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Local program assists trauma survivors, supporters coping

March 14, 2013

St. Croix Valley Restorative Justice Program (SCVRJP) has been providing Restorative Justice Services to the region since 2003.  The programs address crime and conflict from the view of social and emotional aspects. The programming continues to expand and include resources for trauma survivors.

In March, SCVRJP will offer a six week Survivor Circle series. These circles offer survivors an opportunity to meet others impacted by sudden, preventable deaths. Often times related to suicide, homicide, traffic fatality or accidental drug overdose.
There is no charge to attend the six week circle series. Those participating attend each week and take turns listening and sharing their story. The Survivor Circles will begin on March 28, 2013, and run weekly until May 2. Another six week session is planned for the fall of 2013.

Pre-registration is required to plan for space and volunteers.

In February, SCVRJP hosted Paths to Healing. The event outlined the journey from victim to survivor and then thriver.

Executive Director Kris Miner has worked with a range of victims from simple to serious and complex crimes. She shared the initial responses and needs of trauma survivors.

Immediate needs include pacification, partition and perspective. She asked the audience to relate to the experience of a person fearful of drowning.

One would need to calm and soothe themselves enough to survive. The partition is to gain a perspective that you are not going to die. Once calm enough and separated from the risk (pacification and partition), survivors need perspective. Perspective means to understand the future holds hope.

Also speaking at Paths to Healing was Kim Anez. Anez related her healing journey from being struck by an impaired driver while refueling her car with gasoline. Anez shared the healing impacts that storytelling offers a survivor. The session was attended by suicide, homicide, impaired driving and traffic fatality survivors.

All SCVRJP sessions are open to those impacted and those that serve trauma.

The Survivor Circle series helps those coping with complex loss and trauma by providing a safe space, to relate the experience.  SCVRJP volunteers are trained to be supportive and nonjudgmental. Volunteers with this programming are often trauma survivors and ready to share their story to help others.  Session participants and new volunteers are encouraged to contact the Restorative Justice Center for more information. Please, contact  Miner at SCVRJP, by calling 715-425-1100 or emailing scvrjp@gmail.com.