Posts Tagged ‘Mothers Against Drunk Driving’

Many of us impacted by drunk driving never planned on being in the court room.  In fact, most of us work hard to stay out of the court room by being law abiding citizens.  However, when someone you know and love is injured or killed in an alcohol-related crash you immediately become a victim of the crime.  A 100 % preventable crime.

It is not uncommon for victims/survivors to feel powerless and intimidated by the criminal justice system.  When you have been victimized by another person’s actions, it is often hard to drum up the energy to not only cope with the trauma of the loss but then sustain your energy to follow the court case to the end.

Sometimes I think the offender counts on us wearing down and not maintaining our resolve to see the case through to the end.  In countless cases, including today’s case involving the four motorcyclists killed in Iowa http://www.kptm.com/Global/story.asp?S=14007191, I see victim’s families hang in there to ensure that justice is in fact served.  The guilty plea may be in but that is only another chapter and much work needs to be done prior to sentencing.

This is where the victim’s voice can be heard, at last, through your personal Victim Impact Statement.

Laws exist in every state which allows for the victim/survivors to provide a written statement and read it in court.  These statements are presented after the defendant has been convicted and prior to sentencing. MADD has a workbook titled “Your Victim Impact Statement” to guide you through the process of creating your personal victim impact statement.

Staying an active participant in the criminal court process may cause stress or it may help to diffuse energy that could be used for emotional, physical and spiritual resolve.  Participating in the criminal court process can give some victim/survivors a sense of completeness and closure. It will not cause you to grieve any less or erase the horror of the injury or death of a loved one.  Nevertheless, it may provide you some sense of accomplishment.  We never knew the impact was coming but we sure can make our voices heard in honor of those we love and care so deeply about……their life was not in vain if you take time to tell the court that your loss is not a number. No, your loss is person that provided love, laughs and ongoing friendship that can never be replace in this lifetime.

At MADD,  we help survivors survive http://www.madd.org/victim-services/

Saving Lives – Serving People: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow. 

There will be five of us traveling from Nebraska to Washington, D.C. to attend the MADD National Conference and celebrate 30 years of saving lives. 

First Lady Sally Ganem will be going with us to” The Hill” and she will be one of three to present at a workshop: Creating Community Partnerships

The trip will be an opportunity for us to meet those on “The Hill” and thank them for their support to help eliminate impaired driving from our roadways, maintain support to address underage drinking prevention efforts, and support those impacted by this violent crime daily.

Many thanks to our elected officials for taking time to visit with us on our trip.  We have plans to visit with Senator Nelson, Senator Johanns, Congressman Terry, Fortenberry and Smith. I am sure having the First Lady of Nebraska traveling with us doesn’t hurt at all when setting up appointments! 

Thanks to Sally Ganem for her volunteer work as a MADD National Board Member and for her leadership here in Nebraska on our MADD State Operations Council.

I am really looking forward to meeting our new CEO, Kimberly Earle.  She has been nothing short of positive in her messages and direction. 

Also featured at the conference:

  • Over 50 concurrent workshops to choose from
  • National Victim/Survivor Tribute
  • MADD on the Hill
  • Dinner and National President’s Awards

To all of our members, partners and stakeholders across the state, I want to thank you for making MADD your partner. We look forward to spreading the news, when we get back, about what we learned at conference.