Feeling a Victim's Pain
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"Had I not had that foundation of faith, I wouldn't have survived," she says. "God was there, and so were many people from my church family."
Though God and other Christians surrounded her, Lorraine found little comfort from the sources directly involved in the case—from the police department to the legal system. In fact, she continued to feel victimized and ignored.
When the suspect was caught hours later and arraigned, Lorraine received no notification of court hearings or trial information. Attorneys promised to call, but no one did. After the third missed court hearing, she lit into her lawyer for failing to notify her and, finally, the calls started to come. It took a year and a half before a murder conviction was handed down in May 2000.
An Advocate for a Victim's Family
Lorraine and her fiancÉ married less than a year after the attack on her daughters, but divorced soon after. The painful memories, along with her focus on helping her daughter heal, carried a weight too difficult to bear. However, even in the midst of the continued chaos over the tragedy, Lorraine was able to hold tightly to her faith, and soon felt God calling her to begin talking about her experiences.
She realized that she couldn't have been the only family to feel victimized in the midst of tragedy, so she began to pray about a way to educate law enforcement personnel on the effects of victimization. Finally, in August 2001, to honor her daughter Stacie (Stacie's birthday is August 21), Lorraine started the S.T.A.C.I.E. Foundation, an organization that works to prevent other crime victims from going through what she did.
"I wanted to memorialize Stacie in a way that would benefit people," says Lorraine. The S.T.A.C.I.E. Foundation (Striving Toward Achieving Compassion, Intervention, and Education) attempts to bridge the gap between crime victims, their families, law enforcement personnel, and others through education and information.
Joining forces with Detective Richard Leonard, the lead detective assigned to her daughters' case, Lorraine now presents "The Impact of Victimization" seminar to crime victims, law enforcement agencies, victim witness programs, attorneys, judges, university students, churches, and prison inmates.
"People need to be educated," says Lorraine. "It's not just how you say things; it's when you say them and where you say them, your tone of voice, and how you do certain things. It's all about education, which has to involve everyone including police officers, hospital workers, pastors, even district attorneys."
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