Holiday Challenges for Survivors

 By Cameron Knauerhaze

 For many, the holidays represent a time of cheer and celebration. Families’ gather and friends frolic. The workday gets shorter and the shopping is plentiful. However, what about those who have faced the personal challenge of being a crime victim or survivor? Can you imagine not waking up next to your spouse on Christmas because he was killed by a drunk driver; or, not being able to buy your children gifts because your money is going to medical bills from a domestic assault?

The intent of this article is not to put a damper on your festivities or to shame you into helping others. I am asking you to stop and think about those close to us who may need us the most this season. I applaud the global and national charity efforts this time of year, however, I guarantee you do not have to look far to help someone.

At Crime Survivors, a survivor wrote: My name is Jennie and I am a crime survivor. My case has been awaiting trial for 4 years. Sometimes I feel like just giving up so that I can move on with my life but then I think that if I don’t go to court then he will go free and will not be held responsible for what he has done. I have read other’s stories on your Facebook page and I see that I am not alone; there are actually people in my same situation. When I went to your Christmas party last year I met a good friend and we look forward to seeing each other again this year! I love that my children can feel special for that one-day. Thank you for your support!  

Support, and a time for her family to feel safe and comfortable is all she needed, and many of you made this possible. We at Crime Survivors hear these stories well too often. As we move into the holiday, we thank you for you continued support. It is you, our supporters that take care of real people like ‘Jennie’ and many others in our community that face a challenging holiday season.