Office of Victim Advocate

Office of Victim Advocate The PA Office of Victim Advocate (OVA) is the state agency with the authority and duty to advocate f We accomplish our mission through victim services, which includes notifications of offender status; restorative justice programs that promote resilience and healing; and we are currently developing new initiatives around crime prevention.

Learn more at www.ova.pa.gov.

Operating as usual

As confusing as it is, we're glad there's a Hispanic Heritage Month! And we're also glad that trauma-informed means alwa...
10/05/2021
Hispanic Heritage Month Is Confusing (And That's Okay!)

As confusing as it is, we're glad there's a Hispanic Heritage Month! And we're also glad that trauma-informed means always growing, always learning. And learning.
And learning.
And learning.
And learning.

It's Hispanic Heritage Month. Or actually months, because it starts in September and ends in October. And surprisingly, that's the least confusing part of re...

Free online event from our friends at PHRC Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission!“It’s highlighting themes of justice,...
10/05/2021
‘Peace and Justice in PA’ to honor those who fight racism, discrimination

Free online event from our friends at PHRC Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission!

“It’s highlighting themes of justice,” Lassiter said. “It’s showing in the dark times we see in Pennsylvania, peace and justice aren’t theoretical things. They are living and breathing things people can do.”

For info and registration: https://events.pennlive.com/e/peace-and-justice-in-pa

The event, hosted by the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission and the publisher of PennLive and the Patriot-News, will be "inspiring and instructive," said the commission's executive director.

You’re invited to PSP’s first Multicultural Celebration Day! See details below.
10/01/2021

You’re invited to PSP’s first Multicultural Celebration Day! See details below.

The Pennsylvania State Police invites you to the first Multicultural Celebration Day at 1800 Elmerton Ave., Harrisburg. The event is free and open to everyone. Enjoy music, performances, and see PSP units, including K9, motorcycle and helicopter. Various food will be available for purchase. A COVID-19 vaccine clinic will be available for those interested. Details: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/PA-State-Police-Details.aspx?newsid=721 Flyer:https://www.psp.pa.gov/Documents/public/MultiDay2021.pdf

News from our friends at PCAR! The PA Supreme Court okayed the use of “comfort” dogs to assist witnesses in testifying, ...
09/28/2021

News from our friends at PCAR! The PA Supreme Court okayed the use of “comfort” dogs to assist witnesses in testifying, subject to a balancing test.

For more information, call PCAR’s attorneys at 1-800-692-7445 ext. 190.

https://www.pacourts.us/assets/opinions/Supreme/out/J-28-2021mo%20-%20104900730147074628.pdf?cb=1

The court system can be overwhelming, especially for survivors with disabilities, anxiety, or PTSD. Service dogs can help. This week, the PA Supreme Court okayed the use of “comfort” dogs to assist witnesses in testifying, subject to a balancing test. For more information, call PCAR’s attorneys at 1-800-692-7445 ext. 190.
https://www.pacourts.us/assets/opinions/Supreme/out/J-28-2021mo%20-%20104900730147074628.pdf?cb=1

“R. Kelly was found guilty [today] of sexually abusing women, boys and girls for decades — capping the ’90s R&B supersta...
09/27/2021
R. Kelly found guilty on all counts in sex-trafficking trial

“R. Kelly was found guilty [today] of sexually abusing women, boys and girls for decades — capping the ’90s R&B superstar’s stunning fall from grace. …convicted on all nine counts including racketeering and violations of the Mann Act, which prohibits the transport of ‘any woman or girl’ across state lines for any ‘immoral purpose.’ He faces 10 years to life in prison.” – New York Post

It is not uncommon for the criminal justice system to fail victims/survivors of abuse; however, today, the PA Office of Victim Advocate celebrates this victory with crime victims across the country. The ongoing fight for justice and for equitable access to the justice system is not over, however.

LaQuisha Anthony, advocate and Resilient Voices speaker, shares today “The lives of victims that are forever altered can never be repaired, and it is horrible that it took this long and this many black women to tell their stories for this one person to be held accountable. Let us hope that the sentence imposed fits the weight of these crimes. Let us renew our commitment to prevention efforts that will continue to reduce sexual violence across our state. And let’s ensure we hear and value the voices of black and brown survivors.”

R. Kelly was found guilty Monday of sexually abusing women, boys and girls for decades — capping the ’90s R&B superstar’s stunning fall from grace. The “I Believe I Can Fly” c…

PCCD has opened registration for the annual Pathways for Victim Services Conference. You don't want to miss national key...
09/23/2021

PCCD has opened registration for the annual Pathways for Victim Services Conference. You don't want to miss national keynote speakers Dr. Gail Stern and Mr. Andrew Campbell, plus 33 informative workshop options!

This 3 day, virtual conference will provide an opportunity for victim service providers and allied professionals to:

* acquire new information regarding the provision of services to underserved populations

* expand upon available options to crime victims

* learn new trends in service provision

* hear actual case studies in response to incidents of mass violence

Register here: https://na.eventscloud.com/622518

PCCD has opened registration for the annual Pathways for Victim Services Conference. You don't want to miss national keynote speakers Dr. Gail Stern and Mr. Andrew Campbell, plus 33 informative workshop options!

This 3 day, virtual conference will provide an opportunity for victim service providers and allied professionals to:

* acquire new information regarding the provision of services to underserved populations

* expand upon available options to crime victims

* learn new trends in service provision

* hear actual case studies in response to incidents of mass violence

Register here: https://na.eventscloud.com/622518

Continuing his commitment to combatting campus sexual assault, Governor Wolf announced that $1 million in It’s On Us PA ...
09/22/2021
It's On Us PA

Continuing his commitment to combatting campus sexual assault, Governor Wolf announced that $1 million in It’s On Us PA grants are available to colleges, universities, and other postsecondary schools.

The institutions use grant funds to implement strategies on their campuses to address goals of the Governor’s It’s On Us PA campaign, which include:

*Improve awareness, prevention, reporting, and response systems regarding sexual violence in schools, colleges, and universities to better serve all students.

*Remove or reduce barriers that prevent survivors of sexual violence from reporting and/or accessing vital resources by creating a more consistent, empowering reporting process for student survivors of gender-based violence.

*Demonstrate significant, proactive, and sustainable leadership to change campus culture by challenging Pennsylvania’s education leaders – including college and university presidents – as well as students, teachers, faculty, staff, families, and communities to pledge to improve their institutions’ climate.


The Pennsylvania Department of Education will accept applications for grants of up to $30,000 through October 20, 2021. Applications are available at:

It’s On Us PA is a statewide campaign that invites everyone to play a role in ending sexual assault.

Yesterday, survivors and advocates once again gathered at our state capitol to urge Senate leaders to bring SB 951 to th...
09/21/2021

Yesterday, survivors and advocates once again gathered at our state capitol to urge Senate leaders to bring SB 951 to the floor for a vote. This bill would open a one-time two year retroactive window for sexual abuse survivors to pursue charges against their abusers and institutions that knowingly covered up the abuse.

Since 2005, 18 states have passed the statutory window to justice. Pennsylvania survivors are still waiting.

These survivors show up time and time again. They fight for all sexual abuse survivors - those who have been lost along the way and those who are less vocal. Because all survivors deserve equitable and fair access to justice and healing.

09/21/2021
Our OVA team is here at the Pennsylvania Capitol gearing up for another rally for the statute of limitations window for ...
09/20/2021

Our OVA team is here at the Pennsylvania Capitol gearing up for another rally for the statute of limitations window for sexual abuse survivors.

Thank you to our partners at CHILD USA and SNAP and PCAR for continuing to show up and fight for survivors!

Join us as we rally with sexual assault survivors on Monday in Harrisburg! The retroactive Window to Justice would allow...
09/16/2021

Join us as we rally with sexual assault survivors on Monday in Harrisburg!

The retroactive Window to Justice would allow survivors additional time to file suit against their perpetrators - and the institutions that covered up the abuse - in court. This allowance exposes predators in our communities and provides access to justice for victims.
💪💙

📍 Harrisburg, PA

This time. One week from today.

Senators are back and so are we.

NAMI Philadelphia has kicked off the virtual Homicide Grief Support Group this month. The group meets Thursday's at 7:00...
09/15/2021

NAMI Philadelphia has kicked off the virtual Homicide Grief Support Group this month. The group meets Thursday's at 7:00pm and is open to any Pennsylvania homicide survivor.

To attend, email Amy at [email protected].

Please share this information with organizations and individuals in your community that may benefit.

NAMI Philadelphia has kicked off the virtual Homicide Grief Support Group this month. The group meets Thursday's at 7:00pm and is open to any Pennsylvania homicide survivor.

To attend, email Amy at [email protected].

Please share this information with organizations and individuals in your community that may benefit.

This summer Children's Advocacy Centers of Pennsylvania has participated in the national SHINE campaign to support survi...
09/15/2021

This summer Children's Advocacy Centers of Pennsylvania has participated in the national SHINE campaign to support survivors of child sexual abuse, which affects at least 1 in 10 children. When perceived through a lens of trauma rather than of triumph, survivors often feel inhibited to share their stories, reach out for help, and advocate for others. Led by National Children’s Alliance (NCA), SHINE fights the stigma of child sexual abuse by sharing the stories of individuals who are living full—and fulfilling—lives despite a history of trauma.

OVA staff across PA are SHINING to support survivors of child sexual abuse! Learn more at https://penncac.org/shine/.

Healing is a journey. Learn more about the healing power of storytelling at Children's Advocacy Centers of Pennsylvania.
09/13/2021

Healing is a journey.

Learn more about the healing power of storytelling at Children's Advocacy Centers of Pennsylvania.

We love this thought from our friends at Office of Victim Advocate: "trauma is an experience, not an incident." The same can be said of healing. So many of the survivors we've connected with during the #SHINEcampaign talk about healing as a lifelong journey, not a "quick fix." #KeystoneCACs give child victims the full continuum of services and support they need to begin that experience of healing after the trauma of abuse. It's #WHYWESHINE!

The PA Commission on Crime & Delinquency announced the availability of $24 million in Violence Intervention and Preventi...
09/08/2021
Gun Violence Grants & Funding

The PA Commission on Crime & Delinquency announced the availability of $24 million in Violence Intervention and Prevention (VIP) funding for grants and technical assistance to address community violence throughout Pennsylvania.

VIP funding is intended to support effective local intervening and preventative measures to stop gun and group violence in areas experiencing high rates of violent crime within Pennsylvania. Community-based organizations, institutions of higher education, local municipalities, district attorneys, and counties are eligible to apply.

OPEN NOW thru Oct 15!

https://www.pccd.pa.gov/criminaljustice/GunViolence/Pages/Grants-and-Funding.aspx

On September 3, 2021, PCCD announced the availability of $24 million in Violence Intervention and Prevention (VIP) funding for grants and technical assistance to address community violence throughout the Commonwealth. VIP funding is intended to support effective local intervening and preventative me...

Communities across Pennsylvania are gearing up for Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October. If your agency is plann...
09/03/2021

Communities across Pennsylvania are gearing up for Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October. If your agency is planning an awareness and prevention event, OVA would love to provide you with a dynamic survivor speaker to bring a real life lens to your efforts.

The goal of OVA's Resilient Voices program is to provide a space for survivors to share their personal experience, strength and hope in a setting that matches their individual goals. If you're looking for a speaker for your local event, please reach out to our office at [email protected] or 800-563-6399.

You can read more about the Resilient Voices program and check out a sampling of our speakers at https://www.ova.pa.gov/RestorativeJustice/Resilient%20Voices/Pages/default.aspx.

Communities across Pennsylvania are gearing up for Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October. If your agency is planning an awareness and prevention event, OVA would love to provide you with a dynamic survivor speaker to bring a real life lens to your efforts.

The goal of OVA's Resilient Voices program is to provide a space for survivors to share their personal experience, strength and hope in a setting that matches their individual goals. If you're looking for a speaker for your local event, please reach out to our office at [email protected] or 800-563-6399.

You can read more about the Resilient Voices program and check out a sampling of our speakers at https://www.ova.pa.gov/RestorativeJustice/Resilient%20Voices/Pages/default.aspx.

The 2021 SORNA Symposium was a huge success! The event reached capacity less than 24 hours after opening registration. W...
09/03/2021
Resilient Voices Survivor Panel

The 2021 SORNA Symposium was a huge success! The event reached capacity less than 24 hours after opening registration. We know there were a lot of victim service professionals who were unable to attend.

Fear not! You can check out the recorded session the OVA youtube channel, under the SORNA playlist.

Feel free to share this link with your colleagues and partners who missed the event. Thank you to all of our amazing speakers who made this so meaningful!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_AozS2lo49c&list=PL6NdKjf0b-Bms0lBHS3HVIYc6WGY0BKNl&index=4

During this session, brave survivors will discuss the impact of SORNA in their healing journey as well as hopes and desires they have for systems that are vi...

The PA Office of Victim Advocate invites community groups working to reduce gun violence to discuss successes and roadbl...
08/31/2021

The PA Office of Victim Advocate invites community groups working to reduce gun violence to discuss successes and roadblocks, as well as ideas and solutions, at a virtual roundtable discussion on October 13.

To RSVP and to reserve time to speak, please email Ashley at [email protected] by October 1.

The PA Office of Victim Advocate invites community groups working to reduce gun violence to discuss successes and roadblocks, as well as ideas and solutions, at a virtual roundtable discussion on October 13.

To RSVP and to reserve time to speak, please email Ashley at [email protected] by October 1.

We are so excited to be kicking off the virtual Restorative Justice Symposium this morning! Thank you to everyone who is...
08/24/2021

We are so excited to be kicking off the virtual Restorative Justice Symposium this morning! Thank you to everyone who is joining us!

RJ resources are available at https://www.zehr-institute.org/.

We are so excited to be kicking off the virtual Restorative Justice Symposium this morning! Thank you to everyone who is joining us!

RJ resources are available at https://www.zehr-institute.org/.

"There's a real danger when investigators are asking people for information that was never encoded or has been lost," sa...
08/23/2021
How R**e Affects Memory And The Brain, And Why More Police Need To Know About This

"There's a real danger when investigators are asking people for information that was never encoded or has been lost," says Harvard University psychologist Jim Hopper. "They can stress out the victim, leave them feeling misunderstood, incompetent, not wanting to further engage with the investigation."

👇👇Check out this vital information. 👇👇

How a sexual assault survivor is questioned by police can greatly influence the ability to access memories of that traumatic incident. Better interview techniques might help solve more cases.

"For people living on the spectrum, even simple commands can become complex such as put your hands on your head or get o...
08/12/2021
Police reform takes center stage in Pennsylvania - NewsBreak

"For people living on the spectrum, even simple commands can become complex such as put your hands on your head or get on the ground. When you have a sensory overload, it not only effects sight and hearing but also movement," shares Evans who is teaching police how to spot people like him in order to avoid confrontation.

Just some of the valuable work coming out of the PA State Law Enforcement Citizen Advisory Commission within the Office of Inspector General.

https://www.newsbreak.com/news/2333462059875/police-reform-takes-center-stage-in-pennsylvania

Eric Evans, who lives on the autism spectrum, spoke about his interaction with police and how he now helps teach officers to identify & help people like him

More than half of women killed by guns are killed by family members or intimate partners. "It's the dirty secret no one ...
08/12/2021
Amid surge in gun incidents across US, heartbreaking stories of domestic violence | Nightline

More than half of women killed by guns are killed by family members or intimate partners. "It's the dirty secret no one talks about," shares Telina Huffman's brother. Her death was just one of the hundreds during a recent week.

"We're seeing numbers that, up until last year, we literally had not seen since the early 90s," says Mark Bryant, Executive Director of the Gun Violence Archive.

Check out the full Nightline report: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3CjtAItj5y0

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic violence, you are not alone. Find your local center here: https://www.pcadv.org/find-help/find-your-local-domestic-violence-program/.

More than half of women killed by guns are killed by family members or intimate partners. Telina Huffman was one of these women. Her death was just one of th...

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1101 S Front St, Ste 5200
Harrisburg, PA
17104

Opening Hours

Monday 8:30am - 4:30pm
Tuesday 8:30am - 4:30pm
Wednesday 8:30am - 4:30pm
Thursday 8:30am - 4:30pm
Friday 8:30am - 4:30pm

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+18005636399

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