And They Are Using Their Moment As A Call to Action

RIVERSIDE, CA, June 20, 2024 /24-7PressRelease/ — The National Organization for Victim Advocacy (NOVA) has recognized Dr. Amber Deneen Gray, PhD-c, DBH, of Gray’s Trauma-Informed Care Services Corp, and Dr. Tabitha Marie Chapman, PhD-c of The Freedom Train Project Incorporated, for their tireless efforts to advance crime victims’ rights. Dr. Gray received Honorary Awardee recognition in two categories. She is an honorary awardee for the Margery Fry Award for outstanding victim service provider, and the Morton Bard Allied Professional Award for contributions of an individual in an allied profession such as law enforcement, prosecution, medicine, mental health, the clergy, etc. Dr. Chapman was recognized as an Honorary Awardee for the Tadini Bacigalupi Jr. Award. This award recognizes a distinguished victim services program.

These two local doctors have worked in Riverside County for years, networking with various agencies such as the National Organization for Victim Advocacy, The National Domestic Violence Hotline, The California Partnership to End Domestic Violence, Alternatives to Domestic Violence, Laura’s House, and many other victim services organizations. Dr. Gray and Dr. Chapman advocate for victims of domestic violence, cultic abuse, and child abuse. They and their organizations provide much needed resourcing for victims. Dr. Gray and Dr. Chapman believe that help services needs to be more expansive, which means more allocation of funding from the state to local organizations that assist victims of crimes. The doctors believe the states need to answer the many calls to action and allocate more funding to victim services organizations.

Dr. Chapman, who runs a non-profit organization, noted that in May, many victim services organizations had to brace for a 15 to 22% cut in funding. This was due to the Crime Victim’s Fund losing nearly 70 million dollars in funding this year alone. Dr. Gray followed this by stating that many organizations were waiting for a $200 million dollar infusion from the state of California that never came. The federal government noted that fewer cases being brought to courts and more being settled out of court, were the reasons that the fund’s reserves have dwindled. The doctors noted while they understand the situation, massive cuts to the Crime Victim’s Fund, the Violence Against Women Act, and the Victims of Crimes Act, leaves organizations left with painful choices on whether or not to cut staff, cut programs, or having to shut down because of lack of available funds to stay afloat. The doctors stated this is appalling and should not be happening in the victim services industry.

The doctors noted that the various states need to answer the call to action and provide more funding for not only long standing organizations but provide more grant funding to newer victim services organizations. Dr. Chapman who often has to provide funds out of her own pocket stated that, “There are many victims who need help. There are several organizations willing to provide that help and assistance, if they had the funding to do so.” Dr. Gray followed this by stating that, “This is why we are thankful for organizations like NOVA, who recognize the hard work and dedication of all organizations that help victims of violence. It gives us a moment to have a voice and to do what we can to help bring awareness that more funding is needed to help victim populations.” Both doctors had the utmost respect for the National Organization for Victim Advocacy, because the organization recognizes and awards the hard work of victim services providers with their many efforts and the NOVA Awards. The doctors note that seeing the many awardees and award winners reminds them of how many people are actually working for the betterment of victims of crimes.

Dr. Chapman, of the Freedom Train Project Inc. has been worked with victims of cultic abuse and has been featured in several documentaries, including Seduced: Inside the Nxivm Cult and Branded and Brainwashed Inside Nxivm. Dr. Chapman says if there was one thing she would say about victim advocacy and the support victims receive is that, “I am constantly amazed at the dedication that victim advocates have for helping victim despite the various political battles that prevent the industry from being appropriately funded. These hardworking advocates are truly an inspiration.” Dr. Gray, of Gray’s Trauma-Informed Care Services Corp followed Dr. Chapman’s statement by stating, “Our industry is one of the least understood, recognized, or appropriately funded, so when organizations like NOVA provide an opportunity for advocates to shine, they really demonstrate how many people are working hard in difficult landscapes.”

In a letter to the doctors, Dr. Mamie Futrell, President of the Board of Directors of NOVA thanks Dr. Gray and Dr. Chapman for their unwavering dedication to assisting and empowering victims and survivors of crime. She states that Dr. Gray, Dr. Chapman, and other awardees and award winners are an inspiration to us all. She also states that most significantly, is that the winners all demonstrate compassion, leadership, and ingenuity in their work, and have helped countless victims and survivors begin to heal in the aftermath of crime. Dr. Chapman thanks NOVA for the special recognition. Dr. Chapman and Dr. Gray congratulate the other honorary awardees, as well as the award winners of the NOVA Awards. Dr. Gray and Dr. Chapman have received several past recognitions from NOVA.

Congratulations to both Dr. Amber Deneen Gray, PhD-c, DBH, and Dr. Tabitha Marie Chapman, PhD-c for their recognitions and their hard work. We thank them for their leadership and important contributions to the field of crime victim advocacy. May they continue to flourish in their helping victims of violent crimes.

Gray’s Trauma-Informed Care Services Corp is a healthcare education organization specialized in educating providers on working with victims of domestic violence, violent crimes, and child abuse.

The Freedom Train Project Incorporated is a non-profit organization that provides victim assistance to victims of cults and coercive control.

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