Victims' Intervention Program expands to Pike County

Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape says VIP's proposal 'stood out from other applicants'


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Photos



  • The VIP team from Honesdale, wearing "Straight Outta Excuses" T-shirts, are pictured advocating for victims in the state capitol last Wednesday (Victims' Intervention Program Facebook page)




  • VIP keeps track.... (Victims' Intervention Program Facebook page)



“While we are located in the county seat of Wayne County, we are very aware of the barriers to accessing services in rural areas. Over the years, we have developed many programs and projects to reduce those barriers to accessing services. Many of our services are now provided in the community, rather than our offices. If folks can’t get to us, we go to them.”
Michele Minor Wolf, VIP


— The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape has awarded a subcontract to the Victims’ Intervention Program (VIP) to expand its services to include Pike County.

The expanded services are scheduled to start on July 1.

The coalition says that, earlier this year, it initiated a competitive application process to provide services in Pike County. Its Independent Review Committee included five people "representing diverse interests, cultures and backgrounds," according to the coalition.

The process was done in accordance with Act 44/Title XX, funding streams that pass through the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare and support direct services, prevention education, and administration.

VIP’s proposal stood out from the other applicants, the coalition says.

“The Victims’ Intervention Program, under the current leadership of Michele Minor Wolf, has provided outstanding service to Wayne County residents for more than 30 years,” said its chief operating officer, Joyce Lukima. “VIP’s high-standards for victim services, efficient fiscal management of resources and capacity to expand their community footprint to Pike County left a strong impression on the review committee.”

VIP will extend the following services to Pike County:

24-hour crisis hotline

Accompaniment to medical facilities, police investigations and court proceedings

Crisis counseling

Individual advocacy

Information and referral

Systems advocacy

Prevention education

Professional training

Wolf said the center is well versed in addressing the needs of a rural community.

“While we are located in the county seat of Wayne County, we are very aware of the barriers to accessing services in rural areas,” Wolf said. “Over the years, we have developed many programs and projects to reduce those barriers to accessing services. Many of our services are now provided in the community, rather than our offices. If folks can’t get to us, we go to them.”

Safe Haven's work continuesThe Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape also funds Safe Haven of Pike County, which offers similar services. Safe Haven recently hired a new executive director, Christina Byrne, the fourth executive director in less than three years.

Other Safe Haven resources include the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Loveisrespect.org, PA Says No More, The National Sexual Violence Resource Center, the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence, and The Pennsylvania Office of Victim Advocate.

Safe Haven offers a Children’s Advocacy Center, Pike County’s first, which offers young victims "trauma-sensitive" services and investigations to child abuse cases. Its Lethality Assessment Program is a collaborative effort with local police officers "to provide an evidence-based approach to preventing intimate partner homicide." Safe Haven's All Violence Response Team also works in coordination with the police departments.

Safe Haven also offers legal advocacy, medical advocacy, school programs, support groups, presentations and trainings, a crisis hotline, and emergency overnight assistance.

The Pike County Taskforce on Interpersonal Violence is a collaboration of local stakeholders committed to non-violence and healthy relations in Pike County.

About PA Coalition Against Rape The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape works to end sexual violence and advocates for the rights and needs of sexual assault victims. It partners with a network of 50 rape crisis centers to bring help, hope, and healing to people in all of the Commonwealth’s 67 counties. Last year, rape crisis centers provided services to approximately 30,000 victims. Each year, rape crisis centers teach over 300,000 Pennsylvanians how to stop sexual violence in their communities. Over 50,000 professionals are trained by rape crisis centers to enhance the Commonwealth’s systemic responses to victims.

Related stories "Christina Byrne is new executive director of Safe Haven": https://bit.ly/2jJNWDf

"Safe Haven is awarded $50K to fight domestic violence": https://bit.ly/2IuJSVx





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