Crime Survivors - Advocacy Through Action
Crime Survivors is a nonprofit organization founded by Patricia Wenskunas that strives to advocate for victims of violent crimes. Ms. Wenskunas' passion to advocate for those who have been affected by criminal attacks is driven by her own personal experiences at the hands of a vicious assailant in her own home on April 4, 2002. She also experienced an incredible amount of humiliation and injustice within the criminal justice system, which motivated her to get involved with acts such as Marsy's Law. Crime Survivors serves its community by, "promoting awareness, advocating for rights, focusing on prevention, and prioritizing healing." These four avenues allow everyone at Crime Survivors to give back to the community in as many ways as possible.
In terms of advocacy, "Crime Survivors is the one advocacy group that not only understands the needs of crime victims, but more importantly how to translate those needs into real action and results. " Through the hard work & persistence that the entire team at Crime Survivors has put in, they have been able to break through and change the way victims are treated in the criminal justice system. They will continue to do so until victims are given proper treatment within the system & throughout their journies with grief.
The team at Crime Survivors is also very driven to continue spreading awareness & focusing on the prevention of wrongly treated victims in the system. Within the organization, Crime Survivors is focused on making sure that its leaders are not only aware of the needs of victims, but also committed to promoting and supporting pro-crime survivor policies & practices throughout the criminal justice system. Crime Survivors is also one of the leading "victim-focused" educators in Southern California. The organization provides training in law enforcement, knowledge on how to correctly testify in front of legislative committees, and even just a place to sit down with families and support a newly created crime victim. All of these resources allow Crime Survivors to create both awareness & understanding among a broad set of groups, as well as truly set the stage for not only prevention, but also for putting the needs of crime victims first.
Crime Survivors' 4th and last avenue for change is healing. The organization "transforms the weak into the powerful," and "turns victims into survivors." Its team does this by providing survivors with "a clear path to hope, healing, and inevitably, strength." They have many resources for individuals who are looking to truly heal & process their grief, such as their different programs or books to read that deal with the issues that crime survivors face.
To learn more about how YOU can help with Crime Survivors' mission, click here.
Or, to reach their main website page, click here :)
I learned about Crime Survivors through one of my interviewees, so thank you to everyone at Crime Survivors for making genuine differences in people's lives!