They work with sexually abused children, repeatedly battered women and the families of people whose lives were violently cut short.
For their work dealing with people in their most vulnerable moments, victim advocates from across the state were recognized and honored during a ceremony at the State House Monday morning. The event put on by the Massachusetts Office for Victim Assistance signified the start of Victim Rights Month.
For Revere Police Detective Sgt. Steven Pisano, who was one of those honored, knowing he made a difference came during his father's wake when three victims he had worked with came to express their condolences.
"We always look for something that shows us we made a difference - that we helped at least one person," he said, adding that his aim has been to help get victims "the dignity back that they deserve."
Alexandra Donovan of the Cambridge Public Health Department was recognized Monday in part for her work setting up various programs to help victims of domestic violence. She helped set up a training program for hair dressers to spot signs of abuse from their clients.
"Victim advocacy isn't only a profession, it's a way of thinking," said Liam Lowney, the executive director of MOVA.