Parole hearings can be emotional, stressful, and traumatizing.
Whether or not a victim/survivor chooses to attend a parole hearing, the knowledge that the person who caused harm may be released often causes feelings of anger, sadness, depression, overwhelm, helplessness, and fear.
A parole hearing can be an intense experience. For many victims/survivors, attending the hearing feels as if they are reliving the crime and the harm to them and their loved ones. It can be jarring to see the incarcerated person, sometimes after many years or decades, and to hear that person speak about the crime. Regardless of a victim/survivor’s personal opinion about the incarcerated person’s parole, the experience of sharing memories and feelings (if the victim/survivor chooses to do so) can be painful, exhausting, and scary.
We believe that all victims/survivors deserve to be respected, supported, and cared for. We encourage all victims/survivors to take their own well-being seriously, to think about what will be most helpful to them, and to ensure they have the support in place that they need.
Hear the Experiences of Others.
No victim/survivor should feel alone.
Our Video Gallery is full of the experiences and stories of other victims/survivors who have lost a loved one to violence and gone through the process of participating (or considering whether to participate) in the parole hearing. We will continue to expand the Video Gallery as more people share their stories with us.
We welcome victims/survivors to browse these videos if it feels supportive to them to hear from other people who have had similar experiences.
Where else can I get support?
One option for support is the website HelpGuide.org. HelpGuide is a small independent nonprofit that runs one of the world’s leading mental health websites. Each month, millions of people from all around the world turn to HelpGuide for trustworthy content they can use to improve their mental health.
We also encourage victims-survivors to reach out to other support organizations that feel like the right fit for them. More information about support organizations is available here.