“National Crime Victims’ Rights Week,” NCVRW, is an annual commemoration in the United States that promotes victims’ rights and services. The week starts an award ceremony held in Washington, D.C., in which individuals and organizations that demonstrate outstanding service in supporting victims and victim services are recognized. This year, it runs the week of April 2-8, 2017.
President Ronald Reagan established the first Crime Victims’ Rights Week in 1981 as a part of an expanding initiative to provide for victims of crimes. It began as Executive Order 12360 in 1982. In doing this, the “President’s Task Force on Victims’ of Crime” was established. The Office sponsors Crime Victims’ Rights Week for Victims of Crime (OVC). Several states and localities conduct local events to mark the week, as do private victim rights organizations.
NCVRW’s theme this year will be “Strength. Resilience. Justice.” It reflects a vision of what we hope for the future. We want a future in which all victims are strengthened by the response they receive. If the response is slow or noncommittal, victims are re-victimized. When a co-victim of homicide is not supported, given any type of information, or recognition, it compounds their anxiety and grief. To them, it devalues the life of their loved one. As a support group, we try to educate co-victims on the procedures of police departments. One of the hardest things for new co-victims is that police departments cannot give out the information on an unsolved case. The most important information we can give to co-victims is to let them know that the integrity of a crime investigation is monumental. A high percentage of murder victims are related or thought to be a friend of the person who murdered them. In addition, police departments cannot be sure if a person will not tell other people that could hinder the investigation or prosecution.
Having agencies that provide victims’ assistance is pertinent to a co-victim of homicide. Sadly, I wish there were more Parents Of Murdered Children support groups available. We do provide telephone friends and newsletters to all of our members. We also do not charge co-victims for anything that we do. At meetings, co-victims have a chance to ask questions from others who have gone through similar experiences. Learning from others who have gone through the justice system is valuable. Talking to others who have traveled the same road reinforces why we feel as they do. At a POMC meeting, we ask that members do not repeat what other people say during a meeting. In over thirty years of attending meetings, we have never had a problem with members repeating personal information from other members.
The same applies to victims assistant workers. Confidentially is most important. As a member goes through the justice system, solving their case is imperative. As co-victims, protecting our case is the most important thing we can do to solve it. If we are asked by the district attorney or detectives not to discuss or give out specific information, we need to oblige them.
Though we are a support group for co-victims of homicide, this April, we are standing up for all victims of crimes. It is important that all victims of crimes receive the support they deserve and are entitled to. Twenty million crimes are committed each year in the United States. These crimes affect individuals and communities. Sadly, lesser crimes can end up being a homicide. A robbery gone badly can end up being a homicide. The same is for drunk driving, rape, or domestic violence. A rapist not arrested for his or her crime may end up murdering someone during the course of raping again. A drunk driver can end up causing a vehicular homicide. Also, domestic violence can escalate into a homicide.
Statistics and trends in homicide can also be confusing. As a society, we all must be concerned about increases in homicide and other crimes since there are still too many taking place. From the 2017 National Crime Victims’ Rights Week Resource Guide, in Detroit, Michigan, --a city with consistently high homicide numbers—increased less than 1% and is the lowest rate in almost five years. In Baltimore, the murder and non-negligent homicide rate increased by 64 % from 2014, the sharpest increase in the 30 largest U.S. cities. By comparison, other large cities—including Austin, San Antonio, San Jose, and Seattle—saw decreases in their homicide rate for 2015. Research suggests that the 2015 increases in homicide rates are related to higher unemployment, lower per capita income, and lover school success in these cities. Statistics need to be analyzed in order for people to get a true understanding of what is really happening. Making a blanket statement to cover all cities using the statistics from one city can be misleading.
Larges Cities with Highest Murder Rates
Largest Cities with Lowest Murder Rates
San Antonio, TX
San Diego, CA
San Jose, CA
Other statistics from the 2015:
National Crime Victims Rights’ Week Resource Guide are as follows:
In 2015, men committed 62% of murders and were 79 % of all murder victims.
Black men committed 36% of murders, were, and made up 52% of all murder victims. White men committed 30% of murders and accounted for 43% of all murder victims.
Homicide is largely intra-racial. Of crimes involving a single offender and victim: 81% of white victims were killed by a white perpetrator; 89% of all black victims were killed by a black perpetrator. It is easy to see that the homicide rate can be twisted if only part of the statistics are used in reporting.
THE PROTECTIN OF SOCIETY
National Crime Victims’ Week should be a reminder to all of us that our country is based on the proposition, “protection of society.” Everyone should have that right. Our penal system should be set so that conviction and imprisonment reflects to the best of our ability this premise. Though there are pitfalls, it is a right all of us deserve. This week should also remind us to be grateful to all those who dedicate their lives to see that society is protected and laws enacted serve that proposition. We are judged on how we treat victims of crime and provide justice for those who are victimized.
Always, Mary Elledge
“FBI, Crime in the United States,” 1994-2015, reported the following information on crime in the United States:
“In 2015, there were 13,455 homicide and non-negligent manslaughters: 4 % of these victims were 12 years old or younger, 33% were 20-29, and 17% were over the age of 50. Individuals age 20-29 of either sex were killed more often than people in any age range.”
In 2015, the majority of murder and no-negligent manslaughter occurred in the South (56%). The lowest proportion of all murder and non-negligent manslaughter occurred in the northeast (12%).
In 2014, 7 in 10 homicides and non-negligent manslaughters were committed with a firearm, and 1 in 10 were committed with a knife.
In 2015, rates of murder and non-negligent homicide known to law enforcement were higher for men than women. Notably, black men were victims of murder and non-negligent homicide 1.5x more frequently than white men, and 3.3x more frequently than Hispanic or Latino men. White women were victims of homicide at a rate 1.8x greater than black women and a 4.4x greater than Hispanic or Latina women.
Of homicide and non-negligent manslaughter victims, 42% had some sort of relationship with the perpetrator, 10% no relationship, and 48% had an unknown relationship.
The Greater Portland Area POMC Chapter would like to invite all of our members in Oregon and Washington to join us in Irvine, California for the 31st Annual POMC Conference. It starts August 3-6, 2017.
The theme for the conference is “As Long As I Breathe…You Will be Remembered.” This is a wonderful chance for our members to meet other POMC members across the United States. The Greater Portland Chapter has reserved two table for our members to be able to join other Portland and Washington members for meals. It also allows us to meet other co-victims across the United States who also might join us.
To get registration forms and workshop times please contact the National Website: www.pomc.com
The National Office is working on getting help in paying for our hotel rooms. Please book your room as soon as possible to be assured a room at the conference. You can always cancel your room up to 24 hours before you need it. To reserve a room call 949-833-9999. We will stay at the Hilton/Orange County Airport Hotel.
Parents Of Murdered Children, Inc.
For the families and friends of those who have died by violence.
31st Annual National Conference
Augus 3-6, 2017
Hilton Irvine / Orange County Airport
Hosted by the POMC National Conference Committee
Conference Co-Chair: Bev Warnock
(888) 818-7662 or (513) 721-5683 firstname.lastname@example.org
Conference Co-Char: Connie Sheely
(507) 358-4017 email@example.com
Conference Registration Deadline: July 1,2017
Memorial Book Deadline: June 1,2017
Photos for Video & Photo Wall: June 8, 2017
Hotel Reservation Deadline: July 13, 2017
Donations for auction/teddy bears: July 11, 2017
The Greater Portland Area Chapter is grateful to Debra Allen, office specialists at Mt. View Cemetery, for taking beautiful pictures of the POMC Memorial Wall during this winter on a perfect snow day. Debra went out early in the morning before anyone walked on the snow. She captured precious moments so our members could enjoy them.
We are so grateful to Debra for sharing with our members. All of the employees at Mt. View Cemetery go out of their way to help our members and support any event we hold there. All of us belonging to Parents of Murdered Children appreciate their help and kindness.
We will be joining with Mt. View Cemetery when they host Memorial Day on May, 29, 2017 at 10:00 AM. We will have a table with items about POMC and what we do. The city of Oregon City will have a speaker, music, and refreshments. It is a time to honor those who have served our country and for us to also remember our loved ones. Of course, they are never forgotten.
All families are welcome to come anytime when the cemetery is open to remember their loved ones on birth and death dates as well as anytime they wish to drop by. The cemetery is open when it gets light in the morning and closes just before it turns dark.
We hope to start our new memorial wall before too long. Donations are appreciated. We are grateful to all those who have given so generously and those who have supported us.
Please click the thumbnails below to view the larger pictures
For our “Holiday Memorial on December 5th, if we do not have a picture of your loved one already, please mail or e-mail it to: Pat Schwiebert at 2116 N. E. 18th Street, Portland . OR 97212. Her e-mail is: firstname.lastname@example.org. Pat needs the pictures as soon as possible so she can include them in our slide show. Your loved one’s name will be read out loud even if we do not have a picture on our board.
We are so grateful to Pat and her family at “The Peace House”, where we hold our meetings. They spend hours decorating their home so it is beautiful for our holiday memorial. For many, this time is the most special day they have during the holiday season since the murder of their loved one. It is a safe place to be.
On behalf of the Greater Portland Area Chapter of Parents of Murdered Children, I would like to express our deepest appreciation to all of the generous people who have donated to the building of our addition memorial wall. We have a beautiful POMC Memorial now and families and friends from all over Oregon and Washington come to honor the memory of their loved ones who were so brutally taken from them. Sadly to say, our wall is completely filled. We have 500 names engraved on it.
What we are planning to do when we have enough funds is to build an additional wall that will hold 1000 more names. We have so many families who are waiting to add their loved ones’ name. It means so much to them because one of our greatest fears as a co-victims of homicide is that our loved one will not be remembered. They did not get to live the life they were suppose to. Some of the names on our wall belong to little babies to any age of adult. As co-victims, we have all suffered the same loss, the loss of a loved one to homicide. Our lives were completely changed. Homicide cannot be resolved.
What is also important is that we also educate the public when people come to see our wall. Murder can happen to any family. If people see the amount of people who are murdered, they will realize how important protection of society truly is. We need a justice system that works and laws for the protection of society. At POMC, we wish that people would never need our services. Sadly to say, we are getting more calls each day.
Co-victims of homicide need the peace and tranquility we are able to achieve at our POMC Memorial Wall. We are surrounded by beautiful sequoia trees, running water from the memorial, flowers, verses engraved on the stones that stand tall by the wall and a serenity that gives them hope and a place to gather and see that they are not alone.
We again ask for your help and thank those who have been so generous to our cause. If you would like to help, please go to the website of “Go Fund Me” and look under “POMC Memorial Wall”. All donations are appreciated and tax deductible. So many of our members are waiting to add their loved one’s name to the wall. Oregon has the largest POMC Memorial in the United States. Thank you for your help.
Funding for our new POMC Oregon/Washington Wall officially began this January, 2015. Members and friends of our chapter have been generous with donations and we are so thankful. Many of our new members are waiting for their loved ones names to be put on our new wall. We are listing new names that will be engraved when the wall is completed. We ask that members will call us, e-mail, or mail the information if you do not see your loved ones name on the list. The phone number is 503-656-8039, the e-mail is: email@example.com or POMC, 14427 S. Forsythe Road.
We are designing the wall now and hoping to build a wall that will accommodate more names than the existing wall. We want to list all of our loved ones
If any of our members work at a company or know of anyone who would like to make a donation please let us know or it is fine for you to ask for a donation yourself. We are a non-profit organization. Donations are tax deductible. Please use the phone contact numbers from the first paragraph of this article. Thank you so much for your support.
Amber Rhiannon Adams
Austin Joe Hrynko
Braylon Michael Duguay
Cheritee Yvonne Vance
Cheryl Elizabeth Hart
Christopher James Loftus
Coltin Jacob Salsbury
Craig C. Moritz Jr.
Dale Archie Brown
David G. Swapp Jr.
Dean A. Kuntz
Devan Chanel Schmidt
Douglas Oliver Benton
Glen Edward Drysdale
Harold Sloan Blanchard
Jason Dale Johnson
Jason Michael Ell
Jason Scott Williams
Jayme Sue Austin
Jessica Lynn Clark
Jodi Marie Brewer
Joseph Ben Peterson
Julio Cesar Marquez Jr.
Kathleen Lois Bauman
Kayla Ann Hendrickson
Kaylee Anne Sawyer
Keith Ardell Benefield
Kenneth Dylan Lambert
Krystal Jaye Mitchell
Kyle William Peckham
Laura Jean Bohlen
London Grey McCabe
Marcos Juan Castillo
Molly Irene McCarter
Nicolas Lamont Lawson
Nicolette Naomi “Nikki” Elias
Paul W. Miller
Rachelle “Shelly” Law
Randall Leo Gettman
Raymond Lee Meyers
Rebekah “Becky” Selegue Johnson
Ryan Robert Jones
Sahara Grace Dwight
Steve Leroy Johnson
Thomas James Fite
William Roland Hatch III
(Please contact us if your loved one’s name does not appear on this paper and you would like to have it added. A form will be added to our newsletter each month to be used for adding names for the wall when it is completed. Please check the spelling of your loved one’s name and let us know if it is wrong. You can e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org, call 505-656-8039, or mail us at POMC, 14427 S. Forsythe Rd., Oregon City, OR 97045.)
UNITED AIRLINES THROUGH THE EFFORTS OF ROBERT P.
The Greater Portland Chapter is proud to announce that Beth Greear has created a facebook support group for POMC members. To reach it use: www.facebook.com/groups/POMC.Portlalnd.Vancouver/ Beth said that there are several “admins” of the page so she is sure it will be very beneficial to anyone who would like to use it.
We cannot thank her enough for the chance to have even more support for our members. Beth is an outstanding person who is always there to reach out to help others. She even brought a delicious dessert for our December holiday meeting. We will be writing more on this next month and giving the names of other members who are helping with this project.
The murder of a loved one is the most horrific thing a person can experience. The only thing that can make it worse is a substandard initial investigation or not seeing justice in your case. Timely collection of evidence followed by an arrest and conviction would provide a degree of comfort, but what happens to co-victims when a thorough investigation is not done, and there is no arrest? Many of the victims' friends and acquaintances will gradually let go of their grief over time, but the closest of friends and family will remain in a state of sorrow, haunted by the injustice of investigators that may not have conformed to rules or standard operating procedures during their initial investigation. Not only is there no relief, but the agony of the event changes their lives forever, and becomes part of their very being. Co-victims' everyday battle becomes their effort to get a thorough investigation.
Helplessness is a gut-wrenching emotion which plagues co-victims who are not allowed to assist with the investigation and are longing for justice. We don't want to let our loved one down; we are compelled to fight for justice no matter how long it takes. As the process drags on, frustration grows. Many times, due to confidentiality, important conversations between co-victims and law enforcement are avoided, and this lack of communication can cause co-victims to feel neglected and disrespected, which often manifests itself in frustration, anger, and a loss of confidence in the investigators. Regular contact and truthfulness are two of the most important things survivors need from law enforcement. We need investigators to focus on routine communication of as much information as possible with sensitivity and without being misleading. Survivors’ perception that information is not being shared with them can result in them feeling they have been secondarily victimized. As the years pass, co-victims start wondering if their unsolved homicide could be reviewed by a fresh set of eyes, and they often look into getting their case to a cold case unit, only to find out that some jurisdictions don't even have a cold case unit. If there is a cold case unit in their jurisdiction, cases are evaluated and chosen according to a set of criteria. Co-victims whose cases seem to be continuously passed over for review become dismayed and even angry toward law enforcement. Anger can mobilize psychological resources for corrective action, but uncontrolled anger can negatively affect personal or social well-being.
Co-victims who put forth the effort to examine and understand the cold case process and various factors which must be dealt with during cold case investigations are able to put the process into perspective. They must understand that cold cases are among the most difficult and frustrating cases for both co-victims and law enforcement, and not every case is chosen to be investigated. It helps to review the following criteria checklist used by the National Sheriff’s Association, Justice Solutions and POMC:
Complete an application for cold case review. This application includes detailed information regarding agency reports, victimology, suspects/persons of interest, timeline, coroner, lab reports, investigation documents, weapon descriptions and media releases.
Co-victims should also be aware that closing rates can be more successful if investigators work only one or two cases at a time. At this point, if we find out that our case doesn’t qualify for review by a cold case unit, our only hope is that a thorough re-investigation will be done by homicide investigators.
If you have comments or questions about this article, please email: email@example.com or call Pat Kuiper at 702-809-8654 to get your loved ones' name listed in our newsletter. Feel free to contact Pat if you would like to share your story.
Lucy Eilertson (1998)
Diana Moffitt (1987)
Donald James Brown (2007)
Kimberly Larson Reames (1983)
William (Bill) Mark Stratton (2005)
The Greater Portland Chapter is so proud of our member, Amanda Harris, for launching her official site for siblings. Amanda is offering the Website: www.unitingsiblings.com so that sibling co-victims of homicide have a place to go where they will be understood and supported. This site will include video, chat, and telephone conference via a secure and private interface. Amanda is paying for the expenses and will be delighted to be another support for sibling co-victims. Amanda can also be reached at: Amanda@unitingsiblings.com or 623-866-3189.
Amanda Harris is now ready to start her web site for siblings. The Portland Chapter is excited about the support and understanding this new group will be for the many often overlooked survivors.
Please find, enclosed, $10.00 for my annual subscription (three issues) for the Survivors Newsletter.
(Please consider adding an extra subscription fee to help defray the cost for someone who cannot afford it.)
CITY, STATE, ZIP____________________________________________________________________
MAIL TO: POMC, INC. ENCLOSED IS MY: CHECK _________________
100 E. EIGHTH STREET, B-41 MONEY ORDER__________
CINCINATTI, OH 54202
Download form here
PRINTED NAME OF LOVED ONE_________________________________________ (This will be engraved on the wall)
LOVED ONE’S BIRTHDATE____________________________ DEATH DATE____________________________
MEMBER/FRIEND’S NAME AND ADDRESS ____________________________________________________________
MEMBER/FRIEND’S PHONE NUMBER_____________________________ Do you want a Newsletter? Yes No
SIGNATURE FOR PERMISSION TO
ENGRAVE NAME AND SPELLING APPROVAL_________________________________________________________
Please submit one form for each loved one. Please make efforts with other family members/friends to ensure multiple requests are not received for the same name. When completed, please mail, fax, or e-mail to the following places: POMC, Mary Elledge, 14427 S. Forsythe Road, Oregon City, OR 97045 or fax 503-656-4420, or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have any questions, please call 503-656-8039.
Download form here
Please Complete and Return to Memorial Garden,
POMC 14427 S. Forsythe Rd Oregon City, OR 97045
100% of Contributions are Tax Deductible
Name:____________________________________________ phone: __________________________
Gift in Memory of: __________________________________________________________
Anonymous gift (will not be recognized at the Memorial Garden or in published materials)
Method of Payment:
Credit Card #_________________________________________Exp Date:___________
Name on Card _________________________________________________________________
Pledged Payment (to be completed by December 31, 2014)
Please add notes on payment timing _________________________________________
Thank you for helping to create the Oregon-Washington Public Memorial Garden. Your generosity will never be forgotten.
Download form here
Tacoma Violent Crime Victim Services Welcomes Homicide Survivors
Peer Support Group Meeting
If someone you love has been the victim of a homicide, we invite you to attend our monthly support group meeting. You will find acceptance, compassion and support.
Place: United Way Building
3rd FLOOR CONFERENCE ROOM
Date: 3rd Wednesday of Each Month!
Time: 7:30PM – 10:00PM
The United Way Building is located in Tacoma, at 1501 Pacific Avenue. This is the same building that the VCVS office is located in. It is next to Union Station on the north side. As you pass Union Station you will see the United Way Building. Parking is on the south side of the building. Please park your vehicle in an open space and enter the building’s front entrance and take the elevator to the third floor. The conference room is Suite 312. Please call Lew Cox for more information (253) 383-5254.
POMC'S Court Watch Program is designed to help families maneuver through the court system. Two of the most important aspects of Court Watch are the prevention of any re-victimization to family members, and the minimizing of the emotional pain of going through hearings and trials.
If you would like support from POMC during hearings and trials or want to offer assistance, call Pat Elmore at 503-312-5681 or Allen Tremain at 503-522- 0577.
Each month a number of newsletter are returned due to delivery problems. In addition to the initial postage, return postage is charged by the Postal Service. To minimize this expense, please write to the return address of this newsletter or contact Gayle if your address changes or you no longer wish to receive this publication.