(Oneida) This year the Victims of Violence Program celebrates 25 years of service in Madison County to victims of crime and their families. The inception of the program in 1988 began with the coordination of a group of 30 trained and certified volunteers who shared a vision of offering hope, support and assistance to individuals victimized by domestic and sexual violence. This group of dedicated volunteers joined with Liberty Resources, Inc. to form the Victims of Violence Program.
In 1988 Liberty Resources, Inc. hired Cherie Matzke, the first director of the VOV program following the receipt of a grant. As a result, services were established that included a 24- hour hotline, a safe homes network, and advocacy services for victims and their families all of which were managed by the volunteers who first had the vision of creating safety for those experiencing violence in their lives.
Today, the Victims of Violence Program continues to be fortunate to have a core group of volunteers who support the program’s 24 hour hotline, in addition to a host of supportive services. These services include an emergency 6 bed safe dwelling, advocacy and referral, and prevention and counseling services. Also, VOV coordinates the Madison County Domestic and Sexual Violence Coalition, provides support group services, training and prevention education opportunities for schools and professionals, as well as adult and child therapy services. Furthermore, the VOV program has trained advocates stationed at the Madison County District Attorney’s Office and Child Protective Services to provide coordinated services for victims as they move through the criminal justice process and child abuse investigations.
The VOV program celebrates 25 years of service offering victims of domestic and sexual violence safety, shelter, and advocacy – a milestone made possible by the enduring commitment of the programs’ clients, staff members, volunteers, and community partners.