CMN, murder victims' family members, and crime victim advocates gathered for a discussion of victim-survivor accompaniment in honor of National Crime Victims' Rights Week.
Together, we unpacked the many ways that Catholic parish and ministry leaders can support victims and survivors of crime through meaningful processes that repair harm and honor the human dignity of all involved.
In the aftermath of crime, a person’s faith community is often one of the first places they turn. In 13 years of relationships with victims of crime and their family members, CMN has heard countless stories of victims and families being supportively embraced — or painfully ostracized — by their faith communities.
Trauma is personal, and each person’s journey is unique. Restorative practices and approaches can help meet victim-survivors’ needs for recovery, safety, meaning-making, and reintegration. In commemoration of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, join CMN, murder victims’ family members, and crime victim advocates for a discussion on The Dos and Don’ts of Accompanying Victim-Survivors through a Restorative Process.
Julio Escobar Julio Escobar coordinates the San Francisco Archdiocese Restorative Justice Ministry, which supports homicide victims and all those suffering from incarceration, including family members and those suffering from ICE deportations. Julio founded the San Dimas Community, a non-profit organization focused on the rehabilitation of vulnerable and new migrant youth, youth in gangs, and those addicted to drugs. The latest initiative implemented by Julio is Excell Network, a scholarship aid program for formerly incarcerated students being launched in October 2020.
Anne Seymour is a co-founder and Senior Advisor to the Washington, DC-based non-profit, Justice Solutions, and directs of its “Fairness, Dignity & Respect for Crime Survivors” project. She has 36 years of experience specializing in criminal and juvenile justice, restorative justice, crime victims' rights and services, and community safety. She served as Director of Public Affairs for the National Office of Mothers Against Drunk Driving and, from 1985 to 1993, as co-founder and Director of Communications of the National Victim Center (now National Center for Victims of Crime).
Heather Thompson serves as a volunteer circle keeper through the DC Peace Team and facilitates workshops on circle keeping, victim-offender dialogues, anti-racism, and other restorative practices. She has helped develop the restorative justice training curriculum and tailors it to the needs of the community. Heather lost her brother, David, to murder in 1995. In 2019, she engaged in a restorative justice process with the individual responsible for her brother’s death.