Recognize Who is Most Vulnerable to Crime
Many crime survivors don’t come forward for complex reasons, such as shame, fear of retribution or distrust of police. Shared Safety starts with understanding who survivors are and where survivors are coming from.
Why do we need it?
Individuals at highest risk of being victims of violent or repeated crime are often unacknowledged and unsupported by our current systems, especially if those survivors come from marginalized communities or have committed crimes themselves. This contributes to under-reported crimes and unaddressed trauma.
How does it help?
Recognizing and engaging all survivors in Shared Safety solutions strengthens recovery and helps prioritize victim services. It requires deepening our understanding of “survivors” to include individuals at highest risk of being victims of violent or repeated crime, including young people of color, elderly people, immigrants, people with disabilities, residents of low-income neighborhoods and individuals who may have committed crimes themselves.
Questions To Ask
- Who is most likely to be a crime victim in our community? Of violent crime? Of repeated crime?
- What percentage of crimes go unreported and why?
- How can we encourage more victims to report crimes? How can we encourage witnesses to come forward?
- What resources have we dedicated to community outreach and removing barriers to seeking help?
One in five Californians were victims of crime in the last five years. People of color were more likely to experience a violent crime.
What does it take to implement?
- Partner with communities most impacted by crime to identify and engage crime survivors.
- Survey high-crime communities to identify barriers to accessing services.
- Recognize why vulnerable populations are afraid to speak up – immigration status, prior or current criminal justice involvement, fear of retaliation, etc. – and adjust your outreach accordingly.
- Publicly acknowledge crime survivors in high-crime communities and tailor safety policies to address survivors’ needs.
- Improved data collection of victims by race/ethnicity, gender/sexual identity, disability, age, legal status and geography.
- Decreased percentage of unreported crimes by various demographic factors.
- Greater alignment between the demographic composition of crime survivors and the users of victim services.