Attendees of the annual North Carolina Victim Assistance Network Conference will learn about the key elements to responding to mass victimization from keynote speaker, Attorney Michelle S. Cruz and her presentation, “Victim Services and Needs in Mass Tragedies.”
In our time we have seen numerous mass tragedies occur, in our cities, in our schools, movie theaters, they can happen anywhere at any time, killing and injuring hundreds or thousands very quickly. How we respond to the needs of the victims in these catastrophes is paramount to their healing and ability to overcome the trauma endured.
Attorney Michelle Cruz was the State Victim Advocate of Connecticut at the time of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting where 26 people, 20 of whom were children, lost their lives. The response of her office for the surviving victims and families was to gather information and compile data from agencies across the country and funnel volunteers to help the victims. Unfortunately, her tenure in office expired before being able to insure that donated funds for the victims’ families were properly disbursed. Cruz has since been very vocal about the way these funds have been handled, especially the fact that too much time has elapsed since the tragedy and funds are still not where they should be, in the hands of the surviving victims.
Attorney Michelle Cruz has over twenty years experience working with crime victims in a myriad of diverse roles. She teaches and lectures at several colleges and universities, and is a strong domestic violence advocate attorney. Attorney Cruz diligently fought against the early release program in CT which led to the release of 7,589 violent offenders. Since leaving office she has established a private practice, Michelle S. Cruz Law Firm, in Hartford, CT.
For the last 27 years the NCVAN Statewide Training Conference has been held to educate and train attendees from various sectors such as :
- Crime Victims and Survivors
- Law Enforcement Officers
- Victim-Witness Assistants
- Crime Victim Service Providers
- Social Worker
- School Counselors
- Clergy, Lay Ministers and Chaplains
- Forensic Nurses
- Legal Aid
This year the conference will be held September 25-27th at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel in New Bern, NC. and along with Attorney Michelle S. Cruz, other speaker/trainers include Sgt. John Guard, who will train on “Leveraging Pre-Trial Release to Reduce Crime and Re-Victimization.” Ashley Craig, a seventeen year old student who started her own non-profit, will present her research on bullying statistics and the effects it has on families, schools and communities.
For detailed information about NCVAN and this year’s conference and registration, please visit their website: http://www.nc-van.org
Attorney Michelle Cruz Keynote Speaker at
NCVAN Training Conference in North Carolina
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