Meeting Needs in the Community
There are many organizations such as food pantries, shelters and clinics that help meet needs of people throughout the year. Some people experience a serious, violent crime like homicide. Many people in the metro Atlanta area know someone who has lost a loved one due to a horrific crime. The Vinings United Methodist Church has memorialized around 6,500 names of murder victims on large black walls. The holiday season is upon us, and this is the time where those loved ones taken too soon are missed the most. If you or someone you know is a victim of a crime, consider reaching out to Crime Victims Advocacy Council for support and guidance.
The Crime Victims Advocacy Council was organized in July 1989 under the guidance of an urban ministry program of the United Methodist Church to respond to the unmet needs of crime victims in our society. It responds to crime victims with understanding and help regardless of the victim’s race, sex, national origin or religious beliefs.
While CVAC is a Christian-based organization, it is nondenominational in its membership and support and serves all crime victims regardless of their faith. CVAC helps victims of crime by working with local, state and federal partners. CVAC offers assistance to everyone in the following areas:
CRISIS INTERVENTION – Assistance by phone and in person, in hospitals and in courtrooms, wherever victims need help.
SUPPORT GROUPS – CVAC provides a safe, supportive place where victims of any type of crime can find understanding and help through sharing their tragedies and triumphs, their pain and healing with one another and can begin to put their lives back together. A multitude of emotions can leave victims feeling overwhelmed and extremely isolated. Through group discussions, participants learn how to avoid becoming immobilized by depression, discover methods to cope with fear and anxiety and learn coping skills to handle the many tasks and decisions they face. Support groups meet Tuesdays at the Vinings United Methodist Church from 7:30-9 p.m.
ASSISTANCE IN FILING VICTIMS’ COMPENSATION – The Georgia Crime Victims Compensation Program reimburses victims for such things as hospital costs, funeral services and lost wages. CVAC staff and volunteers assist victims in completing the compensation forms and provide a thorough explanation to victims on how to file the forms correctly to expedite payment by minimizing mistakes, which delay claim processing.
EDUCATION REGARDING THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM – CVAC staff explains to victims how the court and prison systems work in order to prevent the confusion and surprise which frustrates and re-victimizes victims. CVAC assists victims in preparing victim impact statements, finding out the status of their cases and accessing state and local resources for crime victims.
INFORMATION AND APPROPRIATE REFERRALS FOR THE STATE OF GEORGIA – CVAC offers county-specific referrals for services victims need.
Give the helpline a call at 770.333.9254 to find out what your first steps should be. The legal system can be difficult to navigate, as well as the emotional loss of a loved one.
Crime Victims Advocacy Council
3101 Paces Mill Road, SE, Atlanta, Georgia