NOVA, the leading nonprofit organization in Bucks County supporting victims of serious crime, recently welcomed Melany Nelson as its new director of forensic and crisis response services. Nelson is no stranger to NOVA, as she has been a member of the Keystone Crisis Intervention Team, which has been supporting crime victims and communities in Pennsylvania in their recovery from traumatic events since 2015.
“NOVA strives to be a hopeful light for individuals healing from serious crimes and for the greater community as it works to end patterns of violence,” said Nelson. “I am looking forward to working with the NOVA family to serve those affected by crime in Bucks County and throughout Pennsylvania.”
For Nelson, working in victims’ advocacy is a family affair. She worked from 2005 to 2012 with her mother Patricia A. Payne, who served as the executive director for Northwest Victim Services in Philadelphia. Nelson also served as the executive director for the same organization from 2014 to 2022, providing services to crime victims such as filing victim compensation claims, offering court accompaniment and providing services to victims while they were in the hospital. In 2022, Nelson joined the C.A.R.E.S. (Crisis Assistance, Response and Engagement for Survivors) Team at the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office as the director. C.A.R.E.S. provides peer crisis responders to families of homicide victims. She brings to NOVA almost 20 years of experience in the field of victims’ advocacy and a dedication to helping crime victims achieve the justice they deserve.
“Melany brings a vast amount of experience in victim services to her new role with NOVA, from working directly with victims of crime to developing policy,” said Penny Ettinger, executive director, NOVA. “I am overjoyed, as is our entire organization, that Melany has joined the NOVA team. We look forward to advancing our forensic and crisis services under her leadership.”