Crime Survivors Programs, Services and Events

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Victim Emergency Bags – VEBs were created out of the direct experience of Patricia, founder and CEO of Crime Survivors, Inc. After Patricia’s survival, she found herself in the hospital, helpless and hurting, and without a single resource to begin healing. She didn’t have a toothbrush and she didn’t know where to turn for help. The VEBs were created to provide essential care items for the first few days as well as resource and referral information to keep individuals on the path to hopeful healing.

Resource Guides – Resource Guides provide an easy way for first responders to ensure that crime victims know where to turn once law enforcement and other personnel have wrapped up their work in and around the scene of a crime. Many survivors will have a long and painful road to healing and they will need a strong, committed group of supporters around them. The Resource Guides help survivors in seeking out these support groups, resources, and referrals.

Let’s Meet Officer/Deputy Books break down many of the questions and fears children may have towards law enforcement first responders and create fun and educational way for kids to understand the process of investigating crimes and how to help law enforcement do their jobs.

What’s Happening in Court Books assist children in understanding the criminal justice system in a fun and informative way and help to take the fear and questions away from the process.

Self-Defense & Safety Classes are not only designed to provide invaluable training for men and women; they are also developed to empower those who are seeking healing from past victimization. There is nothing like the knowledge that comes from knowing you can defend yourself.

Legal Support / Parole Hearings – One of the most essential services we can provide crime victims and survivors is the ability to represent themselves or loves ones in court or during parole hearings. Crime Survivors assists victims and survivors in paying for travel and legal assistance for these instances.

Survivors Hope Fund – Items such as travel, bus passes, and lunch reimbursement are provided to victims and survivors as these expenses are not covered by the state programs and assistance. We believe victims and survivors should not have to cover these expenses as they did not request to be put in these circumstances to begin with.

Service Providers Roundtable – These roundtables are provided throughout the year to bring psychologists, lawyers, victim advocates and others together for training and workshops that focus on the needs and resources for crime survivors. Hosted locally, these roundtables provide information on the newest and most innovative efforts to assist survivors and victims’.

Support Groups – A dream of Crime Survivors, Inc. is to host monthly support groups for the sole purpose of bringing fellow survivors together to share their stories of moving forward and ensure a sense of community in that none of us are alone in our struggles. These support groups would also provide opportunities for victims and survivors to connect with other resources they may need to thrive in the days ahead.

Parent’s Nights – Provided for parents as well as anyone who may provide supervision and oversight to children, Parent’s Nights bring together experts from many diverse non-profits to educate and inform participants in how to protect children. Topics include, but are not limited to, sexual abuse, drug and alcohol abuse, internet safety, and violence prevention.

Law Enforcement Training/Education – Patricia Wenskunas travels throughout California to ensure that law enforcement recruits and trainees understand what victims of crime are thinking and feeling in those crucial minutes when first responders arrive on scene. Patricia’s talk is personal as she knows what it’s like to survive a brutal attack and live through the aftermath. Patricia calls on all first responders to provide care and empathy and additional resources for when victims are left to seek support on their own.

Speaking – If there’s one thing Patricia can do, it’s talk! Patricia speaks from a heart of experience and faith and no one is left unaffected. Patricia will share not only what it was like to have been in her shoes, but from the experience of survivors who contact her to this day.

Advocacy – Similar to the training, education and speaking Patricia provides, she does not shy away from speaking truth to justice. Patricia will advocate for the rights of victims, survivors, and others — even if it means alienating people in high positions. Patricia speaks from her heart and from her own experience as a survivor. She is a staunch advocate, throughout the state, for the needs and resources of crime survivors everywhere.

Case Management – Part of the Crime Survivors budget in FY 2013 is to provide for a case manager who can track and follow up with survivors throughout California. This position will provide guidance, resources and referrals to everyone after victimization. Ultimately, the case manager will provide guidance to advocacy, legal support, self-defense, and mental health services to ensure that every victim or survivor ultimately survives and thrives.

Holiday Programs:
Easter Egg Hunt and Ham Basket Program
Halloween Harvest and Pumpkin Carving Night
Thanksgiving Meal Baskets and Bowling Night
Survivors Gift Drive & Elf’s Holly Day and Turkey Meal Boxes

Our Holiday Programs are planned and organized to give crime victims, survivors, and families the opportunity to enjoy the fun and traditions of the seasons surrounded by people who care for their healing. Each program also provides those who are underserved or experiencing challenges with financial self-sufficiency with food and other resources such as gifts, and gift cards.

Crime Survivors Awards Banquet – The Awards Banquet has become an annual event and opportunity to celebrate those individuals and organizations (private, public, and law/criminal justice related) who have partnered and collaborated with us to ensure that the rights and resources available to crime victims and survivors continues to grow. Now in its 10th year, more than 500 individuals will attend this evening of fun and thankfulness.

Survive and Thrive Run Walk Health & Safety Expo – This annual 5k event brings together crime victims and survivors, volunteers, law enforcement personnel and participants from throughout southern California for a day of food, fun, and fitness. This year we are expecting 1,500 walkers and runners; over 100 vendors; and tons of free food!