Laurie Myers of Community VOICES Receives "Innovation Award" at the State House
BOSTON – During Victim Rights Month in April, Attorney General Martha Coakley, the Victim Witness Assistance Board, and the Massachusetts Office for Victim Assistance (MOVA) recognize individuals and organizations that have made advancements in victim rights and services in the state. Laurie Myers, founder of Community VOICES, received this year’s “Innovations Award” for her pioneering efforts to assist and support crime victims throughout the state.
Since 2004, Community VOICES has provided advocacy and support services to victims of crime by helping them navigate the many systems available to help. VOICES was a leading advocate for tougher sex offender laws passed in the state and continues to promote public awareness of sexual abuse prevention and child safety to communities, educators, service providers, and law enforcement personnel.
In 2011, VOICES acquired Wena, a specially trained service dog from Canine Companions for Independence, to support crime victims who experience trauma. Wena is the first support dog of this type in the state and has proven to be an effective tool in supporting and comforting victims as they face their abusers in court.
“Victim Rights Month serves as an opportunity to recognize those who have one of the most important and lasting impacts on their communities,” AG Coakley said. “Each of the award recipients have demonstrated a long history of selflessly caring for others and we’re lucky to have each of them serving our fellow residents when they are most vulnerable and in need of compassion and honesty.”
“Victim services is a dynamic field, there is no “one size fits all” approach to assisting victims who themselves are as diverse as the crimes committed against them”, said Liam Lowney, Executive Director of MOVA. “The spirit of this award is to recognize individuals with the ingenuity and creativity to respond to unique victim needs – and Laurie’s work with VOICES and, most recently, with Wena exemplifies innovative programming and advocacy that supports victims as they travel the windy road to recovery.”
For further information on the services and supports provided by Community VOICES, visit their website at http://www.communityvoices.net/ or call (617) 515-2079. To learn more about Victim Rights Month events or this year’s award recipients, visit MOVA’s website www.mass.gov/mova or call (617) 586-1340.