Empowering Survivors: The Victim Justice Program

Two young women sat in Katy Strader’s office, describing what happened to them the previous weekend when an armed man broke into their home. It was only Katy’s first full week as a Bilingual Paralegal for the Victim Justice Program (VJP) and this new client intake was a jarring introduction to the work. Both girls were shaking and crying as they detailed the robbery, which had left a third friend in critical condition with a gunshot wound.

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Bringing Victims Out of the Shadows

One day, Marta returned from work to find him and their baby missing. When he finally came home, he didn’t have the baby with him. “He was super drunk and just kept saying, ‘She’s gone,’ over and over again,” says Erica. Desperate, Marta contacted the police, and a search began—but they never found the baby. Marta’s abuser was charged with the murder of their child. “They interviewed him multiple times and his story kept changing,” Erica says. “[Marta] cooperated with the police and testified against him.” He was eventually convicted.

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