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New Online Help for Crime Survivors, Friends and Family

Family members want to support crime survivors, but often aren't sure what to do or say. (sgarton/morguefile)
Family members want to support crime survivors, but often aren't sure what to do or say. (sgarton/morguefile)
December 22, 2015

PORTLAND, Ore. - Getting through the holidays comes with special challenges for people who have been crime victims, and there's a new, Oregon-based website packed with information to assist them.

"Help. Hope. Heal" is an online guide for family members who aren't sure what to do or say to help a survivor of domestic violence or other crimes. It's a project of the Partnership for Safety and Justice, where Crime Survivors Program director Kerry Naughton said crime victims need to know the people closest to them truly care and are willing to listen.

"It's so important to get support from the people who they already know and love," she said, "because we know most crime victims and survivors will reach out to family members or friends first, before reaching out to law enforcement or any of the social services that may be available."

According to the guide, telling a person to "be strong" or telling them how they should or shouldn't feel aren't helpful approaches. Instead, it suggests reinforcing that they are loved, that you believe them, and that being victimized was not their fault.

Naughton described some of the contents of the site.

"We provide a list of things that are helpful to know, helpful things to do and helpful things to say to your loved ones who survived crime and violence," she said. "We also provide a lot of resources, both in Oregon and across the country, and some just basic tips for self-care."

The website, at helphopeguide.info, also includes information about short-term and long-term reactions that crime victims may experience.

Chris Thomas, Public News Service - OR