Community picnic highlights services available for victims of crime

Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - More often than not, victims of violent crimes don't know whom to turn to for help.

"Families sometimes feel alone, and they're scared." Director of East Baton Rouge Victim Services Kristen Raby said.

The East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney's office, in partnership with the Baton Rouge Area Violence Elimination program (BRAVE), hosted a crime victims picnic to get the word out about organizations ready to lend a hand.

Jane Wood, Director of the East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office Crime Victims division says they want victims to "maintain as much of a healthy life as possible" after dealing with a tragedy that involved a family member.

Organizers of the event say the majority of services available; like counseling, group therapy or legal services, are available to people affected by a crime, directly or indirectly, are free of charge.

"Our main goal is to help the victim and if we can't do it, we will know an agency that can, or we will make the initial contact for that victim," said Wood.

Also among those groups offering support is Mother's Against Drunk Driving, more commonly known as MADD.

"Everybody is a victim," said Rhonda Wilson, who lost her daughter in 2007 to a drunk driver. She says even though her daughter didn't lose her life due to a violent crime, all victims feel the same pain and need the same support.

Kirsten Raby, Capital Area Regional Director of Sexual Trauma Awareness & Response (STAR) says their organization, which supports victims of sexual abuse is, "In place to make sure that people have help, that they have people in their corner and a place to turn when they need more."

If you or someone you know are a victim of a violent crime and are seeking help or support, please visit the following links:

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