Picture this –
- A scared 12 year old boy coming to school the day after his best friend was murdered and can’t find anyone willing or able to listen to his pain.
- The mother of a teenage homicide victim sitting in court alone hearing the coroner’s report while the offender’s family harasses her.
- The girlfriend of a young man brutally beaten to death in front of her trying to move forward without an experienced counselor to help her forgive herself.
Without your support, this could happen in Philadelphia.
This is a critical time for AVP, and we are reaching out to you for help. Pennsylvania’s budget impasse has stopped the flow of all government funding since July 1 — this includes federal dollars from the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA), which comprise over half AVP’s budget.
Last year AVP’s dedicated staff reached nearly 5,000 victims (1,500 of them family member of homicide victims) with a diverse array of services such as trauma therapy, crisis counseling and criminal justice advocacy, helping them get through some of life’s most devastating experiences. We also worked with students at 10 schools in Philadelphia’s most troubled neighborhoods, helping kids deal with the violence they experienced daily while learning more peaceful alternatives to resolve their problems.
We cut our expenses to a bare minimum to sustain services during this crisis, and we have not yet had to furlough any staff. But even with conservative fiscal management, we have run out of funds, and laying off staff may soon be our only option. Our limited line of credit is dwindling and, given the negative news coming out of Harrisburg, it is likely our credit line will run out well before any agreement.
Recently a young co-victim wrote a testimonial to the importance of AVP’s services: “It is still hard to put into words how the staff at AVP has helped me work through my grief of losing Kev, the realization I was victimized and violated myself, and learning to understand the judicial system. AVP saved my life. Not that I ever thought of taking my own, but they allowed me to live a life again. I will never be the person I was before Kev died, but because of AVP, I have become the person I am proud of being today.”
Please help us ensure that other victims receive these critical services.