Long-Awaited Trauma Recovery Center to Provide Free Essential Services to Crime Victims, Improve Public Safety, and Help End Cycles of Trauma
This is Critical Step in Launching a TRC and Represents Years of Advocacy by Austin Crime Victims
AUSTIN, Texas – Crime victims and public safety advocates celebrated the Austin City Council’s critical vote on Thursday directing the City Manager to present options and recommendations on Texas’ first Trauma Recovery Center (TRC), which will provide free healing and recovery services to victims and their families. The resolution, passed with broad support, 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.
Crime victims said the passage is a major step in their years-long effort to implement proven public safety solutions that tackle the root causes of crime and prevent future victimization.
“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.”
Watson is one of more than 9,000 Texas crime survivors with Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice, which led efforts to bring the life-changing free service to Austin. Last September, members of the group sent an open letter to the Austin City Council, urging lawmakers to fund the city’s first TRC. It was just one of the many actions in an advocacy effort by crime survivors that has spanned more than three years and included lobby visits, petitions, public events, testimony, and other calls for a TRC in Austin.
“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.”
Austin joins a growing list of cities to adopt this transformative victims-first solution to crime. There are currently 39 TRCs across the United States, with more expected in coming years as communities seek proven solutions for public safety.
Trauma recovery centers offer free, comprehensive support to crime victims, 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.
ABOUT THE ALLIANCE FOR SAFETY AND JUSTICE
The Alliance for Safety and Justice is a national organization that aims to win new safety priorities in states across the country. It partners with leaders to advance state reform through networking, coalition building, research, education, and advocacy. It also brings together diverse crime survivors to advance policies that help communities most harmed by crime and violence, as part of Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice – its national network of over 90,000 crime survivors, with thousands of members in Texas. For more information, visit https://allianceforsafetyandjustice.org.