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The Victim and Witness Assistance Board (VWAB) and the Massachusetts Office for Victim Assistance (MOVA) presented Victim Rights Awards to victims, survivors, and providers who have made notable contributions to the victim services field. Leaders, legislators, advocates, and survivors who work tirelessly to uphold and advance the rights of victims and survivors across the Commonwealth were honored on Monday, April 24th, 2023 at the Massachusetts State House Grand Staircase.
JRI's Boston Trauma Response Program was the recipient of the innovation award. This program aims to break the cycle of community violence in Boston. They commit to delivering holistic clinical care through culturally responsive services. The Boston Trauma Response Team partners with community organizations that support the resiliency and recovery of community members. They provide rapid crisis response to homicides affecting young people (13-24), short-term case management, coping groups, and follow-up psychological first aid services. The team consists of well-trained professionals and volunteers who are called on by community members, leaders, or emergency personnel to provide support to emotionally traumatized youth and their families on a 24-hour, 365-day-a-year basis. Staff and volunteers have the ability to respond to the emergency within 30 minutes of the time called to the Boston community. In an effort to develop resiliency and to provide support following a traumatic event, JRI provides several models of intervention for immediate and ongoing support to those impacted by violence.
“Each April we celebrate victim rights and the notable contributions these award recipients have made in the victim services field,” said MOVA Executive Director Liam Lowney. “The theme of this year’s National Crime Victim Rights Week is to elevate survivor voices and work to effect change. These award recipients are steadfast advocates in this field who do just that. They work each day to ensure survivors’ voices are heard and that they have access to information, resources, and equitable services on their path to healing.”
MOVA is an independent state agency governed by the Victim and Witness Assistance Board. MOVA strives to advance victim rights by ensuring all victims and survivors of crime across the Commonwealth are supported and empowered through access to high-quality services that are trauma-informed, culturally responsive, and reflective of diverse communities. MOVA achieves this through survivor-informed work, advocacy for enhanced victim rights and services, partnerships with agencies and individuals, and a commitment to providing funding and services for underserved and marginalized communities. For information regarding services available to assist crime victims in Massachusetts contact MOVA at (617) 586-1340 or visit their website at www.mass.gov/mova.