Individual Direct Service Award
Award Recipient: Patricia Twinchek
Nominator: Joan Metcalf Award
Ms. Patricia Twinchek has been serving victims of crime for 16 years. Starting in 1995, as a crisis volunteer, Ms. Twinchek has worked the night-shift in a Domestic Violence Shelter, providing counseling and advocacy and in 2004 being promoted to the position of Advocacy Services Coordinator at Alice Paul House in Indiana, PA.
As the Advocacy Services Coordinator at Alice Paul House, Ms. Twinchek supervises other advocates leading by example and never asking others to do things she herself is not willing to do. Ms. Twinchek has set up an advocacy program to ensure that there are advocates available 24/7 at Alice Paul House, and often answering requests for advocacy herself at all hours of the day or night.
Ms. Twinchek works with students at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania on the HAVEN Project which is designed to increase and improve counseling and advocacy services for students who experience violence. The Haven Project also offers prevention education about stalking, dating/relationship violence, and sexual assault.
Ms. Twinchek has helped to develop a program called the Domestic Violence Sexual Assault (DVSA) Task Force, which is made up of a multi-disciplinary team that includes the District Attorney’s Office, County Commissioner, Hospital, Children and Youth Services and State and local Police. Ms. Twinchek is constantly inviting additional individuals to the table to help make changes for victims of violence.
Ms. Twinchek is a member of the Keystone Crisis Intervention Team (KCIT), which empowers local communities to support crime victims in their recovery from traumatic incidents by assessing the impact of the event on the community; developing an intervention plan; and providing crisis intervention by trained volunteer teams. As a member of KCIT, Ms. Twinchek was a first responder after 9/11, at ground zero, ready to serve in any way that was needed.
Even though Ms. Twinchek is busy with various tasks and initiatives, she still ensures she has time to meet with any victim who comes through the door seeking support. Ms. Twinchek is caring and kind and helps clients feel they can overcome the trauma they have experienced. In a letter of support received from a victim of crime who was provided assistance from Ms. Twinchek is the quote “I am just one, my family just five, but we are in a better place in our lives as victims because of the efforts and determination of Pat Twinchek. While her caseload is high and her responsibilities many, she manages to treat me with dignity, respect and as a person rather than a number.”
On behalf of victims of crime and the field of victims services, we thank Ms. Patricia Twinchek for her innovation, collaboration and unfailing commitment to victims of crime.