Victims of violent crime in Ohio need more support, advocates say

Landress Luckey of Toledo holds a photo of her daughter Laura Luckey during a gathering of crime survivors and families of crime victims from across Ohio at the Survivors Speak Ohio press conference and a vigil with elected officials at the Statehouse in Columbus, Ohio. Graham Stokes for Ohio Capital Journal

Landress Luckey held up two photos Wednesday morning in the atrium of the Ohio Statehouse – one of his daughter Laura Luckey and the other of Laura’s friend. The two young women had died of violence.

Luckey stood alongside six other women holding tealights in front of a few hundred people at the annual Survivors Speak Ohio event. Many people wiped their eyes while holding a candle, which represented survivors of crime and victims of violent crime.

“I lit my candle for all the survivors of parents who lost their children to violence,” Luckey, from Toledo, said.

The other women on the podium lit their candles in honor of various groups of people: those who have lost children to gun violence, survivors of childhood sexual assault and abuse, survivors of sexual assault, survivors of human trafficking and survivors of domestic violence.

Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice, a national network of crime survivors, organized the event and speakers called on lawmakers to expand employment and housing protections for victims after violent crime. There are currently no bills related to either of these issues in the legislation.

State Representative Tavia Galonski, D-Akron, speaks to survivors of crime and families of victims of crime from across Ohio gathered for the press conference and vigil of survivors speak about the Ohio at the Statehouse in Columbus, Ohio. Graham Stokes for Ohio Capital Journal “We all need a safer Ohio”

“We all need a safer Ohio,” said state Rep. Tavia Galonski, D-Akron. “Protecting jobs and housing for survivors can bring a level of stability to people’s lives so they can heal properly, mourn their loved ones, and ensure their own safety.”

Haleigh Young, a survivor of childhood sexual abuse and human trafficking, has expressed her desire to see job and housing protections in Buckeye State.

“Ohio can do more to ensure survivors have access to and are eligible for unemployment benefits after being victims of violent crime,” Young said. “They can ensure that when employees are hospitalized or seek treatment after being the victim of a violent crime, they are not at risk of deportation and that they have a place to come home to when they do. are done with that.”

At least 23 states have laws that ensure survivors can take limited unpaid leave after a violent crime and at least 27 states have laws that allow survivors to break their lease early after a violent crime without financial consequences, Young said.

“These laws allow people to get the help and services they need and to be safe as they try to recover,” she said.

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed into law Senate Bill 36 in 2021, which lowers barriers to the state’s victim compensation program. The law went into effect on March 2.

Where are the eight trauma recovery centers in Ohio?

Ohio has eight trauma recovery centers, but the centers are located near major cities, leaving some parts of the state without trauma centers.

“There are a lot of other areas in Ohio that need those spaces as well,” said Elisa Bradley of Lima. “So eight is good, but more is needed.”

The eight Trauma Recovery Centers are —

Galonski and other advocates said they hope the state can get more money for trauma recovery centers.

“We need more funding to support existing trauma recovery centers and to establish more of them in our communities here in Ohio to help ourselves and our families heal and recover from abuse,” said Dyesha Darby, a crime survivor and Ohio State Officer for Crime Survivors for Safety. and Justice.

Read more stories from the Ohio Capital Journal here.

Follow Mahoning Matters on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

(EDITORS NOTE: Get the latest Mahoning Valley news delivered to your inbox weekday mornings. Sign up here for our free daily newsletter.)


Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *