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SCARSSCARS SCARS - Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc. A government registered crime victims' assistance & crime prevention nonprofit organization based in Miami, Florida, U.S.A. SCARS supports the victims of scams worldwide and through its partners in more than 60 countries around the world. Incorporated in 2015, its team has 30 years of continuous experience educating and supporting scam victims. Visit www.AgainstScams.org to learn more about SCARS.™ Special Report: From Pain to Power – Crime Victims Take Action

The following is from a report by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office for Victims of Crime [Edited]

Please note: The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this document are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice or the Society of Citizens Against Relationship ScamsSCARS SCARS - Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc. A government registered crime victims' assistance & crime prevention nonprofit organization based in Miami, Florida, U.S.A. SCARS supports the victims of scams worldwide and through its partners in more than 60 countries around the world. Incorporated in 2015, its team has 30 years of continuous experience educating and supporting scam victims. Visit www.AgainstScams.org to learn more about SCARS. Inc. It is presented (edited) to help victims better understand the context of victimizationVictimization Victimization (or victimization) is the process of being victimized or becoming a victim. The field that studies the process, rates, incidence, effects, and prevalence of victimization is called victimology.. Some sections have been omitted since they do not reflect our focus or because they have become dated.

SCARS’ Introduction

The following helps crime victims understand the broad context of what it means to be a victim of a crime and how working to create change can occur.

The Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc. [SCARS] was created out of just such a need and has now been operating for years to support scamScam A Scam is a confidence trick - a crime -  is an attempt to defraud a person or group after first gaining their trust through deception. Scams or confidence tricks exploit victims using their credulity, naïveté, compassion, vanity, irresponsibility, or greed and exploiting that. Researchers have defined confidence tricks as "a distinctive species of fraudulent conduct ... intending to further voluntary exchanges that are not mutually beneficial", as they "benefit con operators ('con men' - criminals) at the expense of their victims (the 'marks')". A scam is a crime even if no money was lost. victims worldwide. Most of this document was written about victims of violence, but it also provides a broader understanding of the views of victims’ assistance providers and the United States government which can be helpful in helping victims develop a more complete understanding.

The roles described below are services being provided by SCARS and we stand ready to help all victims of cyber-enabled crimeCyber-enabled Crime A Cyber-enabled crime is one where technology facilitates a criminal to commit a crime against an individual or a business. These are where there is a one to one relationship between the criminal and the victim. Romance scams, email fraud, and many other types of scams are considered cyber-enabled crimes. The technology used can be the Internet, a computer, a phone, or other devices. worldwide.

(Original) Foreword

Across America, victims of crime have turned their agony into activism. Many have found that participating in community service— helping other victims and initiating crime prevention and awareness programs—contributes significantly to their own healing. These victims include extraordinary people such as Marilyn Smith, who founded a comprehensive victim service program in Seattle for deaf and deaf-blind victims of sexual assault after trying unsuccessfully to find services herself as a deaf sexual assault victim; Azim Khamisa, who joined with the grandfather of the 14 year-old gangGang A gang is normally a group or society of associated criminals with a defined leadership and internal organization that identifies with or claims control over a territory or business practice in a community and engages, either individually or collectively, in illegal, and possibly violent, behavior. Online gangs are not limited by territory and may operate side by side with other gangs while engaging in crime online. Some members of criminal gangs are initiated (by going through a process of initiation), or have to prove their loyalty and right to belong by committing certain acts, usually theft or violence, or rituals. Gangs are usually rougher and more visible than scammer cartels, and more often arrested. member who murdered his son to provide gang prevention programs in San Diego schools; and the many parents who came together after their children were killed by drunk drivers to support Mothers Against Drunk Driving in its successful efforts to strengthen laws, provide victim impact classes, and educate the public about the devastating impact of this crime.

This monograph chronicles ways in which many crime victims are channeling their pain into helping others, improving their communities, and healing themselves at the same time. It describes opportunities for victims who want to become active and makes important recommendations for victim service programs regarding ways to involve victims in community service.

The monograph was written by Victim Services, a New York City-based program that is the largest victim assistance provider in the nation. The monograph is part of a larger document entitled New Directions From the Field: Victims’ Rights and Services for the 21st Century, a comprehensive report and set of recommendations on victims’ rights and services from and concerning virtually every community involved with crime victims across the nation.

Crime victims themselves have a critical role to play in the nation’s response to violence and victimization. The purpose of this monograph is to foster increased collaboration between victims, service providers, and policymakers to ensure justice and healing for all victims of crime.

Kathryn M. Turman, Acting Director, Office for Victims of Crime

 

“Pain falls drop by drop upon the heart until, in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom.”

—Agamemnon, Aeschylus

(Original) Introduction:  Two Stories

In 1985, Ralph Hubbard’s 23-year-old son was shot and killed in New York City. After years of feeling angry, frustrated and powerless, Hubbard resolved to help other families work through their suffering. In a Victim Services support groupSupport Group In a support group, members provide each other with various types of help, usually nonprofessional and nonmaterial, for a particular shared, usually burdensome, characteristic, such as romance scams. Members with the same issues can come together for sharing coping strategies, to feel more empowered and for a sense of community. The help may take the form of providing and evaluating relevant information, relating personal experiences, listening to and accepting others' experiences, providing sympathetic understanding and establishing social networks. A support group may also work to inform the public or engage in advocacy. They can be supervised or not. SCARS support groups are moderated by the SCARS Team and or volunteers. for families of homicide victims in New York, he began to speak out, telling his family’s story to the police, criminalCriminal A criminal is any person who through a decision or act engages in a crime. This can be complicated, as many people break laws unknowingly, however, in our context, it is a person who makes a decision to engage in unlawful acts or to place themselves with others who do this. A criminal always has the ability to decide not to break the law, or if they initially engage in crime to stop doing it, but instead continues. justice officials, social service providers, and the public. He found that telling others what his family had gone through helped him cope with his pain and angerAnger Anger, also known as wrath or rage, is an intense emotional state involving a strong uncomfortable and non-cooperative response to a perceived provocation, trigger, hurt or threat. About one-third of scam victims become trapped in anger for extended periods of time following a scam. A person experiencing anger will often experience physical effects, such as increased heart rate, elevated blood pressure, and increased levels of adrenaline and noradrenaline. Some view anger as an emotion that triggers a part of the fight or flight response. Anger becomes the predominant feeling behaviorally, cognitively, and physiologically. Anger can have many physical and mental consequences. While most of those who experience anger explain its arousal as a result of "what has happened to them", psychologists point out that an angry person can very well be mistaken because anger causes a loss in self-monitoring capacity and objective observability. and inspired other victims to address their feelings. He started a self-help group for men who had lost family members to violence. He also became an adviser to New York’s Crime Victims’ Board, vice president of Justice For All, a victims’ rights advocacy group, and a board member of the National Organization for Victim Assistance. A leading spokesperson for victims’ rights in New York State, Hubbard feels no less compelled to be an advocate for victims ten years after his son’s murder: “It’s something I need to do. This is therapeutic for me.”

The TraumaTrauma Emotional and psychological trauma is the result of extraordinarily stressful events that shatter your sense of security, making you feel helpless in a dangerous world. Psychological trauma can leave you struggling with upsetting emotions, memories, and anxiety that won’t go away. It can also leave you feeling numb, disconnected, and unable to trust other people. Traumatic experiences often involve a threat to life or safety or other emotional shocks, but any situation that leaves you feeling overwhelmed and isolated can result in trauma, even if it doesn’t involve physical harm. It’s not the objective circumstances that determine whether an event is traumatic, but your subjective emotional experience of the event. The more frightened and helpless you feel, the more likely you are to be traumatized. Trauma requires treatment, either through counseling or therapy or through trauma-oriented support programs, such as those offered by SCARS. of Violence Leaves Its Mark

Long after the physical wounds have healed, many crime victims continue to feel overwhelmed by the psychic pain of loss, powerlessness, low self-esteem, isolation, fear, rageRage Anger, also known as wrath or rage, is an intense emotional state involving a strong uncomfortable and non-cooperative response to a perceived provocation, trigger, hurt or threat. About one-third of scam victims become trapped in anger for extended periods of time following a scam. A person experiencing anger will often experience physical effects, such as increased heart rate, elevated blood pressure, and increased levels of adrenaline and noradrenaline. Some view anger as an emotion that triggers a part of the fight or flight response. Anger becomes the predominant feeling behaviorally, cognitively, and physiologically. Anger can have many physical and mental consequences. While most of those who experience anger explain its arousal as a result of "what has happened to them", psychologists point out that an angry person can very well be mistaken because anger causes a loss in self-monitoring capacity and objective observability. – feelings that often are shared by their family and friends, as well as by the extended community.

From the ashes of criminal violence, victims and their families are struggling to rebuild their communities, as well as their own lives. Through community activism, individuals like Ralph Hubbard and Tom McDermott are transforming their pain into power, helping change society, and healing themselves in the process. Moving from the personal to the political, they work to correct causes of crime that are systemic, such as poverty, racism, sexism, the culture of violence, and easy access to guns; to hold those who commit crimes accountable, and to enact victim-sensitive reforms and programs. As the crime victims’ movement enters its third decade, advocates should look for ways to nurture victims’ desires to help others by providing educational and organizational opportunities for community action.

Without intervention, victims can become chronically dysfunctional — afraid to venture out at night, unable to work productively, alienated from neighbors and friends, distrustful of police and courts, and overly dependent on social services. Their withdrawal from life hurts their families and weakens the fabric of the community.

Individual counselingCounseling Counseling is the professional guidance of the individual by utilizing psychological methods especially in collecting case history data, using various techniques of the personal interview, and testing interests and aptitudes. A mental health counselor (MHC), or counselor, is a person who works with individuals and groups to promote optimum mental and emotional health. Such persons may help individuals deal with issues associated with addiction and substance abuse; family, parenting, and marital problems; stress management; self-esteem; and aging. They may also work with "Social Workers", "Psychiatrists", and "Psychologists". SCARS does not provide mental health counseling. and practical assistance help people deal with the psychological aftermath of crime and reconstruct a sense of equilibrium. When crime victims move from their personal experiences to a broader social analysis and to activism, they can also aid their own recovery from the trauma of victimization. Recognizing or addressing the social conditions that lead to violence and victimization is important. Helping other victims, working to change laws, or mobilizing violence prevention initiatives can help victims and survivorsSurvivor A Scam Survivor is a victim who has been able to fully accept the reality of their situation. That they were the victim of a crime and are not to blame. They are working on their emotional recovery and reduction of any trauma either on their own, through a qualified support organization, or through counseling or therapy. And has done their duty and reported the crime to their local police, national police, and on Anyscam.com regain a sense of control and channel their fear and rage into efforts for reform.

The history of grassroots efforts in other movements shows that community activism can be a powerful catalyst for social change. Individual stakeholders—those whose lives were directly affected by the movement’s cause—have brought about landmark reforms. The movements for civil rights, elder rights, welfare, environmental protection, and AIDS research and treatment have been spearheaded by those directly affected by the issues. Like crime victim activism, each of these movements arose from victimizing conditions of neglect, persecution, or marginalization; and the involvement of “victimized” individuals legitimized the cause.

A crucial step toward activism may be the individual’s self-identification as a member of a group victimized by particular social conditions. Yet within the crime victims’ and battered women’s movements, the “victim” label remains controversial. Some believe it is a stigmatizing label that hinders recovery and rein