Shattered Lives Radio and host, Donna R. Gore, are proud to present yet another valuable resource and information for listeners. An in-depth look at victim services will be the topic of the show, relating the expansion of services for victims of crime and violence.
As Executive Director of Victim Assistance Program, Leanne Graham sees herself as a leader of the “second generation mass,” carrying the tradition of those who pioneered the victims’ rights movement in the 1970’s. Coming from a family with backgrounds in various areas of the criminal justice system, Graham has been exposed to its diversity, as well as it’s needs. When she moved to the Akron, Ohio area in 2002, her first job was at the Victim Assistance Program. To expand her skills, she began working with victims through her employment with the Battered Women’s Shelter and Rape Crisis Center of Summit and Medina Counties. Victim Assistance Program, established in 1972, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit whose mission is “to empower the community to restore lives impacted by crisis, violence and tragedy. They assist over 6,000 Summit County residents per year, by offering crisis intervention, court advocacy and trauma therapy.” Graham was instrumental in formalizing the community based collaborative to address the counties preparedness to assist Human Trafficking victims within Summit County, Ohio. She has been the co-chair of this initiative for two years. Her invested time, and her passion for helping Summit County victims, were recognized by the Greater Akron Chamber as she was a recipient of a 30 for the future award in 2014. The award is given annually to 30 young professionals between the ages of 25 and 39 who, according to the chamber, “live and/or work in the Greater Akron region, who are trend setters in their industries and who make an impact on the region through dynamic leadership and community service.” In January of 2015, Leanne received the highest credentialing status, Comprehensive Crisis Intervention Specialist, from the National Accreditation Certification Program of the National Organization for Victim Assistance. In an effort to help her staff enhance their own professional growth, Leanne created a curriculum which was also approved by NOVA as a pre-approved credentialing training, the second of its kind in the state, next to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.