(CBS DETROIT)– Hundreds of crime survivors in and around the metro Detroit area gathering in Lansing Thursday in hopes of legislation being passed that will better serve their rights.

Three buses headed out the Meijer parking lot on 8 mile in Detroit around 7:30 Thursday morning, with passengers on a mission.

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“Today we’re planning to have a day of healing and action we have a fun filled day where we’re going to advocate for the Safer Michigan Act and victims compensation reform,” said Detroiter Qiana Wimbley, of Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice.

We first met Wimbley in December of 2021. Having survived a brutal shooting two decades ago, she expressed the challenges and trauma crime survivors endure, sometimes for years.

“The fear of potentially losing your life and then having to reaccumulate into society,” Wimbley said during an interview with CW50 December 21, 2021.

This is why she and other crime survivors across Michigan came together Thursday in Lansing, advocating the passage of the Safer Michigan Act.

“It prioritize survivors of crime so they get the resources they need through victims compensation,” Wimbley said.

Right now crime victims in Michigan have 48 hours to report a crime in order to apply for victim compensation. Crime Survivors say most victims can’t even process what has happened to them in such a short time.

The Safer Michigan Act legislation increases how much time crime victims have to apply for assistance, whether its mental or physical help.

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In early April 2022 House Bills 4674-4675 went to the Senate floor after being passed by the House.

“All crime victims should have access to the resources that they need to recover after experiencing violence,” said Aswad Thomas, vice president at Alliance for Safety and Justice and national director of Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice. “Thanks to leaders like Rep. Kahle and Rep. Slagh, more Michigan crime victims are a step closer to having the resources they need to heal. Not only will this legislation help families across Michigan – it’ll strengthen their communities, too.”

“Without help, some crime survivors never recover after being victimized,” said Priscilla Bordayo, Michigan state director for Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice and a sexual abuse survivor. “I’m grateful to the lawmakers who took action today to ensure that all Michiganders can access the resources that they need to cover expenses and receive mental support after experiencing trauma from a violent attack.”

About Michigan’s Victim Compensation Bills (HB 4674-4675)

The Safer Michigan Act increases support for crime victims by allowing all crime victims in need to access victim compensation. This will expand victim compensation coverage to account for actual costs resulting from crime victimization, and increase how much time crime victims have to apply for help. Data from ASJ shows that 25 percent of Michiganders were the victim of a crime in a 10-year period, but less than 1 in 5 reported receiving information about services and fewer received any services (i.e., medical assistance, mental health support, financial assistance for medical costs or monetary losses, emergency or temporary housing). Michigan currently has the lowest application rate for victim compensation, in the nation. Survivors have just 48 hours to report a crime if they intend to apply for victim compensation – the shortest reporting limit in the country. Michigan statute also requires applicants to file claims in person or by mail, and compensation only covers a maximum of $25,000 for any application, which is below the national average, and well below actual costs.

ABOUT ALLIANCE FOR SAFETY AND JUSTICE

Alliance for Safety and Justice (ASJ) is a multi-state organization that aims to win new safety priorities in states across the country. It brings together diverse local crime survivors to advance policies that help communities most harmed by crime and violence, as part of its Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice network that has thousands of members in Michigan. For more information, visit https://allianceforsafetyandjustice.org.

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