Violent Crime Victim Services was born out of the violent death of one of the daughters of Mr. Lew Cox, the organization's founder and executive director. This even eventually moved Mr. Cox to reach out to the homicide bereaved. Recognizing the significance of the loss after a loved one is murdered, Mr. Cox promised co-victims of homicide help to cope with the aftermath of the crime - to treat them with compassion and dignity – to help them identify and meet their most important needs related to their physical, emotional and spiritual losses – to provide them with information about their statutory and constitutional rights, as well as advocacy to help them implement those rights, the right to be present at all proceedings related to their loved one’s cases, and to provide them with information about crime victims compensation.
The necessity of homicide victim support programs is largely due to the high volume of violent crime. Nationwide, homicide is the third highest cause of death of individuals under age 40. Grief associated with a homicidal death can create a prolonged critical emotional danger in surviving family members and friends. A disproportionate number of children, adolescents, and young adults must adjust to this tragedy every year. How can we fulfill the needs to this population of people? We cannot do it alone. In a nation where nearly everyone knows someone who has been victimized, or they themselves have be touched by crime, we must pursue avenues that engage and involve everyone across the nation – in communities large and small, of every culture and race, religion and ethnicity – to join in our efforts. When one person is hurt by a violent crime, its effects touch us all.
The dedicated work of the staff, of so many victim/survivors, and volunteer advocates at Violent Crime Victim Services have helped touch the lives of hundreds of co-victims of homicide. Still, with all this effort, Mr. Cox realizes that we need to secure more resources and to meet victims’ increasing needs in a comprehensive and consistent manner. Violent Crime Victim Services does not cease its efforts to see that every co-victim of homicide receives all their rights and services necessary to aid in their recovery.