Pittsburgh Offers Support to Victims of Crime with New Website

The Office of Victim Assistance Services helps residents recover.
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PHOTO BY DAVE COLE

Victims of crime struggling to find the help they need to recover can turn to a new website that gathers resources in one place.

Pittsburgh’s Victim Assistance website includes emergency hotline telephone numbers and direct contacts to the Office of Victim Assistance Services, crisis counseling and other regional resources. 

“As a victim of crime, you’ve just experienced trauma, an unexpected trauma,” says Victim Services Coordinator Alexandra Abboud in a release. “At the flip of a switch, your whole life has changed — the way you see the world, the way you interact with the world, the way you lived your day to life has changed. And [victims] don’t know where to go and they don’t know what to do.” 

In addition to referrals, the Office of Victim Assistance Services offers crisis intervention, safety planning, social service assessment and planning. 

“The Victim Assistance Office is the support that families need, helping to eliminate some of those barriers and connect them to service providers and support. This isn’t just a warm hand off. The office is dedicated to the victim and their family and will be by their side throughout the process. When Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich created this office and asked me to manage it, we were clear that we didn’t just want to be another resource. We will serve as a partner to the community and we are committed to that partnership.” says Shatara Murphy, Public Safety Assistant Director.

For more information about your rights as a victim of a crime, visit Pennsylvania’s Victim Service website

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