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Oregon DOJ solicits feedback from crime victims and survivors in underserved communities

The 'Community Conversations' series consists of 21 online listening sessions focusing on the experiences of different communities with crime and justice.

Posted: Jun 14, 2021 12:15 PM

SALEM, Ore. — The Oregon Department of Justice says it is looking for input from communities impacted by inequity in an effort to improve services and access to justice for crime victims and survivors. This third annual "Community Conversations" series consists of 21 online listening sessions focusing on the experiences of different communities in Oregon.

“Sadly, we know that many Oregonians, in the course of their day or night, do not feel safe and secure,” said Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum. “In fact, the communities that experience the highest victimization rates are the same ones that face the greatest barriers to support. These Community Conversations, now in their third year, are making a vital difference in our efforts at the Oregon Department of Justice to dismantle and overcome those barriers.”

Survivors and advocates have said that there are a lack of providers that can offer culturally responsive services to diverse communities. In 2020, Oregon began offering "Victims of Crime Act" grants to community-based organizations. At present, those grants amount to more than $5 million between 12 different recipient organizations.

The 2020 Community Conversations series drew more than 1,000 participants, Rosenblum's office said. That input was summarized in a report, “Opening Pathways to Justice and Improving Support for Communities Impacted by Inequity,” and state officials pledged to follow up on a number of action items identified by survivors and advocates.

“For a survivor of assault or another crime to sense they are being judged or disregarded by a responder is incredibly traumatizing. If a survivor doesn’t fit the responder’s idea of how a victim should look or act, the responder may not believe the survivor is credible. And that’s a problem,” said ORDOJ Survivor Services fund coordinator Benjamin Bradshaw. “When people face this kind of explicit or implicit bias from the very people who are supposed to help them, they may choose not to report a crime. They may believe they have nowhere to turn for help.”

In response to that feeback, Survivor Services has started a training program for leadership of all victim services programs funded by the state DOJ. The wider department has also removed Social Security Number questions from forms used to process services claims, created a new diversity and equity subcommittee, and is still exploring other improvements to its programs for victims and survivors.

The Community Conversations series will also include updates on Oregon's recently-overhauled hate crime statutes.

“In 2020, DOJ’s Bias Response Hotline received 1,100 reports,” said Johanna Costa, who coordinates the state’s Bias Response Program. “These were largely reports of race-based bias, and, overwhelmingly, of anti-Black bias. People from all protected classes, including sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, religion, national origin, and race and color have contacted the hotline to report being targeted in their homes, at work, and out in their communities, including parks, stores, and even while driving.”

In 2021, the hotline has received 700 reports to date, indicating an increase in reporting of 450 percent over the previous year.

The Community Conversations are free and open to the public. Sessions run from 1 to 3 p.m. on the dates indicated below. To join any future session, click this Zoom link or call 1-669-254-5252. Registration is required, but attendees may choose to participate anonymously.

  • Muslim Communities - Monday, June 14
  • People Experiencing Houselessness - Wednesday, June 16
  • Asian Communities - Monday, June 21. Mandarin and Vietnamese interpretation will be provided
  • Black/African American Communities - Wednesday, June 23
  • Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Communities - Friday, June 25
  • American Indian and Alaska Native Communities - Monday, June 28
  • North African and Middle Eastern Communities - Wednesday, June 30
  • People of Color Communities - Monday, July 12
  • Undocumented and Migrant Farmworker Communities - Wednesday, July 14. Spanish interpretation will be provided
  • Immigrant and Refugee Communities - Friday, July 16
  • Slavic and Eastern European Immigrants and Communities - Monday, July 19. Russian interpretation will be provided
  • Deaf and Hard of Hearing Communities - Wednesday, July 21. ASL and Closed Captioning will be provided
  • Blind and Low Vision Communities - Friday, July 23
  • People with Disabilities Communities - Monday, July 26
  • People with Mental Health Disabilities - Communities Wednesday, July 28
  • Victims who are Incarcerated, Formerly Incarcerated, or Justice-Involved - Friday, July 30

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 397421

Reported Deaths: 5299
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah61160856
Washington42725408
Marion40378520
Clackamas33323391
Lane30531364
Jackson25267363
Deschutes24034198
Umatilla15178184
Linn15004184
Douglas13635295
Josephine10388249
Yamhill9916145
Klamath9144153
Polk8384103
Benton624440
Malheur594093
Coos5854109
Columbia442156
Jefferson427268
Lincoln369155
Crook345558
Union341857
Wasco320747
Clatsop265835
Baker223133
Tillamook220646
Hood River218637
Morrow198925
Curry194639
Harney121933
Grant109216
Lake106418
Wallowa76513
Sherman1953
Gilliam1854
Wheeler1161
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 5128725

Reported Deaths: 74953
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles153845127262
San Diego4104514351
Riverside3912955388
San Bernardino3784085998
Orange3370455783
Sacramento1699162462
Kern1590231841
Fresno1581872284
Santa Clara1536961933
Alameda1262241514
San Joaquin1084911837
Ventura1049251194
Contra Costa1046451058
Stanislaus923321436
Tulare869791102
San Francisco57458674
San Mateo56861631
Monterey52973626
Solano48014360
Santa Barbara47846555
Merced45506672
Sonoma43609414
Placer42736473
Imperial39148778
Kings35547369
San Luis Obispo31803360
Madera26511315
Shasta26353465
Butte25690320
Santa Cruz22540224
Yolo21792263
Marin18728249
El Dorado18544168
Sutter14691186
Napa13501107
Yuba1084791
Humboldt10360119
Tehama10329133
Nevada10187105
Mendocino873799
Lassen801259
San Benito793980
Tuolumne782691
Lake7073113
Amador583267
Siskiyou480757
Glenn460336
Calaveras449988
Del Norte380442
Colusa329821
Inyo259446
Plumas19679
Mono19274
Mariposa163818
Trinity102117
Modoc7956
Unassigned3820
Sierra2210
Alpine1080
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