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Crime Victims’ Network supports UCM survey to better serve survivors

LENEXA, Kan. -- A crime victims support network is surveying those who've experienced the homicide of a family member to better understand the needs of survivors.

So far this year, Corey's Network has helped pay the costs of 37 funerals for homicide victims.

Corey's Network is one of the few places in the metro area that provides services and refers families for treatment after experiencing such a devastating loss.

Emotional and physical health often suffers among relatives of homicide victims.

Jenny Donaldson didn't know where to turn after someone killed her son, Chad, in Belton.

She couldn't afford a funeral so she reluctantly had her son cremated.

It was only after she connected with Corey's Network did she learn she was eligible to receive up to $5,000 from the Crime Victim's Compensation Fund.

"When you have such a traumatic thing happen to your loved one, you are not going to operate right," Donaldson said. "For a while it just takes bit. I don’t know if I had totally clear thought patterns if I would have thought, 'Oh I wonder if there’s a crime victims compensation fund?' I don’t think I would have come up with that on my own at all, no."

Corey's Network also helped Donaldson receive counseling for the trauma she endured. And the network helped find a special counselor for her surviving son, who is autistic and had to cope with overwhelming grief.

Results from the University of Central Missouri survey will be used to help expand social support services and make law enforcement practices more sensitive to survivors.

To participate in the survey go to: goo.gl/EekVsw