Today, Assemblywoman Judy Griffin and Senator Anna M. Kaplan unveiled legislation, S.7537/A.9094, that offers a breakthrough approach to stopping the cycle of crime and supporting crime victims through the establishment of a statewide network of Crime Victim & Trauma Survivor Recovery Centers. The Centers would provide comprehensive, evidenced-based, trauma-informed services to members of the community free of charge, to help crime victims and their families recover from the lasting harm inflicted upon them, and breaking the cycle of violence by preventing repeat victimization.
Assemblywoman Judy Griffin said "focusing on the needs of survivors and their families is paramount. Victims of sexual abuse, human trafficking, hate crimes, domestic and gun violence - as well as the surviving families of victims who have been murdered - must be protected, supported, and safeguarded. It is time for New York to prioritize victims by establishing and funding Crime Victim & Trauma Survivor Recovery Centers around our state. These centers will provide victims with a safe haven, where they can begin the healing process and receive the resources to help them move forward on the road to recovery. I am proud to partner with State Senator Anna Kaplan as this bill’s Assembly sponsor, as we stand with the tireless advocates working to see this initiative to fruition. The ripple effect of these recovery centers will have a far-reaching impact on the lives of survivors and their families.”
Senator Anna M. Kaplan said "being the victim of a crime is a life-changing experience that can result in serious trauma and long-term negative impacts, and true justice for victims and survivors means providing them with the help that they need to undo the harm that they've suffered. Crime Victim & Trauma Survivor Recovery Centers are all about helping crime victims and their families to put their lives back together and heal the wounds that the doctors can't. It's critical that we provide these services to everyone in our community who needs them, and I'm grateful for the partnership of Assemblywoman Judy Griffin in this effort to do so. By helping victims of crime and their families to recover from their traumatic experience, we can stop the cycle of crime and violence, prevent them from being victimized again, and give them a chance to get on living their lives."
According to the Alliance for Safety and Justice, 1 out of 4 Americans report having been a victim of a crime in the past 10 years, with half of those being victims of a violent crime. Despite these terrible statistics, 2 out of 3 victims of a crime do not receive recovery help after the incident, and 8 out of 10 experience challenges recovering from crime, including emotional trauma.
Crime Victim & Trauma Survivor Recovery Centers are a model that has been proven in other states to be safe and reliable, and their evidence-based approach can be replicated across different communities with consistent success. These innovative Centers provide wraparound services and practical assistance to victims of crime, including case management, home visits, mental health services, assistance accessing safe housing, assistance filing victims compensation claims, help navigating the criminal justice system, liaising with law enforcement, and more. The centers provide free assistance to those who have experienced violent crime, including victims of gun violence, sexual assault, domestic violence, human trafficking and hate crimes, and those whose family member was assaulted or killed. (Watch "What's a Trauma Recovery Center" from the Alliance for Safety and Justice by clicking here)
Cindy Scott, Executive Director of The Safe Center LI, said "The Safe Center is the leading provider of victim services on Long Island and the only provider addressing sexual assault, domestic violence, human trafficking, elder and child abuse. The root cause of everything from adverse health outcomes to entanglement in the criminal justice system is undiagnosed and untreated trauma. Addressing traumatic exposure through a comprehensive service and education model like The Safe Center’s would pave the way for a safer, stronger Long Island and we applaud Senator Kaplan and Assemblywoman Griffin’s efforts to create regional Trauma Centers."
- Appropriate $10 million to create five regional crime victim and trauma survivor recovery centers in New York ensuring geographic coverage for all New Yorkers. These centers will focus on helping individuals who have been a victim of a violent crime, including individuals who have suffered gunshot wounds; been a victim of sexual assault; been a victim of domestic violence; been a victim of human trafficking; been a victim of a hate crime; or had a family member assaulted or killed.
- Services to be offered shall include but not be limited to: trauma-informed clinical case management; evidence-based individual, group and family psychotherapy; crisis intervention; medication management; legal advocacy; assistance with filing police reports and accessing victim compensation funds; mental health services; help with relocation of an individual when safety is threatened; and transportation to and from medical appointments, court dates, and other related services.
- Services are to be free of charge, and each crime victim and trauma survivor recovery center shall work with community partners to educate the local community to be more trauma informed.