PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Two big names in helping victims of abuse are joining forces.

It’s an effort that is sure to help countless numbers of people in our area.

“What we found is victims often get confused about where to go to get assistance,” said Tracey Provident, of the Center for Victims. “So, if they call this one number, they’re going to be able to get to all of our programs.”

They now stand together as one agency, today the merger of the Center for Victims of Violence and Crime and Women’s Place was announced.

“Often, crime victims – there is some stigma related to, you know, I’m a domestic violence victim, my child was sexually assaulted, and often people feel guilty about it or they feel fearful of coming forward and what the ramifications would be if they come forward,” said Provident. “We want people to be safe; we want them to get the help they need. You can’t say that message often enough.”

With the merger of these two agencies, there will be one administrative headquarters, which will be located in East Liberty. In McKeesport, they will maintain the women’s shelter.

“We want to actually broaden our services in McKeesport. That’s sort of the bottom or the end of Allegheny County there, so we don’t have as many resources as people do here in Pittsburgh,” said Laurie MacDonald, of the Center for Victims. “This gives us the opportunity to send more advocates out to the McKeesport and the Mon Valley area.”

Services are designed to uphold victim’s rights by focusing on their safety, financial need and emotional stability and providing a legal advocate when necessary.

“Regardless of the sources of your victimization, regardless of where you live, call the center for victims and we’ll help,” added MacDonald.

All services are free and maintain the victim’s confidentiality.

Center for Victims
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