PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Hundreds of violent crime survivors will be heading to the State Capitol on Wednesday, March 30, to meet with their local policymakers.

“We are going to Springfield to meet with the legislators and all of the survivors from all over the state,” said Pastor Clara Underwood-Forman, with the Potter House church.

Underwood-Forman was personally affected by violent crime. “I had two sons to be murdered, one in 2002, Reginald Andre, who was actually killed in my home. And my other son Desmun Jermaine Underwood, he was murdered, as well.”

Using their voices, so legislators can make a change, Representative Jehan Gordon-Booth started the Peoria chapter of Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice.

“It is important that we hear from those who have been most impacted by violent crime and lift their voices up and allow them to be in the people’s house, the House of Representatives,” said Rep. Gordon-Booth.

She is even carrying a piece of legislation that will offer protection for anyone wanting to give information or come forward about a crime.

Rep. Gordon-Booth said, “Those of us in leadership have to be able to make decisions to create and facilitate an environment that would allow someone that would have information to be able to come forward, and frankly, feel safe doing so.”

Underwood-Forman said she is thankful that Rep. Gordon-Booth started an initiative like this one, and said an event like this allows survivors to heal.

“When survivors speak, change happens, and so going tomorrow, I’m telling you, it will be a healing experience,” said Underwood-Forman.

Underwood-Forman left a message for those who have not been affected by gun violence. “A lot of times, survivors just want someone to talk to, to know that they have support and that they’re not alone in this. So, if you can, if you know someone that has been impacted, please just reach out.”

For those wanting to join the Peoria chapter of Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice at the State Capitol, call Clara Underwood-Forman at (309) 712-3708.