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About VIP

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Our Story

The mission of the Violence Intervention Program is to protect and treat all victims of family violence and sexual assault, and for 30 years, has been executing and expanding that vision.

Prior to 1984, the Los Angeles area was a very different place for a child who had been physically or sexually abused. Victims were “diagnosed” as having been abused, and were then tossed into the child welfare system with few resources or support.

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Families were in distress, children were broken, and lives frankly crumbled under the emotional trauma that had occurred.

After witnessing patient after patient go down the same unfortunate path, Dr. Astrid Heppenstall Heger, a USC pediatrician trained in child abuse, decided she wanted to dedicate her efforts to creating a better outcome and brighter future for children experiencing abuse. With that decision, the Violence Intervention Program was created, determined to provide better outcomes for victims and the families that support them.

In a humble clinic space roughly the size of a child’s bedroom, and with a couple of part-time staff, Dr. Heger began to see patients. Inspired by the personal stories of her clients, V.I.P. began to take shape. 

Since 1984, we’ve been innovating new programs to help the people of L.A. County.

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Over 20,000 victims of abuse and neglect were evaluated and treated at the VIP Hub thanks to our passionate staff.

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Over 30 years, VIP has grown into a massive force in community service – and it’s all thanks to the dedication of our team.

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Our Programs

Children and Youth Services

Children are among the most vulnerable in our society, and we work incredibly hard to create new ways to support children in distress and their families. Learn more about our specific programs and support centers here.

Adult
Services

From people living in harmful domestic situations, to families or individuals in any kind of need, we specialize in helping adults exit, heal and rise above trauma. Please click here to learn more.

Elder Abuse
Services

Everyone deserves to live in safety, with dignity and respect. If you are in a position of abuse or neglect, or know of an elder in a harmful situation, we have many ways to help. Please learn more and reach out here.

LGBTQ + The
Alexis Project

We’re taking an active role in normalizing health and mental health support for all LGBTQ+ patients. We invite queer youth to find safety at the Alexis Project, where we provide specialized medical and mental health staff who understand their needs.

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Join Our Team

The Violence Intervention Program puts its heart and soul into serving the community and its people. That means working hard to innovate and create programs and systems of support for the variety of needs of people in the Los Angeles area – including the dedicated and diverse staff that make it possible.

We value our team, which is why VIP offers a competitive benefits package that allows employees to meet their personal and professional needs while contributing their special talents and passion to our community.

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Corporate & Foundation Partners

Funding for the Violence Intervention Program (VIP) has been provided in part by these generous corporate and foundational partners:

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Our Founder

Astrid Heppenstall Heger, M.D. is our Executive Director at VIP, and a Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at the University of Southern California Medical Center. 

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Leadership

Meet the passionate team of leaders who give their expertise and hard work every day to make our work at VIP possible. 

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About H.E.A.R.T.

H.E.A.R.T. is a membership group that works to raise funds for and offer support to the child victims of abuse receiving services at VIP.

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