Hundreds of Crime Survivors from Across the State Call for Reforms to Help Victims Heal, End Cycles of Crime, While Honoring Loved Ones Lost to Violence
Survivors Applaud Passage of HB 2055 (Probation Credits), Which Passed the House Today on a 59-0 Bipartisan Floor Vote
PHOENIX  – More than a hundred crime survivors and families of murdered Arizonians crowded the state capitol today to urge lawmakers to expand support for crime victims and make communities safer. Crime survivors were joined by elected officials at the second annual Survivors Speak Arizona – organized by Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice (CSSJ) – with families holding photos of murdered loved ones and advocating for public safety reforms.Arizona members of CSSJ are leading the fight for historic safety reforms in the state. Most recently, they helped secure two major legislative wins: HB 2604, which expands protections for domestic violence victims and HB 2594, which lays the groundwork for establishing trauma recovery centers.“A violent crime isn’t over the moment it ends. Healing is a journey that can take years – one that no one should have to do alone,” said Celina Meadows, crime survivor and member of Arizona Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice, who escaped an abusive marriage. “We urge Arizona leaders to continue their efforts to begin to put victims and communities most harmed by violence first. Together, we can ensure all crime victims have access to the services and resources they need to rebuild safe, stable lives.”In an emotional press conference and vigil, Celina Meadows and other survivors with CSSJ called for elected officials to fund the state’s first trauma recovery center and improve the victim compensation program to help crime victims on the road to recovery after experiencing violence.According to a statewide survey of Arizona crime victims, four in 10 Arizonans have been a victim of a crime in the last ten years.Many victims reported suffering from physical and mental trauma, and financial hardship as a result of their victimization. Seven out of ten crime victims reported having experienced anxiety or stress that interfered with their well-being.
  • The majority of crime victims said they wanted, but did not receive financial assistance, counseling, medical assistance, or any other victim service.
  • One in four victims said they had to take time away from work or school to recover from the incident. Of the victims that needed time off, a third lost a job because of it.
  • Four out of ten victims wanted to relocate to new housing as a result of the crime they experienced, but 40% were not able to relocate.
  • By a six-to-one margin, crime victims say that investing in strong, healthy communities is the best way to reduce crime, compared with increasing funding for prisons and jails.
“Cycles of violence cannot be broken without support,” said Aswad Thomas, gun violence survivor and national director of Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice. “That’s why Arizona crime survivors are fighting for public safety solutions that prioritize healing and address the root causes of crime.”This year, local members of Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice are continuing their push to make Arizona communities safer for all, supporting bipartisan bills and reforms to:
  • Fund the state’s first Trauma Recovery Center, a proven model that helps victims heal in the wake of violent crime
  • Remove barriers to occupational licenses for people with sealed or set aside records
  • Expanding probation credit opportunities for low-level crimes
ABOUT CRIME SURVIVORS FOR SAFETY AND JUSTICECrime Survivors for Safety and Justice is a national network of crime survivors, including more than 3,000 members across Arizona, joining together to create healing communities and shape public safety policy. With 180,000 members and growing, including chapters and leaders across the country, Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice is building a movement to promote public safety policies that help the people and communities most harmed by violence. The organization is a flagship project of Alliance for Safety and Justice.For more information, visit: