Anderson: Protecting the victims of crime, so they can feel safe and healLodi Enterprise
Monday, April 18, 2016
Imagine that you have been the victim of a crime. The police have apprehended the perpetrator and the criminal justice system is ensuring that the person pays their debt to society. But for you, the nightmare is far from over. For you the process of healing from the trauma that is a direct result of the crime is just beginning.
Crime victimization doesn’t stop when the crime is over. Many victims suffer emotional, physical and even financial problems long after the actual crime took place. Victims who do not receive the appropriate protection and support can feel the scars caused by the crime for years to follow.
This week is National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, a time to recognize the long term damage caused by crime and recommit ourselves to ensuring that victims receive the early intervention and services needed to begin the healing process.
In Wisconsin, we are fortunate to have a Governor who is uniquely committed to crime victims’ rights. Not only has he signed multiple bills aimed at enhancing and increasing protections for victims, but he has allocated over $25 million in state funds to serve the victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking.
As importantly, Governor Walker and First Lady Tonette Walker have prioritized and worked to integrate the concept of trauma informed care into the services offered to crime victims. Through the Fostering Futures initiative, Wisconsin is finding better ways to help victims overcome their trauma, heal, and regain a sense of safety and normalcy. By incorporating a trauma informed approach we empower survivors of crimes to deal with the difficult emotional issues they are facing, rebuild their lives and blunt the generational damage that crime has on families and communities.
The theme of this year’s Crime Victims’ Rights Week is “Serving Victims. Building Trust. Restoring Hope.” During this week, and year round, I encourage you to stand up for the rights of victims, get involved in your community and remember that we all play a role in helping victims of crimes recover more quickly.