John is from Connecticut and shared his story for the 2016 release of Crime Survivors Speak: The First-Ever National Survey of Victims’ Views: Over the course of three years, I was robbed once and burglarized twice at my apartment. I was physically assaulted during the robbery. The physical wounds didn’t take long to heal, but the mental and emotional scars stayed with me for many years. I avoided using the front door where I was accosted, and I was skittish of people hanging out in my neighborhood. The police never caught the men who robbed me. They drove me around and tried to pin the crime on an innocent person. I refused to identify the wrong person. Instead, I channeled my feeling of helplessness into creating an environment of safety where I lived. I formed a safety committee in my building. We installed handlebars to quickly close the doors behind us, trimmed the bushes and built community among each other. Other than talking with friends and family, I didn’t receive support to deal with the aftermath. These incidents occurred more than a dozen years ago, but when I think about them, they still trigger traumatic memories and feelings. I don’t wish for retribution, but I do want to help come up with solutions that can provide support services for victims to help them heal.

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