EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – The Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice (CSSJ) El Paso Chapter hosted its free “Healing Lunch and Conversation” event Saturday afternoon, Aug. 5 at the Prince of Peace Christian Fellowship.

CSSJ El Paso Chapter Co-coordinator Teresa Sotelo spoke with KTSM about the event’s purpose.

“Today’s purpose was to come together and heal, have a healing lunch so that we could share what we as an organization are doing, and also coming together with our community to interact and have a moment of breaking bread and connecting,” Sotelo said.

Sotelo says the chapter is open to everyone that has been a victim of crime or has been impacted by crime, saying that maybe someone didn’t face the crime per se, but someone close to them did and it caused trauma.

As a national organization, CSSJ visits every state to further the healing process.

“Part of healing is policy change as well,” she said.

“Policy changing is critical so that victims can receive more compensation, so that the laws can take us into consideration and can have us at the forefront of change,” Sotelo said.

Sotelo says that one thing the organization would really like to see in El Paso is to have a trauma recovery center so that survivors and families could have a place to go to and heal.

“Something to know about CSSJ is that we are an organization that its main focus is healing and at the same time, make changes concerning policies. It’s not just making sure that we are OK as a person, but making sure that we as a community, as a state, as a nation are further along in our healing process,” Sotelo said.