Violence Recovery Program

Welcome to Fenway Health’s Violence Recovery Program

Free counseling and advocacy, specializing in services to the LGBTQ community.

Fenway Health’s Violence Recovery Program (VRP) provides counseling, support groups, advocacy, and referral services to survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and anti-LGBTQ hate violence. VRP staff have specialized training and experience in working with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) individuals.

Cape Cod Office

857.313.6681

Western Mass Office

857.313.6638

Boston Office

617.927.6250

Jamaica Plain Office

617.437.6200

Fenway’s Violence Recovery Program (VRP) provides counseling, support groups, advocacy, and referrals to survivors of domestic violence, sexual violence, hate violence, and police misconduct. We specialize in working with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) individuals.

The Violence Recovery Program at Fenway Health exists:

  • To provide services to survivors of violence
  • To provide information and support to friends, family, and partners of survivors
  • To raise awareness of how interpersonal violence affects LGBTQ communities
  • To ensure that LGBTQ survivors of violence are treated with sensitivity and respect
  • To offer trainings and information on services for LGBTQ survivors
  • To contribute to national statistics on violence within and against LGBTQ communities
You deserve to live a happy and healthy life free from violence and abuse. Fenway’s Violence Recovery Program provides free and confidential support for people who have experienced violence. We have specialized in working with LGBTQ communities for 30 years. We offer services to people who have experienced:

  • Partner Abuse/Domestic Violence: Abuse is a pattern of power and control and may include verbal, psychological, financial, sexual, physical or cultural abuse. Abuse can happen in any type of relationship, including dating, polyamorous relationships, and marriages.
  • Sexual Assault: Sexual assault includes any type of unwanted sexual experience. Sexual violence and exploitation can occur as a one-time or recurrent event with strangers, partners, relatives or acquaintances. It can happen in the context of relationships or hook-ups and can involve drugs or other substances.
  • Hate Violence & Police Misconduct (Anti-LGBTQ Discrimination): LGBTQ people may experience violence or discrimination based on identified or perceived sexuality or gender identity/expression, both within and outside of the United States. They may experience verbal or physical abuse, denial of services, or discrimination and mistreatment at work or from government agencies or law enforcement. Some LGBTQ asylum seekers have had to flee their countries because of anti-LGBTQ violence

We offer counseling and advocacy in both English and Spanish. Services are offered at Fenway’s 1340 Boylston Street location, AIDS Action at 75 Amory St, and at locations in Western Massachusetts and Cape Cod. To access our services, call 617.927.6250 or 800.834.3242 (toll-free in MA).

TOD@S: A Project for Black and Latin@ LGBQT People Affected by Partner Abuse

TOD@S is an inter-agency collaboration designed to improve and increase access to intervention and prevention services for LGBQ/T Black and Latin@ people affected by partner abuse.

TOD@S es una colaboracion interinstitucional diseñada para mejorar y aumentar el acceso a los servicios de intervención y prevención para las comunidades LGBQ/T latinas y de ascendencia africana afectadas por el abuso entre pareja.

TOD@S Community Needs Assessment

In order to assess the needs of Black and Latin@ LGBTQ people affected by partner abuse in Boston and the greater Boston area, TOD@S developed an online community needs assessment (hereafter referred to as “community assessment”) to better understand the following:

  • Attitudes and beliefs about partner abuse in Black and Latin@ LGBTQ communities,
  • What Black and Latin@ LGBTQ people think about the existing partner abuse infrastructure and services in the Boston area (shelters, organizations, counseling, etc.), and
  • Why Black and Latin@ LGBTQ people in the Boston area may or may not take advantage of these resources.

The intention of this assessment is to begin a discussion among partner abuse service agencies and agencies that serve Black and Latin@ people in the Boston area, about how to meet the needs of people living with multiple (often marginalized) identities when they are abused by their partners. We have made recommendations for local service providers to better meet the needs of the Black and Latin@ LGBQT people living in Boston and the Greater Boston area based on the community assessment findings.

Click to view the TOD@S Community Voices Needs Assessment.

Counseling

It’s important to know that people who have experienced violence may have a range of feelings and reactions. While each person is different, many survivors feel frightened, overwhelmed, angry, numb, depressed, or irritable. Some have difficulty sleeping, are afraid to go out, or can’t stop thinking about the violence or abuse. We provide short-term individual counseling to survivors to help survivors cope with and reduce their symptoms. Many survivors find talking about their experiences with a counselor to be an important part of recovering.

Support Groups

Interpersonal violence, in any of its forms, can be a very isolating experience. For this reason, the act of giving and getting support with others who have had similar experiences can be a powerful part of healing. Groups also offer a chance to learn information about the impacts of trauma and how to cope with them and reduce them. Groups are offered periodically, depending on demand. All groups are free. Group enrollment starts with an intake to go over the group agenda, format, timeframes and any questions. For more information about the groups or to schedule an intake, please call 617.927.6250 or 800.834.3242.

Current groups include:

Trauma Education Group
The Trauma Education Group is a free, 9-week group for LGBTQ people who have experienced abuse, violence or other trauma. Discussions will focus on the effects and symptoms of trauma in general and how to cope with them.  Personal stories of trauma will not be shared. Groups are run two to three times a year at Fenway’s 1340 Boylston Street location.

Male Survivor Group
This is a 9-week trans-inclusive men’s group which gives participants information on healthy boundaries, self-care, safety, red flags and developing healthy relationships. This group is offered periodically in VRP’s Cape Cod location and at 1340 Boylston St, Boston.

Domestic Violence Survivor Group
The VRP group for survivors of intimate partner/domestic violence is a psychoeducational and support group for survivors of abuse of any gender.  This is an opportunity for survivors to learn more about the dynamics of domestic violence, gain support and insight from fellow survivors, decrease isolation through connection with others, and explore what healthy relationships may look like.  This group does not require that someone has left the relationship or is planning to leave.  The group is runs for 10 weeks, each session is an hour and a half.  Offered in Boston locations.

Advocacy

VRP advocates offer support around various areas related to survivor’s needs. Advocates offer information on your options and offer support. Advocates do not offer advice and will not pressure you to use legal systems. Advocates can help offer information and support around:

  • Retraining and anti-harassment orders
  • Accessing services such as food banks or public benefits
  • Accessing donations for clothing or toiletries
  • With housing applications or housing issues
  • Options for reporting harassment or bias at work, school, or in your building
  • Court Accompaniment (when possible)
  • Accessing legal services
  • Making anonymous reports of anti-LGBTQ violence
  • Reporting incidents of violence to police
  • Connecting with affirming medical services
  • Intakes for legal services provided by the Fenway Legal Project

Documentation and Reporting

The Violence Recovery Program is committed to raising awareness of anti-LGBTQ hate crimes and LGBTQ domestic violence. We compile statewide statistics on rates of violence and abuse in LGBTQ communities so we can more accurately reflect the magnitude and nature of these crimes and how they affect our communities. You can help by calling us and anonymously reporting any incident you face or witness, regardless of whether or not you want to access our services. In collaboration with the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, we release annual reports based on these statistics.

Why report?

  • To get the help you deserve: the VRP can document the incident and help with counseling and advocacy.
  • To document the crime: It is critical to document the ongoing harassment and violence against the LGBTQ communities. Attempting to capture the true extent of the violence against our communities prevents it from being minimized and allows us to more effectively advocate for survivor services and institutional changes.
  • To prosecute perpetrators: Prosecution may stop a perpetrator from committing these crimes in the future. It may also help a survivor to find and feel a sense of justice. Filing a police report or reporting information anonymously to police can help.
  • To deter other possible perpetrators-If the crime goes unpunished, it may send the message that this type of violence is okay. If there are similar crimes, reporting could allow the police to connect the evidence and prosecute the crimes.
  • To receive compensation from the Victim Compensation Program. This fund is available to reimburse victims or surviving family members for out of pocket expenses related to the crime. These can include: medical, dental, counseling, or lost wages. In order to be eligible, a police report needs to be filed. The VRP can help with this application process. The decision to report a crime to the police is always left up to the survivor of the crime.

To anonymously report hate crime or same-sex domestic violence, call the VRP at 1.800.834.3242.

We also partner with the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs.

Training and Education

The Violence Recovery program is committed to providing training and consultation to help organizations, providers, and community groups understand and respond to the needs of LGBTQ individuals affected by violence.

Training topics include:

  • LGBTQ partner abuse/domestic violence
  • Sexual assault in LGBTQ communities
  • Male survivors of sexual assault
  • LGBTQ-specific hate violence
  • Transgender survivors of violence
  • The LGBTQ domestic violence screening tool
  • Trauma and recovery for LGBTQ survivors

We may be able to customize trainings for your group.  To discuss or schedule a training, call 617.927.6250.


Images from the TOD@S #QTPOClove campaign