Cambridge, Mass. – During Victim Rights Month in April, Attorney General Martha Coakley, the Victim Witness Assistance Board, and the Massachusetts Office for Victim Assistance (MOVA) recognize individuals and organizations that have made notable advancements in victim rights and services in the state. The Victims of Violence (VOV) Program received this year’s “Innovations” award for its work in developing mental health services to assist crime victims and communities recover from violence.
Founded in 1984, the VOV program at Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA), a vital and innovative community health system serving Cambridge, Somerville, and Boston’s metro-north communities, has served as a critical resource for victims of crime to promote their resilience and recovery from community violence. Since its inception, VOV has provided a wide range of services including clinical support/consultation, victim advocacy, and public education campaigns, and is a valued training context for graduate and post-graduate clinical trainees for anti-violence research. VOV continues to engage Cambridge and surrounding communities in efforts to creatively address community violence such as their Violence Transformed art exhibit that is featured at the State House during Victims Right Month in April.
“Victim Rights Month serves as an opportunity to recognize those who have one of the most important and lasting impacts on their communities,” AG Coakley said. “Each of the award recipients has demonstrated a long history of selflessly caring for others and we’re lucky to have each of them serving our fellow residents when they are most vulnerable and in need of compassion and honesty.”
“If any program exemplifies the spirit of the 'Innovations' award, it’s the VOV program,” said Liam Lowney, MOVA’s Executive Director. “VOV has established creative partnerships with diverse community agencies and groups to combat community violence and consistently strives to provide for effective treatment approaches for crime victims. We are honored to recognize the program’s years of dedicated and pioneering service in the Cambridge area through this award.”
“For 30 years, our Victims of Violence staff have been dedicated to serving victims of trauma from all walks of life, and they have been available whenever there has been a need for compassionate, trauma-informed, culturally sensitive care,” said Jay Burke, MD, MPH, chairman and chief of the Department of Psychiatry at Cambridge Health Alliance. “All of us at CHA admire their outstanding commitment to their work and congratulate them on this honor.”
More information on the Victims of Violence Program is available here or by calling (617) 591-6361. To learn more about Victim Rights Month activities or this year’s award recipients, please visit www.mass.gov/mova or call (617) 586-1340.