Maya on MADD
Many victims of impaired driving crashes have had their lives turned upside down and they often need support. That is why MADD offers direct victim services at no charge to those dealing with the aftermath of a crash.
Before I came to MADD, I didn’t even know MADD offered victim services. Now I know that it’s one of our best kept secrets that we don’t want to be a secret. One thing I love about working as an advocate for MADD is that I can be very focused and creative. For example, all of the resources and referrals we give to victim survivors and their families are specific to the traumatic grief, either injury or bereavement, they are dealing with as a result of a car crash. We tailor counseling referrals to counselors that understand emotional and physical trauma that results from car crashes, or civil attorneys who specialize in personal injury and insurance. We offer families support groups and one on one support from people who have been involved in similar crashes, because we know that only someone who has been through something similar truly understands on the same level. I love that I’m able to be creative when helping someone grieve and establish a “new” normal. One young man was injured severely while skateboarding, and his mother was worried because his skateboard was ruined. It was his favorite skateboard because it was signed by his favorite band. With just a few emails, we were able to get him a new skateboard signed by his favorite band. He was still in a coma, the doctors weren’t even sure he’d wake up from, but his mom was so glad that he’d have that when he did wake up. He did wake up, and with his traumatic brain injury, the Drs didn’t know what he’d remember, or if he’d have to learn how to do everything again. He started slow, learning everything again, but with the go ahead from the Dr., his mom brought in the new skateboard, and we watched the light in his eyes when we saw him recognize the band signatures and the skateboard as something he remembered he liked to do, and it was so amazing. His mom was so thankful to be able to give him something so meaningful to him and to know that his brain injury hadn’t changed those memories. It was such a breakthrough to know he recognized those things, and we were glad to have helped that process. This young man, has learned to walk again, although he still walks with a cane, but he knows that skateboard is there for him when he’s ready.
Being an advocate at MADD is challenging and rewarding every day, much like being an advocate at any other organization, and I’m honored to walk the path with these families every day.
Victim Services Provided at No Charge:
- Offering emotional support and provide information by phone or in person
- Provides a wide selection of free literature, available in English and Spanish for victims/survivors
- Assist victims in obtaining and completing an application for Crime Victims Compensation
- Assist in providing a list of professional counselors skilled to work with crash victims
- Assistance in obtaining crash reports and/or the offenders driving record
- Assist in understanding the various laws related to drunk driving laws and victim rights in Colorado
- Referrals to civil attorneys specializing in wrongful death and personal injury cases
- Assistance with preparation of a Victim Impact Statement to present at the sentencing of the offender
- Accompany you to court or if you are unable to attend, keep you informed of the legal proceedings
- Assist in preparing statements for parole hearings
We are able to offer these services at no charge to victims and supports our community with monies raised through Walk Like MADD. To learn more about our annual 5k, please visit:
Why does MADD do a Walk? Because far too much work needs to be done to eliminate drunk driving, prevent underage drinking and serve victims.
Did you know?
- Last year, 10,839 people died in drunk-driving crashes – one every 50 minutes.
- Every minute, one person is injured from an alcohol-related crash.
- One in three people will be involved in an alcohol-related crash in their lifetime.
- MADD serves a victim or survivor of drunk driving every 9 minutes.
- Teen alcohol use kills about 6000 people each year, more than all illegal drugs combined.
- Car crashes are the leading cause of death for teens, and one out of three of those is alcohol related.
Every step taken will help raise funds and awareness for MADD’s programs and services that will serve to keep our children and communities safe.