For Immediate Release - May 28, 2014

MOVA Dedicates $1.9 Million to Support Domestic Violence Services in District and Probate and Family Courts

Boston - The Massachusetts Office for Victim Assistance (MOVA), which administers the SAFEPLAN Program, recently awarded over $1.9 million to assist victims of domestic violence in 44 district and probate and family courts in 9 counties throughout the state.

SAFEPLAN is a partnership program between MOVA, domestic and sexual violence agencies in the community and the courts. SAFEPLAN works in collaboration with local District Attorneys’ Offices and other agencies to promote a unified response to assist victims.

SAFEPLAN Advocates are available in the courts to assist victims seeking protective orders.  In addition to in-court civil legal advocacy, SAFEPLAN Advocates provide crisis intervention, assess the risks they face, create personalized safety plans, and refer them to other services needed by them or their children. SAFEPLAN Advocates are trained and certified by MOVA and are employed by 12 community-based victim service providers across the state.

“Since the program’s inception 18 years ago, SAFEPLAN Advocates have become critical resources not only for victims seeking assistance but also to the courts and communities they serve,” said Liam Lowney, MOVA’s Executive Director. “SAFEPLAN Advocates work directly with local court personnel, District Attorney’s Offices, police, and a network of other providers making it a ‘one-stop shop’ for victims seeking assistance. These collaborations ensure an effective response to help victims stay safe and hold their offenders accountable.”

For further information on the SAFEPLAN Program and courts served by a SAFEPLAN Advocate, visit MOVA’s website at www.mass.gov/mova or call (617) 586-1340.