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Meet the OVA Team

The Office of Victim Advocate (OVA) is the state agency with the authority and duty to advocate for the rights and needs of crime victims.

Meet the dedicated team of advocates who are working for you!

Suzanne V. Estrella, Esq.

Meet the Victim Advocate  

Suzanne V. Estrella, Commonwealth Victim Advocate, is a victims' rights attorney with over 30 years of legal experience including 15 years of legal advocacy serving survivors of crime in Pennsylvania. Her years at the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape (PCAR) as their Legal Director have brought an understanding of the trauma endured by crime victims and an insight into the ways in which systems created to protect victims can often re-traumatize them. Suzanne’s passion for justice and commitment to centering the marginalized has led the Office of Victim Advocate to expand its victims’ services, as well as its crime prevention and restorative justice efforts. The Office of Victim Advocate employees a full- time social worker offering support groups and creative opportunities to promote hope and resiliency.    Suzanne is a member of the Pennsylvania Bar, Florida Bar, and the Pennsylvania Bar Association. She has been highlighted as one of Pennsylvania’s Fifty over 50, the recipient of the Luminary Award from the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the American Jurisprudence Award.    Suzanne is also an experienced trainer providing training to allied professionals on trauma informed legal services, implicit bias and victims’ rights.  


To request the Victim Advocate to speak at your training or event, Please fill out the OVA Event Brief. 

Executive Management Team

Pennie Hockenberry is the Director of Public Policy and Legislation. She joined the agency in April 2011 as a Victim Assistance Coordinator. Pennie has 20+ years of experience in the human services field. As director, she administers OVA’s input on policies that pertain to victims’ rights and coordinates with legislators to ensure that the voices of victims are heard. Pennie holds a M.S. in Mental Health Counseling from Shippensburg University and a B.A. in Sociology from Shippensburg University. 

Renee Bressler is the Administrative Officer to the Victim Advocate. She is responsible for the management of administrative duties. After graduating from the Pine Grove Area High School, Renee started her career in Commonwealth service in 2002. She has worked her way up through the ranks of positions and spent 12 years prior to OVA working at the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency in the Office of Victim Services. 

Tara M. Gross is the Executive Assistant to the Victim Advocate. Prior to her appointment as Executive Assistant, Tara served as the Director of Victim Services, the Victim Assistance Supervisor, and a Victim Assistance Coordinator. Tara has 17+ years of experience in advocacy, and she joined the Commonwealth in February 2013. Tara graduated from York College of Pennsylvania with a B.S. in Criminal Justice in 2007.

Tanner D. Widdowson is a Director of Victim Services who is responsible for general staff supervision, oversight of staff training, and ensuring compliance with business processes, policy and procedure. Prior to his appointment as director in November 2018, Tanner served as a Victim Assistance Coordinator and a Victim Assistance Supervisor with OVA, since his transition to state service in February 2015. During his county service years, he was a Legal Advocate and a Legal Coordinator with ACESS York/Victim Assistance Center YWCA serving domestic violence and sexual assault victims. Tanner holds a B.A. in Criminal Justice from Penn State University and served as enlisted aircrew in the US Air Force from 2005-2009 supporting Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.

Danie Martin-Lowen is a Director of Victim Services. She earned a B.A. in anthropology and international politics from Ithaca College in 2017. She went on to earn her law degree and her M.S. in Negotiations and Conflict Management through a joint program from the University of Baltimore in 2020. Danie has been devoted to victim services, community engagement, and crisis work since 2017, working with children and families involved with CYF and the foster system, survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, and human trafficking, and other crime victims.

Tatiana S. Roberts is the Victim Assistance Supervisor who ensures professional, trauma-informed responses are provided to crime victims and their families when they call our office for information and assistance. Tatiana helps staff balance trauma and excellent service provision on a daily basis. She also oversees victim advocacy provided to the Pennsylvania Board of Pardons and Office of Attorney General. She joined the agency in July 2018 as a Victim Assistance Coordinator. Tatiana has 10 years of experience in the human services field. She holds a BSW from West Virginia University. 

This role is currently vacant. 

Karen Laird is the Training Coordinator within the Office of Victim Advocate. She joined the agency in February 2003 as a Victim Assistance Coordinator and held the title of Director of Outreach and Programming from 2012-2019.  As Training Coordinator Ms. Laird is responsible for training both internally and externally within OVA to include the Stop Violence Against Women Grant. Prior to joining OVA, Ms. Laird was a Research Analyst for Friends Research Institute (FRI) in Baltimore, MD.

OVA Staff

OVA has two administrative support staff and 22 Victim Assistance Coordinators who are dedicated to advocating on your behalf. 


OVA Regional Locations

OVA has Regional Advocates in the following locations: 

  • Philadelphia
  • The Lehigh Valley
  • Northeast PA
  • Pittsburgh
  • The Office of Attorney General

Contact OVA

Call Us

Mon. - Fri. 8:00am - 4:30pm


OVA Contact Form

OVA Contact Form