We recognize change and violence prevention has to come from the bottom up and from the top down, this is why we work to influence policy to make our streets safer, for survivors of violence to have access to the services they need, and to enable our children to have brighter futures. We are aware that elected officials, policy makers, ministers, providers, law enforcement personal, judges, courts, defense attorneys and advocates are not always open to hearing the voices of survivors and this is because they do not know what to do or what to say. Survivors are the only ones that can share what their struggles and needs. We strive to bring these two communities together to come up with solutions and advocate for resources for services. We initiated Hear Our VOICES: Listening Hearing, a time when the Boston City council provides a space where families who are impacted by violence can share their struggles and the many different and courageous strategies.
Helping survivors transform their pain and anger into power and action is how we fulfill our mission everyday. At times action has a place in healing as well as in the reverse. Although it is important that all survivors have a self-care plan in place, it takes time for others to reach this important step in their journey towards healing. Therefore, we see value in the need for survivors to get involved in something that has meaning and purpose.
November 2011 Recommendations made to Governor Patrick with regards to Peace Institute’s Priorities Serving, Working and Responding to Survivors of Homicide Victims and NON- Fatal
Here are the finalized recommendations.
1. Conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the state’s system of services supporting the needs of survivors and surviving victims and foster collaboration to establish a quality continuum of services for families being impacted by violence, starting with agencies and organizations being Funded by the state.
2. Establish a Survivors of Homicide Victims Council for the state to focus on specialized needs of survivors of homicide victims and surviving victims (non-fatal) across the state. This Council will also have two survivors and two non-fatal victims who will also serve on the Council.
3. Implement a statewide crisis management response across the state to support the needs of all communities supported by violence, replicating the established Survivors of Homicide Victims Crisis Management Response established by the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute
4. Provide resources for Survivors of Homicide Awareness Month, a state-wide community outreach and awareness event held November 20 –December 20 in honor of survivors across the state that have been impacted by homicide.
5. Require mandatory survivor of homicide training/education for all clinicians, trauma response personnel, educators, youth workers, police officers, health centers, hospitals etc; including companies and organizations receiving state funds.