We asked and you answered. Out of more than 75 entries, four women were selected to be finalists in our Remarkable Women contest. These women are pillars of the community who inspire, lead, and forge the way for other women. Each Tuesday we’ll share one of their stories with you.

LONOKE, Ark. – The Wade Knox Children’s Advocacy Center in Lonoke holds a special place in Karen Knox’s heart. The center is a safe haven for kids to report alleged abuse.

In 2005, Karen helped start the advocacy center.

“This is just beautiful. This was my dream. We came from a 900 square feet office,” said Karen Knox.

She and a few others worked tirelessly advocating for abused children in Lonoke, and surrounding counties.

“We worked for nothing for two years. Almost 24/7,” said Knox.

For Knox, it wasn’t about the money. The fight is personal.

In 2003, her son Wade took his life at the age of 22 after suffering more than a decade of sexual abuse by his scoutmaster.

“The last thing I got to say to my child was, Wade, I love you and that was it,” said Knox. “It was just mind-boggling how 13 years could have passed and we did not know our child was being sexually molested.”

It was after Wade’s death that Knox was approached about opening an advocacy center in her son’s name. She admits she had no idea what she was getting herself into.

“The prosecuting attorney’s office sent over a computer, and I thought, ‘I got that computer set up now what do I do?’” laughed Knox.  

In 2008, three years after it opened, the center become nationally accredited, in large part thanks to Knox.

“She is not someone I would underestimate in getting things done,” said Laura Abbott, who nominated Knox for the Remarkable Women contest.

Though she has since stepped away from her role, Knox continues to share Wade’s story to help other victims and their families. It’s what she said Wade would have wanted.

“He knew people needed to be educated and that’s what it’s all about,” Knox said.

While many would call her remarkable, including her ‘remarkable, Karen said there’s another group that deserves the title more.          

“It’s our children, that are brave enough and strong enough to want help and come tell their story,” Knox said.

Since it opened in 2005, the Wade Knox Children’s Advocacy Center has handled more than 3,700 reported allegations of abuse. 

To learn more, visit The Wade Knox Children’s Advocacy Center website.