The Violence Recovery Program (VRP) at Fenway Health was founded in
1986 and was formerly known as the "Victim Recovery Program." The VRP
provides counseling, support groups, advocacy, and referral services to
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) victims of bias crime,
domestic violence, sexual assault, and police misconduct.
- To provide services to LGBT victims who have experienced
interpersonal violence as well as information and support to friends, family,
and partners of survivors
- To raise awareness of how LGBT hate crime and domestic
violence affects our communities through compiling statistics about these
- To ensure that LGBT victims of violence are treated with
sensitivity and respect by providing trainings and consultations with service
providers and community agencies across the state
Documentation and Reporting
Issues we help with
Tips for Safe Dating
For Friends and Family of Survivors
It’s important to know that many people who have experienced or
witnessed a traumatic event have a range of feelings and reactions.
While each person will have their own experiences, many survivors feel
frightened, overwhelmed, angry, numb, depressed, or irritable.
Difficulty sleeping, being afraid to go out, or finding that it hard to
stop thinking about the incident are also some responses survivors
often share. To help with these feelings and reactions we provide
short-term counseling and support to survivors in person or over the
phone. Many survivors find talking about their experiences with a
supportive counselor to be an important part of recovery. We can also
help coordinate longer-term therapy through our behavioral health
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Interpersonal violence, in any of its forms, can be a very isolating
experience. For this reason, the act of giving and getting support with
others with similar experiences can be a powerful part of healing.
Groups also offer a chance to learn information and explore skills that
can help to better cope. The groups start throughout the year,
depending on enrollment. All groups are free and require an intake. The
intake is a chance to discuss concerns with the group leader and
determine if the group best meets your needs at this time. For more
information about the groups or to schedule an intake, please call
Read more about our support groups.
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Crime survivors have legal rights when working with the police
department, the district attorney’s office, and the court system.
Unfortunately, the criminal justice and social service systems can be
confusing and overwhelming. By using our experience with these systems,
contacts with sensitive officials, and explaining what to expect, we
try to make the decisions about reporting crime, prosecuting offenders,
and getting support services as straightforward as possible.
- Information about your choices and rights.
- Direction to sensitive police officers if you decide to file charges.
- Advocacy for investigation and prosecution of your case
- Court accompaniment for your case
- Accompaniment and assistance obtaining a restraining order.
- Assistance pursuing financial compensation to which you may be
entitled, including for medical and counseling bills, or lost wages.
You also have the right to be free from harassment and
discrimination in housing, employment, public accommodations, and
public school programs. We can help you assert these rights and work to
see that your concerns are taken seriously.
For helpful community resources, click here
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The Violence Recovery Program is committed to raising awareness of LGBT
hate crimes and domestic violence. We compile statewide statistics on
anti-gay hate crime and same-sex domestic violence so we can more
accurately reflect the magnitude and nature of these crimes and how
they affect our communities. You can help by calling us and anonymously
reporting any incident you face or witness, whether or not you want to
access our services. In collaboration with the National Coalition of
Anti-Violence Programs, we release annual reports based on these
- To get the help you deserve: the VRP can document the incident and help with counseling and advocacy.
- To document the crime: It is critical to document the ongoing
harassment and violence against the LGBT communities. Attempting to
capture the true extent of the violence against our communities
prevents it from being minimized and allows us to more effectively
advocate for survivor services and institutional changes.
- To prosecute perpetrators: Prosecution may stop a perpetrator from
committing these crimes in the future. It may also help a survivor to
find and feel a sense of justice. Filing a police report is the first
- To deter other possible perpetrators-If the crime goes unpunished,
it may send the message that this type of violence is okay. If there
are similar crimes, reporting could allow the police to connect the
evidence and prosecute the crimes.
- To receive compensation from the Victim Compensation Program
This fund is available to reimburse victims or surviving family
members for out of pocket expenses related to the crime. These can
include: medical, dental, counseling, or lost wages. In order to be
eligible, a police report needs to be filed. The VRP can help with this
application process. The decision to report a crime to the police is
always left up to the survivor of the crime
To anonymously report hate crime or same-sex domestic violence, call the VRP at
For more information about our partnership with the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs - http://www.ncavp.org/
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Training and Education
The Violence Recovery program is committed to providing training and
consultation to help organizations and providers understand and respond
to the needs of LGBT individuals affected by violence. We offer
trainings to: police departments, criminal justice officials, service
providers, medical caregivers, and community groups. We also consult
with service providers across the state to ensure that LGBT victims of
violence are treated with sensitivity and respect.
Trainings may include but are not limited to:
- The Dynamics and Issues in Recognizing and Treating Same Sex Domestic Violence
- Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Issues 101
- Treating Sexual Violence against Men and Boys
- Considerations for Trauma Recovery when working with LGBT clients
- Case Based Consultation
For more information on trainings call 617.927.6250