• Affiliated With

    • Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
    • MassGeneral Hospital for Children
    • Harvard Medical School Teaching Hospital

Victims of Violence

Walter Crump - CHA Victims of Violence Program
Image by Walter Crump

Welcome to the CHA Victims of Violence Program (VOV).

An adult outpatient trauma clinic located in a multi-site urban public health system that serves a diverse client population. Our is to develop comprehensive mental health services for crime victims and crime victimized communities.

Program Overview

The Victims of Violence Program (VOV) is an adult outpatient trauma clinic located in a multi-site urban public health system that serves a diverse client population. Initiated in 1984 with start-up funds from local city government, VOV was established as a training program of the hospital’s academically affiliated department of psychiatry in 1985. Since then, its mission in the hospital, in the network of health care services in which it is located and in the larger community has been to develop comprehensive mental health services for crime victims and crime victimized communities.

Mission Statement and Service Philosophy

VOV recognizes the prevalence and psychological harmfulness of violence in American society and around the world, the value of community-based social action to prevent violence, and the importance of competence-building, empowering care. VOV's mission in the hospital, the CHA health care network, and the larger community is to develop comprehensive mental health services for crime victims and crime victimized communities. Because victims often experience psychiatric intervention as stigmatizing and intrusive, VOV emphasizes clinical care that can facilitate mastery, mobilize resiliency and promote renewed hope and restored self-esteem. Group treatment informed by these themes offers the promise of reduced isolation, opportunities to form new attachments and new avenues to community. Our Victim Resource Center (VRC) extends empowering information and support to crime victims and their families at a time of crisis. Homicide bereavement services through our Center for Homicide Bereavement (CHB) ensure timely, compassionate response to families devastated by traumatic loss.

The work of VOV is guided by an ecological view of psychological trauma.  We understand that people who suffer violence are not alone; they live in a network of relationships and communities which may serve to aid in their healing. Our  model of recovery identifies various dimensions of people's lives that are affected by violence and abuse and in which healing work may need to be focused. We focus first on securing and maintaining personal safety, then on dealing with the major effects of violence, and eventually move to forming new, more empowered relationships with others.