In 1967, the President’s Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice reported victims of crime were the most neglected group when it came to the study of crime.
Victims were on their own, facing trauma that could overshadow them for the rest of their lives.
The Lincoln Center decided it was time to give victims a voice and a helping hand.
They developed programs to help victims deal with their trauma.
In 1987, The Lincoln Center received its first grant from the Crime Victims Fund. The fund was created from the 1984 Victims of Crimes Act (VOCA) administered through the U.S. Department of Justice.
The grants allow The Lincoln Center to offer free mobile counseling and outreach to crime victims in Montgomery County from ages 5 and older.
Since the program began, TLC has served thousands of clients.
As the VOCA program has grown, it has branched off into three areas:
Victims of Crime Act Program.
Individual and group counseling services are offered to children and adults in Montgomery County who have been affected by crime in the past or present.
Confidential help is offered even if the crime wasn’t reported.
Victims can receive information on their rights, compensation, and the criminal justice system.
TLC is a case manager, assisting victims with filing compensation claims and even offering community presentations to raise awareness about these free services.
Elder Victim Mobile Support Program (EVMS)
The Elder Victim Mobile Support program provides group and individual counseling and case management to people 60 and over in Montgomery County who have been affected by crimes, past or present.
Crimes can range from abuse, neglect, domestic violence, and harassment to fraud, robbery, identity theft, and vehicular crime.
A support team helps elderly victims address gaps in identifying and reporting crimes or abuse. It will help those with limited resources access victim services.
Therapists and case managers network through senior centers, homeless shelters, local agencies, community leaders, and community events to reach people who may need support.
Other services include:
- Safety planning
- Education and support regarding victims’ rights
- Assistance in filing compensation claims
- Information on community resources
- Transportation to victim services.
Art Therapy Program
Art therapy offers a way for the crime victim to process their trauma by actively imagining, experimenting, reframing, and rehearsing desired changes through self-expression.
“As an art therapist, my main objective is to create a space for my client to feel safe enough to be heard and seen,” said TLC art therapist Yael Tsoran. “Art can speak volumes about a person’s traumatic experience and a trained art therapist can help guide clients to heal through their art. They recreate their reality, which is extremely powerful.”
The art therapy program is free, mobile, and available to any Montgomery County resident who has been a victim of crime.
- It can be an effective way to help those who do not respond to traditional types of therapy.
- It uses a creative, non-verbal approach when it’s too difficult to verbalize the trauma, providing personal insights and overcoming the negative effects of the trauma.
“Since I joined TLC twelve years ago, we have significantly expanded our services to meet the needs of those affected by crime,” said Kerri Lynn Blakey, TLC’s Chief Grants Officer. “With the addition of our case management and art therapy services, we now have a complete program that allows us to serve our community in a more profound way.”
Click here to learn more about TLC’s victim support services or call 610-277-3715 to speak with a TLC team member.