Hello Cowlitz and Wahkiakum Community members!
Welcome to the Crime Victim Advocacy Program’s first ever blog post. If you were a former recipient of our monthly newsletters, you know how much educating and connecting with our community means to us. This blog will be replacing our newsletters. Please sign up to subscribe to our blog so you can stay connected with all the latest and greatest CVAP news!
We are launching our CVAP blog today because today marks the start of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week. This year’s theme is Strength, Resilience and Justice.
Here, we break down the three components of this year’s Crime Victims’ Rights Week.
When we hear the word strength, we tend to think of a few different things. Sometimes we think of physical strength: how much weight someone can lift or how much someone can pull. Physical strength can be empowering, but the kind of strength we are focusing on during National Crime Victims’ Rights Week is inner strength.
Mahatma Gandhi said, “Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.” What Gandhi means by an “indomitable will” looks different for different people including survivors of crime. For some, that might mean healing from a traumatic experience or seeking justice against the person who victimized them. For others, that might be the sheer willingness to survive day to day and take it one-step at a time. Whichever fits for you, we want you to know that our Crime Victim Advocates are here to support you along the way.
Resilience is what keeps us moving forward, even after experiencing deep pain and tragedy. In Maya Angelou’s poem, “I Rise” she talks about a person, that no matter how many obstacles come against her, she continues to rise.
“Just like moons and like suns, With the certainty of tides, Just like hopes springing high, Still I rise.”
We as humans, victims and survivors, continue to rise each day. Sometimes rising means barley making it out of bed that day, sometimes rising means having a good cry and sometimes rising means having good self-care or seeking counseling.
There is no wrong way to rise.
We celebrate all the ways survivors rise each and every day here in our community and around the world.
It takes strength to rise.
Justice, especially in today’s world, can mean many different things for people and especially for victims and survivors of crime.
We seek justice through our court systems, personal lives and societies. Sometimes justice is fulfilled and other times we are left searching for it for a long time.
But what if there is a different kind of justice right in front of us?
“Never forget that justice is what love looks like in public” (Cornel West).
We may never get all the proper justice as survivors and victims of crime that we deserve and are entitled to. We can, however, accept and help one another through times of difficulty and pain and that in itself can be a different form of justice. Validation and support provided in a sincere way can be very impactful for someone’s healing journey.
It is never the victims fault when they are victimized by a crime. Unfortunately, it’s the victims who are left to pick up the pieces after the crime is committed. Crime Victim Advocates are here to help put the pieces back together one by one.
The person that committed the crime or the actual crime itself can try to leave that person feeling desperate and alone. It may feel like there is no hope and that their spirit is broken. Nevertheless, through human justice, we rise together to help and support one another.
It takes immense strength to rise and it takes rising together to create justice and to define what justice may mean to you.
While honoring Crime Victims’ Rights week, we hope to rise together as a community to bring about strength and justice in its various forms.
Crime Victim Advocates are here to support victims of crime and their loved ones. Reach us at 360-703-3762.
It is an honor to serve our community.