SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — Two weeks after the downtown Sacramento shooting, some groups are urging state lawmakers to step up resources for crime victims.
A new study released on Monday shows many victims aren’t being provided with the services and compensation they need. That new study showed nearly half of the more than 700 crime victims surveyed say they weren’t offered restitution.
Crime victims FOX40 spoke with said the lack of resources and services means a lack of healing.
“I shouldn’t have to be speaking and being her voice, but this is the life forced upon me by the person who killed my daughter,” said Jenifer Redmond, whose daughter was murdered in 2020.
For grieving crime victims, the hurt is still intense.
“Our trauma does not go away. If anything, it gets worse,” said Marysa Morales, whose brother was killed by police violence.
The group called on state lawmakers to take action to make sure crime victims get the services and resources they need to heal from the violence.
“We are talking about expanding rights for victims. We are talking about ending discriminatory practices that render some people ineligible for services, and we are talking about making assistance flexible,” said Tinisch Hollins, executive director of Californians for Safety and Justice.
The Prosecutors Alliance of California released a survey of 711 crime victims. Of those surveyed 40% said they were not offered victim’s compensation; another 55% said they did not get counseling or mental health care services because they would’ve had to pay out of pocket and couldn’t afford it.
“Trying garlic ice cream and watching cooking shows to running for my life from an active shooter,” Megan Bull said.
Bull is a survivor of the Gilroy Garlic Festival mass shooting in 2019.
“I crumbled under the guilt of surviving and the all-consuming PTSD. I expected calls from officials or professionals with services and resources, but I was never contacted,” Bull said.
Some lawmakers promised to make sure the needs of crime victims are met through a series of bills they’re pushing this year.
The push includes more training for first responders, having more victim advocates available in district attorney’s offices, extending compensation to those who are victims of police brutality, and increasing protections for sexual assault survivors.
“If we really want true public safety, then survivors need to feel safe coming forward,” said state Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco.
At one point during the event, vaccine mandate protestors heckled some of the speakers.
Some of the victims said they were triggered by the yelling. Eventually, the protestors quieted, and some showed support for the victims who shared their stories.
“But I’m a fighter. I’m not just fighting for me. I’m fighting for everyone back here,” said Elaina Cora Smith, a survivor of domestic violence and sexual assault.
Lawmakers noted that many of the proposals to help crime victims are still in the early stages of the legislative process.