Mission and History

The mission of the Anti-Violence Partnership of Philadelphia (AVP) is to reduce the entire cycle of violence by providing a wide range of services from support and counseling for victims and their families to rebuild their lives in the aftermath of violence. We provide comprehensive and collaborative programs throughout Philadelphia in schools, social service agencies, the courts, and at community sites.

AVP was incorporated as a 501c(3) organization in 1983. The following year, Families of Murder Victims (FMV) opened in the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Homicide Unit to serve individuals who have lost a loved one to homicide. By the 1990s, AVP was gearing up to expand its reach. In 1996, AVP established the Counseling Center, which provides free therapeutic counseling to children, families and individuals who have witnessed or experienced violence in their lives.

In 2005, AVP established West/Southwest Victim Services, a program supporting and advocating for victims of violent crime in a community-based setting. In October 2007, AVP began collaborating with the Medical Examiner’s Office where AVP’s crisis intervention specialists work to meet the immediate practical and emotional needs of victims’ loved ones in the days following a homicide, including providing support at the time of identification of their loved one’s remains and assistance in receiving compensation for funeral and other related costs.

The Youth Violence Outreach (YVO) initiative was established in the fall of 2016. By identifying young people who have experienced violence-related trauma and providing them with effective counseling and therapy to help them process the experience, YVO works to interrupt the cycle of violence. The school-based work is a combination of services that provide trauma-informed care directly to youth, emphasizing outreach to adolescent males of color who have the highest rates of victimization and violent behavior and who are often difficult to reach in non-school settings.

AVP programs and staff have been recognized by many local, regional, and national awards. In 1989, the organization received an award for Excellence in Victim Services from the National Organization for Victim Assistance and an award from the Philadelphia County Medical Society for Outstanding Health Services followed in 1994. Most recently, in 2004, AVP was a recipient of the GlaxoSmithKline Community Partnerships IMPACT award, given to non-profit organizations for excellence in improving the healthcare of the underserved in their communities.

Complete Timeline

1980: family members of homicide victims begin Philadelphia chapter of Parents of Murdered Victims (POMC)

1983: establishment of 501c(3) organization, Families of Murder Victims (FMV)

1984: FMV opens in the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Homicide Unit

1984: FMV receives Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) funding

1989: FMV receives Excellence in Victim Services Award from National Organization for Victim Assistance

1990: name changes to Anti-Violence Partnership of Philadelphia

1991: Student Anti-Violence Education (SAVE) begins

1993: SAVE program receives recognition Award from US Department of Justice

1996: Counseling Center established

1997: 60 Minutes airs segment on Families of Murder Victims program

2003: AVP awarded a three-year OVC grant for the Collaborative Response to Crime Victims in Philadelphia project

2004: GlaxoSmithKline IMPACT Award for Excellence in Improving the Quality of Human Life

2005: West/Southwest Victim Services merges to AVP

2007: AVP begins partnership with Philadelphia Medical Examiner’s Office

2013: Violence Intervention/Prevention (VIP) established

2016: Youth Violence Outreach program established