Hundreds of Crime Survivors from Across the State Demand Reforms to Help Victims Heal, End Cycles of Crime, While Honoring Loved Ones Lost to Violence

Survivors and Elected Officials Call for New Solutions to Address Crime

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Hundreds of crime survivors and families of murdered Floridians gathered at 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 Survivors Speak Florida – an annual event organized by Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice (CSSJ) – with families holding photos of murdered loved ones and advocating for public safety reforms.  

In an emotional press conference, CSSJ members and survivors from across Florida called for the following proposals to expand protections for crime victims and their families and pass reforms they say will help break cycles of crime:

  • Funding for expanded trauma recovery services in Jacksonville to help crime victims heal from violence appropriations request introduced by Rep. Wyman Duggan (R-Jacksonville) and Sen. Tracie Davis (D-Jacksonville).
  • Increased access to sealing low-level misdemeanor records so people can get back to work – SB 1290 and HB 1039, sponsored by Sen. Tracie Davis (D-Jacksonville) and Rep. LaVon Bracy Davis (D-Orlando).
  • Improving Florida’s probation system to prioritize safety – SB 1154 and HB 1241, sponsored by Rep. John Snyder (R-Stuart) and Sen. Corey Simon (R-Tallahassee). 

“We are urging our elected leaders to remove barriers to healing for crime victims and create pathways to jobs and housing for folks with an old legal record – together, these essential investments will help build safe communities across our state,” said Elliott Saunders, member of Florida Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice.

Florida members of CSSJ have been leading the fight for historic safety reforms in the state. In 2023, CSSJ championed the passage of HB 233, better known as Curtis’ Law, that ensures families of homicide victims have access to basic information about their cases and investigations. CSSJ also helped pass SB 376, to ensure that arrest records without convictions are sealed at both the state and local level, opening opportunities for those with an old arrest to move forward with their lives, support their families and build solid futures. 

“CSSJ members here in Florida and across the country are making their voices heard in support of effective and just public safety solutions that put victims first and prioritize healing and prevention,” said Aswad Thomas, national director of Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice. 

Survivor Speaks Florida kicks off the first of dozens of Survivor Speaks events this year to transform public safety and justice policy in states across the nation. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Victims of Crime Act, the 30th anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act, and the 20th anniversary of the Crime Victims Rights Act. These huge milestones come at a time when crime victims call for change, as Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice (CSSJ) spearhead the nation’s largest ever gathering of crime victim-advocates, the Crime Survivors Speak March on Washington this September. 



Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice is a national network of crime survivors, with more than 13,600 members across Florida, joining together to create healing communities and shape public safety policy. With more than 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 crime and gun violence. For more information, visit: https://cssj.org/