AUSTIN, Texas — Survivors of crime joined forces at the Texas Capitol on Tuesday to ask lawmakers to consider their voice when making decisions on public safety policy.
The organizers want a focus on supporting survivors and making communities safer. They're calling for things like trauma recovery services, treatment and rehab to stop the cycle of crime.
"I believe that if we're not going to prevent crimes from happening, the least we could do is to make sure that all crime victims get the services they need to help them heal," said one attendee.
About 200 survivors from across Texas gathered for the first time at the Capitol to advocate for a safety agenda that makes communities safer and meets the needs of crime victims. The event, Survivors Speak, was hosted by Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice, a network of 25,000 crime survivors in eight states, including Texas.
The organization advocates for approaches to public safety that focus on stopping the crime cycle and ensuring survivors get the services and support they need to recover. At the event, survivors shared stories, honored loved ones, and advocated for a role as stakeholders in public safety decisions and policies that support survivors and safer communities.
Organizers said survivors of crime experience significant challenges to recovering and healing, and at least eight in 10 report that they experience at least one symptom of trauma following an incident. They said most victims will not get the necessary help they need to heal. They said, according to a survey, two out of every three crime victims report receiving no help following the incident, and only eight percent of all victims of violence receive direct assistance from a victim service agency.