Before You Ring in the New Year…
2021 proved to be a trying time for VSS and victim services across the country. However, we here at VSS believe that there is still some time left to try and put a positive spin on a year that challenged us all.
We can’t do what we do without your support. Thank you to everyone who has rallied behind us and never gave up hope. Wishing you an abundance of health and happiness in the New Year!
You can donate online or send a check to:
P.O. Box 1949, Everett, WA, 98206
A FINAL NOTE…
***Names have been changed to protect client identity***
Jake’s home was recently destroyed when another tenant in his apartment complex set fire to it. A Victim Service Coordinator was able to assist Jake and his family navigate the judicial system and provided numerous resources to the family to help provide them with a measure of safety and security after such a traumatic event. A few months later, Jake’s business was then a target of arson. Jake’s place of business was also a gathering spot for many folks in his community, so the arson not only impacted the business owners, but also community members.
Because of the relationship VSS had previously built with Jake and his family, he reached back out to us for additional support after the second fire. With the ongoing support of VSS, Jake has decided to make repairs to his business and open it back up.
Put yourself in Jake’s shoes for a second… Imagine experiencing two back-to-back traumatic and unforeseen events, and losing all of your life’s work and sentimental belongings. Imagine having to start over with nothing but the clothes on your back. Do you know where you would go, whom you would call, what steps you would need to take to even begin searching for a new normal? Crime victims (survivors) have often experienced an ordeal that has changed their lives. It is not uncommon for a person to have intensified fears, and even a shattered faith in humankind post-victimization. The last thing a person wants to think about after a tragic experience is how to navigate the workings of an unfamiliar criminal justice system.
The 2020 annual crime report by the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs (WASPC) revealed that during a year of national turmoil marked by a pandemic with lockdowns, mass violence and protests; Washington State saw an overall spike in crime, with an increase of 47% in homicide, 14% in property crimes, 100% increase in manslaughter, and 131% in Fraud.
I recognize that in today’s world we are flooded with statistics about one thing or the next. I implore you, as you read this, to imagine that these are not just numbers. Each and every number that makes up these statistics is an INDIVIDUAL – a real person who has been hurt or harmed through no fault of their own. A person who woke up one day and carried on with their normal routine, just as most of us do, completely unaware that their lives were going to be turned upside down and changed forever. This person could be any of us, on any day, at any time.
The need for programs that exist to assist victims after experiencing personal tragedy is greater than ever!
Yet the victim services field is being challenged anew by a steadily increasing need for services and drastic funding cuts that necessitate innovative strategies, practices, and partnerships in order to continue providing professional and accessible victim-centered services. VSS’s work is an integral part of upholding justice for crime victims and ensuring that they receive the help they so urgently need.
YOU CAN HELP US CARRY OUT OUR MISSION