Professionals in many fields (medical, legal, mental health, media, criminal justice, victim advocacy, clergy, etc.) come in contact with crime victims every day. Yet, often, each provider knows little, if anything, about the other systems that impact the victim’s experience and pursuit of healing and justice. The MVAA Summer Institute’s week-long training helps enrich and broaden advocates’ perspectives and approaches to their work with victims and survivors.
About the MVAA Program
The Massachusetts Victim Assistance Academy (MVAA) began with the support of the Federal Office for Victims of Crime, which has been promoting the establishment of Statewide Victim Assistance Academies (SVAA) across the country. In 2005, the Massachusetts Office for Victim Assistance (MOVA) applied and was selected to join the ranks of only 17 existing SVAA programs at that time. Based on MVAA’s unique curriculum, it was lauded as a “model for the nation” in its first year of operation and continues to provide consultation to other states establishing similar programs.
While typical trainings often take a ‘topic-centered’ approach, the MVAA takes a ‘victim-centered’ approach. This unique curriculum, which is both practice-focused and academically informed, provides an in-depth understanding of the crime victim’s experience over time and across the various systems with which they interact (e.g., criminal justice, medical, mental health, victim advocacy, media). It also incorporates an understanding of the impact of survivors’ diverse backgrounds and life experiences. Furthermore, the MVAA curriculum promotes the importance of meaningful collaborations and coordinated responses among service providers.
2015 Massachusetts Victim Assistance Academy
The 2015 Massachusetts Victim Assistance Academy (MVAA) will take place on the beautiful campus of Endicott College in Beverly, MA, from Sunday, July 26 until Friday, July 31. This innovative training is for those providing direct service to crime victims with less than 5 years experience. The MVAA seeks a diversity of attendees, representing a variety of cultural backgrounds, geographic locations, and types of agencies and constituencies served. The Academy will provide formal training and opportunities for building and strengthening collaborative relationships with others in the field. Students are expected to reside on campus throughout the week; exceptions may be made depending upon individual circumstances and with prior approval. MVAA 2015 has limited enrollment and attendees will be determined by application only. Applicants wishing to be considered for the Mintz Levin/Paul Poth and/or the Cheryl Watson Memorial scholarship must submit all materials by March 6, 2015. All other applicants may submit materials until June 5, 2015. Selected applicants will be notified 3 weeks after the appropriate deadline as to the status of their application. Registration payment or a PV is due July 1, 2015. Payment arrangements are required to confirm space. A late fee will be charged for payment received after the payment deadline. We will have a wait list if we exceed capacity; applicants from the wait list will be admitted to any available spaces beginning June 13, 2015.
2015 Advanced Academy
MOVA is offered an Advanced Victim Assistance Academy along with the successful basic MVAA. The Advanced Academy is being offered July 29 - July 31, 2015 at Endicott College in Beverly, MA. This two night/three day training is specifically designed for victim service providers with more than five years experience.
MVAA Scholarship Opportunities
Mintz Levin/Paul Poth Scholarship
To honor the legacy and memory of attorney Paul P. Poth, the law firm Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C., is awarding scholarships to the MA Victim Assistance Academy (MVAA) sponsored by the MA Office for Victim Assistance (MOVA). Scholarship recipients (to be deemed “Mintz Levin / Paul Poth Scholars”) will have demonstrated a commitment, through their personal, civic and/or professional activities, to furthering the ideals espoused by Paul Poth in his career as an attorney in private practice, as an Assistant District Attorney, and through his daily life and service to victims/survivors, and the victim services community. Recipients will also have shown a compelling financial need for the scholarship to enable them to attend the MVAA. Three scholarships will be awarded for the Massachusetts Victim Assistance Academy. The recipients of the Mintz Levin/Paul Poth Scholarship will be recognized at the Victim Rights Month Award Ceremony on April 8th at the Massachusetts State House.
Cheryl Watson Memorial Scholarship
In memory of Essex County District Attorney’s Chief of Victim Witness Services, Cheryl Watson the Massachusetts Office for Victim Assistance, is awarding one scholarship for the Massachusetts Victim Assistance Academy (MVAA) and one scholarship for the Advanced Academy (two in total) in her honor. Cheryl was deeply committed to the Massachusetts Victim Assistance Academy and was involved as a member of the initial steering committee to create the academy. She then served for many years as both a mentor and faculty member at the academy helping to inspire and share her wisdom with new generations of victim advocates. The scholarships will be awarded during Victim Rights Month, for both the basic and advanced academies. The recipients will currently be working with victim and survivors of crime in either the criminal justice or community based fields, demonstrating a dedication to advocating for victims of crime. The recipients will have a commitment to victim services as a career and possess leadership qualities. The recipients of the Cheryl Watson Memorial Scholarship will be recognized at the Victim Rights Conference on April 24 at the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston, MA.
Those wishing to apply for the Mintz Levin/Paul Poth Scholarship and/or Cheryl Watson Memorial Scholarship must complete all materials March 6, 2015.
Funding Tips for the 2015 MVAA and Advanced Academy