“Whoever is in the distress can call me… I will come running wherever they are.”
“My first thoughts are that I should not let people down, that I should support them and love them” Quotes by Princess Diana
Princess Diana’s words ring true to the ears of all those who have experienced strife and devastating loss in their lives…. She certainly did her part…and made her mark, after which her life was tragically struck down at age 36 on August 31, 1997. [For Ladyjustice’s personal account of this time in history, please see: https://donnagore.com/2011/05/23/lady-diana-%E2%80%93-revisited/ ]
Such is the essence of what all human beings seek and need after traumatic loss… comfort and a way to fill the void. Although we all cope with it differently, (or not), those who have the very unfortunate experience of violence death via homicide are a special class of grievers. As we recently learned, very few states across the U.S. are equipped to provide expert peer support for having traveled the same road, with an on-going non-profit specializing in emotional support, education and public awareness. The State of Connecticut is one of the few states that provide this service as a stand alone entity. Ladyjustice is very proud to say that she made her initial mark with this organization after the murder of her father in 1981. And…the rest is history as they say since 1983!
“Shattered Lives” showcased this fine organization with Jessica Norton, Crime Victim Advocate and spokesperson for Survivors of Homicide, Inc. http://www.survivorsofhomicide.com/Website/Home.htm on a recent broadcast. Please read the highlights and listen to the podcast here…. Pass on to others, for all 50 states need to follow suit!
- ANNOUNCEMENTS re Three Great People & Events: Jeff Mudgett; Dr. Dalal Akoury; Amy Crohn Santagata;
- Introduction to our guest: Jessica Norton;
- Discussion with Delilah of availability of state wide support group for homicide;
- Jessica talking about the few states who have unique support groups focusing on homicide:
- The historical perspective: What was it like in the early 1980’s?
- Dealing with the criminal justice system…still a huge challenge…
- Different versus better… a changing landscape…
- What is Jessica’s role and how do they differ with the other entities of crime victim services in Connecticut?
- Discussion of the newly formed Newtown support group;
- Audrey Carlson- Facilitator of the Newtown Group: Foundation started regarding the murder of her daughter, Elizabeth: http://elizabethannecarlsonscholarship.com/index.html
- Delilah asks about outreach to families in other states when referrals arrive;
- Another resource: Parents of Murdered Children: http://www.pomc.com/chapters.html ;
- Ladyjustice: “The Queen of Support Groups;”
- An introduction to the dynamics to the first meeting of a homicide support group;
- “The group that nobody wants to join…”
- Delilah asks about what to expect about how the group is run and what is expected from the survivor?
- Beginnings: Daily Meditations and Healings: http://www.amazon.com/Healing-After-Loss-Meditations-Working/dp/0380773384;
- Types of discussions within the group;
- Ladyjustice asks about the women coming versus men;
- Men who have lost wives and matching mentors;
- The “Voices Program” from the Department of Corrections- Cut from the Budget??
- Earning good time in manslaughter cases…. changed within the last two years in Connecticut;
- Serving 85% of their sentences… four or five days off their sentences per month- determined by the prison officials;
- Removing good time and then reinstating it…
- “I just want to make sure they understand what’s happening;”
- Creating victim impact statements… a healing process;
- Court victim advocates’ role;
- Jessica serves over 300 clients per year;
- SOH Charity Golf Tournament: the 30th Year…
- Raffle Items, Buffet, Tee Sponsors, PGA Golfer, Music, Volunteers Needed…
- Contact Information: http://www.survivorsofhomicide.com/Website/ContactUs.htm;
- 530 Silas Deane Highway 860.257.7388
Wethersfield, CT 06109;
- Selected Cold Cases of Interest in Connecticut: www.ctcoldcases.com.
- June 1, 2004, 16 year old Jessica Rose Keyworth; On May 30, she had taken a local train from Bridgeport, to Waterbury, CT and was not seen again; ‘Strangled and found in an abandoned building in Waterbury, CT; $50,000 Reward;
- March 7, 2006, at approximately 8:45 a.m., Kathy Hardy was the victim of an arson murder that occurred at her home in Branford; $50,000 Reward offered; http://www.nhregister.com/articles/2012/03/17/news/doc4f6557311e10f841842310.txt
- The importance of having enough evidence for a conviction: Example: Kathy Hardy Case;
- Interfacing with the Office of the Victim Advocate and the Office of the Victims of Crime;
- How donations are used….
- Parting comments…. Myths dispelled….
- More Resources: http://www.survivorsofhomicide.com/Website/Other%20Resources.htm
Questions from the Gallery:
- Where would you refer victims for support if you lived in South Carolina or elsewhere?
- Which states are active as a peer volunteer support group and are they all in person groups?
- What are the biggest challenges in 2013 regarding new crime victims they encounter?
- What is the most surprising element for new victims in learning about the criminal justice system?
- How does attitude play a role in the court system?
- How many support groups are available and where are they located?
- How does Jessica assist with referrals out of state?
- Why is there a stigma associated with homicide?
- What is the typical point of entry into the group?
- What are the guidelines of the group?
- What are some examples of manslaughter cases and eligibility of good time?
- What does Jessica do with victims within the court system?
- What activities are included in the upcoming July Golf Tournament?
- Which Cold Cases need promotion?
- What does Survivors of Homicide Inc. need?
The comments expressed on this website or on the broadcasts of Shattered Lives do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of the hosts, producers, or other guests.”