Safe Futures and the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Kathie has spent 10 years testifying on numerous legislative bills, talking one-on-one to legislatures and coaching staff on testimony. She helped write policy for legislation on the Connecticut Statewide Model Policy “Police Response to Crimes of Family Violence” while serving as a member of the State Task Force sub committees. Ms. Verano is also a member of Boston Domestic Violence Evaluation and Research Collaborative (DVPERC), the Housing Coordinated Access Network (CAN) Steering Committee and was recently asked to join the National Lethality Assessment Review Board of Maryland National Network Against Domestic Violence (MNEDV).
“We are thrilled to have Kathie step into this role. She brings not only a rich history with the organization, but also vast knowledge and expertise on the life-saving work we do. The Board of Directors is confident she will lead the organization forward to a bright and strong future,” said Laura Mooney, Chair of Safe Futures’ Board of Directors.
This year, Safe Futures is celebrating 40 years of saving lives, restoring hope and changing futures for those impacted by domestic violence and sexual assault in southeastern Connecticut. Founded as the Women’s Center of Southeastern CT in 1976, Safe Futures provides free, confidential services to nearly 5,000 women, children and men every year. For more information on Safe Futures, its work and upcoming events, visit
Today, Safe Futures operates two 24-hour hotlines, an emergency shelter and a transitional living program for families working to rebuild lives shattered by domestic violence or sexual assault.  It also provides legal assistance, counseling and advocacy, case management, support groups and educational programs for schools as well as community groups.  All 21 towns in New London County are served by the agency.
Ms. Verano, who resides in Waterford with her daughter Kaitlyn Berkel, succeeds Catherine Zeiner, who served the agency for 13 years as Executive Director. Ms. Zeiner left Safe Futures in the fall to become the Chief Operating Officer of the YWCA Hartford.
Safe Futures is part of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence (CCADV).  Safe Futures is also a Partner Agency of United Way and its programs are funded in part by the State of Connecticut’s Departments of Social Service, Mental Health and Addiction Services, and Office of Victim Services, Judicial Branch.
As always, if you or someone you know needs help, call the 24-hour hotline: (860) 701-6000.