About VCVS

The loss of someone we love by a violent crime brings with it the termination of so many different things. Plans that were once made now have to be changed or set aside altogether. Dreams and hopes have been shattered. It may appear that life will never have meaning again. Violent Crime Victim Services is reaching out to co-victims of homicide in need of support.

We walk with you.

We fulfill the promise of:
  • Treating co-victims with respect
  • Identifying and meeting their needs
  • Helping them seek justice

Violent Crimes Victim Services History


Violent Crime Victim Services was born out of the violent death of one of the daughters of Mr. Lew Cox, the organization's founder and executive director. This event eventually moved Mr. Cox to reach out to the homicide bereaved in Tacoma, Washington. Recognizing the significance of the loss after a loved one is murdered, Mr. Cox promised co-victims of homicide help to cope with the aftermath of the crime - to treat them with compassion and dignity - to help them identify and meet their most essential needs related to their physical, emotional and spiritual losses - to provide them with information about their statutory and constitutional rights, as well as advocacy to help them implement those rights, the right to be present at all proceedings related to their loved one's cases and to provide them with information about crime victims compensation.

The necessity for homicide victim support programs is primarily due to the high volume of violent crime. Nationwide, homicide is the third highest cause of death of individuals under age 40. Over 25% of all homicides in the U.S. are related to DOMESTIC VIOLENCE. Grief associated with a homicidal death can create a prolonged critical emotional danger in surviving family members and friends. A disproportionate number of children, adolescents, and young adults must adjust to this tragedy every year.

How can we fulfill the needs of this population of people? We cannot do it alone. In a nation where nearly everyone knows someone who has been victimized, or they themselves have been touched by crime, we must pursue avenues that engage and involve everyone across the nation - in communities large and small, of every culture and race, religion, and ethnicity - to join in our efforts. When a violent crime hurts one person, its effects touch us all.

The dedicated work of the staff, of so many victim/survivors, and volunteer advocates at Violent Crime Victim Services have helped touch the lives of hundreds of co-victims of homicide. Still, with all this effort, Mr. Cox realizes that we need to secure more resources and to meet victims' increasing needs comprehensively and consistently. Violent Crime Victim Services does not cease its efforts to see that every co-victim of homicide receives all their rights and services necessary to aid in their recovery.


INITIAL CONTACT: prosecutors, homicide detectives, counselors, hospitals,  churches, and funeral homes make co-victims aware of victim services.

CRISIS INTERVENTION: A crisis intervention meeting is provided to family and friends of the crime victim, including...an explanation of a police investigation, the criminal justice system, victim's rights, the bereavement process, and Crime Victims Compensation.

JUDICIAL PROCEEDINGS: The advocate will accompany co-victims to judicial proceedings, trials, and sentencing.

SUPPORT GROUPS: Peer support groups provide a safe place for co-victims to discuss their concerns, frustrations, and grief and learn coping skills.

REFERRALS TO: Grief counselors, civil attorneys for crime victims, and the faith community.

Community Education & Training


SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS: Lectures are offered to schools, colleges,  churches, and civic organizations on the impact of violent crime on the community.

TRAINING: Training is presented to therapists, chaplains, clergy, and those who have an interest in a career in victim advocacy.

SEMINARS: Seminars are offered on the "Impact of Homicide on the  Family," "Traumatic Grief Recovery," "Basic Homicide Victim Advocacy,"  and "Traumatic Grief and the Church."