Skip to main content

Victims & Witnesses

Victim Support Services Division

“Victim Services is a movement that continues to flow. Those impacted by crime and violence deserve to have their voices heard, rights protected, and the support of victim advocates coming alongside of them as they navigate towards personal healing and restoration.” 

Executive Director of the Victim Support Services Division

Our Mission

The Victim Support Services Division is committed to engaging, empowering, and encouraging victims, co-victims, survivors, witnesses, and families as they journey through the healing process in the community and during the criminal justice process.

Our Vision

  • Provide crisis support in the community through the CARES Unit and during the criminal justice process through the Victim Service Unit.
  • Inform victims of their rights and adhere to those rights in all areas of service delivery.
  • Address the individual trauma experiences and needs of victims, co-victims, witnesses, survivors, and families with whom we engage in collaboration with our community partners.
  • Continue our collaborative work with grass-root, neighborhood-based comprehensive victim service providers, specialized providers, federal, state, and local government, academia, medical/behavioral health, intervention and prevention, and other disciplines that support crime victims. With the goal of meeting the specific needs of individuals impacted by crime and violence that we encounter in the community or during the criminal justice system process.
  • Enhance the use of technology to provide more innovative ways to support the needs of crime victims and to provide information in a more timely manner, as well as provide available resources.
  • Ensure that victims/co-victim and survivors of crime and victim advocates have a voice at the tables where conversations are being held around policy and practices, community violence and victim impact. This will help inform the work of prevention and intervention in order for Philadelphia to become less violent while protecting the rights and services afforded to all crime victims.

Quick Links


Division Leadership

Executive Director of the Victim Support Services Division
Myra Maxwell
[email protected]

Victim Services Unit
Donna Woods
[email protected]
Assistant Supervisor
Heather Wames
[email protected]

Crisis Assistance, Response, and Engagement for Survivors (CARES) 
Melany Nelson
[email protected]
Assistant Supervisor
Shakina Deshazor
[email protected]

Victim Support Services Division Values

  • Commitment
  • Compassion
  • Integrity
  • Reliability
  • Respect

Safety Exit