DETROIT – For victims of violent crimes, the impact of it often lingers for months, even years. That’s where a specialized group is aiming to step in to help lift up survivors and spur change in the community.
“We are the boots on the ground. CSSJ, the survivors that are coming together, are going to be the boots on the ground,” said Shari Ware, with Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice.
For Ware, this is personal.
“I really enjoy the work that I do. I don’t know what else I would be doing,” Ware said.
Ware is one of the leaders of the new Detroit chapter -- a chapter, many say is long overdue.
“Because of the crime and the violence in the city. We are the most harmed and the least helped. There are no resources for people who endure trauma. We just deal with it,” Ware said.
That’s why the organization launched the chapter. Its purpose is to further create healing communities and support survivors of crime. They also want to support legislative measures to reform the criminal justice system and provide more resources to crime survivors.
“I was victimized at the hand of my ex-husband, with two small children. I had to escape that marriage and go into hiding for two years,” Ware said.
But now and with the help of CSSJ, Ware is ready -- no more hiding.
“I can still say I’m a victim but I’m not. I have been victimized,” Ware said.