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STOP THE VIOLENCE IN OUR COMMUNITIES

WELCOME
WASHINGTON STATE VICTIMS RIGHTS
CRIME VICTIMS RESOURCES
SURVIVORS - LAW ENFORCEMENT RELATIONS
SOLUTIONS
FIREARMS
FEATURED WEBSITE GANG PREVENTION SERVICES
LEGISLATION
WANTED
CONTACT

Anna Pelayo when she was 8 yrs old
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SURVIVOR - LAW ENFORCEMENT RELATIONS
 
In assisting families through the grief and loss period of homicide we have seen different attitudes in law enforcement. The majority of law enforcement we have encountered are professional, educated and compassionate. While others who feel pressure can project that onto the families causing further heartache, anger and uncertainty; making it almost impossible to trust or communicate.
 
How survivors are approached and told of the event which took their loved ones life and how they are treated throughout the investigation is crucial. Law enforcement (LE) can make a positive impact on the co-victims and help their case, or a negative impact sending them into a downward spiral causing them to withdrawal or to over react.
 
LE should be able to provide community resources to survivors. These will help them with crime victims comp., mental health and any other assistance needed.
 
There are positive ways of communicating. (tips from Parents of Murdered Children website are linked below)
 
It is understandable and a must that information in cases be kept from the media to protect the prosecutors case and protect co-victims. The families as well will be told some, not all of a case. This can be explained to survivors in a reasonable manner.
 
We suggest families appoint one family member (friend) who can be the contact person for that family communicating with LE and media. Victims are looking for answers such as, what will come next? How can I be safe and who do I contact if I have information or need help? A LE contact telephone number is vital to the co-victim.
 
Families with unsolved murders are sometimes looked at as suspects. LE always starts with the inside family and works out. This is understandable. Cooperation is key so families can be cleared and cases can move forward. If you feel threatened or falsely accused you may request an attorney.
 
Co-victim can ask for a meeting with the prosecutor and ask any questions they have. In setting up such meetings we have seen all the players present, prosecutors and LE. Although all questions could not be answered, they were heard and treated with concern. When the family left they knew what was coming next.
 
Most all County Prosecutors Offices have a Crime Victims Advocate who can help explain the case to you. Understand time they spend on co-victims is limited because of case loads. This is when the local Community Advocate which most mental health offices have can help. See our For Victims and Survivors page.
 
 
Families should also remember that it takes special people with huge hearts to do this type of law enforcement work. One must have patients and respect for everyone working the case. Know that it takes time to put cases together and locate perpetrators. Cases are not usually solved in 48 hours.
 
~Peace
Christina Pelayo
 
 
 

~Suggestions From Survivors That Might Improve the Relationship Between the Victim's Family and Law Enforcement Personnel Improve.
 
~How Death Notifications can be done with compassion and sensitivity 
 
~The Way Identification of the Body is Handled.
 
~How Were You Notified About the Death of Your Loved One?
 

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