- Whitney Humphrey, right, joined by two of the LSHV staffers
POUGHKEEPSIE – New York State Office of Victim Services has provided
funding for an innovative partnership to provide holistic legal services
for victims of crime such as domestic abuse, sexual assault, elder abuse,
and all other crimes.
Family Services, Inc. and Legal Services of the Hudson Valley are partnering
to fill a void that has been recognized for years, according to Whitney
Humphrey, director of Development for Family Services.
Legal Services has entered into a contract with Family Services to employ
two attorneys and one paralegal located in an office at the Family Partnership
Center to "provide legal services in a ‘wraparound’ concept
to help the victims," said Humphrey.
“For many years, victims of crimes have had a variety of needs that
aren't just related to their victimization" and this new venture
addresses that concern, she said. Humphrey said that clients seeking assistance
from the Victims Services office will now have the opportunity to meet
with Legal Services in the same building to have subsequent legal issues
She used the example of victims of domestic abuse who might have an unrelated
immigration issue that also requires legal assistance. This new partnership
will allow for both concerns to be addressed simultaneously.
Leah Feldman, Family Services vice-president for Community Programs, said
"for decades we have had a vision to extend to the victims the choice
to participate fully in the legal process, to provide victims with understandable
information, to be treated with compassion and respect, to promote healing,
validation, and safety through the legal process, for advocates and attorneys
to stand together to wrap services around survivors, elevating them through
the legal process.”
Rachel Halperin, chief program officer for Legal Services, “the
need for direct civil legal assistance and a coordinated community approach
to servicing crime victims is overwhelming." She said "the services
provided through our partnership are to be coordinated, streamlined, and
Elizabeth Cronin, director of the state Office of Victims Services said
"As a former special victims prosecutor and in my current role with
the Office of Victims Services, I understand the hurdles and roadblocks
crime victims often face with civil legal needs such as with housing,
immigration, family court, and social services, to name a few. The grant
funding administered in this partnership will ensure crime victims have
access to free services from compassionate professionals as part of their
road to healing."
||Copyright © 2018 Mid-Hudson News Network, a division of Statewide News Network, Inc.
This story may not be reproduced in any form, by any media, without express written consent.
This includes rewriting, broadcasting and/or printing of material from MidHudsonNews.com,
by websites, radio and television stations, newspapers or other media