The West

Justice forum gives victims a voice
Justice First chairman James Richardson, with Annette Dix from Homicide Victims Support Group.

Victims of crime will get the chance to have their say at the Bunbury RSL Club on Thursday.

Chairman James Richardson said Justice First was committed to raising community awareness around insufficient accountability in thelegal system for victims of crime.

Mr Richardson established the group in 2008 following the loss of his son as a result of a one-punch assault outside his family home in Yangebup.

‘‘There are 150,000 victims annually across Western Australia and we want to raise awareness to generate change in the legal system,’’ he said.

This will be the eighth Justice First public meeting across the State with 150 people expected to attend.

Annette Dix, whose son was fatally shot in April 2007, is establishing a South West branch of the Perth-based Homicide Victims Support Group to assist victims of crime as they work through their grief and trauma.

‘‘The sole purpose of the group is to lift the cloak of invisibility around victims of crime and its effects, which are through no fault of their own,’’ Mrs Dix said.

‘‘This will be done by supporting people through the provision of information and reducing the feeling of isolation by coming together and sharing our stories about how we cope with life changing events.

‘‘Meetings like this are part of the grieving process as well as in the public’s interest.

"We honour our loved ones by speaking out.

‘‘As a community we don’t deal with death particularly well and when it’s a traumatic death we are even worse.

‘‘Justice First and Homicide Victims Support Group are united in their endeavour to raise the plight of victims and how we must rehabilitate ourselves with very little support.’’

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