Born and raised in Suffolk County, Laura Ahearn is a New York State Licensed Attorney and Social Worker with over 20 years of crime victim advocacy experience and 10 years of assisting victims with crime victim compensation claims.
Laura Ahearn has dedicated her life to protecting and fighting for our most vulnerable. Laura is tough, smart, and fair. Recognizing that sex crime victims and other victims of violent crime were not receiving justice and services they were entitled to Laura founded The Crime Victims Center, Parents for Megan’s Law, a not-for-profit victim’s and community rights organization that has worked to prevent crime and provide services to crime victims in Suffolk County and across New York State for over twenty years.
Laura’s vision and leadership has transformed criminal justice services to protect victims and non-offending family members. Serving as Executive Director for The Crime Victim Center, Laura manages a multi-million-dollar budget with nearly 30 dedicated staffers, providing much-needed services to over 30,000 victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, gang violence, human trafficking, hate crime, terrorism, and other violent crimes. Laura also works hand in hand with local, state, and federal law enforcement, ensuring that the County sex offender registry has the most current and accurate information, keeping families informed and residents safe. In addition, Laura manages a private law practice using her vast experience to represent victims.
Through her community outreach program, Laura and her staff have educated nearly 200,000 students, teachers and parents on crime prevention in public and private schools and community organizations on Long Island. Laura serves as Chair of the Legal Systems Subcommittee of the Suffolk County Task Force to Prevent Family Violence and as the victims’ services representative on the Suffolk County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council.
In an effort to educate stakeholders about Suffolk County Problem Solving Courts, Laura collaborated with County Executive Steve Bellone and coordianted Problem Solving Court trainigns to educate stakeholders, law enforcment and victim services providers about alternatives availbe to help steer defendants into treatment programs instead of incarceration.
Previously Laura served as the Victims Services Representative of the Suffolk County Hate Crimes Task Force. Laura spearheaded the creation of a guide for medical practitioners in Suffolk County to identify signs of domestic violence. She has also worked with our public school system to prevent teen dating violence and child sexual abuse and with colleges and universities to prevent campus sexual assault.
Never content to work within a flawed system, she has helped support and draft local, state and federal legislation to strengthen community and victim’s rights and give law enforcement and prosecution the tools they need. Laura worked closely with the US Justice Department to fix Megan’s Law and equip parents with the tools they need to protect themselves and their children. Laura has fought corruption in our legal system and within institutions on behalf of victims – and has never and will never back down in the fight for justice.
Laura’s successful efforts to make Suffolk County safer have been recognized by the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Congress, as well as the New York State Senate and the National Association of Counties for an award-winning program in partnership with the Suffolk County Police Department. Laura Ahearn has fought for victims for over two decades wherever and whenever necessary. She holds a Masters of Social Work (MSW) from SUNY Stony Brook she earned while on fellowship and a Juris Doctor (J.D.) from Touro Law where she graduated at the top of her class. Laura also maintains a part-time law practice where she represents victims of violent crime. Laura is an avid angler and is often seen fresh or salt-water fishing in Suffolk County.