Survivors, providers, elected officials, and allies at the State House in support of H.742
At a hearing before the Joint Committee on the Judiciary last week, survivors and supporters made a powerful push for H.742 "An Act Amending Victim Compensation Statute." This legislation would shift the current state statute regulating Victim Compensation so that that the circumstances of a loved one's homicide cannot be used to determine a family's eligibility for funeral and burial reimbursement.
Supporters of H.742 gave moving testimony about the need to treat survivors of homicide victims with dignity and compassion, regardless of the circumstances. More than 40 organizations signed a coalition letter of support for H.742.
And one year later I have not heard one word back from Victim Comp since the initial letter stating my application was being processed and what my case number was. I'm left feeling defeated and unworthy of receiving the funds that we deserve as a family surviving such a horrible tragedy." - Ebony, Survivor
"I help families fill out the Victim Compensation application for funeral and burial reimbursement funds. I have to be the one to tell them that they may be denied because of a clause in the state statute that requires a family's claim be reduced or denied in the event their loved one "contributed to" their own death. Imagine the look I receive from a mother whose son was just murdered. This mom feels punished and ashamed: ashamed she doesn't have the money and punished for losing her son and not being able to receive the support she needs to lay her son to rest with dignity and compassion." - Danielle, Survivors Outreach Services Advocate
|H.742 was filed by Representative Evandro Carvalho. We appreciate the Representative's courage for taking ownership of this critical issue. The Peace Institute is grateful for the leadership of Mayor Martin Walsh, District Attorney Dan Conley, and Boston Police Commissioner William Evans who actively support H.742.
"Providing all families of homicide victims with some modest assistance to bury their loved ones with dignity is an act of compassion and support for grieving families and reduces pain and trauma for many in the community as well."
"All families should be provided with some monetary assistance, regardless of the circumstances surrounding their loved one's death. With the passage of this legislation to allow for a proper funeral and burial, we can help families and our communities begin the healing process."- Boston Police Commissioner William Evans
|The Boston City Council unanimously passed a resolution in support of H.742. Thank you so much Councilors for your compassion and commitment!