About our Executive Director Laura Ahearn, ESQ.,LMSW
As a W. Burghardt Turner Fellow, Ms. Ahearn received her Master’s Degree in Social Work from the SUNY Stony Brook and a Juris Doctor (J.D.) from Touro Law where she graduated at the top of her class.
She is the founder and executive director of Parents for Megan's Law and the Crime Victim’s Center, a not-for-profit national community and victim's rights organization. The organization is a New York State Certified Rape Crisis Center, staffs the Suffolk County Crime Victims Center and the National Megan’s Law Helpline. In addition, the organization provides support services to law enforcement across the nation in their efforts to maintain an up-to-date and accurate sex offender registry.
In addition to her role as Executive Director, Ms. Ahearn holds leadership roles such as the Chairwoman of the Suffolk County Family Violence Task Force Legal Systems Subcommittee and the Victims Services Representative of the Suffolk County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council. She was also the Victims Services Representative of the Suffolk County Hate Crimes Task Force.
Recognizing a need for timely proactive violent crime victim follow-up services, Ms. Ahearn expanded the mission of the organization to provide services to all victims of violent crime and established the National Association of Counties award winning Crime Victim Center (CVC) Program. The CVC transformed the delivery of crime victim services. The program provides advocacy support services and educates violent crime victims and elderly minor and disabled victims of all crime, about their rights, entitlements for crime victim expense reimbursement, and links victims to a myriad of support services. The CVC serves the survivors of homicide, victims of; sexual assault, domestic violence, assault, hate crimes, child abuse, robbery, stalking, DWI, arson, kidnapping, human trafficking and other property and violent crime victims.
Ms. Ahearn has assisted in the drafting of and supported local, state and federal legislation aimed at strengthening laws to protect our most vulnerable and broaden victim’s rights. She is heavily relied upon to provide accurate, factual and pertinent information to educate the community, government officials and the media. Ms. Ahearn has been instrumental in developing and coordinating training for law enforcement on topics including crime victim services and sex offender registration and notification.
Ms. Ahearn has received many awards including the New York State Senate Woman of Distinction Award, the New York State Outstanding Victims Advocate Award, the Leadership in Establishing and Maintaining Social Justice Award, Woman of the Year awards, Leadership in Community Education Award, Newsday Everyday Hero, multiple legislative and citation recognition awards and has been recognized by the U.S. Justice Department’s Office of Victims of Crime and the U.S. Congress for her many accomplishments in strengthening local, state and federal policies and laws to protect our most vulnerable and to give victims a voice. Ms. Ahearn works collaboratively with local, state and federal policy and lawmakers, law enforcement, prosecutors, the community, and the media to enhance their response to, and their understanding of victimization and the crucial role of the victim advocate.