"Across America, victims of crime have turned their agony into activism. Many have found that participating in community service- helping other victims and initiating crime prevention and awareness programs- contributes significantly to their own healing. These victims include extraordinary people such as Marilyn Smith, who founded a comprehensive victim service program in Seattle for deaf and deaf-blind victims of sexual assault after trying unsuccessfully to find services herself as a deaf sexual assault victim; Azim Khamisa, who joined with the grandfather of the 14 year-old gang member who murdered his son to provide gang prevention programs in San Diego schools; and the many parents who came together after their children were killed by drunk drivers to support Mothers Against Drunk Driving in its successful efforts to strengthen laws, provide victim impact classes, and educate the public about the devastating impact of this crime. This monograph chronicles ways in which many crime victims are channeling their pain into helping others, improving their communities, and healing themselves at the same time. It describes opportunities for victims who want to become active and makes important recommendations for victim service programs regarding ways to involve victims in community service. The monograph was written by Victim Services, a New York City-based program which is the largest victim assistance provider in the nation. The monograph is part of a larger document entitled 'New Directions From the Field: Victims' Rights and Services for the 21st Century,' a comprehensive report and set of recommendations on victims' rights and services from and concerning virtually every community involved with crime victims across the nation."
Office of Justice Programs: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/