Career Victim Service Advocate Liam Lowney Appointed as Executive Director of the Massachusetts Office for Victim Assistance
BOSTON – Liam Lowney, a career victim service provider and advocate for victim rights, has been appointed Executive Director of the Massachusetts Office for Victim Assistance (MOVA). Lowney previously served as the Chief of Victim Witness Services at Attorney General Martha Coakley’s Office.
“I am honored and grateful to have the opportunity to serve as the Executive Director of MOVA,” said Lowney. “I look forward to engaging victim service providers and survivors of crime in a conversation about how to enhance training, identify new resources, and effect positive change on behalf of crime victims and their families. “
Lowney is a Marshfield resident and a graduate of Emerson College. He previously worked within the Victim Services Bureau of the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office, where he advocated for and supported victims of violent crime who were involved with prosecutions with the office and worked to address their housing, mental health, safety and financial needs. While there, Lowney was promoted to Victim Witness and the Domestic Violence Services Coordinator, where he supervised advocates and provided training to prosecutors, victim service professionals, law enforcement officers, and community groups concerning issues facing victims of crime.
While at the Middlesex DA’s Office, Lowney was awarded the September 11th Award, which is given annually to an individual who demonstrates extraordinary courage, bravery and selflessness in a way that is reminiscent of the first responders to the 9/11 tragedy.
“Liam has been an indispensable asset to our office and has made incredible strides while advocating for victims,” AG Coakley said. “Liam will continue his work on behalf of victims in his new position, and I look forward to working with him.”
Lowney joined the AG’s Office in 2007, where he served as the Chief of Victim Witness Services. Lowney was responsible for annual planning, policy and program development, and advised AG Coakley on the impact of certain litigation and policy on victims of crime. As Chief of the Victim Witness Services he oversaw the Victim/Witness Assistance Division, where he developed and implemented a significant office-wide expansion of direct services to previously underserved victims impacted by AG’s Office litigation.
Additionally, he oversaw the Victim Compensation and Assistance Division that administers the state’s Victims of Violent Crime Compensation program. The program provides financial assistance to eligible victims of violent crime and is funded largely by fines levied against perpetrators of crime.
Lowney’s leadership was fundamental to the passage of a 2010 bill that updated the Victims of Violent Crimes Compensation statute, which authorizes the AG’s Office to provide eligible victims of violent crimes and their families with financial assistance for certain expenses that arise as the direct result of a crime. Lowney worked with stakeholders, policy staff, and the legislature to seek legislation that enhanced the options available to assist victims without raising the existing cap on victim compensation set by statute. Specifically, the bill raised the compensation amounts available to eligible victims and their families for crime scene clean-up, the replacement of clothing and bedding seized as evidence, repair or installation of locks, counseling for parents of minor aged victims, and funeral and burial expenses.
Lowney’s expertise, drive and commitment were essential to the recent passage of human trafficking legislation in Massachusetts. He served concurrently at the AG’s Office as the first Director of the Interagency Human Trafficking Task Force created in the new law. He structured the task force of law enforcement officials, state and community representatives, advocates, and survivors to address issues surrounding human trafficking through policy recommendations. As Director, Lowney established five subcommittees within the task force in order to address data collection and information sharing, victim services, public awareness, training and education, and demand.
The Massachusetts Office for Victim Assistance is an independent state agency devoted to advocating for and assisting crime victims in the state, and was established in 1984 with the enactment of the Commonwealth's first Victim Bill of Rights. MOVA's activities are governed by the Victim and Witness Assistance Board, which is chaired by AG Coakley. As Executive Director, Lowney will lead MOVA in providing innovative victim advocacy through outreach and education, policy and program development, direct services to crime victims, legislative advocacy, and grant management.