After Homicide: Practical and Political Responses to Bereavement

By Paul E. Rock | Go to book overview

7
The Campaigning Survivors: Justice for Victims, Activism, and the Mass Media

Introduction

Although SAMM and Victim Support may have been the most substantial organizations supporting homicide survivors in England and Wales in the mid-1990s, they were not alone. In and around their boundaries, reflexively defining themselves against the foils that SAMM and Victim Support were thought to provide, but working with their own nuanced logic as well, was a scattering of other groups which also strove to give meaning to violent death and its aftermath. I have already listed some of their names, but, viewed from the vicinity of SAMM and Victim Support, the chief organization was Justice for Victims. Justice for Victims was minute, containing at its nucleus some four people, whilst SAMM's members could be numbered in the hundreds, but SAMM was to acquire some part of its own form (or formlessness) in its encounters with that body, constituting itself in the contrasts that it offered, just as Justice for Victims was constituting itself, and any history must therefore acknowledge its influence. Accordingly, I shall discuss Justice for Victims in this and the next chapter.


Justice for Victims

Justice for Victims may have claimed to speak for homicide survivors at large, and it was certainly to attain significance in the politics which grew up around them, but, by some measures, it was always very small. Like TCF, POMC, SAMM, and other survivors' organizations on both sides of the Atlantic, it made no formal count of its members, arguing that bereavement from violent death alone conferred qualification for acceptance. Indeed, 'membership' did not

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After Homicide: Practical and Political Responses to Bereavement
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • General Editors' Introduction vii
  • Preface ix
  • Acknowledgements xxvii
  • Contents xxix
  • Figures xxxi
  • Tables xxxii
  • Abbreviations xxxiii
  • Dramatis Personae xxxv
  • 1 - Homicide in England and Wales 1
  • 2 - Bereavement after Homicide 28
  • 3 - Bereavement as a Career 57
  • 4 - The Moral Economy of the Homicide Survivor 91
  • 5 - Beginnings: From The Compassionate Friends to Parents of Murdered Children 136
  • 6 - Victim Support and Parents of Murdered Children 168
  • 7 - The Campaigning Survivors: Justice for Victims, Activism, and the Mass Media 206
  • 8 - The Politics of Justice for Victims 241
  • 9 - The Evolution of SAMM 278
  • 10 - Conclusion 321
  • Index 334
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