The TRC will provide free healing and recovery services to crime victims and their families. The Alliance for Safety and Justice says that crime victims see the passage of this resolution as a major step in the effort to implement proven public safety solutions that tackle the root causes of crime and prevent future victimization.
"After experiencing violence, a person’s physical wounds are the most visible signs of their trauma, but beyond them a victim often must handle the severe mental and financial toll of violent crime. That’s where our Trauma Recovery Center will come in," said Terra Tucker, Texas State Director of the Alliance for Safety and Justice. "After years of advocating and testifying, I am so proud that Austin’s most underserved crime survivors are one step closer to having access to trauma-informed therapy and case management services. Survivors made this possible, and today’s win will mean improving public safety and making big strides toward ending cycles of crime in Austin."
Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice is a national network of crime survivors that work together to create healing communities and shape public safety policy. The network's Austin chapter, which is made up of nearly 9,000 crime survivors, sent an open letter to the Austin City Council last September urging lawmakers to fund the state's first TRC. In the letter, the group explained that TRCs are crucial to ensure crime victims receive the resources needed to heal and be safe.
"As a survivor of violent crime, I know all too well how unaddressed trauma harms a person’s wellbeing and future," said Clarence Watson, an Austin-based leader of Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice. "Without support, many crime victims go on to suffer mental illness, joblessness, homelessness, and more. Now, thanks to the City Council, our communities will finally have the support we need to heal. This is the first step in the long road to recovery for so many survivors in Austin."
Austin will join a growing list of cities to adopt this transformative solution to crime that puts the victims first. There are currently 39 TRCs across the U.S., with more expected in coming years as communities seek proven solutions for public safety.
Trauma Recovery Centers provide free, healing, comprehensive support including:
- Counseling and other post-trauma emotional support
- Help filing claims for victims' compensation
- Support in working with law enforcement and prosecutors
- Assistance with landlords and employers to help victims understand their rights and remain economically stable as they heal
Crime survivors who are treated at a TRC are 56 percent more likely to return to work, and sexual assault victims receiving TRC services are nearly 70 percent more likely to file a police report. Advocates say that, by providing essential services when vulnerable community members need them most, TRCs build trust, spread healing, and help stabilize and strengthen communities.
To learn more about trauma recovery centers, please visit www.traumarecoverycentermodel.org.
The resolution requires the City Manager to provide the City Council with an update on the feasibility of the operation and funding of a TRC in Austin within the next 60 days.
The full text of the resolution can be read here.
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