When the justice system fails miserably, people of courage make it right!
In Life: Sharing your most trying experiences with others will set you free of shouldering the burden alone and could change other’s lives in the future.
Regardless of the nature of your problem, even if you are a private person by nature; seeking out an objective person to hear you out and to offer advice may be your best medicine toward healing. The chosen one should not your “best girlfriend,” as she will often tell you what you want to hear and say whatever to avoid conflict and hurt feelings. Rather, find an educated person who has training, common sense and experience in the problem area with which you are dealing. You may come to realize that the power of relating your experience has long term benefits for you and others, as you feel more comfortable sharing in an effort to help others.
In the Justice System: When an everyday citizen becomes a victim of crime, very frequently they become “double victimized” by the various entities and layers of bureaucracy designed to assist them. Throw the roadmap out the window… In fact, there is no standard roadmap to cling to, as every case and geographical jurisdiction handles cases somewhat differently. As you become victimized again by the system, your losses and the number of problems multiply. Grief and anger weaken your resolve, and your ability to comprehend and tolerate “your new reality.”
However, with time, support (and progress and resolution of your crime, hopefully), many crime victims become “consummate survivors” (Such as LadyJustice and many others…). We chose to use the grief, anger and disillusionment that still exists for the benefit of new victims to come.
One of the most dramatic and effective examples occurred in mid October, 2011. Intimate partner violence survivor, Claudine Dombrowski, courageously shared her story with the world after 16 years of unspeakable abuse. Claudine also discovered that the prosecutor for the City of Topeka was ready to decriminalize intimate partner violence to the misdemeanor level, on par with parking tickets! Can you imagine the consequences and the utter disrespect for the lives of vulnerable women? Luckily, she shared this information with Susan Murphy Milano, Imagine Publicity and other consultants who exposed the terrible injustice…. Collaboratively, Claudine and all parties worked strategically to make change but fast! Lo and behold… Claudine and her team of advocates put pressure on the “deranged prosecutor” who was “only trying to make budget cuts.” ‘Next thing ya’ know, LadyJustice was watching Brian Williams, NBC Anchor, report on Claudine’s efforts to change the tide in the name of justice and future domestic violence victims! Many other stations followed suit. Indeed, there was a reversal!
To view video news report of Claudine go to: The Lights Went Out in Topeka
In Life: When you notice that an important personal need, which also affects others is unmet, meet it! Start your own grass roots organization. Americans are hungry, without housing, without employment. The elderly is subsisting on nothing and viewed as the “disposable generation.” Young people are bullied for their differences and are committing suicide. Child sexual abuse is rampant. Homicide is now a household word. Shall I continue??
Government agencies cut benefits, entitlement programs and human service needs are relegated to the back burner. Bad things are happening. Few , if any, corporations continue to consistently demonstrate civic responsibility. They are more focused on making money and growing already inflated pensions.
Starting your own non-profit begins with just one person at your kitchen table or in your living room. Sure it’s harder in the current economy. However, this should not deter you from meeting the need! Or, if creating your own organization seems too overwhelming, there are alternatives. Check out:http://managementhelp.org/startingorganizations/start-nonprofit.htm
In the Justice System: People who have risen to the occasion and met the need to correct the multitude of injustices. They have passed legislation and formed organizations. They depend on grant monies and public donations. The brand of justice doesn’t matter. It’s the fact that they exist. Some of Ladyjustice’s favorites include:
Billy’s Law: The legislation helps to streamline the reporting process for law enforcement and medical examiners by connecting two major federal missing persons and unidentified remains databases- the FBI’s National Crime Information Center (NCIC) and the NamUs. Connecting these databases makes them more comprehensive and more likely to lead to a match between a missing person and unidentified human remains.
“Billy’s Law” also creates an incentive grants program to coroners, medical examiners, and law enforcement agencies to help facilitate the reporting of missing persons and unidentified remains to the federal databases. Grants can also be used for training programs on how to correctly use the databases and best handle these cases, and the recipients of these grants must provide a dollar in matching funds for every two dollars in federal funds.
PFLAG: Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays: Nation wide organization with local chapters to provide support, provide education and advocate against discrimination for persons s who identify as gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, or transgendered;
True Colors.org– True Colors is a non-profit organization that works with other social service agencies, schools, organizations, and within communities to ensure that the needs of sexual and gender minority youth are both recognized and competently met. The organization trains more than 2400 people annually, organizes the largest LGBT youth conference in the country with more than 2000 attendees and manages the state of Connecticut’s only LGBT mentoring program.
Petit Family Foundation; In memory of Jennifer, Hayley and Michalea. The PETIT FAMILY FOUNDATION continues to raise and distribute funds to fulfill our mission to help educate young people especially those with interests in science, to help support those with chronic illnesses, and to help protect those affected by violence.
Voices of September 11th: Provides information, support, sponsors commemorations and promotes public policy at the highest levels of government; to prevent and prepare for terroristic events.
In Life: Take it to the next level…. Don’t stand idly by and say that, “My work is done after accomplishing “X”. So, you’ve solved your problem to your satisfaction …and you’ve assisted others too. That is truly wonderful. Often there is no one willing to take over the reins. You need a new challenge. You are tiring of your weekly trips to the food bank or the shelter with clothing. You will revitalize your spirit if you add something to the mix. Start a coat drive or bake healthy cookies for undernourished kids at school! Whatever!
In the Justice System: The same applies for justice issues…. Marry Fetchet of Voices for September 11th brought her organization of support for victims out of her living room and into the national spotlight, forcing the President to form an investigative commission and subsequently created a stellar organization.
Daniel Hernandez Jr. not only graduated from the Upward Bound Program in Arizona, he also became an intern for Representative Gabrielle Giffords and saved her life during the mass murder spree!
Susan Murphy Milano went through hell and back to valiantly keep her mother and herself alive against her abusive and cowardly cop father for years! She has taken it to the next level for over 20 years, empowering and facilitating others to save their lives using her many skills, resources, publicity and people power methods!
In Life: Pass on the torch when it is time… This is easier said than done. We are working at something important to our identity…or perhaps out of necessity because of financial reasons. However, I don’t care what it is… If you can’t provide good customer service; if your people skills are stuck on “whine and complain,” give it up! If you have the foresight to see it coming, engage others to take over, interview the best candidates and give up the control . (Although an icon for his time, how long did Frank Sinatra hang on crooning his ballads just a bit off-tune?)
In the Justice System: Human service providers are big on allowing others to suck the life out of them! Crime victim services and criminal justice is no different . LadyJustice has been there several times…. Compassion fatigue! You get burned out… You get cynical … You don’t trust anyone or anything anymore. BURN OUT, WILL ROBINSON!
But it is truly wonderful and a blessed thing when you recognize it before you do too much damage. Time to re-invent yourself! Yeah, that’s just what Ladyjustice is doing! So, listen up employers!
Donna Gore is a champion of victims rights and justice. She is a survivor of homicide and has turned her personal situations into a positive approach to life by participating in several areas of victim services. www.donnagore.com If you would like to schedule Donna for your next event, contact ImaginePublicity at 843.808.0859 or email: [email protected]