Violence Recovery Program

Welcome to Fenway Health's Violence Recovery Program

Fenway Health’s Behavioral Health (BH) Department would like to share some updates about the way we are able to care for the important needs of our community.

As noted in a recent Boston Globe article, there is a long wait for primary health care and health services throughout the state. This is the result of extremely high demand – fueled in no small part by the COVID-19 pandemic – coupled with a shortage of medical and behavioral health clinicians.

Fenway Health has been significantly impacted by these constraints and we recently took steps to ensure resources are available to better meet the needs of our patients and more quickly move people off the Behavioral Health wait list into care.

We are happy to share the news that we have significantly reduced our patient waiting list and are no longer capping therapy sessions for BH patients at 12 visits.

The following policies still remain in effect:

  • All BH patients 18 years or older need to also have a Primary Care Physician at Fenway. This has been our longstanding policy for most of our adult patients and will allow us to ensure that all clients have access to the most comprehensive care across their entire patient experience. It will also make for better communication between BH providers and medical teams for a smoother patient-centered care plan. This change brings Fenway in line with the standards for most community health centers.
  • Out-of-state patients can no longer access virtual appointments and will need to meet with their provider in person. This is due to state licensure laws. Fenway Health is not licensed to provide services outside of Massachusetts, and pandemic exceptions to these regulations have expired.

Thank you for your patience and understanding, and for allowing us to be your health care home. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us. Please email Frank Fleming at

Fenway Health’s Behavioral Health team operates under an Episodic Model of care. Episodic care refers to time limited treatment that encourages an individual to actively engage in therapy through dynamic movement. The focus of this movement through care is the building of skills and finding solutions. This works well for those with clear goals and high motivation.

The arc of treatment is made up of three phases:

  1. Beginning phase
  2. Middle phase
  3. Graduation phase

Beginning Phase

The beginning phase is focused on identifying clear goals of treatment. As such, treatment planning is essential because it helps the patient and provider focus care in a way that supports clear goals, movement, and resolution. In this phase, the provider works with the client to identify 1–3 areas of focus, noting that not all issues an individual comes to therapy with may be resolved within an episode.

The provider outlines structure and mapping around the treatment experience, which includes the setting of a graduation goal in order to optimize sessions and time between sessions. The provider may begin treatment planning with the client by asking clear questions about their goals for care.

Middle Phase

The middle phase focuses on learning and implementing skills through a strengths-based approach. This evidenced based approach builds on an individual’s unique strengths and knowledge that they bring with them as experts in their own lives.  As behavioral health providers, our responsibility is to support clients as they build skills, increase self-understanding, and conclude each episode of care with confidence in their ability to actively engage in living.

Graduation Phase

We actively support individuals to ready themselves for graduation by using active engagement in sessions and skills practice between sessions. We support and encourage our patients to increase their proficiency, confidence and test the sustainability of their efforts in order to create readiness to conclude their episode of care and return to their active living. We believe that doing intentional termination work is an essential part of therapy as often, individuals do not get to experience planned conclusions of relationships. At the time of graduation, folks are educated about their ability to return for a future episode of care if or when they need it.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Domestic violence is prevalent in every community and affects all people regardless of age, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, gender, race, religion, or nationality. Physical violence is often accompanied by emotionally abusive and controlling behavior as part of a much larger, systematic pattern of dominance and control. Domestic violence can result in physical injury, psychological trauma, and even death. The devastating consequences of domestic violence can cross generations and last a lifetime. (NCADV)

Domestic violence is not limited to heterosexual relationships and can affect individuals of all sexual orientations and genders. Within the LGBTQ community, intimate partner violence occurs at a rate equal to or even higher than that of the heterosexual community. LGBTQ individuals may experience unique forms of intimate partner violence as well as distinctive barriers to seeking help due to fear of discrimination or bias”(NCADV)

Did you know?

  • Nearly 1 in 10 men in the United States has experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner and reported at least one measured impact related to experiencing these or other forms of violent behavior in the relationship (e.g., being fearful, concerned for safety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, need for healthcare, injury, contact of a crisis hotline, need for housing services, need for victim’s advocate services, need for legal services, missed at least one day of work or school.
  • American Indian and Alaska Native women experience assault and domestic violence at much higher rates than women of any other ethnicity.
  • Over 84% of Native women experience violence during their lifetimes.
  • American Indians are 3 times more likely to experience sexual violence than any other ethnic group. Over half of American Indian women report having experienced sexual assault.

Resource for survivors with pets


Share #WeAreResilient with @NCADV this October to raise awareness about domestic violence! Learn more at

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

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
  • To reach the VRP consult line:
    • 617.927.6250 
    • 800.834.3242 (Toll Free)
    • * TTY 617.859.1256
  • You can also reach the national 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline by calling their new 3-digit phone number 988 or using the chat service offered on their site.
  • Other resources for Deaf folks:

To Become a New Patient


We Offer In-Person and Telehealth Appointments

Ansin Building

7th Floor 1340 Boylston Street Boston, MA 02215


Fenway: South End

4th Floor 142 Berkeley Street Boston, MA 02116


Sidney Borum, Jr. Health Center

4th Floor 142 Berkeley Street Boston, MA 02116


Fenway Health’s Violence Recovery Program is a member of
Jane Doe Inc.

Cape Cod Office


Western Mass Office


Boston Office


Jamaica Plain Office


Fall River Office


Borum Office


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, the Borum at 142 Berkeley St, and at locations in Western Massachusetts, Fall River, and Cape Cod. To access our services, call 617.927.6250 or 800.834.3242 (toll-free in MA).

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.

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 with similar experiences can be a powerful part of healing. Groups also offer a chance to learn information and explore skills that can help to better cope. For more information about any of the groups listed below, please call the Violence Recovery Program at 617.927.6250 or 800.834.3242.

Trauma Education Group
The Trauma Education Group is a free, 9-week group for LGBT people who have experienced abuse, violence or other trauma. Discussions will focus on the effects and symptoms of trauma in general, as opposed to each individual’s traumatic story or memories. Groups are run two to three times a year at Fenway’s 1340 Boylston Street location.
Male Survivor Group
Independence House and The Violence Recovery Program of Fenway Health are joining together to offer a support group for all individuals who identify as men, live on Cape Cod, and are survivors of domestic and/or sexual violence. This is a 9-week group which gives participants information on healthy boundaries, self-care, safety, red flags and developing healthy relationships. This group is offered at the VRP’s Cape Cod Office.
Asylum Seekers Group
The Asylum Seekers group is for LGBT people who have come to the United States seeking asylum due to identity-based persecution in their home country. The group will give participants a chance to share resources and knowledge about the Asylum process. Participants can be anywhere in the asylum process. This group is offered at Fenway’s 1340 Boylston Street location.
BIPOC LGBTQ+ Community Space
This is a safe(r), encouraging, drop-in, support group for BIPOC LGBTQ+ survivors of trauma who are interested in building community and connection with others who hold shared identities and/or experiences. This is a semi-structured, ongoing group that centers BIPOC LGBTQ+ individuals and acknowledges the impacts of identity-based oppression on one’s healing journey. This group is not intended to be used as a space to process details of one’s individual trauma, but is intended to offer space for individuals to practice building healthy and supportive relationships with people who have similar experiences. The drop-in group will be running on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of the month from 5 pm – 6 pm. This space will be offered on an ongoing basis. Participants will be able to sign up for 6-session cycles and are able to sign up for multiple cycles if they are interested. This group is online via Zoom.
BIPOC Joy Group
This is a 12-week virtual support group for people that are seeking an intentional space to create more joy and resilience in their lives while building connections with others. Clients will be invited to participate in weekly group discussions centered on different topics and will be encouraged to participate in practices and activities on their own between sessions. The group will be Thursdays from 5:30 PM to 6:45 PM starting October 7th. Please note, this is a closed group.
Men’s Group for Survivors of Sexual Violence
This a 10-week virtual psychoeducational group for self-identified men who are survivors of sexual violence. The group focuses on understanding the various ways sexual trauma impacts men physically, psychologically, and socially; and offers coping strategies to address the harm caused by sexual violence.


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

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.

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

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